The Gold Note IS-10 is a superb all in one unit which comprises of an integrated amplifier, DAC with built in network streamer plus a headphone amplifier along with a clever upgrade path too.
Priced at £2900 this is Gold Note’s entry point in terms of a complete system, simply add a pair of loudspeakers and a network connection and you are good to go.
Using the same form factor as the popular DS-10 and PH-10 the IS-10 crams a lot of technology into its compact casework.
It is an integrated amplifier (with 90 watts into 8 ohms and 140 watts into 4 ohms), offering 2 pairs of analogue inputs, a 6.3mm headphone output on the front panel, with adjustable sensitivity to match accurately with headphones.
The DAC offers 2 optical inputs and 1 RCA input, there is a USB-A connection as well which can be used to playback files stored on a USB drive. You also have Bluetooth 5.0 available as well.
In reality the most popular input for most users will be the network connection, the IS-10 has both wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi, once connected to your network the IS-10 comes alive with a huge number of streaming options available to use.
Roon Ready Endpoint
Tidal Connect (play music to the IS-10 using the Tidal app)
Spotify Connect (play music to the IS-10 using the Spotify app)
You can use the Gold Note Navigator app to stream Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer, vTuner Internet Radio, UPNP, there is support for MQA too plus Airplay so it covers plenty of bases.
It is a superb little unit and it sounds bigger and more sophisticated than anything this physical size has any right to. It has drive, authority and it simply gets on with playing music, Tonally it sits just on the warmer side of neutral, no shortage of detail or resolution but it sounds anything but digital and is almost analogue like in the way it lets the music flow.
The 90 watts of the IS-10 has no issue driving a pair of EPOS ES14N or the Fyne Audio F1-5, but if you want to improve the performance even further Gold Note have one great trick up their sleeve with the IS-10…….
The PA-10 stereo power amplifier has now evolved into a new PA-10 EVO. If you have look at the image of the connections you may have spotted a single RCA pre-out on the rear of the IS-10 – which is simply labelled R. If you switch a PA-10 EVO into mono mode and connect to the single pre-out on the IS-10 you turn each of them into mono power amplifiers, the power output into 8 ohms raises from 90 watts to 180 watt and the performance increases substantially as well.
Please note: the original PA-10 is not compatible with the IS-10
For a compact high performing one box system the IS-10 puts lots of ticks in lots of boxes, for the asking price of £2900 it is an incredibly strong little unit – please don’t underestimate its abilities, partner it with a PA-10 EVO and you just get lots more of the same!
Both models will be on demonstration very soon! Available in black, silver and gold, please get in touch for more information