New UHA SuperDeck System

A detailed info about the new United Home Audio UHA SuperDeck System for tape playback and recording.  

The New UHA SuperDeck consists of these six systems.
1.) The Outboard Power Supply
2.) Outboard Tape Head Preamplifier
3.) The Tape Transport
4.) The UHA Rack System (optional)
5.) Special HifiStay Footers under the OPS and Head Amp (optional)
6.) The SuperRecordDeck Recording system

1.) Outboard Power Supply (OPS)

The Superdeck is made in the USA.

Heavy aluminum chassis are used on the UHA Head Amp and the Outboard Power Supply, the chassis are custom designed and manufactured solely for UHA. The chassis are internally dampened using a product called Richlite and all boards and power transformers are bolted to Richlite damping material for vibration isolation of all important electronic components. 

Optional HiFiStay Gyrotension Swing footers are used under the Head Amp and the OPS. Wells were machined into the rack and the chassis of the Head Amp and the Rack system to accommodate the footers for a cohesive vibration damping system.   

The OPS is the beginning of the Super Deck Dual Mono Audio Signal Path, the OPS takes AC power from the mains and converts it to DC power, the only power in both the tape transport and the Tape Head Amp is DC power, no AC at all. The outboard power supply (OPS) contains three toroidal transformers. The three transformers sit in a vibration and damping gel system to further isolate them from vibrational energy. One is for tape transport motor control and logic, and the others two are for separate right and left channel audio supplies. All transformers are shielded with Mu-Metal and are located to avoid magnetic field plume interaction for maximum noise reduction of the primary DC supplies.  The audio and motor control DC supplies are carried in separate cables to the preamplifier and the tape transport to isolate the audio cabling from the tape transport control source DC supplies. Each gain stage and also each EQ stage are fed by separate AC to DC power via separate banks of AC to DC conversion devices through large hyper pure copper shielded cabling for instant on demand power delivery. 

The new power supply now includes separate transformers for tape movement as well as right and left toroidal transformers for playback and record, resulting in true dual-mono operation. This increases channel separation for the best listening experience possible. The external power sources also include separate right and left, high-current, Class A, three-stage power supplies in the playback preamplifier, offering the best signal-to-noise possible, and superior transient response. 

The Super Deck uses DC Reel and Capstan motors to eliminate magnetic transients during record and playback as opposed to AC motors used in the older recording consoles that produce a measurable magnetic flux under the tape reels.

Operation is provided for countries operating at 100/120/200/220/240 VAC.

A specific proprietary transformer vibration and noise damping system is used throughout the OPS and Preamplifier. Measurements were taken on the cabinet and the internal boards to minimize any vibrations. 
Separate connectors are provided from the OPS to the tape transport and head amp for audio and motor control for correct cable identification and placement.

2.) Tape Head Preamplifier:

Each Preamplifier channel is supplied with its own 3 stage series Capacitance Amplifier (CA) DC power source.  Each channel supply is constructed with audiophile quality through hole transistors, capacitors, resisters and diodes. The capacitors are custom “UHA brand SuperCaps” they are wound specifically for UHA and matched for each channel by Wilson Audio / Rel Caps.  The capacitors are actually hyper pure oxygen free copper foil with a specific Dupont Teflon. The end caps are 100% copper, heated to a molten form then sprayed on the end caps, the leads are gold. 

The Super Deck is manufactured using military and audiophile through hole components.  The circuit board material is a military grade PTFE/Ceramic/Epoxy substrate that is superior at heat absorption and distribution, as well as having a virtually zero dielectric loss.  This means something very important; the board material will not allow high frequencies to propagate through the board material in any way. The more common board material, FR4, is fiberglass.  It absorbs moisture, tends to carbonize with heat and can “transmit” or “blead Through” audio signal to areas of the circuit where it is not wanted.  This new board also provides a very important benefit to the high frequencies that no other board material can, it actually minimizes oscillation and distortion of the high frequencies because of the isolation of the main copper board with a sandwich of real gold top and bottom of the copper, plus the UHA Boards further isolate and control bleed through with a composite ceramic dielectric that is actually stable for use in outer space.

The resistors are precision trimmed low noise audio grade parts.  All transistors were hand matched for symmetry and tested for lowest noise. The third and final CA stage utilizes a hand trimmed source resistor for precise output and minimal noise.

Instead of compromising the design with a “swiss army knife” approach to features, UHA focused on the most popular speed and format, 15IPS with IEC EQ.  This allowed a design without a massive amount of switching which always serves to compromise audio quality.

The Super Deck uses custom low noise low output recording and playback heads, developed by UHA. Low output heads were used almost exclusively in the recording industry for years as a smaller coil will more honestly record and playback the music with the least noise and the least detriment to the extremes of the audio range.  More turns on a coil mean more output, but it also means more capacitance between windings and higher inductance. Higher output coils mean less preamplifier gain is needed to drive an amplifier, but they can also pick up more noise that is then amplified, and more EQ is needed to correct for coil characteristics. Therefore UHA designed low record and playback heads. Less source noise and flatter EQ with better fidelity.  To that end, discrete operational amplifiers were chosen for this project that are high current and low noise with very little internal negative feedback applied. These discrete operational amplifiers have a very quick response to incoming audio, making the music a true representation of the original recording.

Each preamplifier is built with balanced and unbalanced outputs.  The output capacitors are a proprietary design of Teflon, copper and gold leads which are made to UHA specs by Reliable Capacitors / Wilson Audio with the finest material on the finest equipment.  They provide the fastest response and the lowest ESR of any like capacitor on the market.

The preamplifier comes with a 3-position custom designed VU meter for UHA. Also, a switch on the head amp allows for no VU meters in the circuit at all for the purest sound, VU meters will also operate with no illumination and with both VU meters with illumination.  This was done to allow maximum flexibility in the visual and listening experience, while allowing the opportunity to defeat the meters and LED’s for the best audio performance.

Each OPS and Preamplifier is outfitted with a proprietary internal damping system to minimize room noise transmission into the signal path.  Special mechanical feet are also available as an upgrade to further improve noise damping.

Each chassis is iridized, masked, and painted to provide critical grounding points to form a “ground shell” for optimum grounding and noise reduction. The UHA Tape Transport, Head amp and OPS are configured in a three way star grounding system that has external ground connection point that can be connected to an earth ground.

3.) The Tape Transport System:

The tried and proven reliable tape transport that UHA has used for the past 13 years is redesigned to be used solely as a means to move the tape past the tape heads. These transports have provided many years of trouble-free operation to well over 100 UHA customers over the last 13 years. The look of the new transport is different as unused knobs and switches have been covered by an all-new metal faceplate designed to reduce vibrations. There is also a new carbon fiber vibration damping hourglass design between the two reels that cover the old power switch and speaker grill in the center of the reels. The internal wiring from the tape head to the XLR outputs contains a specially sourced cable with double shielding and is physically set to offer the shortest and quietest conveyance of the signal possible. The deck has a stereo pair of Furutech chassis mount XLR’s that connect the tape head to the Outboard Head Amp and provide signal from the tape head. UHA supplies a .5m XLR cable for this however the beauty of this is the owner can also choose any XLR cable of their choice, it will make a big difference in sound with every cable you try, pick what you like. The UHA supplied cable is quite good, but feel free to experiment. 

4.) The New UHA Rack System:

The optional billet aluminum UHA Superdeck rack suspends the tape transport in a gel system that allows the transport to float, not in contact with the rack at all for vibration free operation. The rack also accommodates the Outboard Head Amp in the bottom of the rack system, to minimize use of space on a customer’s existing audio rack. 

This rack system will also work with any UHA Tape Deck and Outboard Power Supply.

5.) The HifiStay Gyroswing Footers: (optional)

There are exact sized wells machined into the bottom of the Tape Head Preamp and the Outboard Power Supply chassis that precisely fit the diameter of the HifiStay Footers.

The footers are designed for the exact weight of the Head Amp and the Outboard Power Supply to provide full component isolation.

Wells are also cut into the UHA Rack System to accommodate the footers. 

6.) The UHA SuperRecordDeck:

The new SuperRecordDeck allows for the best of both worlds, foremost the playback system is 100% SuperDeck no compromises. Also the recording system is completely isolated from the playback electronics, so there cannot be any compromises with playback or recording signal paths. The new UHA SuperRecord system resides inside the Tape Transport so the signal paths can be the shortest possible from tape head to the record boards. The entire recording system is configured with dual mono record boards and separate right and left channel 100% DC direct power supplies from the OPS. The recording system incorporates the UHA SuperDeck quality gain and EQ stages, DC power delivery systems, boards, wiring, grounding no expense was spared. Additionally, an all-new custom oscillator and oscillator board were manufactured solely for UHA. Forty- to sixty-year-old record oscillators were operating at their limit to create the proper frequency, today we have oscillators that can run in the gigahertz range with a very stable response. The new 2022 version UHA oscillators are extremely stable at the desired frequency. The new oscillator board further isolated the device and allows for a direct 100% DC power delivery direct from the OPS to the oscillators.