What to upgrade or change or service
Hopefully you nice, knowledgeable and patient people can help me - I have a simple system of UnitiQute2, UnitiServe, very old tired simple Project TT (“Classic”), and Focal Aria 926 speakers.
If I want to upgrade - would a small external power supply work / make any difference (can you even get one for the Qute)? Or should I just trade it in for another streamer / amp?
Also, my speaker cables are old and were only of the £5 per metre type of range - should they be upgraded, and will that make a small / medium / big difference?
Is it worth getting the old TT serviced, or would it be more cost and sound-effective to replace it?
And lastly, what are the options for connecting the Serve and the Qute directly to one another, bypassing the Wi-Fi / Internet?
Sadly, funds are somewhat limited at present, and all decisions will have to be OK’ed by my better half, who is much more sensible, intelligent and better looking than me, so please nothing at the Oil-Sheikh end of the spectrum.
Thank you very much
If you’re on a budget then the speaker cables would be worth changing out to 2 lengths minimum 3.5 metres of Naim’s NACA 5. The speakers are good.
As for the sources/ amplification you have not stated your budget.
You could sell the Qute and get a used Nait XS or Supernait and add a separate streamer such as a used ND5XS.
You will be able to get around £650 after selling fees on eBay if you sell the Qute.
I believe the Qute can be upgraded with a Nap200, for more power.
My understanding is the Qute and Serve should both be connected to your network.
If you can give a budget then we can help more.
It’s possible to connect the Unitiserve directly using an SPDIF cable (coax or optical) but you then need to control it with the N-Serve app. However, both boxes still need to be connected to your home network in order to work properly. The direct connection might be more reliable if your home network is flaky but better to improve this and use it if you can.
There is no power supply upgrade option here. You can add a separate power amp if your speakers need more power or possibly better to just upgrade the Qute, depending on budget.
Depending on budget (and source preference) I’d do the following in ascending order of cost. S/H is the way to go and Naim kit is generally reliable and therefore (with the usual caveats) not a risky s/h buy. You’ve got expensive speakers so source and other changes will surely be worthwhile.
Speaker cables-A5 the obvious choice. Yes it makes a difference. Chord rumour is cheap and OK
The Qute cannot be upgraded with a p/s but when I had one adding a power amp (and effectively using it as a source plus pre-amp) really helped. A 180 would be good, but a nice old (serviced) Olive 250 better. It is not just power but quality-the power amp section of the Qute is necessarily limited.
Can’t help suggesting an Atom if you can afford it. Very big step up from the Qute in my office system.
As discussed, no reason your 'Serve and Qute cannot be part of a wired network, perhaps via a switch or your router? Indeed that is how I imagine most would use them.
If your turntable is your preferred source then I’m not an expert and will leave that to others in terms of cost-effective upgrades.
Thanks for the responses - greatly appreciated.
Total upgrade budget would only be £1000 max.
I was thinking maybe just replace the TT with a Rega P1.
If you want to bring your system up to date you could just about buy a good used Atom with your budget and the proceeds of the sale of your Qute. It’s a better amp, and a much better streamer. Bear in mind that your Qute may not keep working forever without a service and maybe a replacement screen if this hasn’t been done yet, so good though it is, moving it on now may save you some pain later on.
Obviously if vinyl is your priority you may want to sort the turntable first.
Thanks again everyone for the replies.
Have a clear plan now - new speaker cables first, upgrade the TT next, buy some more new vinyl to enjoy, then save up and trade up to an Atom. Hopefully a few more used ones in the market by then.
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