Thoughts on moving into the 21st century

For the past 22 years I have had the Naim nait 3, cd 3.5 with flatcap and Castle 7 mk2 speakers.

I’m now considering purchasing Naim unti star and ripping my several hundred cds to a ssd.

Would this be a worthy upgrade?

Standard advice in the parts is to try it and see. If you can get a dealer to lend you a UnitiStar, rip a couple of tracks and see how they sound to you. Pros and Cons of CD vs. Rips is far too controversial a topic for you to get a consistent answer from us, so much better to use your own ears.

It’s possible that you might really like the convenience of streaming, especially from third parties like Spotify et al.

Nice classic late-90s system, by the way. Can you post a picture on the System Pics thread before you change anything?


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Having moved to a XS3 from a Nait 3, and recently added a 2nd hand Chord Hugo (to which you could stream from a NAS, or a streaming service via your phone) - a significant increase in SQ came from the Chord. I would at least demo something like a standalone DAC into your existing Nait, as well as listening to the proposed Uniti.

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I’d also consider trying a Naim ND5XS2 streamer. You can rip the CDs on a computer and store the rips on a Nas. The ND would be fine with your Nait 3, or you could swap to a Nait XS3. The ND5XS2 with Nait XS3 will outperform a Star and is more like ‘proper hifi’, which may or may not be an attraction.



Thank you.
This has really got me thinking now.
Local hi dealer didn’t come up with that idea.
They were very keen to demonstrate Uniti star and Nova with Uniti core.

The Core isn’t a great value in this context. Look for a gently used SN3 & NDX2.


Get a NAS. Our Synology with two 3TB SSD (so disk failure proof) was under 400 quid and does cloud backup to Google. Add Asset and problem solved perfect uPNP.

I love naim kit but fail to see why a core at four time the price with no cloud backup and single drive makes any sense at all.

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The sense it makes is that it’s plug and play and if you are ripping CDs you don’t need to worry about a PC, network addresses, NAS firmware updates and so on.

And it looks better too.


If you have 5,000 CDs to rip, then a Core can make sense. But a few hundred, probably not. As a nas will very likely be hidden away somewhere it really doesn’t matter what it looks like. A Core is really a case of fur coat and no knickers.

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naim Core list price £1999. Who cares how it looks - network gear can be hidden next to router, in a cupboard/loft, or under stairs depending on property.

Other than entering my WIFI password during setup wizard I don’t recall having to worry about networking or NAS firmware as device not exposed to internet.

1600 quid for “convenience” of ripping doesn’t stack up nowadays. No RAID. Drive or Core fails you lose your music unless you’ve taken manual steps to backup onto USB HDD. Plenty threads on forum about incorrect or missing metadata.

Freeware ripping software for MAC/Linux/PC. Freeware tagging software for MAC/Linux/PC. Drag n drop to NAS. Cloud backup built in. 400 quid + 50 quid a year for cloud storage. Drive fails, no issue plug another one in. NAS fails (same chance as Core fails?) buy another one link to cloud account no music lost.

Would love to see naim launch a Core II with cloud backup and RAID.


Only if the overall budget supports adding it to the system. Obviously we all have different priorities balancing sq vs convenience. Nova +Core feels like 95% convenience and my gut tells me anybody going out of their way t join this forum doesn’t overweight convenience to this degree.


I remember buying a 64 GB SSD for $400 and it felt like a good value.

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Your 22 years old olive boxes constitute a very musical sound system with great synergy and fun to listen to.

Even if you decide to move to the 21th Century, I would advise you to keep them since their trade in value is pretty low and you never know when you will be missing the 20th.



Is your heart set on contemporary one box ‘solution’ or would you consider a Naim streaming player with your existing amplifier?


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ND5XS2, Nait XS3 and an Innuos Zen mini to rip your cds to would take my money over a Star or perhaps consider a second hand SN2


Trade in value for “Olives” at dealers may be low, but they are holding up well on that well known auction site - just try searching for a NAC52!


Another vote here for the NAS box option. I run a Synology DS215 with Asset audio server, and Bliss metadata tagging. As I use Linux, I rip CD’s using fre:ac and tag/rename them initially with EasyTag before loading them into the NAS box.

I like having the separate components, the NAS can easily be repaired/replaced/upgraded due to the two mirrored HDD’s, and the music is available to any device on the network. There are many options for a streamer unit, the Naim ND5 mentioned above, Chord, Bluesound, Auralic, and I’m looking at the allo (RaspberryPi based system) as I need a relatively budget solution right at the moment.

Is there something particularly appealing about an all-in-one solution, or are you happy with your current SQ and find the addition of streaming the key motivator?

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Another alternative view…

Stay where you are (whatever century you think that is).

Save the time and money, enjoy what you have, and be content with a great sounding system that clearly has stood the test of time in your house.

PS Welcome to this madhouse!


Thank you for all the replies.
Lots of very useful information and new directions to look at.