GOLD NOTE CD1000 MkII CD player/DAC by Tone Audio
Even though there is a wealth of streaming options available to music lovers, the CD is quietly making a bit of a comeback. Not everyone wants to be an IT person, and some really enjoy the simplicity of putting a disc in and pushing play. Not to mention, there are some great deals to be had in the used CD bins.
The Gold Note features a similar sonic voice, whether enjoying a CD or using the DAC for streamed content. However, CD playback is where it truly excels. The sound is exceptionally immersive and it’s easy to get swept up in the music rather than scrutinizing it.
The CD-1000 MkII digs out bass notes in a tight, defined, and concise way. Those who crave heavy bass emphasis may find the player’s voicing a touch polite for their taste. Low frequency, dub-steppy elements heard in Billie Eilish’s “you should see me in a crown” renders with ample punch, though. Listeners pairing the CD-1000 with preamps and amps that excel at low-frequency delivery may find the Gold Note an excellent match.
The Gold Note offers a beautiful midrange portrayal. Vocals seem to take a step toward the listener, exceeding the physical speaker placement. Similarly-impressive is the player’s broad and deep soundstage. Instruments sometimes offer a surprise by appearing to wrap around the edges of the listening space.
The Gold Note CD-100 MkII is an exceptional performer and a marvelous choice for those with an extensive CD collection. However, keep in mind that the player decodes streamed music too. Dividing that cost among the player and DAC capabilities justifies the future-proofed investment. Plus, Gold Note’s various power supplies give a prospective owner an upgrade path. If this review whets your appetite for a new CD player, be sure to audition a CD-1000 MkII and see if it’s the solution you’ve been seeking to complement your other system components.
– Rob Johnson