Kronos AV

Unison Research SH Headphone Amplifier
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  • Regular price £1,399.00


  • Compatible with large selection of headphones
  • ECC83 Valve used on input stage and EL84 on output stage
  • Resolution up to 32bits/384kHz

 

Unison Research are expanding on their class-leading range of valve-based hi-fi electronics to produce their first ever dedicated headphone amplifier solution. The SH is a single-ended, two-stage full-valve headphone amplifier designed to accommodate traditional analogue and modern computer-based audio sources.

The SH began with the same basic remit as the coveted Simply Italy integrated amplifier; to produce a world-class sound from a specialised device using the best technology available. The result was a fairly simple, linear circuit that produces an output voltage which is more than capable of driving a wide range of headphones, while keeping distortion low throughout the frequency range. This allows the SH to deliver a consistent, coherent sound character when in use.

The input stage uses ECC83 valves, while the output stage uses one EL84 valve (both operating in triode mode). The benefits to using this specific combination of valves are in the reduced power requirements for how the valves are usually employed, resulting in extended life, and the EL84’s ability to drive an output transformer with optimal electrical and sound qualities.

The SH comes equipped with two headphone outputs, connected in parallel for easy switching between headphones, or to accommodate multiple listeners. There is also a “Sensitivity” switch, to ensure the widest possible range of headphones can be comfortably driven by this amplifier. When set to “High Sensitivity”, the output voltage from the amplifier is reduced, and at “Low Sensitivity” it is at its maximum. The added advantage of this switch is for maintaining optimal sound quality while listening to music at lower volumes.

In addition to a standard un-balanced RCA input for connecting any traditional analogue source, the SH is also equipped with a class-leading USB DAC. The asynchronous USB 2.0 technology is the same as found on the recent Triode 25 amplifier, and supports audio formats up to 384kHz PCM and DSD 128. The patented jitter-elimination circuit ensures a great sonic performance, assisted by the galvanic isolation employed between the power areas of the USB interface and the conversion IC. This additional input option brings SH up-to-date with the latest requirements of computer-based audiophiles.

With the use of an Apple lightning to USB connector (not included) you can plug your iPhone/iPod/iPad directly into the SH's DAC and play your hi-res music files straight from your device.

The reason for choosing a headphone-based product was so Unison Research could cater for the growing world of headphone audiophiles, offering them the best valve-based amplifier to enjoy. It’s very difficult for solid-state solutions to compete with the un-rivalled influence valves can have on audio performance, making the SH a must-audition for anyone who takes their sound seriously.

Unison Research SH, Hi-Fi World, August 2016

Hi-Fi World, August 2016

Reviewed By: Martin Pipe
Rating: 4/5 Globes
EXCELLENT - Extremely Capable

Comments of Note:
Playing: Garett Brennan - ‘Alta Powder Day’ (DSD64)
“Such simplicity makes for a very natural sound, to which the SH did full justice with an intricately-detailed and open, yet intimate presentation.”

Playing: Man – ‘Slow Motion’ (FLAC)
“There’s a lot going on in tracks like ‘Hard Way To Die’ and ‘Day And Night’ and these multiple musical layers were all definable. The guitars, deliciously warm bass, tight percussion and keyboards swirling beneath could be picked out and positioned, yet at the same time they gelled together as a whole.”

Playing: Kiasmos – ‘Thrown’
“Electronic percussion also fared well and the bells also forming a part of ‘Thrown’ were rich in timbre.”
“What this track revealed above all, though, was the SH’s ability to cope with what must rank among the meatiest basslines yet committed to record.”

Playing: Ligeti – ‘Kammerkonzert’
“…a complex work involving strings, woodwinds and keyboard instruments. This was delivered with the depth, texture and urgency it merited.”

Playing: Sibelius – ‘Second Symphony’
“…demonstrated the benefits of headphone listening – an expansive soundstage and balanced tonality, freed from the deleterious effects of room acoustics and speaker colouration.”

“…an engaging and musical experience…”
“…a great headphone listening experience.”
“FOR – musically-engaging – plenty of body and depth – two headphone outputs”

Key Features:

  • Compatible with large selection of headphones
  • ECC83 Valve used on input stage and EL84 on output stage
  • Asynchronous USB interface compliant to USB 2.0 Audio Class
  • Resolution up to 32bits/384kHz
  • Last generation ESS Sabre DAC with jitter eliminator circuit
  • Galvanic isolation between USB interface and conversion circuit
  • Connect iPad/iPod/iPhone directly via Lightning to USB cable (not included)
  • Low phase noise clocks which reside in the “clean” supply domain to preserve low jitter performance
We have several deomonstation areas in both of our branches. Please give us a call on 03435236169 or email support@kronosav.com to enquire about hearing products at your local branch. 

Please always contact us before to make sure the product(s) are available

Express Deliveries

Express Delivery is FREE on all orders over £50. Express Delivery offers delivery in 24-72 hours from time of purchase. We use premium couriers for this service, mainly DPD & Royal Mail. DPD will offer you a one hour window for delivery to make sure someone is at home, or you can reschedule the delivery if no one is around. 

Standard Deliveries

Here at Kronos AV, we have vast experience with e-commerce sales. Making sure that your parcel arrives undamaged is a huge priority for us. That’s why at Kronos AV, we only use premium couriers for all our orders. All our parcels are shipped with DPD or Royal Mail and are always sent Signed For to make sure it gets to the right person. 

If for any reason your parcel does arrived damaged, please get in touch, and we will be happy to get everything resolved for you. We are always on hand to help!

Details

Delivery is FREE on all orders over £50. In order to offer FREE delivery to UK customers, we use several premium couriers to ensure your delivery arrives safe.

Most large orders (over 2kg) ship using DPD or DHL courier and smaller orders (under 2kg) by Royal Mail signed for services.

The most appropriate courier will be chosen for the items ordered to ensure the quickest possible delivery.

We can offer very generous trade in offers across the majority of our product range. 

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If you have any question, please feel free to call us on 03435236169 or email support@kronosav.com