Naim unitiserve / core vs Synergy NAS / HELP

My system is a Naim Atom /PMC 21i love it … … I have an apple mac and an external cd drive and a synergy NAS currently sitting in its box … oh and over 1000 cd,s … I want to store my cd collection digitally access it via the naim app and then stream to my atom or av amp and eventually to a muso or two or any other network players i might purchase in the future … I am no Bill Gates would a 2nd hand Unitiserve do all this ( put in order / artwork etc ) are they basically the same as a core but half the price ? … Or is there software I can get to use my MAC / SYNERGY to do all this … as you have probably realised I am clueless … I guess any server I use has to be connected to my router ? … All advice truly appreciated …

I assume your synergy NAS is actually a Synology.

I ripped all my CD collection on a DVD drive using dBpoweramp software, OK it took a time, but I had a few hundred ripped to NAS over about a week of spare time.
I don’t see the need for a ripper/server as they are limited in flexibility in some areas. but that said they do make ripping so-o much easier, my other concern is once you’ve ripped your collection they are an expensive item for the odd CD (as per my buying habits).
Have you considered another ripper such as Innuos or Bluesound

I wouldn’t recommend a s/h UnitiServe as the units are all getting old now and are a horrendously proprietary solution using embedded Windows (M/E?), if the hard drive fails it’s off to Naim for repair and a possible file recovery but that’s not guaranteed…… And, of course, future software updates will be pretty rare if not non-existent……

As you already appear to own a Synology NAS, why not install one of the supported UPNP server apps, of which many are discussed on this forum, a ripper app on your PC/Mac saving rips to the NAS, as you already save files on the NAS. Then, depending on how many disks you have installed on the NAS and how it’s configured you’ll have a fault tolerant music server - a much safer bet all round.

Or, if you want to go down a dedicated server route, the Innuos Zen Mini is similar money to a s/h US and is built using standard IT h/w and s/w and is well thought of on the forum. And you can add a whizzy psu if you wanted to up the SQ, should you feel it necessary.


I added a Synology 8TB DS716+II 2-Bay NAS five years ago and have all my CD’s and albums I have downloaded stored on the NAS. I took my time and spent several months to get my CD collection rippled using dBpoweramp software. I
have the router connected to a Cisco Catalyst 8 Port Switch which is then connected to my Network player. You can see my full system by viewing my profile.

Some members use a Core or other storage device while many use a NAS. I am quite happy with the NAS as a music storage device.

Over time I have found the majority of my listening time is spent streaming music from at first Tidal and now Qobuz.

A lot of different methods to listen to music and many members have chosen different methods. Plenty of history if you use the search function. Type in ‘Streaming’ and 50+ threads are available to review or type in ‘NAS’ and 50+ threads are available to review. A lot of great information can be mined using the search function.

If you can be bothered to instal DBpoweramp on a computer it will rip your CDs as well as any off-the-shelf box. Put a copy of Asset on your NAS or use the more basic bundled Synology server, and you’re done.
I like my Unitiserve, and it certainly makes ripping simple, but beware of buying an old one which will cost a bit to repair if it dies. My choice of off-the-shelf devices would be an Innuos Zen Mini, which is in fact ‘half the price’ of a Core and has a far better range of functions.

I’m sure you are not clueless, it’s simply that this is new to you. As you have the Synology and the CD drive, I’d suggest you buy a copy of dBpoweramp. This will enable you to rip the CDs and to manage the metadata. Make sure you buy the Mac version! Rip the CDs to the default level 5 flac.

It’s really important to get the metadata right, so that it works for you and makes albums easy to find. Think about how you want to use genres, and also how you want classical music to appear.

You then install the Asset upnp server on your Synology. You connect the Nas to your network with a cable and the Naim app will able to find it.

Dbpoweramp and Asset are made by the same people - Illustrate - and work perfectly together.

Thank you all very much … will the artwork appear on the main app I use to control the NAS … I’ll blow the dust off my NAS and give it a go . I fear this isn’t the last you’ll hear from me :slightly_smiling_face:.

But thank you all in the meantime

If by ‘the main app I use to control the nas’ you mean ‘the Naim app I use to control my Atom’ then the answer is yes.

There are lots of settings, such as metadata and picture size, so get it right on a few albums before you rip loads. Make sure you get the cover art you want from the off. It’s easier than changing it all later.

Rips by the Unitiserve are quite different from those you would get by using a computer, dbpoweramp or other software. Makes sense, as the underlying CD-player technology is different from a PC.
Making backups is easy, the Unitiserve will appear in your network and you can use Windows (or whatever Apple-fans are using) for copies.
Artwork can be an issue, but depends on your CDs you want to rip. Some he “knows” some he doesn’t. But those he does not know are easy to edit.

The reason for the Naim rips (and it’s only the WAV rips, not the flac rips) are different is nothing to do with the technology. It’s because Naim chose not to embed metadata in WAV rips, because they believed that the sound quality was better that way. The metadata sits in a container alongside the music files. With a Naim flac rip, the metadata is embedded in the file, just like it is with WAV rips when done with a standard ripper such as dBPoweramp. Whether the Naim way with WAV really does lead to better SQ is a moot point, but it can certainly be a right pain.

But then, why, in the days they were still available, did people spend a boatload of money for super CD players?

What I can say, listening trough unitiserve to 272, music sounds much better than NAS to 272. Much better

Same over here.

+1 for Synology NAS with Asset set to transcode to WAV (so transcodes both CD quality rips and HI-RES flacs) for older naim hardware [we have 272 and SuperUniti].

Will be interesting when we change main streamer to see if WAV/FLAC makes any difference and if DSD pops.

Popping DSD is thing of the past with the old platform firmware.
We had it when DSD replay was first introduced, but Naim fixed it over a series of beta test releases.

100% :+1: from me for Asset FLAC transcode (play as) WAV.

Well another thread is pushing me down ND5XS2 route in short term so we shall see!

And by “DSD pops” I meant sounds excellent :sweat_smile:

Ahh OK OK. But DSD & pops was a hot issue back in the day, that word combo set off my alarm mode.

To my ears transcoding makes no difference when streaming to an Atom from a NAS. It certainly did with my 272, but as the OP has an Atom, I’d suggest he leaves thinking about transcoding for the time being.


Agree, same with my 272.

Hi, your Atom will connect with your NAS via ethernet and the Naim app will allow access to your ripped files stored there. On your MAC you can use FREE XLD software that will RIP your CDs and add metadata to your files plus artwork. Add these to your NAS drive - sorted.