U-Serve - time to move on?

Hold your horses HH, I do appreciate your advice and as for wasting your time I think that’s a bit rich. I’m sorry you feel like that but I’m a bit surprised your going to throw your toys out of the sandpit just because I’ve decided to take a different approach. I thought you gave me advice not an order.

I don’t mind what you do, it’s none of my business. I was referring to my clear explanation that flac contains the same data as WAV. Yet a day later you repeat your belief that that flac has less data than WAV. They are both the same. When someone kindly explains things to me I will say ‘ah, thanks’ and possibly Google it to check. I don’t simply repeat what I thought in the first place as if they’d not bothered to help me.

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I think I’d said thank you several times in one form or another. My decision not to convert my files is more about me being cautious than anything else and nothing to do with your advice.

The functionality thing of the Core relates precisely to the experience of listening to music. It’s the metadata that enables me to manage and explore my music collection. The metadata capabilities of the Core are extremely limited and would not enable me to organise things as they are currently organised.

I agree wholeheartedly that fiddling can assume far too high a priority in the music listening experience and I’m certainly one who likes to keep things simple.

I don’t think converting file formats is fiddling, rather it’s just common sense to protect against future failure.

Sometimes we over complicate hi-fi. If you like a U-serve and want to update it, the Core is a great option and keeps your digital domain in the Naim heritage. There are other good options too. I like it simple, so I have a Naim server and streamer.

A server is a server. Provided its treated for its intended purpose and put away from your hifi, is sufficiently specced, then it will do exactly that for which it was designed. It won’t ‘sound’ like anything.

Not agree on that Gary. I went from Unitserve to Unitserve/ linear ps to Melco n1h to Melco n1z. I can confirm that they all sounded differently and from worse to better.

Thats great for you, I have never heard a difference from changing a server. There we are, two sides of the same coin.

At the very least the first consideration when choosing a server is its capabilities and facilities. If one chooses to believe it ‘sounds’ better then thats just a bonus.

I am willing to bet the servers that ‘sound’ the best are also the most expensive, such as buffalo/melco. Never the cheaper options eh?

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Its rather weird that some people will accept that Naim’s expertise in music replay is valid for dacs, amps, streamers, power cords, speaker cables, but its ripping servers???

The servers have been given the same attention to music replay as its other products, that is not in question, and their view on ripping/serving is well documented.

It’s therefore reasonable to accept the UServe or Core as the baseline for excellent sounding rips, its down to the individual to discover otherwise in their system.


I’ve no doubt they spent some time on it, but ultimately it would appear the new servers have less functionality than the old, and the fact is a server should serve, its not a replay device. Somewhat confused by the fact they did have output options, I do acknowledge.

Hence my point that a server should be used for its intended purpose. I had an NS02 for years, it didn’t ‘sound’ like anything when it was serving. That was down to the receiving kit, and even just a small about of thought around this, should make that the logical conclusion.

I give buffalo their dues, they realised how weird the audiophile community are and have cashed in on that lol.

I personally have no ripper anymore. I had already ripped my cds and don’t buy more. I buy only albums on Qobuz or Bandcamp principally.
If I had to buy a server with ripper, I would compare first an Innuos Zen vs Uniticore and choosed the best sounding device from both. But maybe there are no differences too… Similar cost.

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I think we are in danger of losing the plot here. Rip or stream is the first decision.
If rip then you need
A device to rip
A device to store
A device to stream from
A device to take the streamed info and play it (this may be many devices)

Each can be supplied by a PC or a dedicated hifi device.

If you prefer the sound of one over another (and can actually hear the difference) or if you prefer the look of one device over another then it’s just a choice.

For me having tried a Unitiserve I will stick with rip on the pc and store on a nas.
Stream from nas to a Bluenode and play from there via Qutest into Naim gear. This gives me an excellent sound quality and has functions that I want.

If you prefer the Naim rip/store/dac/play end to end then fair enough.


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Just to recap on where I am on this.

The initial query was regarding whether I should repair the UServe now or move onto another option or both.

At this point, the UServe is repaired with a new PSU and CD mech. I do not think that I will gain very much economically by selling it on and I am not prepared to buy something that costs 2500 pounds at this time when the UServe is still doing a sterling job.

The next stage then, is to consider a future without a Naim server which will include either encoding the Naim WAV’s as Flac now on the UServe or wait for a point in the future when the UServe hard drive dies and where I can use Song Kong, for example, to resolve the non-functioning metadata of a Naim Wav file. The downside to this, which many have very rightly pointed out, is that it can be tedious.

Either way, I think we have established that one does not necessarily need to buy into ‘anxiety’ if one buys a Naim server.

In short, I am less anxious about the Wav/Flac thing now than I was when I started the thread thanks to all you lovely people that have participated.


Yes I think it is a genuine concern that IF something goes awry with the US then you need backup. The US can provide this in either wav or flac format as detailed many times above.

I would make sure you have a back up of your music somewhere. If it’s in wav format it can easily be re tagged using Gari’s instructions.

I have a Wav backup on a Nas.

Did Gary post his instructions yet, as I have not seen this post?

He did.

Embedding Tags in naim WAV rips

and it works exceeding well.

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Just bear in mind that if you make changes to the metadata in the Unitiserve Music folder using a third party app you will break the database and probably cause problems further down the line. You could take a copy and do the conversion on that, but of course you will not then have FLAC copies of any new additions to your library.
If you just use the Unitiserve and it’s automatic backup as intended none of this stuff needs to concern you.

A good point.

Make a second copy of the wav backup and retag that if you want to retag anything.

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