Gold Note - the Catenary curve

The catenary curve: Gold Note's source of inspiration, their design, the bond to the Italian Renaissance, to Michelangelo, to Florence. But what is a catenary curve?


The characterising element that combines the chassis of Gold Note turntables and electronics is the use of curved surfaces that in both cases enable creating very rigid structures. Structural rigidity is a key point to achieve better sound because it allows dampening vibrations and therefore limiting unwanted resonances. In Gold Note products, curves are not only a stylish element to give personality to the items, they also have a technical motivation since improving the sound performance.
In addition to all the traditional designs to get more rigid chassis, the guiding concept of Gold Note products is entirely inspired by the "Resistance by Form", which in geometry always requires two operations: 
1. The attribution of a curvature.
2. Removing material from the neutral geometrical plane. 
Applying the curvature to a form that mainly recourses the Catenary curve, is a particular design obtained by a chain hanging on the two ends and loaded only by its own weight. 


For the distinguished design of Gold Note „Italian Turntable“ series we introduced a "Physical Form Finding" calculation, in which a specific custom algorithm recreates the deformation of surfaces subjected to physical forces such as pressure and gravity. 

The shape of the Mediterraneo, Giglio and Pianosa turntable plinths are therefore obtained by treating the surface like a sail of a boat, a geometry composed of Catenaries which is therefore entirely subjected to tensile stresses, that being turned upside down enhances the compression resistance getting the best structural rigidity.


The Catenary curves are also present in all Gold Note electronics, in correspondence of the cooling cuts while the “Resistance by Form” concept is different compared to the one used for the turntables. In addition to the high standard solidity of the Gold Note electronic chassis made with thick and strong steel and aluminium panels, the lack of parallelism between the slots allows the damping of unwanted resonances while increasing the structure rigidity at the same time. In fact the milling cuts are designed with a Slipforming drawing in order to cancel the different frequencies resonating each other. 



Also because we are from Firenze, for developing the Gold Note audio equipment we got inspiration from our history of art and particularly from the Renaissance, a great innovative time where art and the technology combined created timeless wonders. As it happened during the Renaissance we wanted to combine the best of two seemingly opposing worlds: contemporary innovation and consolidated tradition. 

In the sixteenth century, Florence was the most important place for the original merge of fine arts with technology, the time where Filippo Brunelleschi created the wonderful dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, symbol of the city of Florence.

Here, the master artist and engineer Michelangelo Buonarroti, with a brilliant intuition, introduced the Catenary curve as first. For its beautiful shape and for its unique structural qualities, Michelangelo made some of his extraordinary works using the Catenary curves such as: the staircase in the vestibule of the Laurenziana Library and the Santa Trinita Bridge that crosses the Arno river next by the Ponte Vecchio Bridge. 

Michelangelo designed the arches of his bridge with a perfect shape introducing the Catenary for the first time at all when all mathematical features about it were completely unknown. Gold Note designer Architect Stefano Bonifazi was inspired by the genius of Michelangelo for designing all Gold Note products. 


Few years later Galileo Galilei was the first to mathematically develop the Catenary curve in his first description of it on the second day of the "Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences" (published posthumously

in 1638) as a solution to a static problem: “how to saw a supporting beam to lighten it without compromising its resistance”, correctly asserting that the beam evolution should look as a reversed chain hanging from its ends. Galileo originally seemed to assign this as it was a Parabolic curve design. In reality, reading also what he says on the fourth day of his writings, Galileo is aware that the Parabolic and the Catenary curves are only similar, the Parabolic word was used as an approximation of the Catenary only. However, none of his contemporary scientists noticed it, calling that concept the “Galileo Error" becoming the subject of discussion among scientists across Europe.  

Only in 1690 Jacob Bernoulli rediscovered the mathematical equation of Michelangelo and Galileo, while in 1691 the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens started solving the problem of the Catenary curve eventually described by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Johann Bernoulli, later becoming one of the most efficient curve used in many engineering and architectural creations, an extensive use of it is made by Antoni Gaudì in his works and and a more recent example is the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis (U.S.) or the "Le vele di Calatrava" complex in Reggio Emilia (Italy).

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