UNISON RESEARCH UNICO PRIMO
INNOVATIVE ITALIAN DESIGN
A perfect example of Italian style and design, the innovations contained in the Unico integrated amplifier designs are universally appreciated and recognized.
The Primo is a stereo integrated amplifier that offers elegant lines and details, thanks to carefully considered surface finishes and proportions. Solid construction, careful selection of components and precise assembly are part of an almost artisan approach to amplifier design, reflecting our origins in Treviso. Unison Research has concentrated all of our experience, knowledge and ambition into a small amplifier—one that includes all the technology and passion that one usually finds in the finest flagship products. Available with MM/MC phono stage installed an additional $199.
"Tonally fun...Great spatial separation...the soundstage has depth and layering to it that's usually reserved for much more expensive components."
Sean Fowler, Zero Fidelity
Click logo for full YouTube review:
- Output power: > 80W RMS on 8Ω
- Output stage: Dynamic A Class POWER MOSFET complementary pair
- Polarization: Classe A Dynamic
- Input stage: Triode Class A
- Valve: 1 x ECC83 (12AX7)
- Sensibilty: 260mV
- Input impedance: 50 kΩ / 47 pF
- Frequency response: -0.1dB@10Hz / -0.5dB@100kHz
- SNR: 90dB
- THD: 0.15% @ 10W, 1kHz
- Negative feedback: 10dB
- Damping Factor: > 50
- Inputs: 5 x line (RCA), 1 x tape (RCA)
- Output: 1 x tape (RCA), 1 x subwoofer (RCA)
- Output connectors: 4 + 4 per Bi-Wiring
- Remote control: Volume, IR
- Power consumption: 380W max
Dimensions: 17.1 w x 16.9 d x 3.7 h
Weight: 31 lbs.
SHIPPING: The shipping weight of the Unico Primo is 35 lbs. Shipment by FEDEX Home Delivery/Insured is FREE if your delivery addresses is within the 48 continental states. If your delivery address is in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or other location outside of the USA, please call (480) 607-2277) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the shipping cost and to place your order. Duties, taxes and fees on shipments to destinations outside of the USA are NOT included in the price.
Bought this on an impulse after Zero Fidelity's glowing endorsement. I feed the Unico through my Denafrips Ares II DAC, and it's a match made in heaven. Before getting to the sound, let me just say the Italian design aesthetic is alive in this unit. It feels like a million bucks just turning the knob and touching the aluminum surface finish. The build is robust, and the unit is heavy, substantial. The sound really is 3 dimensional. Soundstage is deep, layered, and nuanced. Vocals are the star of this show, and singers just sound so smooth and real. The treble with the stock tube, while slightly boosted, are very refined and not at all fatiguing. It helps reveal detail without being too in your face. The noise floor is somewhat high as I can hear it when my ears are up to the speakers, but is otherwise a non issue. I did not get the phono stage. I got this unit at the same time as a Rotel 1572, and they are similar in price point and general performance. Rotel has stronger attack on drums, while vocals and strings are more refined on the Unico. Rotel has more inputs while the Unico is more of an analog purist's solution. I do use the Unico's subwoofer out, and it woks beautifully. Unico's design is incredible compared to the Rotel's somewhat utilitarian look. I recommend this whole-heartedly if you don't mind the pure analog approach. It is such a joy to have this unit in my life.
Both the beautiful Unico Primo and the personable customer service I got from Audio Legacy were a clear cut above the norm. I jumped back into hi-fi a few years ago after being pretty much out of it during the digital revolution (iTunes, streaming, etc). In 2019, I upgraded from an Onkyo receiver to Pro-Ject preamp and amp separates (solid state). It was a nice boost in clarity, but you had to hear the new vs the old to appreciate the difference. I spent this past summer researching an upgrade (youtubers, forums, reviews)—I wanted to FEEL a difference in soundstage, controlled power, etc, while at the same time simplifying my setup.
Decided with some hesitation on the Unico over ballpark-priced integrateds Musical Fidelity m5si, Audio by Van Alstine Set 120, and Rogue Sphinx 3. I liked the idea of a tubey front end, class A power, and those elegant looks. Emailed Jim Donnelly about adding a phono stage and whether it was any good. His prompt and honest response was an instant connect: “There is only 1 factory-supplied internal phono option and we install that when a customer orders it. I have not personally done a side-by-side comparison of the performance of the Unison phono option with other brands of external phono preamps and can’t provide an opinion.” No BS. I added the phono stage to Jim’s last unit in stock, which was shipped the following day. The difference? After a full day of warmup and through my old bookshelf NHT Absolute Zeros, I had my wife and mother-in-law stand about 6 feet in front of the speakers as I turned up the Primo to 2.5(?) and hit play on AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. They both smiled and nodded and tapped their toe. They did not shout, “Turn it down!” Sounded as if we were standing in front of Angus’ amp: clean, clear rock and roll in all its dirtiness! I’m thrilled with the purchase and experience; highly recommended.