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Unitra’s High End Munich 2024 Showcase Pulled Back the Iron Curtain On A Revived Eastern European Brand

Unitra is back. Now under new ownership, the Polish manufacturer showed its complete line of HiFi equipment at HIGH END Munich 2024.

Unitra at High END Munich 2024

The end of the Cold War and collapse of the Iron Curtain brought more than just political freedom to Eastern Europe and the Balkans; it created an environment for entrepreneurship and design innovation that has had a profound impact on the culture and economic future of the region.

Poland’s growing industrial and manufacturing base crosses over into multiple industries including consumer electronics. EIC Ian White’s family lived in Poland for more than two centuries prior to the Holocaust, and the country is awash with talented engineers and entrepreneurs who never really had the chance to succeed abroad — until now.

The creation of a new middle class has fueled demand for western consumer goods, but more importantly, led to investment in Eastern European domestic start-ups who have proven capable of competing with well-established brands from America, Western Europe, and Asia. Companies like Meze Audio, Kuzma, Thrax Audio, Trafomatic, Fezz Audio, Ferrum Audio, EarMen, and many others have exceeded every possible expectation.

Unitra’s History at a Glance

Unitra’s history dates back to 1961, when the Union of the Electronic and Communications Industry (Zjednoczenie Przemysłu Elektronicznego i Teletechnicznego) was established. At the peak of its development, Unitra comprised 28 manufacturing companies, a number of technology sales centers and design and engineering offices, and an industrial modernization company, employing a total of 100,000 people. Unitra is one of the few pre-1989 brands that have survived the political transformation and continued to operate in the new environment. Over the years, the owner of the trademark, Unitra Towarzystwo Przemysłowo-Handlowe S.A. (Unitra S.A.) had undertaken many business and cultural initiatives related to the brand, but had not designed any audio equipment.

This changed in 2021, when – at the initiative of Daniel Kostrzewa and Adrian Krupowicz – a deal was signed between Unitra S.A. and Michał Kiciński, a well-known investor in innovative technology projects, leading to the establishment of Unitra Sp. z o.o. The company was granted exclusive rights to use the Unitra trademark and tasked with creating a new audio product lineup that would stay true to Unitra’s 20th-century traditions while following today’s principles in designing sustainable and repairable high-performance electronics.

Unitra HiFi system at HIGH END Munich 2024

The Polish manufacturer exhibited at High End Munich 2024 for the first time and brought its entire product line. This also marks the first time that Unitra has offered its products outside of Poland.

Unitra is one of the few Eastern European high end audio companies that offer a product lineup that covers the entire chain, from source components to amplifiers, loudspeakers, and connection cables. 

From Daniel Kostrzewa, VP of Sales and Marketing and Member of the Management Board at Unitra: “After three years of extensive design work to build products that would meet the expectations of our audiophile customers, we are proud to say that we have achieved our goal, and it is with great joy and excitement that we are now able to share the results of our efforts. Following the excellent reception from experts, distributors, and, most importantly, customers in Poland, it is now the time to showcase our portfolio in the international market…

The Unitra Product Line 

Unitra’s system consists of the following products most of which were launched in 2023: 

ZGB-401

Unitra ZGB-401 Bookshelf Loudspeakers

The ZGB-401, launched on February 29, 2024, is the newest product in their line-up. This is a ported bookshelf loudspeaker fitted with a pair of drivers in a two-way configuration. It is designed to deliver impressive dynamic range and precise accuracy for those who prefer a bookshelf or stand-mount form factor. 

Specification Highlights

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More Details on the ZGB-401

ZGZ-801

Unitra Unitra ZGZ-801 Floorstanding Loudspeakers

The ZGZ-801 is a closed-box 3-way floor standing speaker system housed in a 75-liter enclosure. The speaker system incorporates custom bass and midrange drivers with super-rigid aluminum baskets and lightweight paper cones. With high sensitivity, excellent dynamic range, and a gentle impedance curve, the system is compatible with almost any amplifier. 

Specifications Highlights

  • System: 3-way
  • Enclosure Type: Sealed
  • Frequency Response (±3 dB): 55 Hz to 20 kHz 
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • Impedance:  6 ohms
  • Crossover Frequencies: 700 Hz / 2,8 kHz
  • Tweeter: 27 mm textile dome
  • Midwoofer: 8″ polypropylene cone
  • Woofer: 2 × 8″ paper cone
  • Dimensions (WDH): 280 × 328 × 1188 mm (11 × 12.9 × 46.8 in)
  • Weight: 74 kg (163 lbs)

More Details on the ZGZ-801

WSH-805 

Unitra WSH-805 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Front View

The WSH-805 is an integrated stereo amplifier with a dual-mono configuration. Inspired by the 1970’s golden age of hi-fi: the WSH-805 has a retro design with backlit VU meters, patented automated switch technology, and current feedback topology.

The WSH-805 incorporates a fully analog audio path, that supports excellent channel separation and clean sound. There are several signal input options, including balanced XLR connectors.

This amplifier can also be switched between class A and class AB operation. 

Unitra Stereo vs Dual Mono

Specifications Highlights

  • Power Output Class AB, 8 Ω: 80 W
  • Power Output  Class AB, 4 Ω: 125 W
  • Power Output  Class A, 8 Ω: 8 W
  • Power Output Class A, 4 Ω: 16 W
  • Inputs: RCA: Aux 1, Aux 2, Tuner, CD, Streamer, Phono + GND (MM / MC), Direct In; XLR: Balanced
  • Outputs: Speaker terminals: A / B / AB; 6.3 mm Headphone Output; Pre-Out
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): < 0.0008% (40 W)
  • Frequency Response: 6.3 Hz to 110 kHz (–3 dB)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): SNR 102 dB
  • Dimensions (WDH): 440 × 385 × 143 mm (17.3 × 15.2 × 5.6 in)
  • Weight: 22 kg (48.5 lbs)

More Details on the WSH-805

CSH-801

Unitra CSH-801 CD Player

The CSH-801 is a CD player with on-board DAC and CD transport functionality. There is a user interface that includes a backlit E-Ink display with a paper-like appearance. The front panel aluminum finish and CD viewport complement the overall design. With its integrated digital-to-analog converter, the player can be connected directly to an analog amplifier, while digital outputs allow an optional connection to an external DAC if desired. 

Specifications Highlights

  • Supported Disc Formats: CD / CD-R / CD-RW
  • Supported Audio Formats: CD-DA (CD-Audio)
  • Frequency Response: 7 Hz – 20 kHz
  • THD + N: 0.004% (1 kHz, 0 dBFS)
  • DAC: 32-bit, 16-bit data
  • Analog Output: RCA
  • Digital Output: Optical

More Details on the CSH-801

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GSH-801

Unitra GSH-801 Edmund Turntable

The GSH-801 Edmund is Unitra’s top-of-the-line turntable. It incorporates a direct drive based on a proprietary motor designed by Unitra. The turntable includes a speed control system that uses a custom-built stabilization algorithm. The R10 tonearm, also designed in-house by Unitra and available exclusively in the company’s turntables, is supported by two pairs of aluminum bearings. The unit features a massive solid plinth and uses an external power supply; it also provides direct tonearm access with a DIN connector.

Unitra GSH-801 Edmund Turntable External Power Supply

Specifications Highlights

  • Drive Type: Unitra NB1 direct drive
  • Wow & flutter: 0.08%
  • Tonearm: Unitra R10
  • Cartridge: Goldring E3 (Violet)
  • Speeds: 33⅓ RPM, 45 RPM
  • Power Supply Type: External, included
  • Dimensions (WDH): 429 × 373 × 178.3 mm (16.9 × 14.7 × 7 in)
  • Weight: 14.1 kg (31.1 lbs)

More Details on the GSH-801 Edmund

GSH-630

Unitra GSH-630 Fryderyk direct-drive turntable

The GSH-630 Fryderyk is a direct-drive turntable with Unitra’s proprietary motor and R10 tonearm, fitted with an internal power supply and a pair of analog RCA outputs.

Specifications Highlights

  • Drive Type: Unitra NB1 direct drive
  • Wow & flutter: <0,09%
  • Tonearm: Unitra R10
  • Cartridge: Goldring E3 (Violet)
  • Speeds: 33⅓ RPM, 45 RPM
  • Power Supply Type: Internal
  • Dimensions (WDH): 440 × 385.5 × 151.5 mm (17.3 × 15.2 × 6 in)
  • Weight: 11.7 kg (25.8 lbs)

More Details on the GSH-630 Fryderyk

KG25 and KG40

Unitra KG25 and KG40 speaker cables

The KG25 and KG40 are speaker cables made from high-purity oxygen-free copper with a cross-sectional area of 2.5 and 4 mm2, respectively. They use two parallel-twisted conductors. The cables are finished with honey-colored Polish yarn and terminated with gold-plated flexible banana plugs to fit a wide range of terminals. Available in lengths of 2.5 m and 4 m. 

More Details on the KG25 and KG40 Cables

Initial Thoughts

Unitra came to High End Munich 2024 with an interesting mix of products that combine a vintage look with up-to-date technology. Their product mix provides consumers the availability to assemble an entire audio system, minus network/streaming capability. Perhaps that is next on their list. The product price points are not for the budget-minded, they are more high-end but don’t rise to the ultra-high-end category. It will be interesting to see if Unitra is able to get traction in a heavily competitive market.

Unitra Booth at High End Munich 2024

Pricing & Availability

Unitra Audio Components can be purchased directly through the Unitra Website via each component’s product page. Prices are in Euros – US pricing is forthcoming. 

For more information: unitra.com

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