Gold Note DS‑10 streaming DAC preamp and PA‑10 power amplifiers

Solid-state power amplifiers,
Solid-state preamplifiers,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
Gold Note DS‑10,
Gold Note PA‑10

In a way, I’d argue that the DS‑10/stereo PA‑10 combination is more of a stepping-stone to the mono amps than a solution in its own right. In part, this is because for just a few hundred pounds more, Gold Note’s own IS-1000 integrated amplifier offers a lot of the same performance and sound quality standards, line inputs, and a more powerful amplifier stage. This isn’t a trouncing, as the DS‑10’s standalone DAC performance edges past that of the IS‑1000, the IS-1000 lacks a headphone amp and the PA‑10 is a slightly more graceful sounding amplifier than the integrated. Also, if you are performing a ‘bitza’ upgrade from existing equipment, then the DS‑10 is an obvious digital hub add-in to a system, but in the main if you are set on the Gold Note sound and it’s a choice between the DS‑10/stereo PA‑10 (with no future mono upgrade in the pipeline) or the IS-1000, I think most will go for the IS-1000. Adding in the second PA‑10, however, changes things dramatically. That extra dimensionality to the soundstage, the even greater control over the loudspeakers and its concomitant ‘grip’ on the bass, and the fluidity of midrange simply make so much more sense. All those elements are there in the PA‑10 (and, for that matter, the IS-1000), but they are more brightly lit when you go mono. And there’s even a PSU10 power supply for the DAC, so that should improve performance still further.

There’s a lot to like in the Gold Note DS‑10 and PA‑10 combination, especially when you get to the full triumvirate of DS‑10 and mono PA‑10s. This is a grown-up sound, free from lots of the fireworks and the instant gratification of ‘peakier’ sounding electronics so common today and especially at this price point. More importantly, the Chameleon DAC does live up to its name because it affords the preamp a lot of additional sonic flexibility. Small really is beautiful, after all! 


DS‑10 Streaming DAC preamp/headphone preamp

Digital inputs: 1x RCA Coax, 2x Optical Toslink, 1x AES/EBU XLR, 1x USB-B DAC Input DSD512, 1x USB-A host, LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth High Definition 5.0

Audio outputs (DAC): stereo RCA @ 1Volt and balanced XLR @ 2Volt

Audio outputs (preamp): Stereo RCA, balanced XLR; 1 6.3mm jack 

DAC: D/A Converter AKM AK4493 PCM up to 32bit/768kHz and DSD512 native

Streamer: UPnP/DLNA/RoonReady, MQA, Airplay, vTuner, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify

Supported servers: Supported audio formats (network): up to PCM 24bit/192kHz, AIFF (.aif, .aiff, .aifc), ALAC, WAV (.wav), FLAC, MP3, DSD64: DSF, DFF, Apple Lossless, OGG, Monkey’s, DSD64: DSF, DFF 

App support: “GN Control” for iOS and Mconnect Control” for Android

Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz +/-0.1dB

Output impedance: 50Ω

THD: 0.001% max

Signal to Noise ratio: -125dB

Dynamic range: 120dB

Finishes: Brushed Aluminium in Black, Silver or Gold

Dimensions (W×HxD): 20 × 8 × 26cm

Weight: 4kg

Price: £2,370

PA‑10 power amplifier

Power output: 75/150W @ 8/4Ω per ch. in stereo to 600W @ 4Ω per ch. in mono (BTL)

Frequency Response: 10Hz–30kHz at +/-1dB

THD+N: 0.05%

Input sensitivity: 1,4V RMS on RCA and XLR

Input impedance: 13KΩ RCA/XLR

Finishes: Brushed Aluminium in Black, Silver or Gold

Dimensions (W×H×D): 20 × 8 × 26cm

Weight: 4kg

Price: £1,170

Manufactured by: Gold Note


Distributed by: Airt Audio


Tel: +44(0)7548 796382

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Articles