Original Naim Uniti (Series) 1 CD Sound Quality

Hello All

I have just acquired a second hand Uniti (with the 192 streamer upgrade). I love this box, my third Naim purchase to date and second Uniti box (my other is the Atom which I still own).

I only have one issue with it is regards the CD sound quality. Compared with the same album on Tidal the CD tends to sound a little thick, not as open as the same music played via tidal. I am wondering if this is just how CDs sound on this unit or whether it is indicative that the Uniti needs a service. It doesn’t sound logical to me that the CD should sound worse as both the CD and streamed version ultimately end up using the same DAC.

All other aspects on the Uniti are fine. The only thing I note is that the Naim logo is not very bright and the light doesn’t stay on very long after power down. My Nait 5i stayed on much longer so am wondering if a recap is in order?

Any other original Uniti users out there who can comment on this please?


One problem is Tidal may not be using the same master, so you’re not necessarily comparing like with like. Is the difference present on all albums or just some of them?

Do you have a CD player that you can use as transport into digital input on your Uniti? If so, how does it compare with the internal player?


Logo brightness is a known variable with all these legacy units. It’s not something to worry about. Also there will be a much heavier load on the supply capacitors in a Uniti 1 than in a Nait 5i because of all the digital electronics, so I would expect the logo to go out more quickly after turning the power off.

There isn’t a known issue with sound quality of Uniti CD players at all, so I think that Roger is probably right and it’s a version difference between your CD and Tidal’s version.

I had the same Uniti with the streamer upgrade and it’s an excellent all in one and great value nowadays I also found that on the whole Tidal sounded better than CD’s.

Though having said that the CD player is no slouch in its own right and with the right CD can match the streamer.

Hi All

Thanks for the replies

Re the logo brightness, yes your right the Uniti electronics will be completely different compared to that the Nait. There will be more than one power supply circuit for sure and depending on the capacitor size/current draw which the lamp circuit it is connected to it may well be within spec. I know with other (earlier) Naims over time the Led voltage drop resistor can fail with time so was wondering if this was indication of heavy usage as I don’t know its past history regards to usage.

Re the SQ both myself and the previous owner have noted this. It was the first thing he said when I was checking out the CD player for skipping etc (it works fine in that regard). Yes I know some of the tidal rips can vary from CDs but I would say this is pretty much across the board. Don’t get me wrong the sound quality isn’t bad or unlistenable just a little thick and veiled compared with the tidal equivalent.

I do intend to take the hood off and have look at the condition of all the smoothing caps and gauge whether I think this needs a service (my guess is probably not). And yes I know these are complex beasts but I do have an audio technicians background (I was trained at the BBC, worked in in broadcasting house way back in the day) so I am comfortable doing this. The only thing I need to find out is whether all six hex bolts need removing to achieve this. But more appropriate to post another thread for that question I think.

But thanks again for all the feedback. Just wondering what other Uniti thought especially re the CD quality


Sorry I forgot to say I don’t have another CD player to compare unfortunately


My Uniti is languishing in the loft, awaiting CD drive repair, and I was quite happy with the sound of CD replay, as I’m not an audiophile, just enjoy the experience of music.
However, the Uniti Star which replaced it does sound considerably better, but at twice the cost, it ought to. It’s more open and detailed.
Annoyingly, the Uniti had recently had a full service at Naim, with display unit replacement, and it would have continued as my main music source for another ten years or so.

I have a first generation Uniti with the upgraded streaming board. I use Tidal, hi-fi quality. I can’t hear much difference between that and the built in CD player.

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