NDX+UnitiServe vs HDX

Hi Everybody
I actually have a NDX streamer with a Supernait 2, I want to buy a unit for CD ripping and storage.
I would like to ask your opinion to help me in this decision, is it better to take a unitiServe to connect to the NDX or to take the HDX and use it in parallel with the NDX ? Since I will take it as second hand the price is not so much different, then the decision will be taken considering sound quality and functionality.
What is you opinion , what I should prefer and why ?
thanks .

Hi, the function of the two units is the same if you use it with a streamer like the NDX. The HDX has a DAC, which makes it possible to use it straight into your amplifier with no streamer if you prefer. It also has a colour screen, but both units can be controlled from a Mac or PC and from an iPhone.
If you don’t need the DAC, I would just get the Unitiserve.
(No doubt someone will come along soon and tell you something else will sound better or cost less, such as a Synology NAS or a Melco, but for a few years I have been happy with my Unitiserve.)


I would buy neither as they are both superseded and scantily supported. They are tricky to back up and a lot of the knowledge has left Naim. How do you rip and store your music at the moment?

An Innuos is the obvious option here surely?

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Innuos zen mini . 1k. Don’t buy unitserve or hdx, as HH pointed. Or eventually uniticore second hand.

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Vortex boxes or similar for simple rip and store. Wouldn’t touch a hdx at this stage

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You get a Unitiserve for around 400-450€ second hand in fully working condition. That‘s far below the asking prices at ebay and for this little money it is still a good looking Computer. And as long as you use the Naim App, you don’t recognize how old it is.

HDX is really retro looking at its touch screen and its menu. Harddisks are in RAID 1, that’s a +++.

… in both I would exchange the Harddisks with SSDs. But it‘s not allowed to talk about mods here.

Whilst I’m not sure I would buy an HDX nowadays I have to disagree with it looking retro. It stands up rather well compared to the new range of streamers



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On balance I prefer the look of the HDX, albeit that I’m not bothered about having a screen at all. It also needs to be said that the quality and feel of the buttons on recent products such as the NDX2 falls short of those on the classic range.

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As you say, we are not allowed to discuss modifications here, but perhaps Richard will let me say that swapping the HDDs for SSDs is totally non-trivial, not least because the disc holds the operating system for the product and Naim will not under any circumstances supply you with the disc image. Even replacing a faulty HDD with an identical new HDD necessitates a repair at the factory in Salisbury.



Perhaps you are talking about the original version of the HDX, which had twin 400GB drives. This would be old, and Naim could service it and replace the drives with a single 2TB one, to bring it to the latest spec. As David says above, it is not easy to do this as a DIY job, and in any case, you would surely want a backup to be on a separate device.

thanks Chris for your consideration, did you then change the uniti serve ? with what ?
I will not consider the Synology or Melco solution, for two reason, first I want an all in one solution for ripping and storage and second I like Naim not only for music quality but also for the style, I don’t like to mix with other design :wink:

Hi, at the moment I don’t rip and store, that’s why I’m looking for the better solution for me to do it.
I’m agree both the two solution are discontinued but I can’t think that Naim will not support this solution in the future, they were sexy and very expensive piece of hi-fi till a couple of years ago, especially in the case of the HDX if I was a customer that bought it new in 2018 at 7000€ and in 2020 it will be no more supported I would be very upset.

Good advice, I didn’t know these ones but as said, I would like to stay within Naim products.
Anyway, I will take in considration, do you have one of that ? did you have the possibility to compare with Naim solutions ?

It’s worth mentioning that if you can source an HDX for a reasonable price, and there’s plenty of them about, then Naim will restore it to as good as new, for the very reasonable figure of circa £350.00

Mine went back to Salisbury, and that figure included a new 2Tb hard drive, a new CD mechanism, new Naim logo, the replacement of several internal cables and capacitors, and the firmware re-installed from scratch.

Moreover, it still remains the simplest and most straightforward way of ripping and storing one’s CDs.


I still have my Unitiserve, now 7 years old. If you but one, you really need to run a NAS to use for backup. If you but one, it can be serviced by Naim, although it is discontinued, it is not unsupported.
I would say that it has some limitations in terms of how it handles metadata, and the user interface, but for me, it does everything I need it to do, so I do not see that as a problem.

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thanks frenchrooster, I ask you the same questions asked to mikehughescq.
I will take in considration, do you have one of that ? did you have the possibility to compare with Naim solutions ?
In addition, is the separate power unit necessary to have good quality sound or not ?

Remember that any NAS, including Unitiserve, Innuos, as well as Synology, QNAP etc. does not need to be near your HiFi, it just needs a network connection, and can be located anywhere in your home. So an ugly box that does not match can be hidden away.

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do you have some specific models you know and you reccomend ?

I think it is still sexy the HDX . :wink: