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GOLD NOTE PH-1000 > Stereophile review

Gold Note PH-1000

GOLD NOTE PH-1000 > Stereophile review

Gold Note’s $11,999 PH-1000 is by a considerable margin the most sophisticated, most configurable phono preamplifier that any audio manufacturer has ever produced, at least that I know of. Remarkably, considering all that flexibility and sophistication, using and adjusting the PH-1000 is straightforward.

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Gold Note’s made-in-Italy PH-1000 is a visually attractive—it looks best in gold, IMO—feature-driven, sophisticated phono preamplifier that’s easy to use and uniquely configurable. In my reviewing experience, that’s a rare and attractive combination. You’ll never get lost in a nested menu system. Its volume control is transparent and works well, which means that the PH-1000 can be used without a line preamplifier in an analog-only system—or you can set to “Stage” in a more typical system, with a line level preamplifier. The gain, loading, and equalization flexibility set it apart from most if not every other phono preamplifier currently available. Its absolute polarity and “stereo/mono” functionality, though not totally unique, are not as common in phono preamplifiers as they should be.

The PH-1000’s sonic performance was as smooth and sophisticated as its operating system. It was quiet and both micro- and macrodynamically accomplished. Its transparency, clarity, and freedom from congestion in the midrange were notable.


Only the somewhat polite bottom end disappointed, and even there it was more on electric than acoustic music. Perhaps the optional outboard power supply would address that issue. The optional tube stage might produce more vivid orchestral colors, but as the Downes-du Pré record (among others) demonstrated, those sonic riches are already present. The quiet, fine-sounding built-in class-A headphone amp adds yet more value.

If you’re thinking “Who needs all of this extra stuff, I just want to play my stereo records?” you’re probably better off putting your money elsewhere, since much of the value of the PH-1000 is in features and flexibility. The PH-1000 becomes a very attractive choice if your record collection is rich with older mono records or if you value setup perfection alongside fine sonic performance.
– Michael Fremer, Stereophile

Link to product: Gold Note PH-1000
Link to review: Stereophile


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