I’m at the point where streaming seems like a good move vs just using my old school 2-channel integrated, CDP and t-t. I’m willing to spend about $5k and am considering a Star with my current 85 dB, 4 ohm Dynaudio Focus, or an Atom and using the ~$1800 savings over the Star and pick up some more efficient loudspeakers. So, my questions: Is there much of a sonic difference between the Atom and Star when paired with appropriate speakers, e.g., the difference between a Nait and XS? Thanks in advance. Happy New Year.
How good is the old school integrated firstly? There’s the option of a steamer played through that…
Absolutely not. I just recently bought Atom, and obviously I cannot be fully objective, but after some demo with both units, the sound quality difference only started to kick in at really loud volumes, which I would doubt you will ever need. So, I would recommend you to spend the extra savings for better speakers.
Hi Mike and happy new year to you too.
I auditioned the Uniti Atom at my dealer. I’d gone in to purchase the atom as my first dabbling with hifi since the 80s. Foolishly I checked out the Uniti Star at the same. The Unity Star gave a wider sound stage and more dynamic presentation on various music types and at various volumes. I came out without either as the difference in sound quality was blatantly obvious but so was the price.
I would highly recommend the Uniti Star over the Uniti Atom purely over sound quality but with the added bonus of the CD player/ripper it was to me an easy decision to make if slightly delayed.
Other will be able to offer their opinions as to your speakers, I ran mine through PMC Twenty23s at the time to good effect.
As always if you can audition yourself first.
Good luck on your journey.
More reading ! https://www.whathifi.com/pmc/twenty-23/review
I would highly suggest to demo both systems - the Atom and the Star - at your home with you speakers and if not possible to demo them in direct comparison at a dealer.
As you can see the impressions about the differences in sound quality differ here.
For me the sound difference between Atom and Star were not worth the price difference (when you are not hugely interested in the benefits of the CD-Player/Ripper). When I demoed both pieces the sound difference was less than I expected.
However I found the sound difference between Star and Nova much bigger than difference between Atom and Star. So when you are looking for a more powerful system than the Atom I would consider the Nova as well. It seems not impossible getting a Nova for your budget.
I ended up with an Atom because at the end the Nova was out of my budget and the Star was not a huge improvement over the Atom to me. I guess this depends hugely on the speakers and the room - and maybe the personal expectations, too.
But as I mentioned before: Try to demo all relevant products at home with your speakers or at least under same conditions in direct comparison to get an impression about the differences.
Maybe even the Atom is capable to bring your existing speakers more to live or maybe the extra power of the Star is just the little bit your speakers need. Very hard to tell. So first trying then buying is my recommendation …
Speakers were PMC Twenty5.23 !
@colormind said “found the sound difference between Star and Nova much bigger than difference between Atom and Star. “
In fact , depending on the room, Atom ( maybe) is all you ever need.
…and depending on the folks you live with. The Atom is still the cutest one in the series. But even if it’s not the most practical advise at this moment in time with a lot of shops closed depending where you live, you should indeed audition them. I did for Atom and Nova -with Evokes- , and found the Atom more than sufficient for my needs (small room, lowish listening levels). (then the dealer -just running out of Atom stock- offered me a young second hand Star, for a price I could not refuse, and cleverly recalling me telling him I was only halfway ripping my CD’s during lockdown)
I auditioned all three and for me the Star was the sweet spot in the range with the CD player as a bonus. The difference with the Nova was small, not worth the difference in cost, the difference with the Atom was significant.
That said, I was auditioning with decent size floorstanders, so the low powered Atom might simply have been out of it’s depth with those.
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