Gold Note PSU-5 energy provide

Gold Note PSU-5 energy provide

Last 12 months, I bought to assessment the Gold Note PH-5 phono stage. At that point the matching Power Supply Unit had not been launched. A few months after that assessment was revealed, Gold Note contacted me and requested if I wish to hear the PH-5 with its personal devoted energy provide (the PSU-5), as that was now out there. Silly query – in fact I used to be ! A unit was then despatched to me by the great individuals at Airt Audio, Gold Note’s UK distributor, and – spoiler alert – one other interval of unbridled vinyl pleasure started.

Brief tour

In case you missed it the primary time round, let me take you on a quick tour of each items. The PH-5 differs from its dearer sibling in a few seen methods. As already talked about, the rotary dial of the PH-10 has gone, leaving only a color touchscreen on the entrance, together with a small LED which signifies whether or not the unit is in standby mode or totally operational. Above that sits a small embossed gold disc exhibiting the Gold Note loge. On the highest proper, once more in gold, are the producer’s title in higher case and the mannequin title beneath that in a small dimension of the identical font.

Gold Note T-5

Around the again, the principle seen distinction is that there’s solely a single enter place, versus the 2 on the PH-10. The balanced XLR outputs have been retained together with a pair of RCAs. All the sockets are gold, as is the bottom pin for the turntable enter. In different phrases, Gold Note has maintained its excessive class construct high quality even on this “entry-level” machine. There is an IEC energy socket and an on/off rocker change.

The PSU-5 is an ideal visible match for the phono stage, as one would count on, however with out the color display screen. On the rear is the multi-pin socket for the provided umbilical twine, an earthing pin and once more an IEC enter socket and rocker change.

Inside the PSU is a two-transformer circuit, with loads of clear energy being made out there to the principle unit. This configuration helps to scale back noise from the AC. However, the Gold Note designers haven’t stopped there. A dual-choke inductive filter developed with a devoted transformer fully shields the PH-5 from undesirable noise. The design purpose was to enhance dynamics and high quality element in contrast with working the PH-5 with its personal inside energy provide. 

When the PSU-5 arrived my system had just a few adjustments from the one which had supported my assessment of the PH-5. I was taking part in host to a pair of Dynaudio Contour 20i stand-mount loudspeakers (reviewed within the January 2024 version of hifi+) and a Kleio K135 built-in amplifier. They had been linked with Audioquest Robin Hood cables. My Linn Sondek, with {hardware} upgrades from Tangerine Audio and a Dynavector XX2 transferring coil cartridge put in within the Ittok arm was unchanged from the earlier assessment. I plugged the arm leads from the LP12 into the PH-5, together with the grounding cable to its stud, and used a pair of Audioquest Pegasus XLR cables between the PH-5 and the K135.

Listening to the PH-5/PSU-5

I gave the PSU-5 a day or two to settle in, because it was a factory-fresh unit. I cued up one other of my agency favorite albums for assessment functions and one which featured within the PH-5 assessment, Gary Karr’s recording of Rodrigo’s En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor on the Firebird/Cisco urgent (CLP7058). Once once more I used to be misplaced within the recital, the wealthy tones of Mr Karr’s double bass each candy and deep. The sound was only a tiny bit tougher than I remembered it, however I put this right down to the novelty of the PSU. For the subsequent two days I performed vinyl nearly with out pause from about 9 within the morning till Mrs Okay returned from her correct job at about 5. It all sounded high quality as I went about my different duties, as I didn’t need to rush to judgement whereas the PSU-5 was nonetheless settling in.

Gold Note PSU-5

On the third day (with out wishing to sound unduly biblical) I assumed the system ought to be prepared for some extra severe listening. Although it was a bit of additional work I performed one facet of an album with out the PSU concerned after which plugged it again in and repeated the facet. First up was my authentic copy of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which the nonetheless current sticker tells me value $4.88 on the Wherehouse file retailer on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angles after I was there in the summertime of 1977. It is in remarkably good situation contemplating its age. The naked PH-5 gave an excellent account of the music. Every track got here throughout very nicely. I then plugged within the PSU-5 and repeated the train. Oh… my… giddy… aunt! (I believe my phrases on the time had been barely extra profane). ‘The Chain’ had me up on my ft, in full air bass guitar mode. It went from excellent to driving. Nothing was held again – the band had been going for broke. By the time we bought to the ultimate observe ‘Gold Dust Woman’, Stevie Nicks’ ethereal voice was as delicate as these floaty garments she used to put on within the band’s heyday.

Returning to the Gary Karr album (which isn’t a hardship), I performed it with the now positively warmed up PSU. This time that slight hardness which I had detected had vanished fully. The music merely flowed by way of the maestro’s hand. My earlier reservations had been washed away in a tsunami of beautiful music-making.

Still on one thing of a excessive from that musical rush, I chosen one other album from additional again in my youth. In the mid to late Sixties my father, who was a military chaplain, was stationed in what was then West Berlin. One of the privileges that his rank afforded was entry to the American PX of their sector of that high quality metropolis. My dad and mom took me there and let me browse within the admirably intensive file part of this division retailer for GIs. On one go to I used to be handled to a Rolling Stones album known as Now, which was a US solely situation on the time. 

The rear of the sleeve states on the backside that it was electronically reprocessed for stereo from the unique monaural recoding. No matter, I cued up the primary facet and sat right down to hearken to the Stones tearing into ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’. The similar factor occurred. The naked PH-5 had my ft tapping and my head nodding however after I added the PSU-5 I used to be up and – let’s not name what went on dancing – however there was positively rhythmic physique motion and I’ll even have joined within the refrain. By the time I had cranked up the quantity and observe three was roaring from the Dynaudios the irony of a person my age sing-shouting ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ was in all probability past parody. No matter. The further quantity and the sense of being on the entrance of the stage at a Stones 60s gig mixed bought me misplaced within the second. It’s at occasions like this that I’m glad to reside in a indifferent home and to be house alone throughout sunlight hours.

From then on I distributed with the with/with out PSU a part of the reviewing course of – it’s simply so clearly higher with the PSU-5. Everything I wrote concerning the PH-5 in my authentic assessment held true, however now it was doing it with the extra applicable PSU-5 which prices roughly third of the value of the PSU-10 I used earlier within the 12 months. As earlier than, this technique was agnostic when it got here to music genres. It introduced all the pieces I performed by way of it to life. 

Towards the top of the assessment interval, each the Kleios K135 amplifier and the Dynaudio needed to be returned whence they got here. The replacements, nevertheless, had been greater than ample and truly belonged to me, so this was by no means prone to downgrade the sound. Change it, sure however downgrade it, no. The Lyngdorf TDAI3400 took over amplifier duties and the Harbeth Compact7ESRDXs and their stands had been set again of their acquainted positions. The XLR cables had been linked to the upgraded analogue enter board put in within the TDAI3400.

Gold Note PSU-5 rear panel

In equity to the Gold Note items I gave the Lyngdorf and the Harbeths a few days to heat up and began again on the pile of records nonetheless awaiting play. First up on the LP12 was the brand new half-speed grasp model of what many regard as the head of the Who’s recorded output, Who’s Next. Originally launched in 1971, this 2023 version was mastered by long-time Who affiliate Jon Astley at Close To The Edge, whereas the half-speed masters had been lower by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. This is an album I’ve liked – revered even – since its launch. I do know it nicely, or at the least I assumed I did. This was my first play of this 2023 launch, and from the primary notes from the synthesiser on ‘Baba O’Reilly’, it was as if it had been recorded yesterday and gone from monochrome to vivid color. By the time ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ pale to silence I sat for an indeterminate time frame, quietly surprised. Eventually I did rise up and carry the arm out of the run-out groove, however I made a decision that nothing might prime that have so known as it a day so far as music listening was involved.

The Final Verdict

I’ve re-read my conclusion to the unique assessment of the PH-5 and stand by each phrase I wrote then. The PH-5 is the best sub £1,000 phono stage to have handed by way of my system in on a regular basis I’ve been a reviewer. It could be very nicely constructed, straightforward to make use of, extremely versatile and sounds magnificent. If you then add the PSU-5 into the combination you’ve got an admirably completed sub-£1.500 phono stage which can get as a lot out of your valuable vinyl as the remainder of your replay system will enable. If you care sufficient about vinyl replay to ponder investing £1.500 in a phono-stage, you actually have to incorporate these two elegant containers in any audition shortlist that you’re drawing up. I might describe my very own system as a strong mid-range performer, able to giving me moments of pure pleasure. 

A buddy of mine in high-end audio retail has just lately offered a pair of audio system for thrice the market worth of my house, and I’m comfortable for the purchaser, for he can absolutely afford the most effective of the most effective. For these of us with extra modest sums at our disposal, audio purchases usually are not normally undertaken frivolously, and we need to be as positive as we may be that the elements we select will serve us nicely for years to return. The Gold Note PH-5 and its devoted PSU are undoubtedly such elements. I gave myself no room for hyperbole after I gave the PH-5 my highest advice, so I can solely repeat that for the two-box package deal reviewed right here. My warmest congratulations to Gold Note, for producing such sonic excellence in such an reasonably priced guise. It is nice to know that the Florence of the twenty first century can produce its personal masterpieces and needn’t really feel overshadowed by its illustrious previous. 

Technical specs

  • Type: Power provide for Gold Note PH-5 phono stage
  • Power provide: Three rail, audio grade, with three ultra-low voltage regulators
  • Dynamic energy: >50W
  • Output voltage max variation: 0.05%
  • Line Noise Rejection: >80dB
  • Common Mode Noise Rejection: >80dB
  • Full-power response time: <2.5s
  • Dimensions (W×H×D): 20 × 8 × 26cm
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Price: £599, $999


Gold Note


Gold Note PH-5 Phono Stage: https://www.goldnote.it/phono-stages/ph-5/

Gold Note PSU-5 energy provide for PH-5: https://www.goldnote.it/power-supplies/psu-5/

UK distributor

Airt Audio


+44(0)7548 796382

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February 13, 2024 at 04:39PM

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