uniti new owner-questions

I inherited what I think is one of the original model NaimUniti. It has the old, wide style (Apple pre-Lightning) connector on the rear panel which doesn’t even appear in the rear panel picture of the latest version of the manual. According to the previous owner’s widow, it has been upgraded at some point in the past. Here are the issues / questions I have.

I have connected it to the mains power but made no other connections. It powers up (the logo backlighting is on) but I cannot see anything on the display. When I touch and hold the List button, the backlighting on the buttons changes to different navigation. This seems a bit silly, but do I have to make other connections in order to see the Display?

I do not have the remote control although it may be discovered in the previous owner’s estate at some point. Does anyone know if either of the Apple Store apps (“Naim” or “n-Serve”) are as functional as the physical remote? Is a replacement remote control available?

I intend to use Ethernet to connect to my network but I’m also wondering if the Wi-fi antenna is available as a replacement part.

If anyone has any ideas about next steps for me I appreciate your input in advance. It appears that Naim Support wants me to try the forums before submitting a request to them. BTW-no active Naim dealers within 100 miles.

Hi, the display on older Unitis can fail, so perhaps that is your problem. It can be replaced by Naim service dept if that is the case.

The Naim app (not N-Serve) is what you need to control it. There are a few functions that reqiure the remote control so you should try to find this too, but the app is what you want for day to day use.

Ethernet is best, these old Unitis have poor WiFi performance so you won’t need the antenna.

It sounds as though the OLED display may have failed. They can fade over time and use (worth setting the display to go “off” after a few seconds, only coming on for when you operate any functions or change any settings) and eventually cannot be seen at all. I believe that Naim can still replace these, but at some cost.

The Naim app should work Ok with your unit, but without a visible screen to alter settings, you may have some issues.

The remote control may well be available to buy new from Naim - check with a Naim dealer here - some sell such parts online if you’re situated a long way away. Otherwise, probably worth keeping an eye out for a secondhand one. Ditto for the Wifi Antenna, although wired ethernet is usually best here.

Without a display or remote, you won’t be able to connect to your Wi-Fi as you have no way of typing the password. The display fix was around £150 at one point, but it is well worth getting a full service which will cost around 400. Does the CD player still work?

Re wifi antenna - any will do. I replaced mine with a larger one which was very cheap. Having said that, ethernet connection is way better if you manage it - wifi on the early Unitis was very poor and used outdated protocols.

Hello, James. I have one of these devices, and bought a large wifi aerial with it, in addition to the supplied (4" long) one, just in case, but it’ll be fine on ethernet. Mine worked fine on wifi. Did you have speakers connected when switching it on? Do you have an FM aerial connection?
You’ll really need a remote control for it, for ease of operation. You may be able to find one on auction sites, if the original one is still missing (it’s quite long)
My display failed, and was replaced by Naim, during a service. Perhaps a chat with a Naim dealer who can give you an idea of the current service charges, which aren’t cheap; but the do a thorough high quality repair.
One of the problems with Naim is that Naim will only accept items from a Naim dealer, but there are places like Class A Audio at Sheffield, who can work on them?
With a suitable cable, it will play Apple lossless from an iPod.
It’s quite a flexible device, being able to connect several inputs, analogue and digital.
Good Luck, I hope you can get it working.

All - thank you for the quick replies and great information. I have more to report today but still have some unanswered questions that may be relevant to Naim Support.

First, after reading the first two replies (thanks Richard and ChrisSU) I confirmed that the OLED display is in fact functional, but it is so dim as to be unusable. I connected the Uniti to my network via Ethernet and was eventually able to determine which device it is and its IP Address. Curious that the device name - “Uniti03DA2” - is NOT how it is identified on the network so it was a bit of a hunt to find it. (Lots of devices on my network!) So I can now browse to its web page and see the firmware version and date as well as some unimportant profile info. But…, now I can connect the Naim iPhone app and at least see most of the settings. BTW, the firmware version is 2.0.50.12915 from 2013 so I’m hoping there are some updates I can still take advantage of.

I have not yet connected speakers or any external sources but I will move it tomorrow and begin to test its functionality. I also found that there is a Naim dealer closer than I thought. I spoke with him today. He was knowledgeable about the Uniti and we talked about options. He suggested contacting Uniti Support directly to find out about the cost and possibility of replacing the display. If I run in to any obstacles he seems fine taking the matter up.

So I’m waiting to hear back from Uniti. I will test the unit tomorrow. I would still like to find a physical remote if possible, but with a display replacement it might not be as critical as I thought.

Two other unanswered questions…

  1. I have read several places on the the forum about a “full service.” How is anyone defining that, especially for a Uniti device? I ask support that question but would love to have some feedback from anyone out there with experience.
  2. If there are appropriate firmware updates available, will I be able to apply them or does that have to be done by a dealer?

Thanks again to everyone who has replied so far.

If you get a new screen you will need a remote in order to browse its menu and access various settings, although the front panel buttons can do some of this. You can also use it to control music playback although most would use the app for this.

The firmware version you want is 4.8, it’s worth making sure yours is up to date. It was originally intended to be done by dealers but it’s available for users. The process is simple enough once you’ve done it a couple of times but it might seem a bit complicated the first time. Instructions here:

If you return the streamer to Naim for a screen replacement they will be able to do the update for you. Whether it needs a full service too is hard to say, I would hope a 2015 model would be good for a few more years yet. You would need to arrange this through a dealer who will ship it to Naim service dept for you.

The Uniti support email address is no longer used and you should instead use support@naimaudio.com . If you email them, you should get an auto response with a ticket number. But you can wait many weeks for a substantive reply as the support service is overwhelmed and if you want a quick response then you should telephone them. You should be ready to quote the serial number which is on the back of the unit as that is the key to the unit’s identity and service history.

If it’s a very early Uniti then the replacement of the screen is very expensive as Naim factor in replacing the streaming board as well so the unit can work with the new screens. If it already has the new streaming board then Naim may well agree to just replace the screen and that costs about £170 plus the carriage charge to get it there. Your dealer (or any Naim dealer) will have to book it in with Naim, agree the cost and send it to them.

The Naim app is free and so you could install it on your phone or tablet then you can see what you can and can’t do without the screen working and without the remote. If you run it with Ethernet then you can use that without setting up the WiFi. Plugging live Ethernet into the Uniti will turn off the WiFi and if the WiFi antenna is missing then perhaps this unit was used with Ethernet previously.

It’s a nice unit, albeit limited on the streaming side. But if it has the later streaming board already and you update to the 4.8 firmware as advised above by Chris, you can use it with Spotify and Tidal as well as with locally stored music. It may or may not have the optional built in FM and DAB receiver. If there is a socket labelled as such on the back, then it does have it and if the socket is blanked off or not there at all, it doesn’t!

The updating process depends exactly what the updating socket on the back is and if the firmware is earlier that version 3.0 then you have to seek help from Naim anyway. This is all explained in the release notes with the firmware upgrade package and you can find that on Naim’s website.

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Thanks ChrisSU and davidhendon for more good information. I had to put off more testing as we had guests for a time and the streamer is in the guest room!
Looking at the app for iPhone, I think the real keys to whether this unit is worth sending back to Naim for service are:

  1. Can I find a physical remote?
    Does anyone have any ideas on where I might find a remote? And how would it be identified? It’s unclear to me whether a remote for a later Uniti model would work with this one.
  2. What will the cost of the service be? That would include replacing the OLED, getting the firmware updated, and according to davidhendon-replacing the streaming board.
    Next steps include contacting Naim service (by phone-thanks David-they have still not responded to email) and connecting the unit to a pair of speakers I have a lot of experience with so I can get a better idea of the sound.

Hi, the 1st gen streamers all use the same remote so you may well be able to find one on ebay, or by phoning a few Naim dealers and asking.
The buttons on the front panel allow you to use many of the functions found in the menu on the dusplay, so between that and the app you will be able to get up and running while you hunt for a remote.
The current range use a completely different remote which is not compatible.

You need to arrange a service through an authorised Naim dealer who will ship it for you. They will be able to get a price for you, possibly easier than phoning Naim yourself.

If it’s an early Uniti which needs the streaming board upgrade then the cost of a service which includes a screen change will be over £500. You can buy a new remote for about £100, but might get one for less on eBay. The later Uniti remotes are backwards compatible until Naim changed to the current Uniti models which use different technology for the remote.

The firmware update is relatively trivial to do - you can do it yourself. It’s helpful to have the display working, but not essential. But if you want Spotify or Tidal, you do need the upgraded streamer board as well as the firmware update. There is no way round that.

A bit of an update to anyone who is watching. I visited my brother in the Seattle, WA area and happened to visit a Naim dealer when listening to speakers with my nephew. the dealer had the remote I needed and at a reasonable price. Between the remote, the iPhone app, and my Ethernet connectoin I am up and running…, sort of.

@ChrisSU recommended the firmware version needed, but my unit is currently on ver. 2.0.50.12915, and Naim say

“Firmware 4.8 does NOT apply to products running versions of Naim software prior to 3.00** , or to any product with an n-Link connection”

At this point I do not plan to replace the streamer board as the expected cost is not worth it to me. I don’t have any subscriptions to streaming services and hope to access my NAS music library using the DLNA (UPnP) protocol. This leads to my current question.

I am able to point to my UPnP server with no problem using the iPhone app, but all I can see is the spinning wheel. No list ever populates. Any ideas on this?

BTW, the unit sounds pretty good with some CDs I have tested. Thanks

Hi, what UPnP server are you running, and can you play music from it using the remote?

It may be worth phoning Naim support and asking if there are any issues running the Naim app with very early firmware. There can’t be many streamers still out there running version 2.0 and/or a pre-24/96 streaming board so it’s possible this issue hasn’t previously come to light. I would suggest that you phone Naim support and ask, although I suspect whoever you speak to may need to hunt down a long standing member of staff who has knowledge of these early models - or if @Stevesky is around he may be able to advise.

@ChrisSU
I’m just running the UPnP server that comes with Windows 10 (haven’t tried to connect to the NAS yet). You ask a good question regarding playing using the remote. I have only tried the iPhone app. Now that I look at the remote I see the following source buttons:
cd, radio, iPod, pc, tv, av, hdd, aux.
Touching hdd, I see on the app that I have switched to Analogue 3, so that’s probably not what I’m looking for. Aha-it is the pc button.

Writing my response in real time…
So, success! I blame Windows, but why not? I had media streaming enabled in Windows, but apparently I had nothing in the Music Library. I never liked the Library concept and I think you have to set it up yourself in Win 10, but once I pointed some of the Music-containing folders to the Music Library I could access them from other computers and the Uniti !!!

Thank you for jogging my brain into some troubleshooting action.

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