Mac & Nas v Uniti Core

Just put Asset uPNP software onto your NAS and save yourself £2000.

We have both a NAS with Asset (great server, customisable) and use our NAS as a music server for a Core (where the server software is poor). Metadata edits are done against NAS and hit the FLAC files, unlike the naim solution which is to store metadata edits in JSON files not the actual media files, so not transportable and you lose the edits if you copy the files onto say a phone/iPad.

The way we have it setup the Core rips to our NAS which has disk redundancy, automatic cloud backup and rips are instantly indexed and available via Asset.

We use the Core only as a ripper, and there are much cheaper alternatives for this.

The Core is built like a brick and does look nice and is easy to use. It’s a pity naim haven’t invested in the software in the way other vendors like Innuos have, as the Core has the potential to be a fabulous product.


I agree. It would be nice to see the Core get the attention it deserves.


I suspect that answers my question! Thanks…

As others have suggested, Mac and NAS is good enough.

If you ever get as far as considering a dedicated music server, include Innous in your considerations.

IMHO, the Sense UI, by itself, is worth a look.
Naim App is good. Sense is better.

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I know people who love the sound of their Core and would not replace it with a nas box.

I made the choice to replace my UnitiServe (predecessor of the Core) with a nas box and was happy with the decision. A few years later (about 5 years ago now) I replaced the nas box with a Roon NUCleus and am quite happy with it, too. (Although I use my stored music library less and less these days, opting instead to stream from Qobuz. I don’t have to buy new music (other than vinyl) with a Qobuz subscription and I’m very happy with the sound of their cd quality and hi res files they stream to me.)


We compared CDs ripped and stored in a Mac with those ripped and stored in a Core. We used NDX2, XPSDR, 52,SC, 300DR, B&W804 D3s.

100% of listeners found the Core option audibly better to a marked degree and equivalent to replay via the excellent CDS2. The result was so stark that no-one thought that using to use the MAC was a plausible option.

We did not test whether rival NAS options sound any different.

I hope that that helps.


My experience has been the same. I moved from rips on a Mac and playback using an uPnP app to a Core, and the Core is quite a bit better for sound quality and ease of use.


Hi Nick, thanks for that. Question: was the Mac used for playback and if so how? I’m using the Mac solely to rip the CD onto my NAS. I’m then using the NAS as a music server off the Naim app, and direct into the NDX2 by Ethernet.

We tried Core over SPDIF, Core over ethernet and NAS over ethernet as sources into our NDX2/nDAC.

All sounded the same.

We do have transport decoupled from DAC though. As we have found, and others have reported, this seems to provide some degree of isolation from external “noise” (however defined).

With our current setup we also removed the Cisco switch we were using with 272 as that made no audible difference to SQ.

So we now have a very simple setup using only our ISP hub and a few good quality ethernet cables.

We had a cable from the Mac directly into the NDX2. It works, but it was a lot less good for SQ than just playing the CDs on the CDS2 or playing from the Core into the NDX2 or playing the best version we could stream from Qobuz.

Trying the ND5XS2 that we got for Tasmania to go with the Core (also currently in Tasmania) demonstrated that the NDX2 is indeed a better source, even without the XPSDR.

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It sounds like that NAS is pretty good.

That makes sense. Thanks…

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Nothing special, just a Synology NAS running Asset. Good quality cable to hub (I think we still have a Melco C1AE there).

The NAS has every unused service turned off. We used to have Bubblesoft and virtual machines and all sorts on there. Now we need no workarounds it’s running Asset only.


Years ago we compared a Synology with MinimServer against our then UnitiServe. The NAS sounded the same, or perhaps a bit better. I don’t recall anyone reporting that the Core sounds better than the Serve, so by extension one might infer that it sounds no better than a NAS running good upnp software.

The Core has very limited functionality and while it’s obviously far easier to rip thousands of CDs on a Core, if it’s only occasional ripping and then storage of downloads, a Core doesn’t make much of a case for itself, other than being well built and looking pretty. It really is a classic case of all fur coat and no knickers.


I found the Innuos server worked well for me when my uniti serve died and now use their sense app for everything. Great piece of kit and to my ears sounded way better than the serve.


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Useful input… Thanks HH.

Mine is a synology NAS as well… I suspect my question is fully answered with yours and @HungryHalibut input.

The convenience of the rip process is only marginally worse than opening up the Mac software and letting it do its thing. Definitely not worth £2k. I’ll focus on the 300 DR.


A 300DR will bring more joy than a Core for sure.

Fabulous amp.


I think I knew in my heart and brain! :joy:

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