Unitra GSH-630 Fryderyk & GSH-801 Edmund Turntables

Continuing with our Munich 2024 catch-up tour, today we’re taking a closer look at another company we weren’t able to spend enough time with at the show itself — Unitra, a Polish manufacturer that offers a pair of intriguing turntables, the GSH-630 Fryderyk and GSH-801 Edmund (the latter table is seen above, as it appeared in Unitra’s Munich demo room setup).

According to a company rep, Unitra began the latest phase of their longtime turntable journey in October 2023. “We are new in the high-end market, but we do have the heritage from the old Unitra and Fonica [models/manufacturing plant] which, in the late ’70s or ’80s, were producing around 10,000 turntables every year, including those for many Western companies such as Thorens and Thomson,” according to Unitra marketing manager Kasia Binkiewicz, via email.

Unitra currently offers two turntables — the aforementioned GSH-630 Fryderyk and the GSH-801 Edmund. Both tables are direct-drive models with proprietary motors developed at Unitra with an advanced speed control system built by their own engineers. Both tables are equipped with the company’s own R10 J-type tonearm, which sports two pairs of bearings on tapered pivots. The aluminum arm’s effective mass is given as 18.5-22g.

Unitra’s NB1 direct-drive system for both tables boasts an air-core brushless DC motor, and its wow & flutter is given as <0.09%. Both tables are also said to pair well with the company’s own WSH-805 integrated stereo amplifier.

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The GSH-630, a.k.a. “The Frederick,” sports an aluminum front panel and real wood veneer finish. It comes in three options — black (American walnut), silver (American walnut), and black-ash silver. Its plinth is made from milled and veneered MDF, with a “massive” vibration-damping base.

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The 630 also comes with a hinged dustcover and gold-plated RCA connectors. Other specs for the Fryderyk table include an internal 230V AC power supply (50Hz, 4W), standby power consumption of 0.42W, and 33⅓ and 45rpm playback options. The GSH-630 measures 440 x 151.5 x 385.5mm (17.3 x 6 x 15.2in; w/h/d) and weighs 11.7kg (25.8lb).

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Meanwhile, the GSH-801, a.k.a. “The Edmund,” is said to differentiate itself from its Fryderyk counterpart table by way of a more massive plinth, anodized aluminum platter, and direct-DIN connector access to its Goldring E3 violet cartridge.

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The 801 shares some specs and features with its 630 counterpart, including a hinged dustcover, 230V AC power supply (50Hz, 4W), standby power consumption of 0.42W, and 33⅓ and 45rpm playback options. That said, the Edmund table’s power supply is external, not internal (and is included). The GSH-801 measures 429 x 178.3 x 373mm (16.9 x 7 x 14.7in, w/h/d) and weighs 14.1kg (31.1lb).

Finally, the SRP for the GSH-630 Fryderyk is PLN 11.999 (or €2,805), while the SRP for the GSH-801 Edmund is PLN 19.999 (€4,675).

For more about Unitra, go here.
Unitra gear can be purchased directly from the company here.
Other, authorized Unitra dealers can be found here.

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COMMENTS
HiFiMark's picture

What a relief it is to see a couple of real world tables after the monstrosities you've been showing us Mike! I've no doubt that many / all of the unobtaniums perform well, but yikes... alien audiophiles have taken over both design and pricing.

Of course, I chuckle a bit as I write this since for the vast majority of my friends, spending $2-$5K on a turntable is enough for them to question my sanity and viability as a rational human being.

It's a delight to see the Polish audiophile industry make an impact in the west. My Ferrum Wandla is a spectacular DAC and if I were in the market, I would take a serious look and listen at/to these Unitra turntables.

Review forthcoming I hope? The Wandla is such a giant killer DAC at the price point, I'm wondering how these play out against German, US, Japanese and other established turntable brands in the US.

rich d's picture

HiFiMark (I do hope that's his real name) makes a good point: of late we've seen a parade of turntables seemingly designed for people with loads of money and no friends. This, on the other hand, would reside harmoniously in one's living room. Can't really argue with the pricing either. Assuming it sounds good (fingers crossed) they deserve to sell boatloads of 'em.

Mike Mettler's picture
Appreciate the feedback here, Mark & Rich -- we may just need to test one of these Unitra tables sooner than later. That said, a current look at their site shows the Edmund is currently out of stock, so we may have to tackle the Fryderyk... stay tuned!
bekeanloinse's picture

Unitra and its associated manufacturing plant, Fonica, were significant players in the turntable wordle market during the late 1970s and 1980s, producing around 10,000 units annually. They also manufactured turntables for renowned Western brands like Thorens and Thomson.

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