Uniti Star review

I am new to posting on this forum but have read a great deal in last 12 months. My question relates to the recent review in a leading Hi Fi magazine of the Uniti Star which gets a 5 star verdict.
What I don’t understand is the measured response of the Burr Brown DAC in the device that apparently can only produce a dynamic range of CD quality of about 105 dB and that the frequency response is cut off at 20 kHz. In that case is it worth streaming hi resolution music from Quobuz etc?
Please forgive me if this a stupid question.
I have a Nait XS2 which I love but was considering a streamer but my comments seem to relate to all Naim streamers or do they?
Many thanks
Tony

Have a listen for yourself and you decide if it sounds better streaming hi res than standard def.
I never really take any notice of “measurements”, preferring the real world listening tests.
If it sounds better, it’s better.
That’s regardless of theoretical measurements, which can be meaningless.

It’s absolutely not a stupid question!

The way Naim choose prioritise things is to carefully control bandwidth throughout the system. You can’t hear above 20kHz - BUT using higher sampling rates means you can use smarter digital filters that have lesser impact within the audio band. Naim have chosen the filtering and chipset they believe to sound best.

Anyway - I’d consider an ND5XS2 rather than a Star… or was that where you were going anyway?

As a Star owner, I can say it does deserve the 5-star review. A great bit of kit and you won’t get anything new that does all it does at the same price.

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Can you state which review/magazine this is?

You can’t hear above 20kHz, so that’s not an issue.
105dB is better than CD, right? I thought that was at 96 or so? But yes, 105 should still be audible IIRC, I think above 120 is where it no longer matters.
Whether hi-res is worth it in principle is debated, especially as often you might simply be listening to a different master.

FWIW I own the Star, and am very happy with it. I don’t think measurements are meaningless, but also that the best measuring device doesn’t necessarily sound the best. I would just audition and see whether you like it better than any alternative you’d consider.

Hifi world…

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Yes, CD has a dynamic range of approximately 96dB (more with dither during the recording process) therefore 105dB is better than CD and better than vinyl. No one can agree the DR of vinyl.

DR is an interesting measurement. Really it’s a ratio of the loudest sound you can bear to quietest sound you can detect. With dither, a 24 bit signal and an averaged FFT some amazing numbers can be produced; far higher than EIAJ.

If you want to know the DR of the DAC in a Uniti Star play a -120dB 1kHz signal. Keep pressing pause/play button and see if you can hear it going on and off. I can with the volume turned up and headphones on. Therefore I know the DAC is resolving >120dB i.e. the DR is >120dB

  • Don’t forget to turn the volume down again *

Some DACs with volume controls will use digital volume (Star has analogue volume). When turned down this will technically reduce the DACs DR. However if it also uses digital gain and the volume is turned up to do an EIAJ DR measurement the figures are exaggerated.

On another note…there was a small technical oversight in the review saying the analogue input could only take 2V. The analogue input has 3 level settings in the app (1V, 2.5V and 6.5V). 2.5V is great for most inputs.

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Why not an Nd5xs2, as you have already the Xs2? And the sound will be normally better also.

I never take much notice of specs, hifi reviews & verdicts.
Nice reading but judge for yourself is the method to practise.

I believe the Star Uniti amp section is based on XS or 5Si amplication.
Better just keep it and get a dedicated streamer if that’s your direction.

Hi Andy,
I was considering an ND5XS2 but was also curious to know the forum members’ views on this. My father in law has a Star with Proac DT8 speakers and it sounds amazing. There appears to be something in the voicing of Naim products that really appeals to me but I am not sure I could describe it adequately in HiFi terms.

Thank you very much for clarifying this for me. As you will see from a previous reply I think that the Star does indeed sound amazing.

I am very pleased with my Uniti Star paired with ancient Naim Credo speakers .
Regards

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