Audiophile Reel To Reel Tape Decks
Pure Class A, Fully Discrete, Dual Mono Preamp Design For 2020
1.) New UHA Playback Tape Head.
2.) All new custom designed boards done in house by UHA! The new 2017 ULTIMA4 preamp.
SHQM (super high quality materials) boards are used with both wider and thicker traces for improved signal flow.
All electronic parts such as resistors, power caps, RCA & XLR connectors, internal wiring, were chosen from various auditions done with parts from many manufacturers.
We kept swapping and experimenting over the last two years till we were happy with the synergy and the sound.
This involved many listen sessions with various people’s help. These listening sessions were divided into frequency range listening sessions,
we may only be listening to the “highs”, then “mids”, same with the low end till we could find nothing to pick at.
3.) New Pure Class A fully discrete output.
4.) The entire playback circuit (from head to output jack) is 100% hard wired.
As in there are zero plugs, connectors, gain, or volume pots to degrade the sound.
No lesser devices are used in the signal path. We govern the output of the deck by a proprietary process of gain stage adjustment and low impact resistive tuning.
(If your goal is playback of the New Generation Master Tapes at 15ips and using the IEC eq, we recommend eliminating all the extra
circuitry associated with NAB eq, and 7.5 ips playback. Also all of the muting circuits are eliminated in the deck).
5.) All new grounding system in the deck has been used. This was instrumental in lowering the noise floor to new levels never accomplished in R2R playback here to for.
6.) The internal wiring was sourced because of specific properties. Synergistic Research shielded internal wiring is used.
7.) On the one box Ultima4 all an all new custom designed and much larger power transformer is used, (largest one we could get in the chassis).
This power transformer powers only the tape head amps and is separate from the transformer that drives the tape transport and motors.
This provides limitless power and results in greater dynamics and a coherent top to bottom musical presentation.
8.) The gain stages are each provided an exact and regulated delivery of power form a special system directly on the PCB.
Each gain and EQ stage is individually charged by it’s own separate power filtering capacitors.
9.) A Furutech power conditioner, EMI filter with gold plated IEC inlet is used.
10.) Mu-metal shielding is used where needed on the tape heads, boards, outputs.
11.) New tape heads with a very low output and low impedance have been matched to the new Ultima4 preamp for continuity.
12.) The tape head is set into a mu-metal can for isolation from EMI.
13.) The deck can be hot rodded for just RCA output or just XLR output can be configured.
(Any UHA deck can be configured for only 15 inch per second, 2 track, IEC eq playback to optimize the circuitry to play the New-Generation Master Tapes).
MORE INFO ABOUT THE ULTIMA4 PROJECT
The ULTIMA project started with a some new component discoveries.
The ULTIMA4, the 18th generation UHA deck uses some innovations never employed in any tape deck.
Just some of the features of this new purity in circuitry involved:
PURE CLASS A, FULLY DISCRETE, DUAL MONO HEAD AMPS!
- New audiophile grade power transformer for the tape head amps, custom designed for UHA.
- New direct coupled capacitive power delivery in the preamp results in immediate filtered power to each gain stage.
- All new boards were developed for the ULTIMA4, hyper pure copper boards and improved dielectric material with wider traces.
Wider thicker traces for more conductivity along with silver solder points were used, Cardas silver solder is used for all electronic connections.
- A new grounding configuration was used to enhance the grounding in the deck, it actually scavenges noise from the ground and produced much quieter backgrounds.
- New direct IEC EQ stage and no muting circuits for shortest signal paths was also used.
- A beefed up change in various electronic component values brought more weight to the sound.
- Dual mono configuration for the internal playback preamps.
- WBT Next-Gen RCA connectors and the new Furutech XLR’s are used on the Ultima4 deck.
- The internal chassis wire and also the umbilical cables between the OPS and the deck are all by Synergistic Research.