Hi there. 1st post. Great to be here!
I would like your consultation for a decision I need to make. I already searched the forums but did not yet find what I was looking for, so here we go:
Harman Kardon HK680, Dynaudio Special Forty, Bluesound Node 2 + Ext Power Supply, Holfi Vitalus Preamp, Technics 1210 with Ortofon 2m Bronze, Roon / Qobuz
I am looking to upgrade my amp. The HK is serviced and gives me a great full sound, big stage, great bass etc but lacks detail and finesse. I do mostly stream music but also have a digital collection on a harddrive and also play vinyl.
I currently audition a used but also serviced Naim Uniti2 which comes directly from an official vendor incl. 12 months warranty, new display etc. The sound is really great and a good step-up from the HK. I am hooked to Naim now I guess and it would be a keeper, but it is not that easy. Because the reality is that I never use CDs and I stream via Qobuz (not supported) which prevents me rom using the Uniti2 for direct streaming. For anything digital, namely Qobuz and Roon, I now still use the Bluesound which is a great all-in-one solution to be honest. I connected it via RCA as well as Coaxial. The latter ,with the Uniti2 DAC in place, gives a super slight improvement over the Node DAC. But potentially so marginal it would not pass a blind test. But hey…
SOOO, this means I basically only use the amp section of the Uniti2. Now, would you recommend to stick with it or do you think a dedicated amp such as a used Supernait1 or Supernait 2 would be a big improvement in comparison? It would be in a very similar price range, the Supernait 1 even cheaper.
Please let me know what you think! Any help is appreciated! Thank you!
My bet would be SuperNait 1. It has a dac so you can feed it from your bs using a digital cable (coax or optical). Then, add a hicap Dr which will significantly improve your setup. For what I know, the dynaudio special fourties respond well on more power.
Just my 2c keep in mind I’m a SuperNait 1 lover. Biased
Later when you’ve saved a bit buy a nd5xs2 and you’ll have world class setup.
Thank you very much! That all sounds very clear.
If you like Qobuz then I suggest staying away from anything that requires a work around to stream it. You will get tired of the hassle quite fast I think. (Different for those who already own the Uniti2 and want to get into Qobus.). In addition to the SN2 why not try the Nait XS3, or even the much talked about Nait 50 if they are at all near your budget.
I was hoping for a half-sized Supernait based on the thread title!!
something like the N50 but with the classic design…green lights and all!
Have you inside a Supernait?.
Huge traffo and a lot of PS caps takes up more space than a half size box.
Haha… @Maury_Finkle . Gotcha
Thank you so much, @cephas . Couldnt agree more with Qobuz (and Roon). This is currently mitigated via my Node, so all good. But not really sustainable going forward. I am now thinking of the SN1 as @Ardbeg10y suggests). I hope it to be the better amp. And hey, there is a dac, too. The SX3 or Nait50 seem out of budget for now. Also the 80watts of the SN seem good for the Special 40.
Will A/B the Uniti2 vs SN1 this week and report back.
Max, do you know how a Uniti2 compares to a SN1?
I’ve never done a direct comparison, but I know the SN1 well ( ) and have listened to the Uniti2 a lot years ago at my dealer’s.
As far as I know, they are derived from different ‘sources’: the series 5i for the Uniti, the 202 ( some say 282)/200 for the SN. Considering that the Uniti also has streaming facilities and a CD player, its power supply should be smaller and simpler than the SN’s. Their output power is also different.
As far as sound is concerned, the SN1 is bold, a tad monochromatic, a tad sharp-edged, good for most music; the 2 - to my experience - is darker, smoother, not very interesting; and the 3 the most refined but authoritative. I have a soft spot for the 1.
The Uniti is more balanced, it’s clear sounding and easy to listen to. Has a less incisive voice but a more ‘luminous’ presentation. For what it’s worth, my friend who owns a large audio store with very expensive gear - including Naim New Classics, 500 and Statement - has a Uniti2 at home with Ovator S-400s. And is perfectly happy.
Hope it helps,
as Ardbeg10y suggests, the SN1 has an onboard DAC. I add that I have always used it for something and am now connecting a TEAC VRDS-9 drive into it for CD replay. I think I have enough experience of Naim gear to say that the SN’s DAC is far from a cheap addition - it re-clocks and does a very good job.
I’m as biased as Ardbeg, but I’d still take a SN1 over a number of integrates. In fact, my current one is my fourth…
I wouldn’t be surprised if a CB streamer appeared, imitating the old tuners, with a similar display but with super-modern streaming functions…
this sounds like a no-brainer - you for sure don’t need a Uniti2 if you never use CDs and stream from Qobuz. If this is your first foray into Naim gear, either a SN1 or 2 will sound fantastic compared to what you’ve got.
But thinking the DAC in the SN1 for the BS Node and lower price would set it over the top for me. Good luck and enjoy!!
Hi @shadybrain and welcome to the forum.
A SuperNait 1 looks like a sensible way forward, given the budget constraints implied in your posts. And a very nice upgrade from that is a Naim DAC when finances permit. That’s the way I went when I had a SN1.
My only concern would be that an early SN1 could be as much as 16 years old and probably in need of a service. I’d make sure you know the age of the amp before purchase and factor in the cost of a service either immediately or in the next few years.
Hi all. Thank you again for all the help!
Today I did finally A/B both amps (Uniti2 vs SN1). And the outcome is unexpected. While the SN1 seemed more muscular, more bass lower mids etc the Uniti2 played more in control, open and detailed in both, highs and bass. Long story short: It seems a keeper. This reminded me of your feedback, @MaxBertola .
Well, life is a box of chocolates, isn’t it. Thx again!