Replace Cd 5si with Uniti Core

Hello all,

I am seeking your experience and advice on my system. I’ve been tweaking with it lately and think I MAY have one more step to go, but am not very sure.

Current system: SN3, ND5 xS2 and CD 5si CD player. I also have a Clearaudio turntable into a Rega Aria into the SN3.

I listen to all 3 sources equally (ND 5 xs2 streaming Tidal Hifi; spinning vinyl and spinning CD’s). I enjoy all three, BUT there is something at the back of my mind wondering if trading the CD 5si for a Uniti Core (ripping my 400 CD’s to FLAC) would be the right move.

I apologize in advance as I am sure this question has been asked countless times by countless others who were/are in the same spot deciding whether to ditch CD’s for streaming.

What are your experiences in ditching the CD player? Do you miss it? Is the sound quality you get from streaming FLAC from the Core the same as playing directly on the Cd 5 si?

Thanks for all your advice.

Agree its time to rip the CD’s but would not be looking at the Core, its OK but other rip/servers are better & cheaper.
However I would look seriously at a NAS & rip on computer with dBpoweramp software. I ripped something like 400 CD’s when I first started streaming, it didn’t take that long, a weekend & a few other hours
Once the collection is ripped, considering my music buying habits where most of my new music are downloads, the occasional new CD would make the rational for a ripper very questionable.


Thanks for your advice Mike. My concern with the NAS option (and I am giving away my age here) is faffing about with a computer/ripper/software etc. I may be overthinking this, and it may be a lot simpler than I think, but it’s a completely unknown world to me.

OK, I understand, if you’re not used to 'pooters it can appear a bit daunting, its up to you & I’m not about to try to convince you.
As for age, I’m fully fossilized & can tell you age is no barrier.

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What NAS do you recommend? I would rather something that is quiet.

Hi Stag, I made the leap to ripped and streamed CDs about 5 years ago now, and two years ago I got the ND5 XS2, now on an NDX2. Never looked back and I love it. You don’t have to have a NAS, probably best in terms of purity of signal, but you could have a really good multimedia pc/Mac (I used to use a Mac for this) and then link the Mac by USB to your network player. Also there are some really good ways of ripping to a hard drive without using iTunes. But whichever way you do it, you need a back up. Seriously, I haven’t looked back. I still buy all my music on CD and then rip it. I love looking at my CD collection in the corner of the room! :slight_smile: Neil

I use a Synology DS214. I’m not sure about noise, the spec says 19.9dB but nothing about the distance so I can only guess it might be 1m. However it is quiet & as it lives in a small cabinet & I have set it on squidgy sorbothane feet its effectively silent.

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I bought a Core when they came out to do just that. Initially I bought a Rega DAC (after comparing it to a Chord) to play the rips while I waited for the current crop of streamers to come out. I’ve not tried the alternatives but it’s improved several times since with firmware upgrades since then, probably worth an audition against the likes of innuos and Melco.

Nas? Synology 218+ here. Fully recommended. Bought off amazon and fitted my old drives.
Mine lives on the network ( clearly) in another room. Noise not an issue anyway.
Rip cds via iTunes to ALAC, then fire them to the NAS. Easy.
And if you do want to use it as a Roon core, it is more than capable of doing that as well.

The benefit of a ripper like the Core is once it is ripped you never have to try and squint at the hinge end of cd cases trying to find the one you are looking for. I have a Core, though i think Naim could and should do a better job in developing this platform, though this is unlikely. If i were to buy again i would look at Innuous or Melco.

I kicked the whole core/innuos ripper in a box thing around at the start of the year. Pros and cons for both systems.
I did like the the inputs zen mini 3. But there was ( at the time) no proper inputs app. You used a 3rd party one and treated it as a logitech media server ( lms).
As I had a nas, pc and iTunes already, I saved my money and went the NAS route.

Thanks everybody for your input. I’ve heard that comment before, that Naim could have done better with the Core, or that it could be more polished. What exactly is it about the Core that could be better? Sound? User interface?

Acording to a friend who moved from U.Serve to Core & now he’s gone to a Synology; the sound is good & just like any other server (opinions vary on that)
The problem he found, especially after seeing what I can do with a laptop & NAS, is its too inflexible.

As a transport into a DAC it is really excellent. Use a proper good quality BNC-BNC digital coaxial cable into something like the Naim DAC and you’ll be very impressed by its performance. This is how I use my Core in the main system.


Earlier this year I put my CD5si to bed and replaced it with a ND5 XS2. I ripped all my CDs on to a QNAP NAS. Do I miss the CD player? Not a bit. The streamer plays CD rips at least as well as the CD5si did and I love the convenience of having them all available from an app on my phone as well as decluttering the living room. I still play LPs on my Syncro as much as I listen to the streamer but I figured I only needed one digital source rather than two.


Thanks Richard. So I would connect the Core to my Nd5 XS2 with the BNC cables?

If you’re using a network player then probably best via network cable.

Richard uses a dac. You have a streamer/ dac. In your case the best is Nd5xs2 and Core connected to the Ethernet switch.
Someone above said that the Innuos uses non proprietary app.
But in the UPNP mode, Nd5xs2 connected in Ethernet to a switch and Innuos the same, you still use the Naim app.
So Innuos is a good alternative to the Uniticore, even cheaper if you take the Innuos zen mini.

Well I guess I’m the person you are looking for

Because I went from a Cd5si to a UnitiCore

I tried ripping to a computer as an interim, and found it a total pain to edit meta data etc

I then bought a Nas , and found that a complete pain to set up and keep connected to the system

The core is so easy to use, meta data mostly doesn’t need touching, but is so simple to edit, change the album cover etc if needed.

How does it sound compared to the 5si ?

Well I’d say it was similar…not vastly better …which you might hope for double the price…but lovely all the same (feeding my NDS / 555ps)
The android app is a waste of time…I bought a cheap used iPad as a remote / interface and that was money well spent .

Good luck with your final choice…but don’t be put off by the " critic’s" as most have not owned or tried a core and just chant the buy a Nas mantra
If you are technophobe and just want a plug and work solution (as naim intended it) you will be more than happy


Just to say, without wasting everyone’s time explaining why, I think the UnitiCore is a nice way to not have to worry about computers etc if your main need is for something to rip CDs and serve the music to you.

As I often say, even though I know all the ins and outs of Core vs NAS, if someone stole my Core in the night, I would order a new one even before I rang the insurance company.