Audio Aero Prima MKII v/s Unison Research Unico


Has anybody ever tested both?
Any suggestions on speakers for the AA?


I love my MK2 and have had an AA dealer and a fellow Audiogoner say that it beats the MK3 thanks to livelier dynamics and better bass impact. I auditioned the mk3 but not in A/B with mine. I haven't heard the Unico but I have had a lot of CD players come through my system and the AA is a winner. See my system page for lots more info.

Your speaking regarding the Prima amp vs. the Unico amp...correct?
I owned both the Audio Aero Prima MKI amp and the Unison Unico. The Audio Aero is dynamic, detailed with a good soundstage. I assume the MK II would be even better.

The Unico on the other hand was the worst sounding amp I heard to date - veiled, lifeless and boring. Of course, I did try tube rolling and if you like it even more boring and lifeless I guess you try some different tubes.

Not much of a questions in my opinion. The same is also true for their CD players. The Prima CDP is much better than the Unico, although the Unico CDP was not quite as boring as the amp.
Feel better now Restock?
I think it is important to keep system synergy in mind and not just look at an individual component. The Unico is not bright,and has a sweet but airy top end, which may sound veiled and boring to some, in particular if mathed with warmer speakers. So before aswering your question, it is very important to consider the charachteristics of you speakers an other components. In contrast to Restock´s experience, the Unico is one of the best amps I´ve heard.... and definitively won me over.
Hmm. I switched from the Audio Aero Mk I to the Unico. Much more detail, much bigger soundstage, just as musical. VERY happy using Raytheon 12au7s. My two cents.
I really enjoyed the AA MKII integrated with a pair of Soliloquy 6.2i's . At @ 1K used , for the amp and speakers , it would be a tough combination to beat !

Good luck .
Just wanted to point out that the Prima MK1 and Prima MK2 are not the same cd player at all. Lots of changes were made.

Just to give a little more background on my negative experience with the Unison Unico:

Unison Unico CDP
Rega Planet
Michell Tecnodec TT, Trichord Dino phono

Unison Unico
(also Linn Wakonda/LK140, Jolida 302b, Audio Aero Prima)

Spendor S3/5
Mission 751

It is certainly not like I tried only a few components over the 2-3 months that I owned the Unico. In fact, I wanted to like the amp (nice finish and a remote), but could not get it to sound good using any of the above combinations. I tried a couple of different tubes (the Jan it came with, Mullard, and RCA Cleartop and some others I can't remember). Neither of these helped to improve things much. Also, the previous owner of the Unico had the same Spendors and similar experiences. It is possible that with the right speakers the Unison Unico amp and CDP might be better.

Also, I did here the Unico combo in their showroom at HE in NYC. I don't remember which speakers they did use, but I was not overwhelmed with the sound at HE either. Finally I did see other comments that described the Unico as veiled and lifeless, so it does not seem to be a singular experience.

In any case, I would always try to listen to a component in ones own system. As Arni mentioned, system syergy does play some role.

Good luck!
By the way, I was talking about Integrated Amps.
For what I know AA CD Players are pretty good and I've read more good comments on them than on Unison's.

I have a Prima MKII and I'm using it with a pair of Yamaha NS-10M. Those monitors sound pretty good I think. In my opinion much better than some ultra-fancy (and expensive) ones
current generation unison amps and cd players are not veiled. if anything they are bright and etched. there is no dullness at all. the components sound more like solid state than tubes.

the recent audio aero prima doesn't sound like a typical tube cd player either. you can have both of them. i am looking for a cd player but i wouldn't want to own either of them
Ah. I thought we were discussing the amps, not the CDPs, with which I have no experience. Sorry!