For an impressive performance, look no further than the Unico Primo integrated amp 5 Stars Tech Radar
I strongly recommend an audition if you are in the market for a sub $2500 integrated amp, I dare say the Unico Primo may be a best buy in this market for purists who don't need "modern" features that may compromise sound quality. I say bravo Unison Research - Positive Feedback
The Primo wowed me with its ability to ally impact with resolution, and visceral dynamics with graceful detail and musicality.” - Stereophile
The Unico Primo is a hybrid integrated stereo amplifier capable of delivering not less than 85W RMS continuous on a 8ohm load. As usual for Unison Research amplifiers, the declared power is actually lower in order to keep our promises in every condition. With real musical signals running through this amplifier, the maximum power will be even higher.
Even though this is the entry level in the Unico line, it possesses many of the outstanding sonic qualities of our more ambitious amplifier models. Since this is a hybrid design that mates a powerful amplifier with an ECC83 triode, you get the best of both worlds with the Unico Primo: an amplifier that is powerful enough to drive most loudspeakers, and a sound quality that is usually associated with the finest valve designs.
The Unico Primo is a hybrid stereo integrated amplifier capable of comfortably delivering 85W RMS continuous power to an 8Ω load. Even though this is the entry level in the Unico line, it possesses many of the outstanding sonic qualities of Unison Research's more high-end amplifier models. By making this a hybrid design, where a power amplifier is combined with an ECC83 triode, you get the best of both worlds with the Unico Primo. It's an amplifier that's powerful enough to drive most loudspeakers, and a sound quality and performance that can only be achieved with advanced valve designs.
The Unico Primo input and pre-amplifier stages have been designed to suit a ECC83 (12AX7) valve, while the driver and power stages are based on well-established Unison Research solutions that have been used previously on higher-end designs. The power supply has been revised against previous models, increasing the power transformer and filter capacitors in order to improve dynamics, bass response and drive capability.
The Unico Primo is designed to accomodate all modern and traditional sources, with its four Line inputs and dedicated Phono (MM/MC) input for connecting a turntable. There is also a Tape Out option, and an active stereo output for a connecting a powered subwoofer to your system. Switching between inputs is easy with the stylish dial on the front panel, and volume control is managed by the large, smooth rotary pot in the middle of the face-plate. The casework is based on other models in the Unico range, and the faceplate is similarly fashioned and supplied in Unison Research's iconic sand-blasted silver finish.
The aluminium front panels on all Unico series products are clean and stylish thanks to a new sandblasting and anodizing process. The sandblasting consists of hammering the the aluminium plate with microscopic ceramic balls at room temperature to give the surface a homogeneous and opaque finish. The anodizing process facilitates the growth of a thin film of aluminium oxide on the surface, which enhances the mechanical resistance and hardness of the surface. The end-result is truly stunning to help round off this prestigious piece of equipment.
Hybrid integrated amplifier
- ECC83 valve employed inside
- MM/MC phono stage built-in for connecting a turntable
- 4 Line inputs
- Bi-wirable speaker outputs
- Premium sand-blasted Silver finish*
- RC2 remote included
||>80W RMS (8Ω)
|Dynamic Class A POWER MOSFET
||Class A Dynamic
||Triode A - Class A
||1 x ECC83 (12AX7)
||50kΩ / 47pF
||-0.1dB @ 10Hz / -0.5dB @ 100kHz
||0.15% @ 10W (1kHz)
|4 x Line (RCA)
1 x Tape (RCA)
|1 x Tape (RCA)
1 x Subwoofer (RCA)
||4 + 4 for Bi-Wiring
|Dimensions (W x D x H):
||43.5 x 43 x 9.5cm
This is, by any standards (entry-level or otherwise), a first-rate amplifier. For starters it has an impressive power output. Not only does it go loud, it does so with some grace, and in particular it stays consistent in sound as the volume is turned up to quite impressive levels. . .
The first thing we noticed was that the Primo is unusually solid-sounding, and it has this quality at virtually any volume level, within the limits established by its output stage. This is an amplifier with real grip. . .
Another quality the amplifier brings to the table is an unusually fine bass. It's rich but pure and unerringly tuneful, as well as being essentially free of the romantic haze that persists with some valve amps. The main qualities of the Primo, then, are its generous output, its consistency with level, its tuneful bass and its ability to keep itself together when things become messy. In addition the Primo is an amplifier with a strong sense of detail and precision, the kind that sounds close even when the system is in an adjoining room. In short, it's a class act.
Tech Radar - Review
The main qualities of the Unico Primo, then, are its generous output, its consistency with level, its tuneful bass and its ability to keep its act together when things become difficult and potentially messy – which is the danger with the dense and complex Britten recording.
In addition, the Primo is an amplifier with a strong sense of detail and precision, the kind that sounds close even when the system is in an adjoining room. In short, it's a class act. It's not exactly swimming in toys and gadgets, but everything necessary for a purist amplifier is there (though admittedly there's no balance control, which some might miss).
Other highlights include the ability to add a phono stage at a moderate cost and the fact that it can also drive a subwoofer in a 2.1 or 2.2 set-up. This is a very handy addition and one which should extend the amplifier's useful life beyond the point where it might otherwise be considered due for upgrading.
The Unico Primo is also exceptionally well built. Though slimline, it still weighs a substantial 15kg, partly thanks to a massive toroidal power transformer, extensive use of die-cast heatsink extrusions and a thick one-piece front panel.
The Unico Primo hybrid integrated amplifier is a beautiful component, both sonically, and visually. It combines the best of both worlds, with quiet operation, and a smooth, harmonically rich performance across the whole frequency spectrum. Regardless of source, it performed flawlessly in my system. Coupled with the CD Primo, it was a two of a perfect pair.
The Primo was not a fussy amplifier, and offers up a pride of ownership factor that is hard to deny. It easily allowed me to hear the difference between various interconnects I also found the Primo amp responded to power cord experimentation, with the best results coming when coupled with a Transparent PowerLink in my system. I am sure it would respond to various other tweaks, but I loved it right out of the box. I strongly recommend an audition if you are in the market for a sub $2500 integrated amp, I dare say the Unico Primo may be a best buy in this market for purists who don't need "modern" features that may compromise sound quality. I say bravo Unison Research! Andre Marc Positive Feedback