Unitilite.....some help please.

Hi everyone…

Just thinking about getting a 2013 Unitilite for our bedroom as we are currently using an old B&O 9500 Beocentre (so CD, FM radio and…cassette lol) playing through a lovely pair of AE1’s (on proper Acoustic energy stands).
The current set up lacks the power to really drive the AE1’s as they do crave the watts and the main issue is lack of streaming.
Downstairs our main system is a Supernait 2 fed by a NDXS streamer (into a pair of Ovators) with CD back-up from a CD5X with a flatcap 2X and these days we are mainly listening to Tidal for its absolute convenience
So my question is twofold. Firstly, are the 50 x 50 watts on offer from a Unitilite…gonna drive those AE1’s or whimp out at the first sign of a massive transient in musical loudness?? I have hooked the AE1’s up to our main system and I have to say I was in two minds whether to use them instead of the S400 Ovators they sounded so good…but that’s an extra 30watts a channel coming from the Supernait.
Secondly, we (my missus and I) are Google pixel users (so Android) and use the latest naim App to play Tidal. By and large it’s fine with just the very occasional (once in a blue moon) lock-up, but the streamer is a 2015 unit and I have heard older streamers have had issues with Tidal. So any advice on a possibly older (2013 the one I have my eyes on) unit would be appreciated. Is it a case of making sure the unit has all the appropriate updates loaded???
I’ve gone on a bit (apologies) but thought it worth asking the naim community for advice before possibly wasting nearly £900!
Thanks all and stay safe.
Cheers. Garry

Hi Garry, and welcome!
I’m not sure how well the AE1s would work with a Unitilite, perhaps others would have more experience with them than me. If you need more power, I would hold out for a Uniti, or better still, a Superuniti, which has a lot more power.
In general, this generation of Naim streamers all use the same streaming tech, so what works with your ND5 should be fine with the Uniti. It’s the current range (Atom, Star, Nova) that have the uprated streaming board.
If you plan to use WiFi, be aware that some of the earlier streamers have very dated WiFi modules, which do not always work too well, so a wired Ethernet connection is a much safer bet.
Also bear in mind that the display on these models can sometimes fail with age. They can be replaced by Naim, but it’s quite costly. If the previous owner kept the screen on all the time, that will shorten its life.

Thanks Chris… Your thinking along the lines of a superuniti were on my radar as I understand the amplifier section draws on the Supernait design (which as I mentioned drove the AE1’s brilliantly well). It’s probably all down to cash in the end as a Unitilite can be picked up for circa £900 but a Superuniti will be more like £1400. It’s a bedroom set-up after all and although my missus would appreciate the sound upgrade (and the streaming) she might not grant the cappex he he.
The house is networked by the way (Cat 5e) as I thought it a good idea when we built the place, so it will not be running wireless. Saying that I do run the NDX 5X wireless as it’s in about the only room in the house that I didn’t run the wired network. I’m using Google pods and I have to say it’s pretty good…zero loss (speed wise) and rock steady.
Ho-Hum…decisions, decisions :crazy_face:

The Tidal issues you mention with old streamers is that the buffer in the streamers is quite small and so if there is any problem with the path between the local Tidal server and you then you may get issues. Whichever of the old streamers you get, it’s worth putting on the latest firmware which is 4.7. If you are doing that yourself and need any guidance on how to do it, then just ask here.

I think the Unitilite is great value and we have one on my wife’s sewing room. But the SuperUniti carries more authority and unless the money is tight, it’s a better buy. I have two of them and they are great.

Note that the Unitilite came in a version with FM/DAB and I recommend you go for this as this ensures there is some music at least even if your broadband goes down. The last year or so of production also had Bluetooth. Whether you want to look for one of those depends on what you want to do with it. The SuperUnitis all came FM/DAB, and again the last year or so of production had Bluetooth.



I purchased a Unitilite last year which works well. However, it has just developed the sticky CD tray, which means that generally it opens after 3 attempts. So, just ensure that is working as you’d expect. I got mine used last year and it was fine until this week…Having said all that…I’ve only listened to two CDs since I had it…which is way less than I had thought I would have.

Another thing to bear in mind with the older versions of these streamers is that some of the very first ones have a streaming board that only supports up to 24/96, and also will not run Tidal. So it’s worth checking what you’re looking at before you part with any cash.

Hmmmm…some interesting thoughts thanks guys.

Well as it’s for a second bedroom system I didn’t want to go nuts on spending…sticking to around £1000’ish.

I did wonder about the Superuniti but digging further see there’s a mid-way solution of a Uniti 2 and there’s a bloke selling one not too far away from me (a late 2015 model with Bluetooth) so are there any owners out their with an opinion??

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A Uniti 2 would certainly be an improvement on the Unitilite, but I guess what you really want is someone with experience of driving the AE1s, which might be harder to find.
Here’s a slightly leftfield idea. If you really like the AE1s, sell them! If they are in good condition, I suspect you will get a decent price for them. Then buy a new pair of AE1 Actives for £1000. The built in amps will definitely have plenty of power, so you no longer have to worry about that. If your B&O can still work well with them, great. If not, you could still consider one of the Uniti boxes as a source and preamp. A Unitiqute would then be an option, or even a 172, which has no power amp, if you find one at a decent price.

I have the problem with the sticky cd drawer on my Unitilite but I leave it in standby all the time now and no problem sticking anymore.

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