Posted on 9th November, 2018


Unison Research has just announced the UK availability of the new Unico CD Uno and Unico Due amplifier.

The Italian hi-fi maestro has introduced two new components for their Unico range - The CD Uno which is a new CD player with DAC and Bluetooth module and the Due that Unison Research says effectively merges nuanced valve technologies with the power of solid-state amplification.

Unico CD Uno

Following the 2016 flagship CD Due, Unison Research went to work on a fully-featured disc spinner at a more affordable price point. The challenge was that the company still wanted it to have a full specification DAC and a Bluetooth module, just like the flagship.

As well being able to receive Bluetooth audio from mobile devices, the CD Uno DAC packs the ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip and high-quality IV inverter stage featuring a Texas Instruments NE5532AD. This is fed by USB and Toslink inputs accepting signals up to 384kHz PCM and 11,2896MHz DSD. The Optical input handles up-to 24-bit/96kHz PCM signals.

Unison Research CD Uno

The CD player section uses a premium mechanism and sleek drawer-loading system. Internally, the CD mechanism is shielded by a thick metal cover, to avoid interference.

Although that specification is impressive what actually helps the £2,250 CD Uno to stand out is its valve output stage. The audio stage uses one 12AU7//ECC82 double triode, operating in pure class A, followed by a discrete solid-state buffer still operating in class A for a low impedance output and ideal audio behaviour. The internal circuitry is designed to separate the digital portion from the analogue to assist in this sound presentation.

Up front is a 128x64 OLED screen offering excellent visibility in all lighting conditions. Naturally, the display can be switched off during use. 

Rounding off the list are the three switchable filters and an option to bypass the valves with a “solid-state” output buffer.

Unico Due

The electronic circuitry of the Unico Due integrated hybrid amplifier has been completely redesigned from the ground-up. Unison Research has introduced changes in the electronics, the power supply method, the pre-amp stage, the power amp stage as well as the settings and inputs.

The £2,500 Due replaces the long-standing Unico Secondo and is based on generously sized 105µm tracks and using the finest possible components. The circuit board is fed by a sophisticated power supply method that features a specially designed encapsulated transformer for increased efficiency. 

Unison Research Due amplifier

At the heart of the preamplifier stage is a brace of ECC83 double triodes (one per channel). Configured as a gain stage with a cathode-follower, the circuit's low output impedance efficiently drives the power stage that follows for minimal electrical interference.

That power amp stage features a sophisticated implementation of MOSFET transistors resulting in 100W per-channel output (8 Ohms).

Unison Research told StereoNET:

The net result is a clean, powerful output with incredibly low levels of distortion. Unison Research has ensured that only the sonic character of the valves remain – staying true to the fundamental purpose of the Unico line.

In addition to the Due's multiple line-level inputs, the amplifier features a built-in USB DAC and phono stage. 

As in the CD Uno, the Due's USB input features an ESS Sabre DAC ES9018K2M with jitter eliminator circuit meaning support for audio files up-to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256. 

The integrated phono stage is set to accept Moving Magnet (MM) cartridges but can be modified by a service engineer to cater for Moving Coil (MC) devices. Additionally, the Unico Due has settings for AV passthrough, subwoofer output, DAC output, a TAPE loop and to adjust channel balance.

Both the Unico CD Uno and Due are available now in Silver or Black for a £100 premium.

For more information, go to Unison Research.


      Jay Garrett's avatar

      Jay Garrett

      StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

      Posted in:Hi-Fi
      Tags: henley audio  unison research 


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