Naim Unity Core v USB drive

I have an Atom HE and a Mu-so, gen 1.

I’ve ripped a lot of my CDs to FLAC put them onto a USB drive and play them via the USB socket at the rear of the Atom. I can also stream the FLACs from there to the Mu-so.

The USB drive cost me £22.

I’ve looked at the Unity Core costing over £2000, I must be missing something but I can’t see any extra benefit with the Core. Would, I be just getting the same at a greater cost?

Thanks for any advice.

If you’re happy to rip CDs on other hardware you almost certainly don’t need a Core. It will be a better solution for handling large libraries, and it can access music stored on other drives connected to your network, as can any UPnP music server. You get the convenience of being able to control ripping, metadata editing etc from the Naim app without having to remove a drive from the Atom USB port and connect it to a computer.
You could achieve most of the above by using a NAS for about £300.

What the Core does very well is to provide an SPDIF digital source for playback into a suitable DAC, but you won’t need this feature if you use streamers like your Atom and Muso.


Thank you for your reply. At the present time, I use a 2007, MacBook Pro to do my ripping. When I purchased it, I had a real need for one.
Now though, I can manage with an iPad or my iPhone, I don’t want to purchase another laptop when it finally fails, it’s very slow now and the battery went about 5 years ago. I run it on mains only.
I’ve always shied away from a Core believing that you had to run one hand in hand with a laptop, for metadata corrections etc.
A new MacBook costs about the same as Core.
I do need a way to play CDs, player or Core. I’m not in a hurry.
Regards D

You can do metadata edits for rips made on a Naim server (including the Core) with the Naim app but you do need to use a PC or Mac to edit metadata for rips made with a PC/Mac or downloaded and stored in the Core’s downloads folder.

It should in principle be possible to do metadata edits in the downloads folder of a UnitiCore using an iPad. I have played around with an iPad Pro but the only metadata editor that I could find for IOS is a version of MP3 TAG and to me that software implementation of it was impossible to understand. So although I could connect to the Core easily, it reminded me of using last century software when I tried to use MP3 TAG for IOS and I gave up. I see the IOS version of MP3 TAG has been renamed Evertag but I was unable to summon up the enthusiasm to try it again. Maybe Nevertag would have been a more appropriate name!

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Thank you for your reply, regarding the metadata. I’ve downloaded the Core ‘quick start guide’ but it doesn’t answer a lot my questions. I know a dealer would help but I really do like to educate myself before making contact.
Regards D

There is loads of stuff on the Core in the Forum FAQs

Thank you very much, that set up video does answer a few of my questions.
The Core can have an internal or/and external HHD SSD, I have a number of external HHD which I first had to format when first using them with my MacBook Pro.
I had convinced myself that the Core had to be attached to computer to format its HHD/SSDs. Now, I believe that Core itself does the formatting.
That’s a big bonus and does change the way I view the Core.
Believe me that helps a lot.
Regards D

I ripped all of my CDs to a 1GB USB stick. I plugged the USB stick into my NDX2 and it works very well. I do not see the need for a Core.


Yes, that’s what I’ve done and I play it through my Atom HE and is the reason I started this thread, I want to know what advantage there is with a Core.
However, my laptop is on its last legs and don’t want to buy another for ripping CDs.
Regards D

I think the core is a great add on for the people who want a great hardware to rip their cd collection and have the core on their system. Is a beautiful piece and well built.

Other than that I do not see other advantages, if you are comfortable with a computer and have a way of storing your music like a NAS I think the core is not a great value, is limited in some ways, software is ok, although is a beautiful unit that will pair great in design on the naim gear.

For the price of the core you can buy a great NAS with storage included, not so stylish but serves you as well and can be hidden on any other room.

I love the concept of the core, but I can not justify it. But is a product that is simple to use, beautifully built, but also is one investment I have made that I sold it after some time.

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Ripp to Wav for even better sound.

Have you considered n Intel NUC (a la Roon ROCK) you can get an 8tb SSD in there and it’s tiny. Install Windows then a DNLA server , I would use JRiver personally because I have for years

It’s tiny , silent and can be hidden, I use Roon ROCK to serve my Uniti Atom HE . If you feel so inclined go the whole Roon route , it is truly great :sunglasses: if a little pricey. IMHO It’s cheap for what you get ….

It’s not just the video. In that same post Richard links to many threads where I and others have explained things in more detail.

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Thank you for your input, it’s very much appreciated.
Regards D.

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