Unison Research's Simply Two was one of the world's most acclaimed integrated valve amplifiers - Widely regarded as providing audio perfection from both specialist press and audiophiles alike. The Simply Italy is the result of Unison Research taking their Simply Two integrated amp and building upon it, while still maintaining the same musical balance, functionality and extreme reliability the Simply Two is known for.
- Technical Characteristics
- Type: Stereo Integrated Valve Amplifier
- Output stage: Single-ended, ultralinear, Class-A
- Output power: Approx. 12 watts per channel
- Output impedance: 6 Ohm
- Input impedance: 47kohm / 50 pF
- Negative feedback: 5 dB or 1.8 dB
- Valve complement: 2 x ECC82 (12AU7)
2 x EL34 (6CA7)
- Power consumption: 85 watt
- Fuses: T2A from 100V to 130V
T1A from 220V to 240V
- Dimensions (mm.): 26 cm x 35 cm x H. 19cm
- Net weight: 15kg
The Unison Research Simply Two was certainly one of the world`s most
succesful integrated valve amplifiers, a product widely acclaimed both
by audiophiles and the specialist press.
Taking our cue from the Simply Two, we decided to redesign and produce a
new, small integrated valve amplifier: called SIMPLY ITALY, it is
similar in many aspects of the electronic design to the earlier model,
but with a new, more modern appearance than the famous Simply Two.
Faithful to Unison Research tradition, this new amplifier is also of the
Integrated type. We are convinced that intergrated amplifiers can offer
many advantages, not only by simplifying the whole music replay system,
but importantly for the improvements to sound quality that can be
obtained by this method. Another important aspect lies in the
considerable cost reduction that this implies (a single chassis, less
cabling, both for power supply and interconnects).
The design of an integrated amplifier is considerably more complex and
critical that that of a separate pre or power amplifier. Consider for
example the fundamental importance of avoiding interference between each
single component and between each stage (power supply, control,
preamplifier, power output). Our experience over many years in designing
and producing integrated amplifiers has enabled us along the way to
create models which have become highly-valued classic pieces; one
example amongst many being the famous Unison Research ABSOLUTE.
By comparison with its predecessor the Simply Two, the new SIMPLY ITALY
presents a number of modifications and changes which however maintain
the same musical balance, the same functionality and the same
characteristics of extreme reliability. The output power – approx 12
watts per channel – remains the same, however the output impedance is
now 6-Ohms, making the amplifier suitable for use with both 4-Ohm and 8
The apearance design, as noted, has undergone a radical change. The wood
detailing is now confined to the front panel, but embellished by the
addition of contrasting circular inserts , also of wood, which give a
more attractive look to the controls.
Two satin stainless-steel bands beneath the valves add a touch of
refinement, and also assist the thermic isolation of the electronic
circuit and output transformers which gives a clear benefit to sound
quality and overall reliability of the amplifier.
All amplifying stage are strictly valve-based, and the circuit design
adopted ensures that all the valves operate in pure Class-A.
Since the very beginning Unison Research has dedicated itself to the
design, development and manufacture of output transformers, conscious of
the vital importance of these complex elements in the pursuit of best
sound quality. Very few manufacturers in the world can boast of being
able to produce high-quality transformers. Thanks in large measure to
these particular transformers it has been possible to create an output
stage for Simply Italy consisting of one EL34 in single-ended ultra
linear configuration. Indeed this mode of operation is made possible by a
particular development of the output transformers which in practice
allow the pentode EL34s to operate almost as if they were triodes.
The preamp and driver stage of the power output is entrusted to ECC82
twin triodes. These valves provide excellent linearity and an almost
complete absence of uneven order harmonic distortion.
The first amplifying triode of the input stage has zero feedback, both
global and local. To obtain this, the classic cathode auto-bias circuit
was eliminated and replaced by ionic bias, the only type able to
guarantee absence of feedback and minimum phase rotation of the
It is interesting to note that this allows the possibility to choose the
level of overall feedback of the amplifier, which in turn provides a
better interface with the loudspeaker, the cables and the listening
The preamplifier valve filaments are DC – supplied in order to prevent
any residual AC component from interacting with the signal to be
The same care and attention reserved for the amplifying stage design was
also given to the power supply. The Sinfonia power-supply transformer
is not a normal toroidal transformer, but the result of a project aimed
at reducing electrical loss and containing dispersed magnetic flux.
The ideal power supply would be dual-mono, a solution however requiring
space and adding weight. In the Simply Italy a type of power supply
which might be called Quaso-Dual-Mono has been adopted. In fact, apart
from the power transformer and first filter stage the power supply is
doubled, separating all preamp stages to the benefit of low crosstalk
and low distortion.
The Simply Italy is supplied with an infra-red remote handset which
allows the user to interface with the microchip control circuit; this
manages control of analogue volume via an ALPS motorized potentiometer
of the prestige RK27 series.
Four large gold-plated terminal connectors allow any kind of loudspeaker
cable to be used, and the loudspeakers can be between 4 and 8 ohms
In the Simply Italy nothing has been left to chance; the control knobs
for example, turned from non-magnetic stainless-steel of large diameter
and weight give a smooth flywheel effect with excellent `feel` and
rotational precision. The wood parts, important for the aesthetic design
also play an important role in damping chassis resonance, and thus
assist the delicate electronic parts, valves etc to perform at their
The adoption of refined circuit solutions which are of necessity
complex; the generous size of components such as capacitors and
transformers, and the decision to make Simply Italy a very compact
amplifier have required that special attention in this project be paid
to the chassis and internal layout.
As in all Unison Research projects, great care has been taken with the
fundamentals such as power-supply track sizing, careful routing of both
earthing and signal runs; the overall robustness, the ease of build and
servicing, and the provision of adequate ventilation for the internal
To ensure the best performance and best reliability over time of all the
components used in Simply Italy, everything has been carefully chosen
and selected, from resistors, many of which are anti-inductive, to
electrolytic capacitors, valve sockets in pure ceramic, to the printed
circuit boards in vetronite.