Uniti Core direct via S/PDIF Cable

If the Uniti Core is used as a direct music source hardwired from its digital output into an amps digital input via S/PDIF cable…does it still have to be connected directly to a router as it does when used as a UPnP Server? Lets assume the amp to be a Supernait 3.

You will not be able to control it unless it’s connected to your network. You need it to connect to the Naim app for that. You also need that connection in order to add music to it, and for software updates.
By the way, the SN3 has no digital input like the SN1, so you would need a DAC.

Thank you Chris. To put my query into context, after 12 months I am ending my streaming experiment and will be trading my Uniti Nova / Core and reverting to amp (probably Supernait 3 hence the reference), CD5si or Cyrus CDi, and Rega P3. As I’ve ripped 2,000+ CDs to the Core I did think I may retain it in lieu of the CD, I probably wont.

I ran my Uniti Core direct into my DAC/pre with a good quality TelluriumQ Waveform Black BNC Digital interconnect and a Naim Powerline, for serious listening instead of streaming via my ND5XS2 (which I use happily for other sources, and for it’s multiroom features).

The sound quality playing from the Core direct into the Chord DACs I have was very good, with all CD’s being ripped to FLAC on the Core, as well as some HiRes downloads.

I suggest you try dropping the Nova out of your system, and obtain a good DAC (Naim or other m/f) on demo instead to trial the Core in this mode. You will need a network connection for control and for music database lookup when ripping CD’s.

PS. I replaced the Core with a Melco costing 2.5 times as much retail price - I got a very good deal…

It seems a shame to go to all the trouble of ripping those CDs then stop using them. In your position, I would be tempted to use it into a separate DAC. Another alternative is that you could get a separate streamer and amp. Say you had an ND5XS2 and a Supernait - you should find that a nice upgrade over the Nova, and you could just put the CD rips on a USB stick if you wanted to lose the Core.
Of course, if you just prefer to play CDs, just get a CD player!

Don’t let the disaster that is so-called UPnP put you off using computer-stored music. We run SPDIF direct from a Mac Mini into the DAC on our SN1. It works great. The occassional network issues we have with the control app are way less than the hassle of handling physical CDs. We could never go back.

You can pick up a Hugo 1 for peanuts these days, before making any moves with the Core, why not try one? Bring your Core and a Hugo 1 with you to a Naim dealer, plug it into the SN3 and enjoy, no messing around with CD’s. I use a Core with an NDS, both UPNP, and use the digital out of my NDS into a Chord TT2,which directly drives my speakers, no other amp needed.

Curious why you are changing from streaming. Is it because you have been unhappy with the Nova performance? If so there are other more performant Naim streaming options for a price.

As you have no doubt found UPnP is straightforward and transparent for the vast majority with suitable home networks, and Naim’s implementation is rather good.

You can feed a digital source via SPDIF into a DAC, but it puts an onus on the quality of the SPDIF transport source (Uniti Core) and DAC to sound its best.

You will still need to control your Uniti Core and that is going to be most likely via your home network.
You may well find a network UPnP solution provides better results more cost effectively

Hi DSWhite -

If network performance problems have caused you to plan this change back to CD from streaming, you could try one last simplification before trading in your gear and moving on. It is possible to buy a (relatively inexpensive) standalone home router such as Asus, LinkSys, Netgear, etc., and use it to create a small, music only, home network by connecting both your Nova and your Core with short Ethernet cables and giving the wifi access point a name such as Music. Don’t connect anything else, including your existing home network or the internet. You will only be able to stream your ripped CDs from the core, but with a really simple network - wired to Core and Nova, wifi to iPhone for control - you can see if networking frustrations are eliminated and if you like the new way of listening to your ripped CDs. If not, move along. If so, turn your attention back to the main home network, which may work really well for “everything else” but have problems with streaming music on your Naim system. The frustration of dealing with things that “almost work” is huge, so a fresh and simple start with a name brand router under your own control could be worth the time… and if you buy it from a place that accepts returns, then you don’t even have to be out of pocket if it doesn’t work out for you.

I hope you have a happier experience no matter which way you move forward!

Regards alan

Thank you gentlemen for your knowledgeable advice, I have though, today, agreed a cash neutral exchange for the 12 month old Uniti Nova / Uniti Core / Rega Planar P1+ for new SuperNait 3 / CD5si / Rega Planar P3. I have had 12 months of constant frustration associated with either hardware, network or Naim app, sometimes all and have no confidence in the equipment working consistently 100% of the time. Listening to music should be a joy, a way to relax, too often in the past 12 months it has been a source of stress and frustration, I’m back to CDs and vinyl.


So long as you are happy!

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