Gold Note DS-10 headphone amplifier $2995 review

May 18, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The unit supports MQA, although it surprisingly does not give an obvious visual indication of this on its front panel. And, as always with MQA, it’s a bit hard working out exactly what’s going on. For example, playing the ‘M’ (Master) version of Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on Tidal, the app clearly indicated MQA and said that the stream was 24-bits and 96kHz (and that the bitrate was 1694kbps, for what that’s worth) but the DS-10’s front panel reported the audio as ‘PCM 192kHz’. Was the app doubling things?

But when I played some test MQA music I’d downloaded, the app reported MQA, 24-bits and 352.8kHz sampling, but the front panel showed 176.4kHz. So perhaps the app was reporting the coded music but was not performing the last unfold.

Another test track that the app reported to be 44.1kHz was also shown as 176.4kHz on the front panel, while a further 44.1kHz one was shown as playing back at 44.1kHz by both the app and on the DS-10’s front panel. Clearly the unit is doing something with MQA, and they all sounded fine.”

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