After twenty five years working the more traditional end of the high-end audio business – turntables, pre- and power amplifiers, loudspeakers – Florence’s Gold Note is set to introduce its first super integrated amplifier. The IS-1000 will house pre- and power amplifier stages, MM/MC phono stage, DAC and network streamer, all in a single box. Just add loudspeakers and an internet connection.
From the press release: “The new Class A/B amplifier with 125W @ 8Ω per channel (and 250W @ 4Ω) per channel has been developed exclusively for the IS-1000 to guarantee vivid dynamics, the purest sound and finest detail”.
The IS-1000 also sports technologies introduced via Gold Note’s flagship products. From their PA-1175 power amplifier, user-switchable damping factor and from the P-1000 pre-amplifier, a Booster OFF/1/2 function that “provides current to the speakers in order to get the most natural playback”, says Marketing Manager Tommaso Dolfi.
Analogue inputs number three: one balanced XLR and two single-ended RCA, the second of which can be run as either line-level or phono input.
Going in the other direction, fixed and variable analogue outputs mean the IS-1000 can also be run as standalone DAC, standalone phono stage or pre-amplifier.
However, all this would be for nought if it weren’t for Gold Note’s sharp eye for modern digital audio listening practices.
Firstly, augmenting single USB and coaxial inputs, the IS-1000 offers three TOSLINK inputs, ready to play catch on streams from televisions, Apple TVs, game consoles, outboard streamers and the like. It’s built for modern life.
Secondly, a network input, accessible via Ethernet or Wifi, hooks the IS-1000 into a home network to access digital audio streams from servers and NAS devices via UPnP with Gold Note’s own Android/iOS app. According to Gold Note, this opens the door to Qobuz, Deezer and Tidal.
Readers already groaning at the thought of yet another sub-par, in-house coded streaming app are joyfully advised that the IS-1000’s network streamer will be Roon Ready by the time the first units begin to ship in October.
Thirdly, proving that neither Gold Note nor the IS-1000’s target market are bitrate snobs, that same network input will also be Spotify Connect enabled. Apple Airplay too.
For those with a hi-res-or-die attitude, know that only the IS-1000’s network and USB inputs are DSD-compatible up to DSD64. Elsewhere, 24bit/192kHz PCM is the sample rate ceiling.
Lastly, there’s more than one USB input here. The Type A socket isn’t for PC/Mac/streamer hook-up but for direct playback of content from connected USB hard-drives.
Oh – and the chassis: it’s solid brushed aluminium, as designed by architect Stefano Bonifazi.
“Imagine a complete High-End stereo system enclosed in a beautiful aluminium chassis carved in bold Italian style: this is the best way to describe IS-1000.” reckons Maurizio Aterini, founder of Gold Note.
The IS-1000 will be priced at €4200 / US$5000 and will be made available via Gold Note’s dealer network from next month.
Further information: Gold Note