Must you buy the streamer to start streaming?

Hi all,

I have and active naim system but only sources are and LP12 and a CDS3. Streaming looks pretty pricey but the naim solution is obviously a well engineered one. Thing is, a core and an NDX2 are a little too much to swallow all at once. I was wondering if one can just buy the Core, start ripping all the cd’s, download the naim app and just stream music to a google chrome cast via the phone? I have one connected to an Anthem AVM60 that is then plunged into the unity gain input on my 552.

Sorry for the lack of knowledge on my behalf, but I’m just trying to step into all of this slowly and absorb the cost over time. If this can’t be done, can a cheaper streamer like a Blusound be used in a naim system with the uniti core? Its more elegant a solution than going into the chromcast-processor-552unity gain any way.



The Chromecast will work, but a £20 streamer into a £20,000 preamp has to be the biggest mullet system of all time. Even an NDX2 needs a PSU upgrade to really hold its own in a system of that calibre.
I would start with the NDX2 and forget the Core rather than the other way round. There are good ripping and storage setups that are a fraction of the cost of a Core.

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Thanks Chris, yes I was aware that my question was pretty much source last, but I was thinking of just stepping into the streaming thing with the least possible expense and still eventually get to a good level but step by step. I’m happy using physical media, but curious about streaming, don’t want to get an NDX2 just yet.I thought about the core as I would have so much ripping to do. Guess I could reward myself once a couple of thousand cds were ripped, with an NDX2, and I already have a 555PS. The core just looked appealing, but I have not looked at alternatives.

You don’t need a Core, I & many other Naim’ites use a laptop & DVD drive for the ripping process using a quality ripping software such as dBpoweramp
Rips are stored & played from a NAS such as Synology or QNAP
Assuming you have some very basic IT knowledge its far more accommodating for managing & editing that is the Core plus its a lot less expensive.
A single bay NAS with a 2tb HDD will be around £200 (€230)
dBpoweramp £30 (€35)

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What puts me off the Core is its very basic ripping and serving abilities, which for me makes it very poor value. Having said that, I did buy a Unitiserve when I started streaming and it was certainly a painless way to get started, and avoided the need to fire up a computer and load ripping software, UPnP servers etc.
What I would do now if starting out is to buy an Innuos Zen Mini for half the price of a Core. As well as acting as a ripper and UPnP server like the Core, it has a little DAC built in so it would get you up and running direct into your preamp.
It also gives you access to streaming services including Tidal, Qobuz etc. and Roon.

Then, if the streaming bug takes hold, you can buy a streamer or just a better DAC to put sound quality at a level that matches your system, and the Zen will continue to work for you.


I started with an (already purchased) iPad, a Qobuz subscription and a Chord Mojo plugged into the Aux2 port of my 282.
Probably not the solution you are after, but it sounded quite good, nevertheless.

I’ll echo the Zen Mini suggestion.

I think the Zen mini makes sense. For even less you cam buy a node 2i. I own one. It’s a very good streamer. Decent DAC but digital outs so at some point you can upgrade DAC

And yes. For ripping dbPoweramp. $30. And a NAS. Or even just a hard drive I think. Can you rip to your computer, transfer to a hard drive and plug into node/zen? I think so

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If you have a PC/MAC on the network you’re happy to leave on (at least while you’re listening) you could use Asset UPnP, Minim Server or many other apps to serve digital downloads or CD rips to a network streamer.

If you are really just dipping your toes in the water to see if streaming appeals, mullet option or otherwise, I’d be tempted to try something like this:

Hi-res audio capable. It would allow you to try Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal. It has Airplay functionality, Bluetooth , internet radio (usually lossy anyway)and seems to be able to access local network media servers.

Unless you sign up to a streaming service you’ll be quite busy ripping CDs.

Appreciate you have a high-end system but it’s pretty cheap just to test the water.

Cheap as chips, and could easily be repurposed elsewhere in the house with a smaller system/lifestyle speaker when you move on to something better.


Hi there are many ways to stream… you don’t need a dedicated streamer. You can use a smartphone, pc, Mac, or many combined smart devices… and eBay, Amazon etc littered with low cost mass produced devices that will certainly stream… albeit check what services they support.

Now when you go up in performance and SQ, then that is when having a dedicated streamer/DAC or streamer/transport comes into play… but absolutely not a pre requisite.

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OK thank you for all the ideas, still like the idea of the core, as the full naim solution appeals to me. Just wanted to be able to stream without the naim streamer initially, then move on to one of the big ones. Hence the question about the chromecast. Also like the idea of the bluesound which I would use in another system later.

I was very much like you, a hardened CD/LP lover. I was initially very reluctant to dip my toe into streaming. It all seemed far too much of a faff for my liking. However, I already had an Ndac not doing much after an upgrade to a CDP555 and thought what the hell! I opened a Qobuz account and streamed directly from an IPad via USB into the Ndac. I was a bit surprised at how good this all sounded, so I then let my dealer convince me to borrow a Node 2. Another step up in SQ. I later coupled this with some ethernet hard wiring and the infamous EE8 switch.

Maybe it is a “mullet” of a streaming system into my kit but it has let me explore and understand what streaming is all about. I do find it very hard to criticise from a sonic perspective. Is it as good as my CDP/LP12? No but it’s not too far removed either and only cost what I paid for an SL interconnect!


I’ll echo @Alley_Cat’s suggestion, I also suggest that you try some streaming services like Qobuz, Spotify, and forget all about ripping CDs to a NAS or a server, too complicated and too much hard work.

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Excellent privacy though :smiley:

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