Uniti Core vs. Synology NAS

Hi all,
I’ve used my Synology DS213j to stream my ripped CDs and HiRes FLAC files to originally my ND5-XS streamer and now an NDX2 for almost seven years without any problems.
I am considering buying a Uniti Core but unable to demo at the moment due to current restrictions.
Does anyone have any experience of both units and, if so, how they compare?
I use the Synology for playing files wirelessly to my Naim streamer and also occasionally to a Sonos system. I do store a bit of non-musical data there as well, but that’s not so important, as there are other methods for that.
I have around 2000 ripped CDs on my Synology, which I wouldn’t be looking to rip again; just copy directly to the Uniti Core.
Could anyone help with this please?

If the Synology has worked well for the last seven years, why change?

If you’ve already ripped your CD collection, what’s the attraction of a Core.
Apart from ripping CD’s, as a media server it’s a bit limited compared to what can be done with a NAS.

Not sure if my Synology is a DS212 or DS213 as I haven’t used it for some time.

As I struggle with computers I find the Core much easier to use plus it sits on the equipment rack and is silent in use. (Apart from when ripping)

It’s all down to personal choice. I notice that you stream wirelessly a Core needs a wired connection.

Because it’s tempting fate to expect it to run forever. It’s already the longest any drive I’ve owned has lasted.

So you prefer a NAS over a Uniti Core?

Thanks. It could have a wired connection and there’s space on the rack.

Can a Core plug directly into the streamer? On my NDX2 I could then switch it to server mode if I needed the Sonos to be able to access it.

As long as you keep a backup of your NAS you will be ok if it ever fails. Save your money on the Core and buy a second Nas for backups. Remember to put backup Nas in a different place to original Nas. I have used a Unitiserve to rip all my cds and they are backed up to a Nas. I recently installed Asset on the Nas and now mainly use Asset to play the rips rather than the Unitiserve.

True :slightly_smiling_face:

I guess then I’m in a similar position. My NAS must be ~10 years old, and is now getting a bit more of a hammering as the storage location for Roon.

Everything on the NAS also exists elsewhere, in most cases twice, so despite the occasional nagging thought that I should replace it, I haven’t. Any new box might fail in the first few months…

That said, the solution I keep looking at is a NAS two drive RAID mirror.

In your position, I don’t think a Core gives you any advantage, and may bring problems down the road.

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Absolutely 100% yes.
I started off using a NAS, it was simple & apart from the grind of loading my CD collection via a desktop DVD drive using dBpoweramp, it was easy. Once I got into the motion routine it was not much different to feeding a U.Serve with CD’s
I have to own up to never owning either a U.Serve or Core, but have helped friends with U.Serve & that was enough to show me how limited it is.

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I think it’s covered in that the Synology copies it’s first drive to it’s second (RAID). Also, whenever I add files to the Synology I make another copy on an external drive.
I’ve never tried Asset. I use MinimServer which works well for me.

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That’s the important one…

Thanks. That’s the sort of stuff I’m trying to weigh up. I’m not after spending loads of dosh for no tangible improvement!

You can connect the Core to the NDX2 via a digital cable but if it is on the network your other devices should see it.

I think you will find that the server mode on the NDX2 is if you plug a USB stick into the front USB socket it can be seen via the network no doubt somebody will correct me if I am wrong.

I have to confess to being nervous about the RAID mirror. If the NAS goes down your data is hopefully intact but unusable until you get a replacement NAS. Also, any malicious files that get onto one drive can be copied onto the other. So it really has to be an external drive to be safe.

Yes, I’ve tried plugging my backup HDD drive into the USB socket on the NDX2 and it can be seen (although it takes an age to index each time). That’s why I thought it might also work with a Uniti Core.

I’m about to get a used Core less than a year old and with Samsung SSD thrown in for 50% of new cost.

The guy selling seems to have moved away from Naim having sold a SN3, Ndx2 and now this in the last few months.

Not a techie kind of guy so this makes sense for me.

Very much a marmite kind of product on here. Pity Naim don’t fix some of the software issues that causes some frustration here and recognised by Steven Sells, and maybe they might sell a few more?

I’ve had a Core since they were released, replacing a UnitiServe that I had previously. I’ve also got a NAS, and am a bit of a geek. Personally, I find that the Core is good from a sound quality perspective, and it certainly makes the process of ripping and storing music easy. That said, it’s got some quirks.

  1. If it doesn’t find album metadata, you can manually edit the file. But it currently doesn’t update the file structure. So you can rename a track, but the file on the Core will stay as a randomised file name (this wasn’t the behaviour with the UnitiServe)
  2. It’s not fantastic at metadata for classical/orchestral music. If that’s an important thing for you, solutions like Roon might be better.
  3. If you’ve got the Core in your listening room, think carefully about the drive you run in it. I’ve found that standard NAS drives can be noisy, and you can hear them spinning. I ended up pulling out the local drive and using the Core with a NAS for storage. Or you could use an SSD drive, which would have no noise.
  4. Remember that the Core doesn’t have multiple drives, so you’ll want to back up your music. Either from the Core to a NAS, or to a USB drive. And store the backup somewhere that won’t get damaged or lost at the same time that your Core would be.

I looked at the Core last year, intending to buy. When I realised it only had a single drive and no cloud backup capability I walked away.

Now running Synology DS220 with two HDD in RAID and a nightly incremental backup to Google cloud storage. Asset uPNP.

Fraction of the cost of a Core, redundant drives and secure offsite backup built in. A no brainer.

I rip CDs on laptop using DBPowerAmp, edit tags via mp3tag. Super easy.

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Thanks. That’s helpful. The metadata would probably drive me crazy! I do rip a fair bit of classical.