unico with nht 2.5i's

well, i picked up a Unison Research Unico to try out at home. Associated equipment...Rotel RCD 971 w/ MSB Nelson link III, NHT 2.5i speakers...

First impressions...

Open, very wide, quite detailed (but not hyper-detailed like some others)

Quite good imaging...sometimes it seems a bit 'phasey' (certain details seem to come from 'odd' placement points - not sure if it's a funtion of the recordings that I just didn't notice with my previous equipment)...

Biggest concern - Bass. Seems to be a bit sloppy, or rather, it's a bit slower than the mids and highs. I suspect that it's a combination of my speakers being ported and the tube preamp section of the integrated. I've heard that using the Unico with ported speakers may produce this type of result... I imagine it would be much better with regard to bass using sealed speakers.

I don't think I'm going to keep this unit. I realize that it is in a 'higher league' than the rest of my equipment, but because I cannot afford to switch all my associated gear, I think that I'll have to find something more in line with what I currently own.

Any comments? thoughts? thanks

well, the unit's been on for a couple days now...bass has tightened up and it's getting even more dimensional...

might just have to change my mind and keep the thing!!

Any commentary on the unico from anyone?

Just out of curiosity, is it advisable to leave this amp on 24/7? I keep my ss on all of the time, but what about the tube life for the preamp section of the Unico? Is there a standby switch or something?
Preamp tubes, to my knowledge, are not as 'susceptible' to deterioration as amplifier tubes. According to Unison Research, these tubes will last 15,000 hours or so. That's quite a long time.

Regarding leaving the integrated on constantly, I suspect that it's meant to be left that way as the on/ off switch is on the back of the unit.
Had a SR1 on loan for a week. Similar to Unico. Couldn't believe how different the sound can be just by swapping the tubes.

Original tubes - Full warm sound but not too good detail, clarity and transparency.

Electro Harmonix tubes - Leaner sound, much improved detail, clarity and transparency, and tighter bass.

I'm no expert in tube rolling, but based on my limited experience, you might want to try how different tubes may give you tighter bass and better detail before you dump the Unico.

Don't think you can get better sound by downgrading the amp so that it is in the same league as your other equipment. Yes, you may not be doing justice to a good amp if your other equipment is not up to mark, but you certainly wouldn't be making your system sound any worse with that good amp.
Thanks, lohkkw@tm.net.my , for your suggestion in keeping the Unico. This is exactly what i'm going to do.

I'll let it burn in and then try some new tubes...

but you're right, I WILL keep the thing... I took home a Roksan Kandy MkIII (which i thought sounded alright in the store), but it sounded sooooo cheap when in direct comparison with the unico (and yes, i know there is a huge price difference!!hah)... But seriously, i couldn't believe how unappealing the sound of the Kandy mkIII was...

I'm going to keep the Unico, and at the same time, I'm going to continue to bring home other amps for direct comparison. I will try the Classe CAP101 and Classe CAP151. I MIGHT try a Naim Nait 5, but I'm not sure about that one. Primare I20 and perhaps the A30.2 might be tried out. And the Simaudio Moon I-5 will be sampled as well, although the latter two are slightly out of my price range.

...I wonder how those others will compare to the Unico...

any thoughts from anyone with experience using any of these? Thanks...

I look forward to your comparisons.I have been contemplating the Unico for my second system.
Will be interesting to hear your comments on the Classe. Couldn't get a chance to listen to them.

Would forget about the Naim Nait 5. Heard it and not all that impressed, unless you only have a music diet of live rock music. (I'm sure that comment will get a lot of angry Naim cult members responding angrily to my ignorance). Yes, it did sound a lot more powerful than its 30W suggests, but I'll rather have 80W that sounds like 80W, rather than 30W busting its balls to sound like 80W, if you know what I mean. Also a bit too idiosyncratic for me, with the DIN sockets. I'm not sure why but Naim users are very cultish. Don't know of any other brand that creates such protective and loyal members. Having said all that, it did sound pretty good with rock music.

Interestingly, even a Primare A30.1 integrated came out on top of the Naim NAC112/NAP150 pre/power in a What Hi-Fi supertest.

Actually, if you don't mind a slightly leaner sound, but one with good detail, transparency and musicality, you should check out the Plinius 8100. My only serious gripe with it was the loud hiss that it produced, but perhaps that was a flawed unit.

Me, I'm going to be checking out a used VAC Avatar that my local dealer has come by. Will be interesting to see how a $4000 all tube amp, compares with the amps in the $1000 to $2000 price range that I've been checking out.