UNISON RESEARCH TAKES IT TO THE MAX
Given Unison Research’s decades long track record manufacturing some of the planet’s most gorgeous looking valve pre and power amps, the brand’s style cue for its new Max speakers is hardly surprising.
Unison’s valve models pioneered the use of contoured wood panels that blend stylistically with lashings of chrome. The brand’s electronics are unmistakable and have a striking aesthetic.
The Max’s sculptured cabinet is made from 25 mm thick MDF. But it’s the natural wood finish replete with lashings of deep, superbly polished grain that arrests the eyes.
The contoured sides and subtly curved front baffle and overall fit and finish signal this is clearly an Italian speaker.
That the Max is intended to mate beautifully with Unison’s own amps is a given. But its electro-mechanical specs suggests it will also work just nicely with models from other quality brands.
The Max is a two-way, reflex-loaded floorstanding model that cleverly features a large internal volume in what’s a compact footprint.
A stand out model used as a stereo pair, the Max can also work a treat as a front channel speaker in a surround rig thanks to a couple of pairs of diffusers located on its front and on its rear end.
Stockists who have heard two pairs used in surround mode suggest you don’t need a sub-woofer or a centre channel.
Unison says the sonic hallmarks of the Max are transparency, dynamics and a natural tonal quality.
Superlatives to be sure, but a closer peek at the Max’s technology suggest Unison has invested heavily in unique parts including the drivers and the boasting may not be off the mark.
The Max’s 12-inch woofer is made in Italy and has a diaphragm made from, we kid you not, vegetable dough and carbon fibres.
Its moving coil has a diameter of 100mm and it’s made with two layers (one internal, the other external) with aluminium former.
To control the variation of the magnetic flux in order to reduce the harmonic and intermodulation distortion to negligible levels, Unison uses two metal rings. The driver magnet is formed from neodymium while the external suspension is fashioned from fabric composed of 51 per cent cotton and 49 per cent polyester shaped as a triple wave and damped with a newly developed material.
The Max’s basket is die-cast to give it maximum stiffness. Unison says the woofer can dissipate more than 800 watts of continuous power and exhibits no thermal compression.
The compression driver used in the Max is also made in Italy and uses a titanium diaphragm with a 44 mm aluminium coil and aluminium windings to combat stresses and deformations caused by heat.
This driver is loaded with an elliptical Constant Coverage ESS horn that has a wide dispersion (60 degrees X 80 degrees) built from aluminium.
Crossover used in the Max is a classic 12 dB/octave for both the woofer and the horn. High quality parts chosen by Unison are used throughout including air-wound inductors with flat ribbon OFC copper.
The capacitors and resistors are top quality units selected from Solen and Mundorf. And yes, the crossover is made in Italy.
The Max’s frequency response spans 30-20000 Hz, sensitivity is 94 dB and it has a nominal impedance of 8-ohm. The Max is 95 m high, 35 cm wide and 45 cm deep. Each speaker weighs 37 Kg.
Available now, the Unison Research Max sells for $9999 RRP.
For more information visit the Unison Research brand page.
One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, if there's a speaker he's likely heard it or owned it at some point in his career. Peter was formerly the audio-video editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades.
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