Naim newcomer - upgrade advice!

hi all
i am a relative newcomer to naim - purchased a unitiqute a few months ago and have been enjoying with tidal. I have a pair of Dynaudio Evoke 10 standmounts with which i’m happy.
i’m considering upgrading to either a Superuniti or an NDX together with a Naim amp eg an XS or an XS 2 (obviously all 2nd hand!). these options should fit my budget but i’m wondering whether this would be a significant upgrade?
i have no particular interest in the other streaming platforms - regular Tidal 44.1khz seems pretty good to me!
any advice appreciated

1 Like

Hi and welcome. An NDX and SN2 (make sure a SN2 and not SN1) would be a very significant upgrade. Tu bear in mind the NDX is not the latest streaming platform, you could consider a Uniti Nova.

Good luck,


I would have said that was a worthwhile upgrade!

I run a UQ1 - recently serviced and upgraded to UQ2 ish spec (minus the BT capability) into Neat Iotas.

I also run a XS3/Hugo mk 1/Primare NP5 into Neat Motive SX3s.

And I’ve heard a NDX into 202/200 Neat Motive SX2.

They all sound great. The NDX is obviously one box, and power supply upgradeable. A separate DAC and streamer could be an option, lots run that sort of thing, but I totally understand the one box appeal of the NDX and am tempted by a change to that too.

Keep an eye out as bargains do appear. You don’t mention SN2/3 - but a 3 just went on eBay for £1200 (it wasn’t on for long at that price!) Otherwise, the XS2 should be brilliant too. It is easy to talk yourself up in budget though, XS2 should easily be sub £1k (assuming you’re in the UK?)

As you’re used to the UQ, I suspect the NDX user experience will be just fine as well.

Good luck in your search!

thanks for the replies so far, much appreciated


Others will know more than I do, but I have some observation that may be relevant.

I don’t know your speakers, but reviews consistently describe them as excellent communicators, and a bit warmer/ less dry and analytical than many. However, it seems that they really benefit from powerful amplification able to keep a grip (esp if you want to turn up the volume). Does that square with your own experience?

If buying separate boxes, I’d encourage you to think about a 62/140 pre-power combination or a Nait XS. If they are 10+ years old and have not been serviced, getting that done sooner or later will improve sound further.

Naim’s current streamers use more modern architecture and are more flexible than old Unitis. They also cost more. I use an NDX2 + PS in my main system, but the no-frills/ no-screen ND5 XS2 is nearly as good in most systems and costs a good deal less. Personally, I’d lean toward those ahead of a bargain NDX - that sounds to me a lot less good than the NDX2, and I believe it doesn’t give Qobuz and is more constrained.

If all that is pushing things too far, the integrated boxes in the new range are all also excellent. I use an Atom in my bedroom - a brilliant unit and a bit more transparent in sound than your Unitiqute. My girlfriend has the more powerful Nova, which is another gem and has no trouble driving Linn Kelidh or Neat Iota Alpha speakers to room-filling volumes without sounding confused or strained. Between Atom and Nova sits the Star, which even includes a CD player.

I think Naim quote a nominal 80W for the amplification in a Nova compared to 40W for the Atom (or 60W for a Nait XS), but most Naim amplifiers offer more muscle (when needed) than the figures suggest. Having compared the Nova’s amplification to an old 62/140 combination, I’d suggest that it is marginally stronger and more open/ transparent than the 62/140 and probably better by a slightly smaller degree than a Nait XS (I haven’t heard a Nait XS2). An Atom is certainly less strong, but all of these amplifier options should be noticeably better than what you have today.

A quick scan of eBay suggests that an NDX would cost very roughly £1500, and a Nait XS perhaps £1000. Atoms seem to go for £1500-£2000 (not far from new price) and Novas for £3000 - £3500.

I have just bought an ND5 XS2 (not the previous ND5 XS) under £2000.

A 62/140 combo can be had for well under £1000, but servicing unserviced units could add 50% to that. Without a Hicap power supply (another £400+ probably), I’d suggest that a 62/140 will beat an old Nait, but not the XS/ XS2/ XS3.

You probably won’t find the cost of NDX2 + Supernait acceptable. However, patience can lead to real bargains, and that combo would be the biggest upgrade of all (and as far as you can probably take your speakers).

There are also quite a few ex-demo Atoms ad Novas advertised right now. If any dealer near you is offering one, it may give you the chance to try before you buy. After all, as just about everyone here will say, it’s what your ears tell you that counts.

Finally, I like Tidal and still use it, but now use Qobuz more - esp because of the many Hi-Res recordings available. You may find that an upgrade to kit makes it easier to hear the benefit of finding the higher quality streams, if you do ever want to explore your options. In the meantime, regular Tidal is plenty good enough that any of the above options is likely to bring audible benefits.

Does any of that help?


I had an NDX and it was the first time the music sounded “real”, “live” or like the band was in your front room. Drums sounded like drums, piano keys like piano keys. They are around £1000 these days (sold mine for £1100). I realise they are now a little dated. Also watch out for the screens. They fad and ideally you want to buy one which has already had this replaced.
I don’t know what the ND5XS2 is like in comparison. I had the ND5XS and the NDX was a league ahead.

1 Like

Seconded on the typical eBay going rate. A £1500 eBay NDX needs to be mint, very recently serviced, and even then I don’t recall one going recently for that much.

i’m keeping a closer eye on ebay now i’d love to get a bargain like an sn3 at that price.

thank you nick that’s hugely helpful and gives me much food for thought!

richard - thank you - makes the NDX sound as though it could be just the ticket
I appreciate all of the advice from everyone

Separates will always be better and I’ve just dipped my toe in the water in the used market with no problems. I was given some great advice on the buying second hand thread.
If you want to resist the upgrade ladder a Nova might be a good idea though.

Correction, sorry, it was a SN2, still a bargain though. The same seller had a hicap dr on at £500 - half what they typically go for - that went even quicker! Collection only, or I’d have blown 1700 very quickly X)

I have to say they were some of the bigger Naim bargains I’ve seen. But it goes to show, they do turn up from time to time.

My only word of warning on the NDX is that sometimes I found it a little too detailed, and I would just get fixated on the instruments and not the whole song. For me it’s a detailed streamer, but not a musical one. I never tried it with an XPS so that could have helped.
It’s funny, I loved the ‘musical’ sound of my CD5 and Nait 5, then went on the hunt for detail. I found detail, then decided I want ‘musical’ again. I think I’m now getting close to both detailed and musical?
Basically, and NDX could put you on upgraded path and the search for endless music perfection :joy:

You can get an SN2 for cheap these days because they’s discontinued. It’s a very impressive integrated amp for the price.

1 Like

I have one more question if anyone is still out there - one of the dealers whom I’ve approached has suggested a Superuniti, as a major upgrade over my Unitiqute. (I realise I could demo but not easy to get to.)
May I ask whether anyone has any particular views as to the benefits of moving to a Superuniti (recognising I’ll be limited in terms of streaming services but not really minding, as I like Tidal)?

The SuperUniti is far more powerful and is just better all round. Your speakers are inefficient at 84dB and a SuperUniti is a far better match than your UnitiQute. The NDX and Supernait would be better, but if that’s too expensive the SU is a good option.

I haven’t heard one, but I suspect in its favour is the fact it is one box, probably is a significant upgrade over the UQ and would be cheaper than a NDX/XS2.

If I had to guess then I suspect the separates would sound better. But no idea how much better!

I think you can either listen to both setups if you have a dealer with good examples of all of them. Or remind yourself that no option will sound exactly awful, and base your buying decision on other factors. Despite the formal advice on here very often, and correctly, being to audition gear before buying, plenty of folks don’t :slight_smile:

DEK hasn’t said a SN is in budget, it is the rest of us getting excited about that :slight_smile:

NDX/XS2 is what the SU is up against budget wise. I don’t know how that comparison would turn out. I suspect the separates would win, but no real idea!

With those speakers and the choice between NDX/XS2 and SU I’d probably go with the SU for its greater power. That said, the former is the better option in absolute SQ terms, but the SU should drive the speakers that bit better.

Another option of course would be to keep the Qute and add a NAP 200.

Others may correct me, but the Superuniti has much better amplification than yours, but shares the old-tech issues: small buffer, clunky and restricted streaming versus current streamers.

Without hearing whether any of these options appeal particularly to you, which means using your own ears, this string may soon descend into long strings of product names/ numbers.

If opinion/ data overload approaches, perhaps start by popping into a shop and hearing an Atom and a Nova. If they aren’t preferable to what you have, that may be all the answer you need. If they are, but even the Niva doesn’t quite hit the spot, then I can only agree with the others here that you will end up with separates of some sort.

Good hunting!

1 Like