Fundamentals of Naim 1: Digital and Analogue

So I visited my local dealer recently. Had a good chat. Casually mentioned that I might be looking for a SuperUniti. He looked at me like I had three heads.

“Why would you buy something that has a digital and analogue signal in the same box? It’s noisy.”

I was taken aback by his comment. But now I’m thinking: is this a fundamental principle (like gravity) that people should be living by? If you are able to, don’t have both in the same box?

Maybe the guy just doesn’t like the Uniti range? Got left at the altar by a UnitiQute years ago and is still bitter? Is perhaps on to something?

I’m new to this, so have no clue…Interested to hear if anyone has had similar conversations on the same topic…

He’s talking nonsense. Basically he would like to sell you something new or he otherwise has in stock. One can gather that he doesn’t have a SuoerUniti to sell.

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A Naim ND555 streamer has both digital and analogue in the same box, as has the CD555 CD player.

Looks like Naim’s doomed then.

Or perhaps not.

The Naim Uniti Nova sounds wonderful to me and it has digital, analogue and even a power supply in the same box.

In a well matched system, a Superuniti would be lovely.

Best regards, BF

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It’s time to lay the magical incantation, “noise”, to bed, if it is not substantiated by actual technical facts. This word has become the hifi equivalent of a cargo cult.

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Doesn’t every single box with a DAC in it have just this?

Before the pitchforks and burning stakes turn up, I think it’s fair to say that there are compromises in trying to fit everything (digital front end, analog preamp, power supply and power amp) into one box, otherwise there would be little or no point in separating them out into their separate boxes for best performance. It can be noisy putting everything close together, and it takes real skill in designing such all-in-ones to perform well. Something, luckily, that Naim have got very good at. But even at their best, separating things out will invariably bring performance gains.

In the case of the Superuniti, just try it up against something like a NAIT XS or Supernait or even a NAC152xs, NAP155xs, and Flatcap xs and an NDX or ND5XS and you’ll see what I mean.

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Yes there are choices in life……one or two boxes or lots………many more difficult choices for many young or old.

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The Superuniti is a nice bit of kit. Does what it’s supposed to very well. Even has an FM tuner.
Sort of wish I hadn’t sold mine …

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