Gold Sound Loves You
It was around this point of the show that I started to feel weak and dizzy, overwhelmed by the size of RMAF and disappointed by the lack of truly affordable gear. Thank goodness for Gold Sound. The Colorado dealer had pieced together not one, not two, but five affordable, audiophile systems priced under $5000.
One, in particular, was especially familiar: Marantz PM5004 integrated amplifier ($450), Marantz CD5004 CD player ($350), and Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeakers ($350/pair), for a total retail price of $1150, not including cables and stands. Awesome value, great sound. To that, one could add a Marantz TT42 ($329), Rega RP1 ($445), or a Music Hall USB-1 ($249) turntable, and maybe a Parasound ZPhono USB phono preamp ($350).
Gold Sound proudly displayed all this and more. The company’s Steven Hubbs enthused, “We want to enhance the listening experience, so people can enjoy their music on a higher level.”
The Marantz TT42 is also available with a built-in phono preamp for $359.95. It includes a dust cover, moving-magnet cartridge, and MDF base, and is supported by a three-year warranty. The Parasound ZPhono USB is compatible with both moving-coil and moving-magnet cartridges, has two line-level inputs, rumble and mono switches, and a headphone output. Parasound’s ZBox CD player ($400), including USB input and a handy volume control for use without a preamp, was also hiding somewhere in this room.
I’ve already received a sample of the ZPhono for coverage sometime in 2012, if I ever finish this show report. I would also like to review the ZBox CD player and Marantz turntable, if this show report doesn’t kill me first.