The Simply Italy was inspired by the iconic Simply Two integrated amplifier from Unison Research, and produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. It's been designed to be faithful to the Unison Research tradition, by making it an integrated amplifier design that sounds great and pays attention to important audio engineering principles that reduce performance-affecting interference.Because of the overwhelming success of the design, the Simply Italy shares many of the design features of the Simply Two. Both are ultra-linear, single-ended Class A designs that produce 12W per channel, and both use EL34 valves in the output stage and ECC82 valves in the pre-amp and driver stages to achieve Unison Research's trademark imaging, clarity and musical precision. But the Simply Italy offers a wide range of new features that were designed and developed more recently.First, the output impedance has been adjusted from 8Ω to 6Ω, making the amplifier compatible with a greater variety of loudspeakers. Also, since a true dual-mono configuration would be impractical in such a compact amplifier, Unison Research designed a new “Quasi-Dual-Mono” power supply. In this configuration, the power transformer and first filter stage of the power supply are doubled, separating all pre-amp stages to allow for lower cross-talk and low distortion.Thanks to Unison Research's ability to design specialised transformers in house, the Simply Italy is able to have an output stage consisting of one EL34 in a single-ended ultra-linear configuration. This mode of operation for the output transformers allows the pentode EL34s to operate almost as if they were triodes. Furthermore, an additional toggle switch allows for an adjustment of negative feedback in the circuit. This means the sound character of the amplifier can be adjusted to suit specific types of music or listening environments.The appearance of the Simply Italy has undergone radical changes, when compared to the Simply Two. The front panel is a locally-sourced wood that's accented by contrasting wood inserts around the controls, that also acts as an anti-resonant support for the metal chassis. Then two stainless-steel bands beneath the valves add a touch of refinement, while additionally aiding performance by thermally isolating the valves from the electronic circuitry and output transformers. Finally, the control knobs are made from non-magnetic stainless-steel with a sufficient diameter and weight to provide a smooth 'flywheel' effect with excellent feel and rotational precision.The Simply Italy is supplied with an infra-red remote handset which allows for convenient control over input switching and the premium motorised volume pot from ALPS. The back panel is finished with four large gold-plated terminal connectors that allow any type of loudspeaker cable to be connected easily, alongside clearly marked RCA inputs for multiple audio sources.
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