Fully balanced equals cancellation of even-order harmonics plus bipolar transistors sums to what? The uncertainty of that line reflects my state of mind during these sessions. Virtually all amps in our collection drive Mosfets. So does Gold Note's IS-1000 where lesser free real estate demands higher efficiency. Lateral Mosfets are where my sonic allegiances would seem to root even though that'd be pure hindsight. I don't purchase parts but final results. Even with our warmest chunkiest speakers which, to generalize for an easy fix, are voiced like Harbeths, I couldn't unbutton that tighter more restrained gestalt. No matter the transducer, the sound remained super articulate but aloof. It felt accurate, even chiseled on occasion yet could also veer into the subtly glassy. Finally the low bass felt a bit reluctant even in mono mode and on our Audio Physic Codex which do breach subwoofer territory.

The more I mentally chased probable cause, the more I suspected an odd-order dominant THD profile with some remnants well above the 3rd harmonic. At least that would have explained why the PA-1175 could play such counterpoint to our usual fare. It just didn't seem like anything Gold Note would pursue deliberately given my familiarity with their other electronics.

Whilst mono bridging did act juicier and bigger like you expect whenever speakers respond favourably to higher current and parlay still lower distortion, that didn't shift my fundamental impression. Given prior Gold Note assignments, their new power amplifier felt like the odd man out. Ivette's highly disciplined comment still captured it best. I felt a bit shortchanged on gush factor and fluidity. I wanted more Italian and less Germanic sound.

Obvious strong points already were exceptionally precise sorting, very clearly layered separation, supremely low self noise—exactly zero on the widebanders—and doing it massively detailed and transparent. Less at the fore were flow and its companions of ease, breath and textural generosity. So I called Maurizio Atterini who listens to mono PA-1175 MkII in his personal system and has run this operation for already 27 years when the Blue Note organization was still Victor Goldstein's in NYC and the Italian factory just an OEM. As it turned out, my loaners had shipped without any prior play. Maurizio suggested I clock at least 200 hours on the pair which at that point I wasn't close to. So upstairs they went for 12-hour day shifts whilst we worked downstairs. 2½ weeks of that would surely get them into the zone.