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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:08 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Hello on this beautiful Family Day in Ontario. I am contemplating buying a Unison Research Secondo integrated amp to replace my Anthem 225. I'm trying to move into tubes gradually. Doe anyone have experience with these two particular amps, and thoughts on whether I'd be moving up, down or laterally. I lean toward jazz and blues vocals but will stray into classic and alt rock on occasion. All on vinyl, for now.

Oracle Alexandria TT
PSB Stratus Goldi Speakers

Thanks for your thoughts. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:21 am 
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I think it would also help if you indicate which speakers you have since the amp-speaker interface is so important.

Oops -- just saw them there. My bad

-- 20 Feb 2017 19:29 --

And I should have asked: 1) what's your budget, and 2) are you after new gear, or is preowned ok?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:39 am 
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If you'd be kind enough to suggest alternatives to the Secondo, my budget for new or slightly pre-owned is $3k. I don't need a ton of power, just enough to drive the PSBs properly.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:44 am 
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ITCGuy wrote:
If you'd be kind enough to suggest alternatives to the Secondo, my budget for new or slightly pre-owned is $3k. I don't need a ton of power, just enough to drive the PSBs properly.

Thanks!



I have the unison Nuovo (step up from Secondo)

Absolutely love it, no listening fatigue, tubes swap with a few screws.

Warranty Service (if needed) is right here in Ontario which is reassuring.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:59 am 
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It looks like the power output for the Nuovo is 95 watts into 8 Ohms. I can't seem to find its output into 4 Ohms. By comparison, I think the Secondo is 100 and 200, respectively. I've been told the PSBs are power hungry. I wonder what is sufficient to drive them?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:33 pm 
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ITCGuy wrote:
It looks like the power output for the Nuovo is 95 watts into 8 Ohms. I can't seem to find its output into 4 Ohms. By comparison, I think the Secondo is 100 and 200, respectively. I've been told the PSBs are power hungry. I wonder what is sufficient to drive them?


I'm just offering a positive experience regarding the unison brand.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:45 pm 
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I'm sorry Mike. I was certainly not meaning to offend, and hope I didn't. I appreciate your feedback on the Nuovo and was considering as an alternative if the power was there. There are certain features in the Nuovo that are not in the Secondo which would be useful, again, if the power was there. I'll try and find out.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:55 pm 
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$3000 is a goodly amount, especially if you're willing to consider pre-owned amps. IIRC, and please correct me if I'm wrong, those PSBs need a bit of power to make them perform at their best. There's a Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista M3 for sale for $2k USD which at 275+ watts per channel would really make them sing. I used to drive Totem Mani-2s with that amp (and I mean the originals not the easier to drive Sigs), and they never sounded better. The M3 is a hybrid amp, though, part tube, part ss. If that's of interest, I can certainly recommend the M3, and the one that's for sale has apparently been serviced at the factory and given the official ok. Worth a thought:
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/tube- ... ff-city-tn


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Thanks EL, for taking the time. Yes, the PSBs need a lot to drive them. The UR Secondo is also a hybrid amp so no problem for me. I'll take a look at the unit you attached.

Thanks again,

John


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:06 pm 
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I have one other question about your Anthem amp (I should know this but it's been a long time since I've had one of those in front of me), can it function as a stand alone preamp? If so, you might consider spending your $3000 on a stereo tube amp, or even a pair of mono blocks. That would really get you into the world of tubes. Then at some later date, when you're feeling flush again, you can get a dedicated tube preamp. Is that something that would appeal?

Or vice versa. Get a very good tube pre at $3000, and use the Anthem as a dedicated power amp. And then later on replace the Anthem with an all tube amp. Either of these approaches can yield a very nice tube system, as long as the Anthem can function as a dedicated preamp and/or dedicated power amp.

Ok I lied, another question; do you need a phono stage?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Great thought. It does have a preamp out so I assume it can be used with an external amp (tube or otherwise). That changes the whole discussion, but may restrict the cost of the tube amp to $2k since I won't be selling the 225 for $1k or so. :lol:

Back to research I go.

Thanks again.

-- 20 Feb 2017 23:47 --

I've got 2 phono stages (MM/MC and MC) so not really an issue.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:24 pm 
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With my PSBs, it's probably better to use the 225 as a power amp with a tube preamp. Otherwise, the cost of acquiring a tube power amp to feed the PSBs might be prohibitive. Does that make sense?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:41 pm 
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The Secondo would be a step up. Although the Goldi's like power I have no doubts the Secondo would do the job well. My Unico 100 was a beast regardless of it's modest 180wpc rating.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:00 pm 
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The Wyetech Coral is a nice Canadian built pre if you decide you would ultimately like to go to separates:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... tech-labs/

This is a pretty good price as MSRP is $3400USD! Wyetech is clearing them at $1900USD; so $1600Cdn still isn't too bad.

http://www.wyetechlabs.com/preamps/coral/coral.htm

And another really nice Canadian made preamp, this time by Blue Circle:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... er-supply/

By the way, I'm not saying that the Unison is a problem, I just haven't heard them. They may be the bee's knees for all I know.


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