Uniti Star upgrade

I am itching to upgrade my Uniti Star which is driving my recently purchased Harbeth SHL5+XD speakers. I feel that I am not fully optimising my speakers even though it does still sound very good. I have an opportunity to purchase a used SN2 with HiCap DR. If I sell my Star, I can buy the SN2+HiCapDR with a slight top up. If so, my immediate budget will only allow me to get something like a Bluesound Node. Will I be worse off if I do so?

Ah, another example of somebody who buys speakers that are far too good for their all in one and then cannot afford to feed them properly. Why oh why do people do this, despite there being so many examples of it going horribly wrong for others?

I’d suggest that you should be looking at an NDX2, 282, Hicap DR and 250DR at the very least. The Supernait would still be out of its depth and the Node even more so.

I’d stick with the Star until enough money has been saved for a real upgrade. Or just use speakers that match well with the Star and be happy.

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Because the fun part is in the journey. I could buy everything in one go but I prefer to spread it out.

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Decide where you want to end up and then plan to get there in as few steps as possible and minimising components that will become redundant.

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I agree to the fun part. However, having been thru the same journey, I’d say hungryhalibut’s advice is sound. I now have a Nova driving my speakers and I think they do them well. I demoed a SN3+ND5 XS2 and 202 DR combo but felt that whilst they were good but they were not substantial of an upgrade. Keep the Star and go slowly to the big upgrade. Perhaps a demo unit from a dealer on on eBay.

Pre-owned SN2s are so cheap, that it would be at least a quite noticable upgrade, and will do nicely till you can afford a 552/250 (or 282 if you do it in steps). I would think that very few of us do the upgrade route to perfection.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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My local Naim dealer recommends adding a 250DR to the Star as a first step. Swap out the Star with a 282 and NDX2 (or NDX) later.

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That’s the way it should be. The problem with starting at the speaker end is that better speakers are generally more revealing, and will expose weaknesses in the upstream components. Get a better amp to drive the speakers, and this can reveal weaknesses in the source and potentially make things even worse. So it’s usually better to start with the source, then amp, and speakers last.

Still, you are where you are! If you happen to see a good deal on an NDX2 I would consider that first. Then add your chosen amp and you’re done.

Here’s a slightly left field idea that might work for you. Once you have an NDX2, trade in the Star for a 250 to make it more affordable. If you set the NDX2 to variable volume mode you can run it straight into a power amp and use its digital volume control. Just be very careful to set it to variable volume mode and dial down the volume setting before connecting it up, or there could be fireworks!
Then you can make the final addition of an analogue preamp (probably 282/Hicap) last.

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This makes a lot of sense. Next time :-).

He is right. I had a Star and now a Nova. I demoed the 200 combo and 250/282 combo. Also the SN3/XS2 combo. You’ll find that the 250 combo the worthwhile upgrade, at least for me. My thinking is that paying extra for marginal improvements not worth it. You’ll be itching to go slightly up. Just get the good one.

I added a brand new NAP250DR to my Uniti Star and it was slightly better, but disappointing compared to the outlay of funds.

The 250dr costs more than the Star! Maybe I should just get a Luxman instead…

It definitely will. You need to bump up the Star to matching separates.

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