Maurizio Atterini: "We are presently closed to move into the new factory and I spend almost all my time driving back and forth between our two buildings to oversee all the necessary work. We are very excited because the new factory is almost 5 times bigger. I hope that will help us to make Gold Note one of the most competitive European audio players in the near future.

"That said, there always are many things to talk about with our new products. Sometimes I’m simply influenced by my own ideas about what I think deserves mention so here are answers to your questions. The headphone amp of the DS-10 derives directly from our previous HP-7 [which used the TPA6120A2 current-feedback chip for headfi – Ed.]. It is again based on this TI chip but deeply reshaped under our proprietary design to allow adjustable +6dB double gain and drive the majority of headphones including difficult high-impedance or orthodynamic models. Power delivery is above 1 watt into 16/32Ω, half a watt into 200/300Ω and ¼ watt into 600Ω. High-power mode doubles those values.

"The PA-10 is a very interesting new hi-tech design. Unlike our older M7 at left, it's not a class D circuit but does feature new tech in a module with Mosfets also popular with class D output oscillators. It's a proprietary bridge-tied-load or BTL circuit which truly doubles power into halved impedances like a pure class A amplifier would. That means 75wpc into 8Ω becomes 300 watts into 2Ω; or 300w mono into 8Ω goes to 600w into 4Ω.

"We asked ourselves what clients would need to extend their Gold Note system with Series 10 components. If somebody already owned our DS-10 Chameleon DAC, they'd need a matching power amplifier and small speakers for a complete system. Looking at our product range, a fitting amplifier was the missing link. That's how the PA-10 was born."

About the DS-10's 'chamelon' features, its Asahi Kasei Microdevices AKM AK4493EQ DAC chip comes pre-loaded with six filters which Gold Note allow us to access. Those are short delay with sharp roll-off and 6.25/Fs group delay; short delay with slow-roll off and 5.3/Fs group delay; sharp roll-off; slow roll-off; super slow roll-off; and low dispersion short delay. Gold Note's menu puts those filters under PCM EQ. DEE is shorthand for de-emphasis, thus alters high-frequency response. DAC PWR sets the current at which the chip operates. MQA of course defaults to their own filters.

This video shows how to adjust the above parameters.

Given Maurizio's PA-10 comments, I asked whether the amp runs gallium-nitride aka GaN Mosfets and a switching power supply to save space and accommodate what for a compact chassis are high power ratings. "Correct, our new GaN output devices offer superior efficiency to generate more energy. Together with these better parts we devised a way to have our circuit act like class A to be superior to standard class AB implementations. And correct as well, maintaining compact size was crucial for the project which nonetheless had to be powerful and versatile. Here an SMPS was key.  Connecting multiple PA-10 in series via the XLR outputs creates a sophisticated multi-room system." I'd previously only heard gallium nitride parts in costly class D amps from AGD and Merrill. The PA-10 would be my first which exploits GaN for class AB.

My loaners were Marja & Henk's prior DS-10 review sample in gold and two PA-10 amplifiers in formal black. With the pair brand new, I set the lot up in our…

The new Gold Note factory on Via Virginio 156 in Montespertoli overlooking the Chianti Classico hills outside Firenze

… upstairs system fronted by a Soundaware D100Pro SD card transport and ending in a pair of Acelec Model One all-aluminium monitors augmented by a Zu Submission subwoofer.