UnitiLite

hello to all experts of the Naim world!
a question!
does it make sense to use my UnitiLite as a pre and match a nap 200 ending?
is the pre section of my UnitiLite good?
thanks a lot to everyone

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A 200 will certainly improve the sound from your UnitiLite, but I don’t think the cost of a new 200 would be justified, it would be better to upgrade the whole unit. If you can find a good used 200, though, that could be worthwhile. Just make sure it isn’t old and in need of a service, unless you are prepared to budget to get it serviced yourself.

thanks for the quick reply
my unitilite has a new display.
I like how it sounds, its 50 watts for now is enough for me, but the desire to experiment never stops …

I would see if you can try before you buy.

I provisionally sold my NAP200 to a colleague when I upgraded to a 250DR. He took it home and tried it with his Uniti first and brought the power amp back. He felt it was too much for the Uniti and he still runs it bare.

In tht case, I would procede with caution. If you can borrow one from a dealer and try it, then you can make a better decision. Remember that you really want a proper rack to keep the boxes separate and support them properly.

I’d suggest trying to borrow a 200 to find out for yourself. From there you could swap the Lite for a 272, assuming you don’t need the CD player. Another option is a straight swap from Lite to SuperUniti. The Unitis were designed as all in ones and adding a power amp is perhaps not the best long term solution. The source and preamp in the Lite will always be the limiting factor when you start adding power amps that cost more than the Lite itself. You’d do well to reflect on what gives you a desire to make improvements.

thanks

does anyone know what chip they use for volume adjustment?

Hi. I did try a Qute into a NAP100 and into a NAP 250.2 (yes). Too dark, too stiff and inarticulate. I wouldn’t add a power to a Uniti. I don’t think the pre section is good enough to drive them. I’d say it makes more sense to replace the entire unit.

This is timely for me. I have a UnitiLite which I have been very happy with for the past couple of years. It had been driving my venerable old Castle Severn 2 floorstanders until recently when, after a demo at my local dealers, we decided to upgrade to PMC twenty5 21 standmounts. The demo pair were well run in and sounded fine, but the brand new ones are sounding rather thin and bright unless wound up to levels around 10 notches higher than was needed for the Castles.

Clearly the new speakers need to be run in for a good few hours yet, but having a lower sensitivity I am beginning to wonder whether a power amp will be required, so have been looking at second hand NAP 200s. I note that not everyone thinks it a good idea to add either a 200 or even a 250, but this is puzzling for a beginner like me given that Naim recommend the NAP 200 as a possible upgrade path for the UnitiLite?

You really need to listen and decide for yourself. If your speakers really benefit from the extra power, it can be worthwhile. Otherwise, upgrading the whole Uniti may be a better option. For example, a Superuniti will give you more power, but also a better source in front of it.

My first Naim kit years back was a UnitiLite. Inevitably the upgrade bug took hold and I added a NAP150x which I thought was a super upgrade to the SQ. I can imagine that a 200 would sound great, and when / if you upgrade again further down the line you’ll have a 200 to build on.

Saying that though I always thought the bare UnitiLite was a terrific performer and I would happily go back to one if I was forced to downsize.

I have tested my Unitiqute with power amp, as a power amp and transport. Currently running UQ as a transport to Chord 2Qute, XS + FCXS.

From my experience UQ is fine as it is. Adding a power amp wasn’t an upgrade; to be honest : a downgrade. Too dark, sounded suffocated. Thats probably down to pre and dac section in the unit.
As a power amp with 2Qute the UQ sounds totally different/better.
Connected as a source to XS sounds also better (3D, details, separation) than on its own. But not much better.

The difference in sound quality between UQ and XS with FC is huge.

Hi kszysiu,

Thanks for that insight. I’m still not quite understanding all the abbreviations thrown around in this place. What is meant by a ‘transport’? FCXS is presumably a FlatCap XS power supply? So what is an XS? Does this refer to a NAIT XS, or something else?

So, some think a power amp is an upgrade, including Naim themselves, others find differently. Which is confusing.

Would it be better to consider using the UnitiLite with an integrated amp instead of a power amp? Is this even possible?

@ChrisSU if I change the Unitilite for a SuperUniti this offers 80W per channel and still gives DAB and FM radio as well as internet radio. Otherwise it is pretty much similar to the Nova but in the traditional casework. Best of all it is a one box solution, which will please the wife. Good thought, thanks.

@Wayne yes, like you I have been very pleased with the Unitilite as it stands and I am fighting hard against the upgrade bug which seems to afflict many people here. Perhaps I should visit less frequently. Meanwhile I am leaving the speakers playing to an empty room most of the day in the hope that running them in will be all that is required.

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Yes, Flatcap XS and Nait XS.
Regarding power amp upgrade: it is an upgrade but not worth the cost.
As I can clearly hear that either DAC or Preamp in Unitiqute (same applies to Unitilite I guess)
isn’t as good as one in Nait XS. Sounds flat and messy in comparison. The bass is one dimensional and vocals are a bit shouty. Less definition, less air between instruments and not so good resolution.
Moreover. Nait XS + Flatcap XS is much more lively and 3D sounding in comparison to Superuniti, which I wanted to get to reduce the number of boxes. Even on speakers like Dali Opticon or PMC db1 the difference is noticeable.

So. Yes, I really wanted to swap 4 units for one but the sound quality is much better with separates and I listen to rock music, so guessing that with more audiophile quality recordings the difference may be even bigger.

It’s all so subjective isn’t it? The one box kit is certainly persuasive as a proposition for those who are not ardent hifi buffs, like most people, and most reviews of it are decidedly warm and positive. But I’m not at all surprised that purists prefer the multi box approach. I’m just struggling to like the harsh sounding upper strings and woodwind I’m hearing at the moment, such as when listening to a Hi Res file of Grieg string pieces or the ripped CD of Karl Richter’s version of the Bach Orchestral Suites.

In this case ( unitilite vs separates) Its rather objective assumption, cause everyone would hear the difference. Speakers are subjective - yes. Also matching them is crucial.

I would like to be happy with just Unitiqute or Uniti, but… there is no turning back.
Nait XS with Flatcap XS sounds “nicer” to me than Supernait or Superuniti. The Flatcap does the job (music gets an injection of adrenaline, momentum and it expands). Would call it a bit of psychoacoustic effect as well.

And, no I am definitely not a hifi buff, I try to spend as little as possible and only when an upgrade is worth it and it pays off.

Taking the music you listen to into consideration I would recommend Nait XS + Flatcap and a source of your choice (ND5XS or CD5XS). Slightly used won’t cost a fortune.

I have recently audition my combo with 5k floorstanders (Scan Speak Illuminator drivers) and wow! I must admit that XS series is really good. My amp had no issues driving them and the sound was sublime. So, I have probably experiences a full potential of my set up and I came into conclusion that (XS series units) in a typical size room are all I would ever need.

Ps: Sorry for my English. I am 25% British.

That’s just what I’m afraid of, in essence. I should step away from the precipice before it’s too late :grin:

Have to say the speakers are improving daily and this afternoon I enjoyed hearing the 4 Elgar Overtures, but given the dynamic range I had to turn my 50 watts of amplifier up to 44 on the dial to hear the quiet bits. So the crescendos in the brass and tympani were enough to shake the window frames. Hasn’t stopped me looking at a possible NAC-N272/NAP 250 combination though…

But then I think is it worth such investment at the ripe age of 75? And how would I possibly get this past the wife? One box is bad enough. Smuggling in a second is not easy when you are both retired.

The X series might be more sensible? I don’t have a turntable or CD player, having got comfortable with streaming from my Uniti Core. Even so it seems counter intuitive to trust in the ND5 XS having no external display, no knobs or buttons and no remote control, leaving you at the mercy of the Android app alone, if I have understood this correctly? And 3 boxes to smuggle, 4 to find shelves to sit on.

Many thanks for your helpful suggestions.

Hi krell2,

I’m interested to know why you wish to know what chip is used for the volume adjustment?

(It’s a LM1972 BTW)

Regards
Neil.

Ideally you would use a line out to go into an integrated or preamp, as this would not pass through the internal preamp. The UnitiLite does not have this, it has a pre out, which takes the signal after it has been through the internal preamp. It’ll still work, but you are needlessly passing the signal through two preamps and two volume controls. So it’s arguably a waste of money buying an integrated amp when it’s only the power amp you actually need.