NDX2 direct to NAS, vs. Uniti Core to NAS to NDX2

Looking to upgrade my current nDAC + Uniti core, with the files stored on a Synology NAS (no internal drive on my Core). Considering an NDX2 and was planning to trade in both the nDAC and Core. I had planned to use DBPoweramp to rip to the NAS and then stream to the NDX2, but my dealer is recommending I keep the Core and use it to rip CDs and serve to the NDX2. Has anyone done a comparison of files ripped and served via Core vs. DBPoweramp sourced rips served by a server app on the NAS played over an NDX2, and was there any significant difference?

Why not stick Minimserver on your NAS and compare that to the Core? You could do that with a demo streamer and judge for yourself.
I use a Synology NAS with Minimserver to back up my Unitiserve, and I can’t say the US sounds any better into my NDX.

The result is the same. The Uniti Core is wasted money (for user that are able to install a NAS) and the NAS is much more flexible with a lot of benefits. You can choose the Music Server that you prefer (e. g. Asset UPnP), the NAS ist available in your home Network, backup and so on. With dbpoweramp you can rip directly from the PC to the NAS folder; and you have control about everything and the result is 100 % correct in my experience.

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I prefer the Core to my Synology NAS this both with my old NDX and my current ND555 the Core just has the edge this via Ethernet.


Qnap NAS with ssd drives running Asset cds ripped on a blueray drive in a PC using DBPoweramp or EAC, much more versatile than the Core. I could not hear the differece when I had a Core on demo.

From a sound quality perpspective there is no need for the core. I’d go directly from NAS to NDX2. Installing one of the various UpnP servers on your NAS (Asset or another one) is really not difficult. You could spend the money saved on a good UTP cable and other things

When I sold off my UnitiServe (predecessor to the Core) and replaced it with a nas running MinimServer, I noticed no change in sound quality. I would use a computer to rip your cd’s to the nas, and use MinimServer or Asset (I prefer Asset now) to serve to the NDX2.

IMHO, an even BETTER solution is to incorporate Roon into the network. You can either get a nas that will run it (a fairly powerful processor plus enough ram; you can read the Roon community forums for advice) or a similar box - a nuc from either the Small Green Computer people or a Roon Nucleus. I still use my nas for storage, but completely favor Roon over both MinimServer and Asset.

I had a demo comparing Naim Core to Asset on a fanless QNap HS251+ and to my surprise found I preferred the latter for very slightly greater clarity, dynamism and instrumental/vocal texture.

Subsequent experiments revealed the SQ from the QNap could have been further optimised, so a slightly bigger difference would have been possible.

Roon on the QNap when optimised is very similar to Asset. However, install the Roon Core on a dedicated box with no storage and minimal config - a Nucleus+ in my own demos - improves on this very slightly.

There’s no doubt in my mid that the less you have going on in the box where your media server is running the better it will sound.

The Naim Core is quite a busy box - convenient certainly, but with that taking priority over SQ. One of the few Naim examples where that happens, though it might take an ND555 to make the difference perceptible.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? If you’re not ripping while listening, surely it’s doing much the same as any basic NAS/server, only without any non-audio software running?

Everything in the Core is powered up at all times: CD drive, processor, HDD. Of course, when you’re ripping things get noisier with the CD drive actually running and the processor doing additional work as well.

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