Uniti Star ripping

Greetings everyone.

I took delivery of Uniti Star a few days ago. I love it so far except for one huge bug.

The unit ripped pretty well out of the box except for a few particular CDs. No problem - I took those to my PC. The real trouble started yesterday when it said that one disk “contains no tracks”. Ok, maybe the disk is damaged. I put in another. Same message. A third - ditto. Now I’m curious. I try playing the 3rd disk and, sure enough, it plays just fine.

I hard booted the Star, reset to factory and futzed around with other brilliant ideas. No joy.

Now I’m presenter with three choices:

A. Live with it
B. Return it
C. Try to arrange repair on a unit shipped from Maryland. I live in New Jersey. It’s going to be an issue.

Has anyone had to deal with this before? Does anyone have an inkling?

I’m guessing that this is a software problem as the drive is a standard issue slimline TEAC. They are usually very reliable.

Thanks in advance.

I have read a lot of posts about the new Unitis since they were introduced a few years ago and I haven’t heard of this before. It’s almost certainly not a software problem as there are many units out there and if this is what happened, then the regulars here, especially those of us who are software beta testers, would know about it. I suspect it’s a hardware issue unfortunately.

You could wait and see what others say, but I think it’s a fault and personally I wouldn’t want to live with it, especially as it’s likely to get worse not better.

I hope you get it sorted soon and welcome to the forum by the way.

Thanks for the reply and welcome.

Yes, I know this is a rare problem. I did specific Boolean searches for it and got bupkis, which is why I posted here.

Even though I live in the New York metro area, there is a dearth of Naim authorized service nearby. It seems that hifi service has moved to the distributors as most dealers are mostly home integration sellers and have no service departments at all.

This is not going to be fun :frowning:

If it’s a new unit then your dealer should simply replace it with another.

And yes service isn’t done by the dealers. They will send it back to Focal/Naim North America to get sorted if it’s not a new unit.

I thought so.

Seeing as how the dealer is in Maryland and sold it to me via Amazon, a replacement is probably not in the cards. I will wait for Focal/Naim to get back to me and, if no joy, will return it to Amazon. It’s a shame. I got a deal on it that is a one time thing. I won’t be paying the full nut for one and it will go down as “the one that got away”.

Maybe an Atom? Maybe! I’ll just continue ripping on a PC for now.

No don’t do that. If it was new then Focal/Naim will fix it for free, whatever price you paid Amazon. Or if it’s an Amazon markets thing then Focal/Naim will still fix it even if they charge you something.

The Star is an excellent unit, so don’t give up on it! The Atom is just not as good (you might guess that as it is a lot cheaper).

It will definitely require repair as it seem that the left channel has gone on the blink. It sounds like a corroded scratchy volume control, if you are familiar. It’s down 10 or more dB and buzzing. I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t that way from the start, though I doubt it.

I can’t wait to hear of the logistical requirements and cost to ship this to Champlain, NY (location of Focal/Naim U.S.A.) Heck, I might drive up and stop off at a Massachusetts dispensary to make it entertaining… :crazy_face:

Thanks, David.

1 Like

I think you should phone the dealer first. If they are a proper Naim dealer then they will know what to do, especially if it’s new or ex-demo.

If it’s a secondhand unit and they aren’t an actual Naim dealer, then it might be more complicated. It depends whether they have their own reputation to protect.

Anyway people ship Naim products huge distances for repair and service. So this will get sorted out.

@Willie Make sure your Star is on the latest firmware (3.8). You should have that error a lot less (I myself haven’t seen it anymore). In any case, when you get that error, the Star is in a software state that will report that error with any disk. It should be sufficient to long-press the Star’s power button, which will send the unit into a deep sleep (you can hear the PSU click). Switch it back on, and it will boot up, after which you should be able to rip again.

[Sorry to hear about your other problem with the volume, which seems indeed hardware-related.]

Thanks. It was indeed a reputable dealer. The unit isn’t a demo or was it used, but it was an “open box” and the box is pretty saggy. I did write them, but I will call this week.

The left channel problem seems to be resolved after unplugging the unit overnight. Software…amr? :roll_eyes: IMO, software should not be in control of the actual amplifier or be able to distort it. If you are doing that, include some DSP so that I can equalize for my environment, ferchrissakes.

The CD issue remains.

Thanks. Yes, the firmware is up to date and I have reset the unit many times. I will try the power button technique.

As above, the left channel issue has “fixed itself” lol. I’m reminded of the movie Brazil.

I tried the power button technique to no avail, I’m afraid. Thanks just the same :slightly_smiling_face:

I must say that I’m impressed with the sound this unit produces. I have had no experience with Naim until now, but have read many glowing reviews. They seem to be spot on. What impresses me most is the immediacy of the sound. The leading edges are sharp - I would have called this transient response back in the day. Square waves must be very square here. My old Harman/Kardon Citation 19 amp was similar in this respect.

What I find really striking is vocals - they are etched at a tight point between the speakers where most of my recent equipment gives those same voices some “bloom” and a slight vagueness - as if the voice is drifting slightly left to right. No such thing here - the Naim grabs the music and makes it do it’s bidding. I guess “PRaT” is a real thing after all. I retract my former naysaying :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Well, after leaving the unit for a couple of weeks, it seems that the ripper is functioning again.

The one change I made was changing from an SD card for storage to an external NVMe drive. The SD card was nowhere near full, but there is a warning somewhere that the SD card should not be used for long-term file storage and that prompted me to swap out the files to a “real” external drive. Perhaps that did it, but the error message didn’t directly indicate that the SD card was the issue - it just said that there were no tracks to rip. Perhaps that is simply an OS issue. I’ve seen stranger things in my years of PC building and repair. Sometimes, when the OS can’t figure out exactly what’s wrong or doesn’t have a specific error stored for a particular problem, it will throw an unrelated error.

At any rate, it’s resolved. Now I can send the NAD M10 v2 back. I was evaluating it as I was pretty frustrated with the Star. The NAD, despite Dirac Live’s inclusion, doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as the Star (or even the Yamaha n803 I’m replacing). Dirac just shreds the center image and makes it seem that the speakers are out of phase. That makes little sense as the base version of Dirac isn’t supposed to affect frequencies above 500Hz, but it does. Without Dirac, the sound is a little thin even with bass boosted 3dB, so back it goes.

Thanks, David.


Interesting. The way I understand it, the only real difference between a NVMe drive and a SD or Flash card is the presence of a HDD type file system. That could be the source of the ripping errors on the Star which a see is widely reported on this forum and is not just a problem on my star (that work perfectly well if ripped on something else); the system is designed to rip to a HDD in the Uniti Core, but it doesn’t do that on the Star.
I will have look into using a USB HDD instead and see if that improves things to the point that ripping works as advertised.

I am now on my 3rd Star, nothing but problems, all relating to CD ripping problems, slipping CD drive initially plus audio dropouts on all three machines, I suggest you do some close listening to check the files, I tend to get a audio drop out on almost every CD , search the forum for more info, Naim have now admitted via my dealer that this is an issue and have promised a software fix in the next couple of months. However such faults have been reported for a few years now according to the community. Discuss the issue with your dealer and ask about the known issues regarding CD ripping.



I did notice, before the ripping errors began, that there were dropouts in the ripped files. I did not have time to really explore that problem before the complete failure happened. I may have ripped 10 CDs before the failure and then moved to a Windows PC and Media Player. Media player had faultless rips to flac with much better album art retrieval as well. I dread playing the music that was ripped by the Star, anticipating the dropouts now too.

As you may have read, I am evaluating the Star and NAD M10 v2 side-by-side. Honestly, the NAD is not far from the Star in audio quality and is much more flexible in use. Since both digitize analog sources and then run them through an DAC again, they are equal[ly bad]] in that regard as well.

I’d love to keep the Star, but I’m disappointed in all of the unaddressed issues that Naim has been aware of for years. NAD, despite their awful individual support, does offer frequent firmware updates that actually fix known problems.

Unfortunately, I’ve decided to return the Star. It was interesting to try out, but I’d rather keep the Yamaha n803 (which, after comparing actually sounds pretty darned good) or the NAD than futz with the Star and praying for a fix. If I feel the need for a better amp, I’ll just go Hegel/Node and not look back.

Thanks all. I appreciate all the helpful advice and will miss that part of the purchase. It’s a great community here.

1 Like

Interesting that Naim seem to be saying that it can be made functional with a software fix. As this error looks like has been ongoing for at least 2 years (and probably since the launch of the machine) I would have thought that if the cause is as simple as software, it would have been fixed years ago.
Anyway, we shall see.

Well, Dave, any piece of equipment such as this has both a basic operating system and applications/plugins. Since the TEAC drive is a good drive without ripping issues and the OS itself is rarely responsible, this issue is caused either by the ripping software or interference with ripping caused by the common power supply reacting to musical dynamics. Since no one has specified whether the rips were performed while playing music or not, we can’t be certain of the latter. I can says that I was listening to streaming Internet radio while ripping.

Anyone testing the ripping issues on the Star should do so without playing from other sources while doing so and then report their results. One would imagine that Naim would have tested this and simply suggested this or just implemented an audio lockout while ripping - a simple fix. I suspect that this is indeed an application/plugin problem, but I am not certain. That would be addressable with an update at any rate.

My suggestion to Naim would be a separate (shielded) power supply) for the CD drive while testing to be certain that it’s not the source of the problem. If no joy, they will need to code a better ripping app.

I’m quite sure that @gjvoosten and probably others tested without and with playing music, he invested much time in investigating the drop-out issue.