|Unison Research CDPrimo CD Player Review|
|Home Theater Audio Sources CD Players|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Monday, 05 March 2012|
Page 3 of 3
Interview with Marc Phillips of Colleen Cardas Imports:
Avrev: Can you tell us how you became the importer of Unison Research & Opera products? What did you think was special about the brands?
Colleen has had a long relationship with the Nasta family, who owns both Opera and Unison Research, over many years. Well, the two brands weren't getting proper distribution in the US over the last few years, and the Nasta family approached Colleen to help them. Since she was too busy being President of Cardas Audio, a position she held for 20 years, she reluctantly turned them down. Once she decided to leave Cardas, being the US distributor for Unison and Opera was the first thing she thought about doing. She's always loved their gear and thought they deserved a much bigger following in the US. After all, they have a huge following in the rest of the world.
She brought me in because she knew I wanted to get back into high-end audio. I'd left the scene for a couple of years to start a computer business in Texas. I even let all my audio magazine subscriptions lapse. After talking and talking, she convinced me to help her create Colleen Cardas Imports. But I didn't need to be sold on Unison at all. I would have purchased a Unico integrated amp 15 years ago if there had been a dealer in my area. I loved the Unicos and after I auditioned one I wanted one.
The funny thing is that we both grew up in Southern California, we both spent the last few years in the Pacific Northwest, but we never crossed paths. Now here we are, in the middle of Texas, representing two legendary Italian hi-fi brands. Amazing.
Avrev: It seems to me the products are designed from the perspective of the music lover, yet without compromising accuracy. Would you agree this often difficult to achieve?
We like to promote the fact that the Unison and Opera products are Italian, Italian, Italian. For the Italians, beauty is not optional. But since it comes so naturally to them, perhaps they can focus more on the technology. They certainly have some great minds over in Treviso.
But look at the wood pieces on any Unison product; they actually serve a purpose other than to look good. The wooden pieces dampen the vibrations of the chassis. On the Giro turntable, there are several wooden pieces on the acrylic plinth that are placed in a specific way so that the grain of the wood breaks up those resonances at certain frequencies. I don't know who else is doing that on such an elegant level.
Unison Research Unico CDPrimo,
available from Colleen Cardas Imports via their trusted Dealers
CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT, Unison Research CD Primo
Server: Squeezebox Touch with CIA VDC-SB power supply
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box
Preamp: Audio Research SP16,
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Integrated Amplifier; McIntosh MA6600
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables: Stager Silver Solids, DH Labs Revelation (IC), Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Salamander rack
CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, Rein Audio X-DAC
Preamplifer: Densen B-200
Amplifier: Revox A722
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, Transmission Audio M1
Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant (IC),/PS Audio, Pangea Audio (AC), Kiimber(digital)