The hybrid Unico range from Italian valve specialist Unison Research combines valves with other solid state devices to provide more power and features than traditional valve technology alone can offer. The Unico CD Due joins the range as the new flagship source, and shares the same 'three-panel' design of the range-topping Unico 150 amplifier.
The CD player supports apt X Bluetooth streaming and also incoporates a DAC equipped with USB, S/PDIF, AES/EBU and Toslink inputs, which all route through the built-in ESS Sabre ES9018K2M chip. The USB input uses XMOS to handle PCM signals up to 384kHz and DSD256. Internally, the CD mechanism is shielded by a thick metal cover, to avoid interference.
Unison Research belives the CD Due stands out from its competitors thanks to its rich, enveloping sound; which owes much of its expression to the valve output stage. The four ECC83 valves are configured in a totem-pole arrangement with balanced input. This layout, it's claimed, allows for a high immunity to power supply noise and brings together a triode sound with the drive capability of a cathode follower stage. The rest of the board also utilises premium components and shorter signal paths to ensure a performance with low distortion and high noise immunity. Alternatively, users can sidestep the internal DAC and utilise the three digital outputs on the back to run with another external DAC.
The Unison Research Unico CD Due is available to buy now with a silver finish for £3,200 or with a black finish for an additional £100. It's distributed in the UK by Henley Designs.
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