Country of Origin


PA-10 Evo

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac late 2020 with Ventura 13.3, 40GB RAM, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box at 80Hz/4th-order hi/lo-pass; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund Job 225; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio Audio IQ w. sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Shanling M3 Ultra, Soundaware D300Ref; DAC: Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Vinnie Rossi Signature L2 + icOn 4Pro + 4th-order/40Hz hi-low pass; Amplifier: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini, Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF + Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature;  Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m

Review component retail: TBA

When opportunity knocked to review a pair of new Gold Note PA-10 Evo, I accepted. At 75wpc, the original Tuscan half pints bridged to quad monaural power. That equalled 300/600W into 8/4Ω; not in class D but AB. That's even though their output devices were GaNFet gallium-nitride sorts popular with cost-no-object class D from AGD to Java to Merrill; and their power supply switched like Aavik and LinnenberG do for their class A amps, Crayon and Nagra for their AB brethren. Unlike them, a pair of PA-10 didn't eclipse €3'400 yet outweighed their lot on sheer wattage then added adjustable damping factor. Having formally reviewed them, going back to the well wasn't a blind date but sure thing.

For this round I'll report on high-power mode with current ancillaries and rooms all of which changed across the three years since my first encounter. Let's call today's job the collection of more data points for fence sitters who prefer their muscle amps compact, light and not in class D. Off the top of my head, little competes inside the same parameters of power, footprint and cost. Even finish options in silver, black or champagne go one more than most. Kinki Studio's 250-watt EX-B7 come close on positioning and power but get twice as big. Needless to say, they'll be direct comparators.

What's with the Evo suffix? As my Gold Note contact Alice Zoppi explained, a key part of the original circuit became unobtainium. It's what triggered a redesign once PA-10 stock had depleted. In many ways today's gig will be a redux, just possibly not quite if the new part changed sonics; not that I'd know how if it has. First came the Munich show where our Tuscan team launched their new Mediterraneo X flagship turntable; the new DS-1000 Evo next-gen streaming DAC; and this IS-10, a new all-in streaming integrated in their half-width range.

… to be continued…