Is a Unitiserve still a good choice?

Hi all

I have got to a stage where my NDX now has a healthy WiFi signal after a visit from Sky and am getting used to using it and starting to enjoy the experience instead of cussing at it all the time.

However, isn’t there always a but….I am still suffering from missing album art and seeing as some of my music files are a bit all over the place (both in rip quality and album art) I am considering re-ripping my CD collection and this time either going for a NAS Drive, a Unitiserve or maybe a Core.

My question is am I likely to be disappointed in a Unitiserve or pleased as punch?

I have read many times that failing hard discs in Unitiserve are a real problem, if I did decide to go for a Unitiserve would I be better to go for an SSD disc or a spinner?

Thanks for any suggestions.

My UnitiServe was OK, but it broke down twice and had to go back to Naim.

I also discovered my US was holding my system back when I eventually upgraded to a Melco sever.

The US is a bit old hat now and a tad unreliable, so I can’t recommend it.


The hard drive in the Unitiserve is a spinning disc, unless you but the SSD version in which case the drive doesn’t store your music files. It uses a separate NAS for your music store.

This is an old device now, and it has its limitations. Naim can still service them at the moment, at a price, of course.
The ripping and serving functions of the Unitiserve are quite basic. The Core is even more basic, and I wouldn’t buy one for that reason.

My Unitiserve is 10 years old now. It has always been reliable and continues to work, so I keep using it. Not sure I’d buy one now though.


I’ve had mine about 8 years and it’s been fine apart from needing a new battery, fitted by the dealer for £20. But I wouldn’t buy it now, for the reasons given above. A particular irritation for me is the inability to handle compilation cds.

1 Like

Thanks for the honest replies, I have been told that it’s old hat and basic and some have been unreliable.

Where to go from here is the next question……I need a rethink.

If you want a server than the world literally is your oyster. Roon for instance allows ripping if you wanted to build a one box solution. Vortexbox is another option.
If you are only rarely ripping (I have not done so in nearly a decade now) then your laptop or pc with a usb DVD drive connected if necessary and a plethora of ripping softwares.
If you just need to serve and are not into geekery a NAS from Qnap or Synology will be fine, if you want to get your hands dirty, Unraid or OpenMediaVault are great options.

I would always recommend that a server is away from the hifi, if you can get that sorted then it does not matter what it looks like, but you can make it look nice as well, silverstone do lovely HTPC cases.

1 Like

Whoa, the “hands dirty” option is way above my pay grade! :grinning:

I need/want a simple is as simple does solution

I thought Roon was some kind of software that governed any hardware that you had?

If you want a simple, ‘works out of the box’ solution get an Innuos Zen Mini which is a current product with far more functionality than any Naim server at a significantly lower cost.


At the moment I am happy with the NDX, other than the missing album art and mixed up music files, hence the idea of moving away from storing files on iMac ( perfectly via Apple Music on there) and using a stand alone drive for the HiFi.

The Innuos seems to be a one box solution which I dont really need, but never say never!

How many boxes do you want?!

For what it’s worth, a Qnap NAS works for me. Any rips are done using a Nolyth plug in CD drive, using dBpoweramp on the iMac. The Qnap is backed up to a plug in USB drive for security. I wouldn’t touch a UnitiServe with a bargepole. The Core is easy to use but unless you are ripping hundreds of CDs seems pointless, as a NAS with Asset sounds as good in my experience.

So long as your rips were done with pukka software there is no need to re-do them. Album art can be fixed in dBpoweramp. The trick with digital music is to get the files as you want them on your computer before moving them to the nas. You’ll then have metadata and album art as you want it, which makes the whole streaming experience so much nicer.


More than likely disappointed - very old tech, only available used and with a hard drive of indeterminate age…… Given that all hard drives are expected to fail with age I’d look at a Core, Innuos or similar with SSD storage.

SSD’s too may be expected to fail with age, albeit more slowly than hard drives, so backup remains essential to USB, NAS or similar.

Of course, YMMV,


1 Like

100% agree with HH, the Unitiserve is well past it’s sell by date & its successor the new Core has (IMO) limitations in user options.
Ripping with a laptop using dBpoweramp software gives you much more choices. Ripping a CD collection with a laptop is not really any more difficult than the ripping machines, but for sure is a hell of a lot cheaper assuming you have a laptop already
You just set up your dBpoweramp options using the AccurateRip feature and you just feed the CD’s into your laptop’s DVD thats set to send to the laptops hard drive prior to uploading the lot to you NAS.

1 Like

At the moment my music files are on my iMac, but are somehow a mixture of download qualities, it’s due to this and also the problems I am having using Asset that I believe (probably wrongly) that I should erase all the files and start again.

To be honest alll this digital music malarkey is something I am struggling with as I am of an age where computers were a thing far into the future when I was at school.

I have seen DBPoweramp mentioned a few times now and noticed it when looking at/downloading Asset from the same site, looks like it’s about time that I purchased this software.

The files on my iMac are all ok album art wise but many are not there when using the Naim app and this is something that really bugs me, I have read numerous times that DBPoweamp will fix this so this is a path I will investigate.

I won’t be purchasing a Unitiserve following advice on here, but will investigate how a NAS drive works and maybe look into this route rather than the Unitiserve

Thanks for all the help folks, the mud is starting to settle and the water is not so murky… :grinning:

It will be cheaper to buy a NAS online, but if you decide to buy a pukka audio server, like the Innuos Zen Mini, from a dealer, that dealer should be able to help you transfer the files from your iMac and set the server up. Some dealers are more experienced with this than others. It might be worth checking if the dealer is willing and able to do this for you.

Any recommendations for a NAS drive?

I have seen the brand Qnap pop up a few times but which models are recommended?

I use Synology, from what I understand both QNAP and Synology are as good as each other in feature and reliability, but as a user I naturally see far more on line activity such as product support from Synology.
They’ve just bought out some new models and a lot of attractive price offers go along with that.
If i was starting again, I would be tempted to look at the single bay models PLUS a robust independent backup system.

PS: I rip using dBpoweramp & also download from www. both to FLAC and play / control from iPad (Naim app) with NAS mounted Asset UPnP software.
My backup is a WD ‘My Passport’ USB that I upload to once a month, or as required.
play on NDX as
NB: FLAC gets transcoded by Asset to ‘play as’ WAV on NDX (not necessary on latest generation streamers)

If it’s just for music storage and running a UPnP server, any basic Synology or QNAP will be fine. The demands placed on it are low, so there is no need for a higher spec model which might use more power and generate more electrical noise.
If the UPnP server included with these is not to your liking they will both run Asset or Minimserver, which are well supported and fairly inexpensive servers popular for local streaming.

Plan a backup strategy when you set up the NAS. A second drive in the same NAS enclosure is not a reliable backup. Running an automatic backup to a second NAS is the best way to ensure continued access to your music in the event of a failure, but a USB drive will do the job.

1 Like

A NAS drive will be solely for music, so it should have a relatively easy life - will need to pop around 3k CDs on it.

A very good idea regarding the back up being a USB drive, I assume that it will be a case of plugging in and updating on a regular basis?

Depends on the NAS. Some have a USB port that you can use to attach to backup drive, or you could run a scheduled backup to one elsewhere on your network.
I prefer to back up to another NAS because you can play your music from the backup drive if the main one fails.

1 Like