Considering Unity Star, some questions about it

I have 1000+ CDs and are using A1+T1 headphones of Bayerdynamic. Now I’d like to rip the CDs. I used to do it with a Macbook and external portable CD player. But it pushed me like a second job. So I’m now interested in Unity Star, which I suppose, could rip the CDs while playing them. That would complete my ripping work in several years and seems convenient. Also Unity Star is a CD machine upgrade. But I still have some questions.

  1. Is the track infomation auto retrived from Internet always correct? Are the tags from some sites like Amazon? Some classical music CDs are boxsets, would that bother the information?

  2. Is my T1 headphone suitable with Unity Star?

  3. When using headphones with Unity Star, is headphone amplifier(eg. my A1) necessary?

  4. If the external drive is large, would it take Unity Star very long time to sync the tracks? Is it convenient to control Unity Star to locate and play a track(flac file)?


My first thought is that the way all Naim rippers and servers work gives you very few options for managing metadata, and box sets and classical are two areas where it really doesn’t work too well, if at all. So although you would have a very easy and convenient ripper, I think you would end up reverting to a computer for ripping and metadata editing of some albums.

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That depends on the correctness of the metadata. If I have to edit every track, then computer with an external CD would be more usable. If say 80% of the metadata is correct, I think Naim is a more useful option.

I think the problem would be that there are only a small number of editable metadata fields available on Naim ripper/servers, and the way they deal with compilations or multi-artist albums is pretty useless.
I would suggest that you ask your dealer for a demo, and take a few CDs with you, including some classical and compilations. Try ripping them, and see if you get results that are usable, or just a load of albums all listed under ‘various artists’.
Obviously sound quality is the main factor, but if you have chosen the Star specifically for its ripping ability, best make sure it will work for you.

Chris is right about multi artist compilations, like best of sets etc…, but for classical sets like operas and so on, the Core does a good job.

As an example I recently bought a boxed 5 CD set of the 1960s Kertesz recordings of Dvorak’s nine symphonies from an Oxfam shop for £15. The Core ripped them all perfectly and the metadata and artwork is all correct.

The Star would be similar as it uses the same ripping engine as the Core.


Firstly, it’s my understanding that you can either play, or rip a CD, not both at the same time.
I found ripping in batches of, say, 10 at a time, a few each day, I was soon through my 1200+ collection.
The Meta data is mostly OK, although I did have to change a few album covers, plus, on classical, sometimes had to correct a box set to be all of the same title as it seems sometimes a 3 CD title might somehow be mistaken for part of a larger box set and therefore received different info.
Watch each rip CAREFULLY so that you can edit wrong info before you forget to do it and only find the mistakes a year or more later…
I also recall a 2 CD set refusing to recognise there were two CD’s and overwrote the first one with the second.
My workaround was to rename the first one then rip the second.
Lastly, Note: unless newer platforms such as Star have changed, editing metadata cannot be performed until all ripping process has been completed - this means if you’re ripping to FLAC, the ripping will convert WAV to FLAC after ripping. You can’t edit until that’s finished.

The Star is generally very good at ripping, Occasionally if there’s say a uk and us version of the same album it picks the wrong metadata one. If you’ve Mp3tag on your pc these things are easily fixed such as adding album covers to any missing. Find it on Google and save then import to Mp3tag. Re headphone output I use Sennheiser and the quality and volume is fine

The two CD ripping issue of one over-writing the other was fixed in a firmware update a while back now…

The classical sets appearing as part of a larger set of discs is a problem of the metadata lookup sources. Rovi returns the up to date information, so if the recording company has released all of Mozart’s music in a 90 CD set, then the album title and artwork can unhelpfully say “Mozart’s life collection CD 47” instead of Symphony No 40 or whatever. This is a Rovi shortcoming and not Naim’s fault.


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So I suppose metadata is updated regularly. That’s helpful. Thank U.

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Do you connect the headphone directly to Star?

All the Naim ripper products consult online metadata sources. In the case of Core and Star they first consult Rovi, then if no answer is found there then Musicbrainz and again if no answer is found there then Freedb.

The updating of these sources is nothing to do with Naim and happens all the time.




Regarding the headphone question the UNITI Star seems capable of driving most headphones but I find a headphone amp sounds better.

I find little to complain about the Star apart from that headphone outlet.
It seems incapable of really powering a ‘high end’ headphone.Audeze LCD/Sennheiser Hd 800 s.Even the S Hd 650 seems to struggle.
Andy at Signals has tried to think of ways around the problem but there seems to be no way a headphone amplifier can be attached to the Star apart from switching the speaker cable to a headphone amplifier and vv.
The ability to attach a Dac v1 would be nice.

I hardly use speakers so I have the speakers switched through an external switch box and run the headphone amp from the pre amp out of the star.

Yes, I agree. I tried Bayerdynamic T1 on Star. The Star can not power the headphone to a normal volume. I’m now still using A1 with the Star to power T1.

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