Has Naim missed a trick with the Uniti Core?

Hi all

With more of the current servers being able to run your Roon core, has Naim missed a trick hear or does the Core actually have the processing power for this to be updated at any point in the future?

:+1:t2:

This has come up many times…it will not be a roon end point. I like my Core, it was the first of the Uniti range to be launched…but seems to be have forgotten by Naim. I have no classical collection, but those that do have issues, that are still a problem for them.
If i were to start again the Melco , sounds good, is interesting, but needs a ripper their one is expensive. What i like is the idea of a direct download from a site, but last i looked it was exclusive to just one. Downloads are expensive, you need to shop around, if u could use 3 or 4 it would probably sway me.
I have never heard the Inneous range , but my dealer stocks them, i would give them a listen, ripper, roon ready.

Missed a trick, when my Unitiserve started acting up a major factor in choosing the Innuos Zen over the Uniti Core as a replacement was it’s Roon facility. Also the feedback re the Core at that time wasn’t great and my dealer didn’t really rate it. I liked the look of it and was considering purchasing but it just didn’t stack up.

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When I asked Naim the same question a year or so ago they said that they didn’t see the Core as a potential Roon Core. Seems to me that it would be a very popular move. Innuos have done it, although I believe in a way that’s not quite able to give it officially certified Roon Core status.
I suspect the Naim Core doesn’t have the processing power etc. to run it properly, and would need a hardware upgrade to do so. Maybe Core2 would do it? Or perhaps we need to wait for HDX2!?

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Yes I was referring to Roon core, not an end point Gazza.

Currently trialling Roon at present. One of the points I have found is that although the Core metadata looks good, once imported into Roon, a few glaring errors appear. I like Roon, easy to edit metadata, higher quality radio streams and easy control of Core, Novs and Muso Qb. The only point against, is that I cannot control my 272, not a Roon end point, which is not Roon’s fault.
However, this can be overcome i.e. UPnP bridge. Currently, running Roon Core on laptop (i5 chipset). If, I decide to subscribe to Roon, I personally will go Nucleus route. So, if Naim ever decide to replace the 272, the only loss will be the UPnP bridge.

Roon allows you to choose between your own metadata and theirs, so if you have carefully edited it to suit you on the (Naim) Core, you have the option to use it.

Yes, I did notice that. It was just a few albums, which Roon failed to correctly display album art. Too be fair, it was probably due to me doing multiple edits in Naim Core. I find Roon a lot easier to edit metadata, than with Naim app. I also appreciate in Roon, how you easily merge multiple discs, of one album into one listing :ok_hand:

CHUCKLE

IMO they’ve missed many tricks with the Naim Core - it’s one bit of kit that I LOVE the hardware of, that I LOVED being at Naim for the design of and of which I ALWAYS had issues with the software that went onto it and even got into a bit of a ruck with one of the directors at Naim over.

I even BOUGHT myself a Naim Core after leaving Naim because I liked it and didn’t have one - the same reason I bought myself one of the Sony portable DAT players back in the early 90’s, I didn’t have a need for it or even a justifiable use for it, I just liked it as an object.

Simple answer to your question - no, you’ll not be running Roon Core on it. Roon Core has not been compiled to run on that particular hardware platform, there’s no valid business case for Roon to do so and even if they did there isn’t any way for a user to load it onto the Naim Core and run it without Naim releasing a firmware update themselves to do it and - realistically - there isn’t the business case for them to do that either.

(I’d love it if someone at Naim saw that, decided to prove me wrong, and did it as I’d love to be able to use my Naim Core for something valid rather than it just being a monolithic object that I like the look of… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

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Bassfiend,

I think it’s a waste not to use it.
Why not get a BNC cable and run it directly into your DAC/amp.
The sound quality might be a very pleasant surprise.

If Innuos can get their servers to run the Roon Core, is it unreasonable to think that Naim could do it too if they wanted to?

It is a waste but I have other kit that fulfils the needs of the system … as a standalone player the Core interface in itself is quite clunky and as most of my music listening is controlled via Roon, the Core does not provide any functionality that is useful there so it basically sits there looking purposeful. It gets powered up if I need to do some testing or comparisons I guess…

Otherwise I have “several” UPnP music servers running here at home and an NDX2 that is running direct S/PDIF into a set of Dynaudio Focus 30XDs and that forms the bulk on my current setup (my two big Naim setups are out on loan to friends as I don’t have room for them here - my other half didn’t like a 1.8m high stack of black boxes and my Kudos Titans taking up the living room).

The NDX2 is either used as a Roon endpoint for music listening or, for most of it’s life simply passes through an S/PDIF feed from an HDMI audio extractor that is fed by an HDMI switch so the NDX2 routes digital audio through to the Dyns from the TV, SkyQ, video media player etc.

Anything is possible if you want to do something but whether it is practical is quite another, however, not wanting to reference Innuos hardware specifically but …

Firstly the CPU that is in the Naim Core isn’t the same as is in the Innuos servers and so a specific build would need to be done for the CPU in the Naim Core.

Secondly the CPU that is in the Naim Core is much less powerful so it is unlikely that it would actually have the actual horsepower to run Roon Core at a decent lick if a build was available for it.

Thirdly I’m fairly sure there’s not enough memory in the Naim Core to run Roon Core - Roon Core is a pretty memory hungry beast and it does a lot of data shuffling in the background as well as having to manage all the streaming and synchronisation across a number of different possible transport formats and protocols.

Fourthly Roon Core really relies heavily on access to FAST storage … the Naim Core at its heart basically uses SD NAND Flash to hold its operating code and it’s up to the user as to what physical drive they throw in (if any).

Ultimately it’s like saying “Could this Raspberry Pi run Roon Core?” … yes it could IF lots of ducks were put into order but even if all those ducks were lined up well enough to be able to be shot with a single bullet would the result actually be usable? I’m pretty sure that on a Pi (even a current one as of mid 2020) Roon Core would be unusably slow…

So what I’m saying is that IF Naim wanted the Naim Core to run Roon Core, and IF Roon supplied a code build for the Naim Core CPU, and IF Naim integrated that build into the Naim Core firmware, and IF that combined build will fit on the flash storage that is in the Naim Core, and IF you fitted the Naim Core with a decently fast storage drive for Roon Core to hold all its databases and do its database processing, and IF there is enough actual memory in the Naim Core to run Roon Core (I forget offhand what is actually in there - it has been nearly two years) then what you may well end up with is a Naim Core that runs Roon Core but just too damn slow to be of any use to anyone…

Yes, I understand that the Core in its current form cannot run the Roon Core. I was thinking more that it could have been designed to do so if Naim had wanted to, or perhaps now that Roon is a bit more popular, that perhaps Core2 or HDX2 could have such capability designed in. It would be a logical follow-on from making the streamers Roon Endpoints. Perhaps the business case doesn’t stack up, but in my books, the Core in its current form doesn’t have what it takes to tempt me away from my Unitiserve, and even that has its limitations.

Thing is, when you can build a dedicated machine to run ROCK for about £400 then it becomes difficult for a manufacturer to build a saleable product around it … with the release of the ROCK image for NUCs and Roon issuing a minimum spec for that which is basically a low end NUC with 8GB RAM and a 120GB SSD then there’s very little that A.N.Y.Other manufacturer can value-add into that and it be profitable.

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You could say the same about the Core/Unitiserve/Zen etc. compared to a simple single bay NAS running Minimserver at a fraction of the price, but there apparently is a business case there…

Also, running a separate Roon Core means another box, another PSU and more cables. I like to keep it simple.

Yes I agree Chris. I think Phil is not giving enough weight to the fact that many of the potential customers for a Core 2 which is also a Roon Core won’t have any interest at all in messing about with bits of IT kit from random suppliers. They would buy the one that has Naim on the front for the same reasons that they buy the present UnitiCore. It looks nice, it’s very easy to use and it’s not outrageously expensive.

Best

David

@davidhendon - Roon in that case will be happy to sell you a Nucleus of course… :slight_smile:

You’re absolutely right and I’m sure that these thoughts and considerations have never occurred to Naim - I mean it’s not like they’re in the business of actually making and selling products. :crazy_face:

Plus of course I’m reassured - as a fellow Naim Core owner - to see the bouyant support and frequent firmware updates that are released for this platform bringing both new and improved functionality to this particular product demonstrating Naims continued commitment to the Core / ripper / server platform and to a future much improved Core replacement …

:joy::joy:

To give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps you are forgetting the ‘we’ll do it in our own good time, and only release it when we’re happy with it’ approach which seems to be Naim’s way of releasing new stuff.