The golden cases are a sort of revelation, in the age of silver aluminum, titanium grey, and carbon black. Like Armani amongst mass-produced clothing. I like that these Italians are not afraid to show-off their style, although – to accommodate the masses – the amplifiers are also available in more conventional silver and black. The Armani impressions is highlighted by unusual vent slits and an oversized logo. There is a lack of decadent opulence in the hi-fi market today, so here you are.

Function and form

Ease of use

The P-1000 MkII is a class A line preamplifier, completely balanced from input to output. The specified gain is +19dB, with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 110dB, and equally excellent channel separation of 118dB. The preamplifier has 2x4 sets of inputs (RCA/XLR), and 3 sets of outputs (RCA/XLR/Tube). The external peripheries provide the option to enhance the 2-box preamplifier/power amplifier combo into a 4-box stack. Two peripheries are available: an external inductive power supply PSU-1250 that features 7 transformers for complete galvanic separation from power grid and that provides 300W of power; the other periphery is an external tube output stage TUBE-1012 with 2x6 valves per channel.

The volume control employs optical ALPS encoder and relays, clicking in 1dB increments. By pressing the volume knob the preamp dimmable display menu can be accessed. There you can select the input, switch between mono and stereo (I can confirm that with mono recordings the mono mode performs audibly better), swap the L/R channel, choose phase 0/180, and send more energy to the amplifier in sub-50Hz region through “Booster” setting. The Booster is completely bypassed when set to OFF, applied to 50% when set to 1, applied to 100% when set to 2.

For extra money the preamplifier can be supplied with a coaxial DAC module. However, if you are serious about digital audio, I recommend to invest into more advanced solution, like Gold Note´s own DS-1000 mkII DAC.

Bass management


Both devices status LED lights are blue in the default state. Changing the mode - like attaching the external PSU – turns the LED into green. I likeed that because I could spot immediately that the PSU is connected and working. If I had had a similar indicator on myself, it would have been glowing with pleasure immediately after I cued up Elvis Presley’s Love Me (from 24 Karat Hits, Analogue Productions). This recording is mono, and so was the preamplifier (another green light lit up). The atmosphere threw me back several decades, I could smell cigarettes, coffee, and felt the warmth of tubes and console wirings. There was also limitation of a microphone making no justice to Elvis’ smooth baritone. The amps relied on warm and embracing mids that once again filled the room with comfortable nostalgia. The usual audiophile exclamations like “can you hear this?” did not happen  - the sound was almost ordinary in its delivery, which usually marks a good performance, with no excesses anywhere.

In later-recorded piece, like Are You Lonesome Tonight, the gain in quality was apparent. It was not the Elvis´ vocal but the backing vocals on the right that could my attention. They were – through the Gold Note combo – amazingly palpable and present in the room, as if there were real people hidden behind the curtain. The frequency response extremes were quite decent and complementary to the liquidity of the midrange. I could listen for hours to the sound like this.

Clarity & delicacy


The legendary set of Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin (Friday Night in San Francisco, ORG) was a proof that soundstaging is another strong asset of the P-1000 and PA-1175. I could see and hear the venue, and the ecstatic shouts from the audience were projected through the stereo convincingly and with the right spatial context. Who is familiar with this recording (who doesn’t?) knows how precise the guitar-work is; when I moved closer to the A6 EVO speakers I got the full immersive effect, as if I was listening to headphones. The grip of the PA-1175 on sound was obvious, and it was only with its sufficient watts when the music like this came fully alive.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

On Coleman Hawkins’ The Hawk Flied High (Riverside, Mobile Fidelity Half Speed Mastering) the tenor saxophone is the hero, singing his song on the canvas of Oscar Pettiford’s walking bass, thus basically replacing a lead singer. The genesis of this record is said to happen like this: Hawkins is approached by the label “Why don’t you pick out the men you’d most like to work with and let’s cut a record?” And that was it. Now, through the P-1000 / PA-1175 the record’s lacquer smells as fresh as it did back in 1957.

Another cut, Herbert von Karajan, Christian Ferras, and Berliner Philharmoniker (Finlandia, Deutsche Grammophon). The seesawing waves of the orchestra lulled me into an alpha state, and I forgot to make notes. Then, suddenly, my imaginative dreaming was disrupted by a fiery brass and winds. They were like an alarm, a high-end one, and I could hear musicians taking their breath, the lips pressed to lip-pieces, the rumble of mechanic parts of the instruments. Hilarious.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

One more cut. Direct from Tower of Power is a part of Sheffield Lab’s catalogue, and as such it is a live session directly cut into lacquer, without master tapes. The instrument separation was great through the Gold Note, I could follow each instrumental line clearly and distinctly. Should I name one instrument I really loved the bass playing, with its swaying rhythm that became even better with volume control boosted.

If you still doubt that the Gold Note P-1000 and PA-1175 is a great combination of amplifiers that makes great music, then pack your records or CDs and give it a listen.

Price as reviewed:190 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Audio Ranny, Praha, tel. +420 777 003 134

Associated components

  • Sources: Gold Note Mediterraneo Walnut, B-7 Ceramic tonearm, Tuscany Gold MC cartridge, Phono Cable Extra XLR 1,5
  • Preamplifier: phono Gold Note PH-1000
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Actinote Aria Evo
  • Loudspeakers: Gold Note A6 EVO
  • Power conditioning: Actinote Aria Evo, Gold Note PSU-1250 external power supply



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