Now we come to the final adjustment, anti skating. When the tone arm makes it radial journey from the outside of a record to the inside, there is a tendency for the needle/arm combination to get pulled toward the center. To counter this, one applies anti-skating. Mostly this setting is around the same amount as VTF but experimenting with lower anti-skating is recommended. In the end, what we want is a dynamic, wide, deep and utmost stable soundstage. Thus after all this adjusting of the many parameters a tone arm and cartridge present, we still need the resultant audio signal that is now as good as we could make it to be magnified. The output of a typical moving-coil cartridge is around 0.3mV while moving-magnet types produce ten times that for 3mV. Either case amounts to next to nothing when compared to a modern DAC with its minimum 2V output (some produce up to 8V). It is almost a rounding error. But it is 2V we look for at our line stage input.
With signals this small, any noise entering the massive amplification phase is equally multiplied. And 64dB of gain for a phono stage is a lot – nearly 22'000 times. Such a circuit has to be deader than dead in the S/N department.
Gold Note took all this to heart when they designed the PH-10. It would become a fully analog circuit but adaptable not only to any kind of cartridge but any kind of RIAA correction used in the mastering of an LP. On top of that, the user of the phono stage shouldn't have to deal with complex settings or awkward jumpers and dip switches.
Our Italian audio circuit became based on purely capacitors, resistors and coils. No DSP, no tubes. For load selection, the choice was for fast-switching Mosfets. We emphasize that switching remains an analogue occupation and is far from anything to do with digital. For the best user experience, the Italian company added a single master control knob. With just one push-turn controller, all functions are accessible, all settings set. The only thing the user must do which is not handled by the SKC is connect the cables.
For that we look at the back of the PH-10. Here we find, from left to right, two separate RCA phono inputs with their own ground terminals. Above these sits the GN port that can be used to connect other Gold Note devices like amplifiers in a proprietary way. Non-proprietary are the XLR and RCA outputs. Gold Note's PH-10 accepts two types of power. One is via IEC receptacle for direct AC power, the other via a Gold Note port that accepts DC power from the Gold Note PSU-10 external power supply. More on that later. Lastly we have the mains switch and a mini USB port for maintenance like updates of the control software, making the phono stage future proof.