New member here, and I’m currently making some changes in my setup. To be honest, I’m not a hifi geek, but I have a pair of Epos ES14’s that have been with me for the last thirty years or so. They are powered by an old Rotel RA-01 amplifier, and there is a Marantz CD6006 as source. I also have a two million year old Apple Airport Express that hooks up to a Cambridge DacMagic (first version), and this is actually what I use the most, streaming from my iPad/iPhone. Now, this is a lot of boxes and cables, and I guess I want to tidy things up.
The Airport Express and DacMagic has to go, since they are more or less falling apart. The CD6006 is basically never used, so I am inclined to let it go too.
Two options I have been thinking about is either going with the new Bluesound Node (N130), which was released this year, and keep the Rotel RA-01. This would obviously be the cost effective solution. The other option is splashing out for a Naim Uniti Atom. Approximately 5 times the cost, but it seem to do just about everything I need and more - and it has inputs for the CD player if I decide to keep it.
The deal breaker is more sound quality than cost, since I probably will live with the chosen solution for ten years or so. But I listen to music at moderately low volumes. A lot of it is modern classic, electronica (Biosphere, ambient). I hardly ever listen to rock. The room is about 25 square meters.
Do any of you have experience with the Atom/ES14 combination? I know from yesteryear that Naim and Epos made a good match, but I don’t know if we’re talking about the larger amplifiers.
Also, has anyone experience with moving from the Bluesound to Atom (or the other way)? I guess what I’m trying to figure out what I can expect.
And thank you for reading through this!
Welcome to the forum patashnik.
Definitely try to get a listen to the Atom - I know it’s difficult with the current situation, but even if you can’t then it’s a fabulous bit of kit and will likely be a good way ahead of the Bluesound and Rotel combination.
As for the ES14s, I use a pair in my office and currently drive them with the Atom’s predecessor, the Unitiqute2. It works very well, particularly at lower volume levels, so I’d imagine that the Atom should be better still.
By the way, buy some drinking straws (while you still can), as I have found that if you cannot get satisfactory bass quality either with the ports open or bunged up, then bunched straws cut to size can be a really effective middle way with ES14s. I assume you are using the open frame stands?
I’m halfway through the moving to the Naim separates. I was trying the Bluesound you’ve mentioned and can tell that its analog outputs are weak. It should better be used as transport via digital output. However, I should tell you that the Blusound devices have good software inside.
Thanks. This might be the shortest discussion ever. Just ordered the Atom.
Let us know how you get on. I use ES-14’s too.
It arrived on Friday, set it up, and slowly settling in. First discovery was that I can now actually hear the difference between Spotify and Tidal HiFi. Secondly, the bass has tightened up a lot. Before the Rotel I had a Cyrus III amp which died, and I know remember what I missed from that.
Right now, I am so happy I decided to let myself be (easily) convinced to go with the Atom. I not only got one smooth streaming machine, but also what seems to be a brilliant little amp.
Two days in, and I’m already thinking about the Uniti Core as an alternative to my Marantz CD6006.
The ES-14s also says “thanks”, by the way. So happy I stayed with them since 1994.
Enjoy the Atom, it’s a great little machine and worked fine with my Epos ES14s.
Sounds like you may already have upgraditis!
I was going to ask if you used ports open or with foam, Richard beat me to it. It was something I’d never considered.
I’ve never used mine with foam in the ports, and assuming they were originally in the boxes I may have just pulled them out or didn’t read instructions at the time if they were meant to be in the ports.
No foam here either. I have to admit that they may have been thrown away 25 years ago.
I find myself turning up the “volume” on the Uniti. Unlike the Rotel, it feels like it builds from the bottom. It doesn’t get “louder”, it becomes more rythmic, more engaging (the neighbours might disagree). I’m digging into Rolling Stones’ back catalogue. That is a first. And I’ve played the first Stone Roses album more times than I care to count.
My boxes are hopefully in the attic, I must check but they are in a precarious spot!
I bought several packs of straws after reading this tip some while ago - must try it at some stage but I’m using different speakers currently - must have got my Epos speakers around 1982-3. College pals still remember them and thought they were phenomenal speakers.
I have ES14’s on the end of a Naim separates system and love them. Bought mine in ‘92.
If you simply want to play CDs and stay with Naim you might want to look out for a CD5XS to use as transport or even the excellent Meridian 200 or 500. But if you really want to rip your collection and have a computer you can rip CDs on, I’d at least consider using a NAS running a server such as Asset UPnP. Much cheaper and gives you more flexibility, but also more effort initially.
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