Uniti Star (or Nova) operational features

I am seeking information on the daily operation of the Star (or possibly a Nova) please?

Long story short, this year we will turn/knock-through our sunroom/office space into one larger ‘sun lounge’ which will be circa 5m x 3m x 2.3m approximately and uniform in shape. We want this room to be as clutter-free and ‘modern’ as possible, so a single box streaming solution (with CD player preferably) teamed with a pair of Piega floorstanders (usually 4 ohms nominal) and a stereo pair of self-built powered subwoofers (to fit the space and match the decor) would be ideal.

The Star clearly has the CD player but the Nova is more powerful and more plentiful (and better value) second hand - e.g. year-old models are circa £3k at the moment. However, unlike for other products, Naim do not appear to offer a detailed manual on these models, therefore I would like to know the following on either please:

  1. Do they have a balance control? Useful for small imbalances and when setting- up and fault finding.

  2. Does the sub/pre-amp output offer any built in frequency filtering or just a full range output?

  3. Do they NEED any particular type/design of speaker wire to be stable?

  4. Does anyone know the 4ohm rating of either model? I have seen a review of the Star where their sample was measured at 78 WPC in 8ohms and circa 120 WPC into 4 ohms - from my experience with my similarly rated Arcam A28 and Solo Movie (Class G) with both Piega and Tannoy I think this would be enough.

  5. Naim and Tidal (that old chestnut😉). I have the HiFi plus account (Masters) and am very pleased with it through my Laptop/Arcam D33 (first unfold up 96KHz), my Meridian Explorer 2 portable DAC and in the daily car (Ford Sync 3/B&O play). What is the current situation with Naim and Tidal? Will streams be limited to CD quality when using the Naim as a streamer? I like tidal and don’t want to switch to another provider.

  6. If the above ends up being an issue, can a plug in a laptop to the USB port on the Naim and stream that way (no longer a one-box solution) or would this not work. I have read that the USB port(s) only support external drives. If that is the case, does anyone know how to download Tidal Masters tracks onto a hard drive and then stream them that way? I can download them onto my phone (Google Pixel 6) but it has limited capacity - I do this via USB in the car and it works well.

Information on the above would be greatly appreciated.


Full info here on both models


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Thank you for the link - I have had a quick look but will look in more detail when I get the chance.

Search www for Stereophile, a US magazine that publishes extensive in depth testing,
They have a Nova test report that shows ……
“Specified as delivering 80Wpc into 8 ohms (19dBW) and 155Wpc into 4 ohms (18.9dBW), the Uniti Nova delivered 103Wpc into 8 ohms at clipping (1% THD+N) with both channels driven (20.1dBW), and 160Wpc into 4 ohms (19dBW)”

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Some answers:

  1. Yes. In the app.
  2. No.
  3. They are much more forgiving than the traditional Naim power amplifiers, but you should avoid high capacitance and high inductance cables and you should keep the cable lengths the same for SQ reasons. And a couple of metres minimum. It’s not just about stability, it’s also about what sounds good.
  4. No idea.
  5. It all works fine with Tidal but the Tidal MQA lossy files are controversial and the Naim system doesn’t unfold the coding. Some people think it doesn’t matter and some people prefer the sound of Qobuz.
  6. You wouldn’t use the USB port, but you could use a digital input on the Star/Nova to connect to a laptop if you want to.
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Thank you - just what I was looking for.

Excellent information - thank you very much!

Just one question, ref point 6, how would I connect to a non-USB digital input with a laptop? Would one use some form of USB to coax/optical converter? Obviously the laptop has HDMI which Uniti supports but I was going to use that for the ARC from the TV.

The HDMI is only ARC. If your laptop has an optical s/pdif option then use that. Or you could Cast, Airplay, stream or Bluetooth.

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I will check the laptop (a year-old Dell) for connections - sometimes they have them ‘hidden’ in the headphone output or similar.

For the laptop a USB to SPDIF would work ok.

I’m a little confused why Naim decided not to offer the high-pass filter on the Lite, SU and the “new” Unitis. Unlike the separates they’re often used in less than ideal conditions where something like this can ease integration. Maybe it wasnt used much in practice?

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HDMI can be a compatibility minefield. It might work, and when it does you get the convenience of automatic input switching and volume control from the TV remote.
Many people use an optical connection for their TV instead. You lose a bit of convenience, but generally get a reliable connection if HDMI ARC fails.

You can get the first ‘unfold’ of Tidal MQA by using Roon. It’s quite expensive and I doubt you would want to but it for that reason only, but maybe an option to consider.
For me, jumping ship from Tidal to Qobuz and getting full lossless 24 bit streams from within the Naim app was a no-brainer.


I will look into an adaptor of some sort if a need to. Failing that I could always use my Meridian Explorer DAC into one of the analogue inputs if required so not a ‘deal breaker’ as such.

I do use HDMI between our Loewe TV and the Arcam Solo Movie (Gen 2). It took a bit of setting up and is not 100% reliable but it works well most if the time - it seemed to get better over a couple of days as both units got used to ‘talking’ to each other.

I have considered alternative streaming means (Qobuz/Roon) but I think I will see how I get on first. I want something as straightforward as possible bearing in mind our eldest (currently 7) does also use the service.

I reckon your 7 year old will soon be telling you how to do it!

I would question the logic of buying a Nova and using a separate DAC as a source. The entire digital front end then becomes redundant. Maybe better to buy a Supernait which will give you better sound quality for less money.


That is a fair point! I do want to keep it single-box if at all possible!

Go for the Nova and use DBPoweramp software to rip your CDs.


Don’t buy the Star, I had 3 before I got fed up and exchanged for a Nova. Ripping issues for me on all 3 (check this forum for loads of posts). Use your PC to rip with DbPower Amp and put it on a drive.

There’s good replies here already but my experiences are…

Yes it is pain not having a detailed manual, just laziness on Naim’s part especially for a machine that costs a fair bit. I never expected a physical detailed manual but a decent online PDF should be standard practise

You can balance it in the app.

Pre amp o/p’s are full range, post volume control or at least they are on my Nova. I wish I could attenuate them separately.

A lot of people on here recommend NAC A5 cable for various reasons . I had them on my old Nait and they seem to be OK on the Nova. Not sure it’s so critical for modern Naim amps.

I believe the USB ports only support drives, Airplay works well from my laptop (MBP)

Apparently you “can’t” use more than a 32GB SD card, but I’ve been using a 512GB high speed with no problems. If you add new albums put the card in and leave it over night to re-index

Can’t help with the streaming issues as bizarrely I don’t really use that side of the Nova.

Good luck


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Thank you for the information.

Ref the issues you had with the Star, did you have the same problems when using it as a CD player or did the issues only manifest themselves when used as a CD ripper? My plan is to only use it as a CD player as the CDs will be in the same room as the unit. I have various CD players around the house including a CD5 Si and have a spare Arcam Alpha 5 which I could use as a player or transport into a Star or Nova if I have to, but it will then be two boxes.

The Arcam Alpha has a co-axial output (I understand) , that would connect directly with the dac in the Nova , that would be my preference between the Naim and Arcam

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Hi Alex

The first one had a faulty CD drive as well as the ripping problems. Remember it’s not a true CD player/transport, it’s a CD ROM drive that buffers into memory


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