Uniti Core sound quality vs other sources

Would a Core/Chord Qutest combo be on a comparable level with, say, a CDX/XPS or Rega P6? I am running those sources in my living room system, which is in good balance with the rest being 32.5/hc/250 and Allaes.

I find myself buying a lot of CDs since they are so cheap these days. I love the CDX/XPS but I would like the convenience of being able to select music from my phone rather than having to change out individual discs. I am not willing to get involved with streaming, and I appreciate the sonic benefits of a system that is 100% Naim (or close to it). I have always found that a system with Naim source, Naim amps and Naim speakers does something for me.

I am particularly interested in whether the Core would help me maintain the “Naim-ness” of the sound my system creates to a greater degree than other digital solutions. If the Core can do that and is able to hold its own vs. a CDX/XPS I would be willing to go back to the nDac, whether bare or with a power supply if necessary.

I read a number of comments in the old Forum about members who liked the Core’s sound quality in 252 and 552 level systems which is promising, but I don’t recall seeing comments about how the Core sounds vs. other CD or vinyl sources.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.

Core is not really a source component, untill you add a decent DAC to it.
As a digital transport it seems to be on a very high level.
So your system will be very DAC-dependent.

I am using a Core with digital out by Chord Sarum TA to the Qutest. I listen to classical music and find the sound quality is excellent. However, I also have a Naim DAC but find myself listening almost exclusively now via the Qutest. This dac does offer different sound characteristics from the NDac - I find the Cutest better suited to classical music as the sound is, I find, more insightful and detailed.

Sorry I can’t offer a comparison with the other options you request information on.

Thanks Chris-G. May I ask what the rest of your system is just for context? I haven’t figured out this new Forum and can’t seem to find if you list your system in your profile.

Hi Snarfy, yes, like you I haven’t figured out where to detail my system. However, the rest of the chain is via Superlumina from the Qutest to Supernait 2 (with HiCap DR), then via Superlumina cable to my ancient KEF 104-2 loudspeakers. I also run a Naim CD5XS in to the Qutest. I hope this helps.

Very helpful! How do you rate the Core vs. the CD5XS, and do you find the Core has the Naim house sound?

I think you can add your system details in the biography section of your profile page, at least that’s where I put mine

Hi snarfy, I find the Core much better than the CD5XS when playing high res downloads (eg 24/96), though I appreciate this isn’t a fair comparison, and slightly better when playing ripped CDs. Either source is good, and I guess exhibit the “Naim sound”, though to be fair I think the Qutest does change the sound characteristics - it’s a more detailed and clearer sound, but perhaps better suited to classical music.

Thanks Speedtrip, I think I’ve now sorted it.

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Thank you for the feedback!

I did an A:B comparison last night. The CDX/XPS comprehensively beat the MacBook Pro into Chord Qutest. It was not even close. I was playing through itunes and connected the laptop to the Qutest with a Chord USB cable.

Can the Core perform on the same level as a CDX/XPS or CDX2/XPS DR with the right DAC?

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I believe it can.

I hope so. I seem to recall from the old forum that you had an ndac with an external power supply (or maybe you still do?) along with some other high end sources. If so, could you give me a sense for how the ndac/power supply compares with your other sources?

Good memory :slight_smile:

I used to own a CDX2.2, which I used bare, with nDAC and with 555PS. I think my favourite combination was CDX2 + 555PS. But ultimately I used it so seldom, that it went to my good friend, who enjoys it immensly.

nDAC is one of those components, that I don’t think I will ever sell. It’s far too good for that.
I generally use it in the following combination: NDX + nDAC + 555PS (non-DR). To my ears it’s comparable to my NDS + 555PSDR. I use them in my two main systems.

Fed by a good digital transport (I tried UnitiServe, ND5XS, CDX2.2, NDX), nDAC is capable of trully exceptionall performance.


Very helpful. I know what you mean about the ndac. I used to have one and I regret selling it. Sounds like Core/ndac/XPS can probably get me to the promised land, with all the usual caveats. The thing to do is probably get a Core and run it through the Qutest for a bit just to hear with my own ears that it’s a big uplift over the laptop, then add an ndac, and then add a power supply.

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