10 Years Later: Uniti or Separates for my needs/budget?

Excited to finally be part of the Naim community, something I’ve dreamt about for over 10 years, ever since an old boss showcased his Naim Statement driven media room to me. Having started off studying sound engineering, I oddly ended up preferring tech/business, yet maintained the bug for sound reproduction from a hobby perspective. However, it’s taken time to build up the required funds and justification of a proper system!

Recently, we downsized and moved back to central London, where I swapped my Yamaha / Floorstanding MA Bronze setup, for a more neighbour and room-friendly Muso 2. Fantastic piece of kit for the open-plan kitchen/lounge, but left a hole in my heart and ears.

Fortunately, my loving wife has just given the green light to turn our spare room into a media room-come-office. I listen to a broad range of music: classical, electronica, soul, punk/rock. Plus, my wife enjoys films, so having an HDMI-enabled stereo system makes sense for those occasional movie nights.

The room dimensions are 3.2 x 3.7m, and here’s where I need your collective wisdom. I’ve got a budget of about £4-5k (excluding a turntable and phono stage, which I’ll be adding later). Should I go for an all-in-one solution from the Uniti range paired with some bookshelf speakers?

Or should I delve into the world of separates, perhaps getting a Naim streamer and amp? I’ve got hundreds of vinyl records with sentimental value, which I’ll be dusting off in the years to come, so a turntable is definitely in the future.

I’m seeking the best overall return on value, happy with used kit for either option to maximise value. Although I enjoy researching the product and trying out the options, I will become tiresome of something that needs regular tweaking and warming up etc. Looking for a set-and-forget setup, with occasional maintenance/tweaks.

There’s no rush, but I’m keen to hear your thoughts. Cheers for reading, and looking forward to your suggestions.

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maybe nova & neat iotas ? or atom HE + active speakers or heading to the dark side linn dsm - a very different presentation to your muso 2. enjoy the journey

With the budget and your description in mind, I might go for ND5XS2 + Supernait 3. A bit over budget when you add speakers but the SN3 has a very good MM phono stage included.

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Second here for the Uniti Nova - unfortunately no built-in phono stage, but you can pick and choose … :slight_smile:

Love my Uniti Nova / Rega P8 and Dynaudio Special Forty’s

Or xs3 instead of the supernait.


If going new a Nova and suitable speakers - room dependent - would take some beating, but 2nd hand you should be able to achieve an NDX/SN2.

Good luck.

Only the uniti series has hdmi so that is something to bear in mind. However the uniti series will digitise your analog inputs if that is a concern for you. As mentioned linn is another option but that also digitises the analog inputs

Thanks all -

Some good thoughts here. Sounds like a trade-off between HDMI availability and digitisation of the turntable. I have always loved the warmth of analogue, and sometimes struggle with over-digitisation. Often turning those aspects off. That said for streaming, I love the practicality. Hence the want of a turntable for listening sessions.

If it went with analogue on the TV output to an XS3, that sounds like the best trade-off. As I’m prioritising music over visual. Not sure I’d loose from the HDMI if I’m stereo only.

If HDMI is essential, I think you’ll need a Uniti, at least within the Naim range. But several users have had issues with HDMI arc and ended up using an optical connection. It would be worth searching for threads on this.

As for speakers, you won’t find a consensus here, but one thing to bear in mind is that, if not disturbing the neighbours is important, you’ll need a system that sounds good at lower volumes. Not all quality speakers do (eg ATC, in my opinion). It’s not an issue I’ve faced myself so I won’t offer suggestions, but I’d suggest a home demo would be essential.

If you can get on without HDMI, I like @indexical’s suggestion of Atom HE and active speakers. Acoustic Energy’s AE1 actives might fit the bill and there’d probably be enough left in the kitty for a good pair of phones for when you wanted to up the volume a bit.


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Great thoughts here, and good pick-up on the volume. That is part of the issue. We are top floor, and primarily wooden/rug-covered floors in a period converted flat. Headphones are also only list.

Don’t worry about the digitisation of analogue signals in the Nova. I have used mine with both Linn LP12/Stageline and Rega RP3/Fono and they sound superb with no sense of “digital”. You’d never guess if you weren’t told about the a/d conversion.


You can still have digital output from tv - just check toslink is available on your tv, because iirc all naim streamers have optical TOSLink (up to 24bit/96kHz) inputs (including Nova).
On rare occasions if an LG tv is in the bedroom, (source is Apple tv box hdmi into tv) then optical to the Nova.
HDMI can be problematic with certain tvs for sound and control - search some of the threads here - it does though mean adding another remote when using optical.

probably depends on when the flat was converted and what building regs were at that time. i used to live in a flat in a period house converted in the 70’s - every sound came through from the flat above especially after they took out the fitted carpets and went for bare boards and rugs

Thanks all - going to test.

Gut says I won’t go for a Uniti, so probably a SN2/3 with NDX et el. In hindsight, even analogue from the TV is more than fine for my needs.

I’ve got so many old records from my youth, and a burning desire to hear them again. I’ve always struggled with over-digitised sound.

Will report back once I’ve tested and purchased!

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It would be very difficult to beat an Supernait 2 for absolute cost for SQ value. Excellent for the prices they can be had for today and the SN2 will drive almost any speaker. Also upgradable with an XPSDR.

Another amazing value in the Naim Legacy line is the nDac. Very good sound for the cost, but of course it would need a decent streamer to feed it. An NDS is also very good value and has a streamer and can be had for a song, but it also requires the purchase of a separate 555PS to power it, which may put it out of your budget.

An SN2 with an ND5 XS2 may be the best combo though, as the ND5 XS2 has the updated streaming boards and will get Qobuz for you.

I second going Supernait 2 or 3 with ND5 XS2 or NDX2.
You can take digital outputs from your TV and Bluray Player into the streamer for stereo for films (no need for HDMI) and the SN3 has a phono stage that the SN2 does not for your record player.

Thanks both, based on my future turntable needs I was thinking of this combo.

2nd hand:

ND5 XS / XS2

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You need to stretch for the ND5 XS2 2nd Generation Streamer its far superior to the original streamer and will play all modern streamer services which the old one wont so your future proofing.


just bear mind that many TVs only have a digital output nowadays. I.e. you will need an amplifier with digital input or a DAC.

Thanks - some further good points raised.

Also wondering about a Nait 50