Atom vs Nait 5si

Hello to all!

My current system:
Naim Uniti (1st generation without Spotify / Tidal implementation)
Bluesound Node 2i (streamer)
Naim Ariva speakers
Tellurium Q Black speaker cable

Now I am thinking of an upgrade but on a fairly tight budget.
I am considering three options:

  1. Uniti Atom (and sales of Uniti and Node 2i)
  2. Nait 5si plus Node 2i
  3. Used Nait XS 2 plus Node 2i

The question is, does replacing Uniti with Nait 5si make sense?
Will the Uniti Atom play better than the Nait 5si plus Node 2i?

I admit that I like the Atom very visually and functionally, which is also an argument.

On balance…Atom and sell the node 2i / uniti…unless MQA interests you.

Thank you for your opinion!

listening 90% Tidal HiFi, but MQA is not very important to me.
Most important:

  1. Sound Quality
  2. Reliability
  3. UX

Here’s a slightly leftfield idea…

Keep the Node, and buy a decent DAC and connect it to the Node SPDIF out. A used NDAC or something from Chord perhaps, but I’m suggesting these because I’m familiar with them - there are plenty of alternatives.
Then buy the best integrated amp you can afford. A NaitXS would be nice. No rush, you can use the Uniti as an amp to start with.

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Interesting idea,
has anyone had the opportunity to directly compare the Atom to the Nait 5si or Nait XS?
I know that in the case of Nait, the source (DAC) is also important, but every opinion is valuable to me

I had the original uniti a few years back, and thought it was a very sweet sounding package.

I added a powerline to the uniti which I thought was a very noticeably upgrade. A Nap200 was then added, which provided a substantial upgrade in sound - this also opened the door to having separates in the future.

Out of the three options you listed, I personally I’d go down the route of node + XS2. Although I’d demo to make sure the Dac inside the node doesn’t become the bottleneck.

I support the option just mentioned: go for an XS2 and later on add a separate DAC between the Node 2i and the XS2 or jump to an nd5 xs2 to replace the Node 2i (and separate DAC). I had a 5si and jumped to an XS3… and what a BIG difference this made! This will make the biggest upgrade (when already using a Node 2i which is pretty good). And then go for a better DAC and/or streamer later on. I use a Node 2i with separate DAC to feed the XS3. Next step will be better source…

Hello. I just read your comment. I have a ND5XS2 and a Nait5si. I say they satisfy me. I have several expensive cables both for connecting and for the electrical network. I am tempted to upgrade to Nait XS 3. Are you saying the quality is much better or is it just a small step forward? I don’t care about the phono output (I already have a REGA Aria!).

From your speakers perspective:

I would say neither, I used to run 4ohm/87db speakers at the end of a 5si and they were ok. When I swapped the 5si for SN2 the difference was immediately perceptible. Not that the 5si did not deliver in terms of SQ, it struggled a bit in another area, a simple difficulty due to not being able to provide enough power, which is not necessarily a bad thing, if you like its sound signature, it is arguably more important than the former.

Arivas are rated similarly, which might require more power than even an XS2 might be able to provide, probably it will be on the limit. Jumping from 5 level to xs could be effective when dealing with easy to drive speakers, but in your case it just might not be justified.

Yes, I think the xs3 is indeed a big step up in quality coming from a 5si. With a lot more muscle. I must say I paired them with my (big) PMC floorstanders where the extra power certainly added up to not only more spl but also better SQ.

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The original Uniti used very similar amp section as a Naim 5i, if memory serve.
So going for 5Si might not considered upgrade enough.
Atom is less powerfull so homedemo if possible.

I think the Atom is a beautiful package
modern streamer incl.
nice design - no ugly wlan or bluetooth antenna
enough power for most speakers and home use

the Nait 5si is slightly better than the Atom in sound- but for sure not a big step
by far not as convenient as the Atom
it`s just a pure nice amp

if you expect a significant step I beliefe you should go and buy minimum a SN 2 or 3.

to me if you had already a Unity the 5si isn`t a exiting update and makes your life just more complicated.
the Atom is a next generation in everything.

just my opinion

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thank you guys,
@ducmoto1975 you surprised me with your opinion, that Nait5si is better than Atom in sound. After reading several opinions and having listened (briefly) in the store, I had the opposite opinion.
Maybe I will give it up and save money on Uniti Nova unless in the meantime I get a used Supernait 2/3 at a good price :slight_smile:

I think this is a good decision

A SuperNait is another world entirely, guess the Arivas would love it.

The Atom and Nait XS do different things so not really possible to compare directly. My first Naim system was built round a Nait XS and I now have an Atom at the heart of my office setup. I have not made a direct comparison but the Nait can certainly drive more demanding speakers and with a good source should comfortably outperform an Atom. I think the suggestion of @ChrisSU to get there via a nDAC is a good one. I had a nDAC in my XS setup and greatly enjoyed it before moving up the ladder.

Roger

I just bought and testing a Chinese DAC: SMSL SU-9. Let me just say it’s a real killer. A significant improvement over the Naim Uniti’s built-in DAC. Especially huge space and quality of the treble, which is a bit withdrawn but very detailed at the same time.

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I have the SMSL SU-9 too, also also been quite impressed by its sound quality.

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In my opinion Atom win Nait5si in SQ.

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