Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1 & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Scala MkII & Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20, Questyle QP1R
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; AURALiC Merak [on loan]; Wyred4Sound SX-1000R [on loan]
Loudspeakers: Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Sounddeco Sigma 2; soundkaos Wave 40; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Rethm Bhaava [on loan]
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]; Sablon Audio Petit Corona power cords [on loan], Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review component retail: €13'500/pr

Gold Note of Florence/Italy are a full-service shop. From cartridges to tone arms to turntables, from CD transports to CD players to DACs to servers, from preamps to amps to cables to speakers, even racks... one could build an entire system from gold and never set foot outside the ancient city on the Arno river. It's the capitol of picturesque Tuscany which since the 19th century enjoyed the designation of Italy's Athens for its role in the cultural Renaissance. Thus the company slogan.

Today isn't about history though; unless their latest floorstander, the XT-7 three-way, were about to make history. Like boats of course, speakers are more likely viewed as females so it'll be her not his story. And so it all began... with a custom air-motion transformer shaking hands with a 15cm mid and dual 18cm rear-ported woofers. All cones here are of the "ultra-hardened woven polypropylene with copper phase plug" sort. Filter points sit at 280Hz and 3kHz. Four finishes cover high-gloss black and white cheeks as shown right; and Walnut and stained gray wood veneer, the former shown above.

Italian designers are fêted for their style, making Milan the fashion centre of Europe. As their stock photos show, the XT-7 isn't about to ding that shiny reputation. It cleverly disguises its intrinsic box nature with wavy side-edge scallops and rearward rake, then throws an additional curve into the mix with its plinth's frontal profile. It's an elegant construct and attractive Tonmöbel; two pieces of sound furniture you'll not struggle to share your living room with.

With claimed 91dB/8Ω sensitivity and 38Hz-20kHz coverage, power requirements suggest nothing grotesque whilst bandwidth should really power most requirements. 7" woofer diameters support a narrow baffle which plays to contemporary ideals whilst two of them net cone surface roughly equivalent to a 10-incher, spreading half the excursion requirement over two motors. Being so fresh from photography that their own web page isn't complete yet, we'll continue this narrative as the picture fleshes out and our very first review samples arrive in late January. I'm told these are built by the same Italian shop that also works on Sonus faber's domestically sourced cabinets. No wonder these ladies look fine...

Gold Note's 2016 Xmas & New Year's card shows their full-line resources in a complete system.
... to be continued...

Gold Note website