Unitiserve opinion

Hello,
I’m considering purchase of Unitiserve to be paired with DAC-V1 as a transport. For CD listening and ripping/storing.
Have two concerns:

  1. Lot of threads here with US problems as a title.
  2. SSD or HD is better.
    Will appreciate some opinions and insights from forum members based on their experience with Unitiserve.
    BR,
    Ivo

My Unitiserve has been very reliable for 7 years. If you use it with a V1, you control it with the N-Serve app (iOS and OSX) and you can either play or rip CDs, store downloads, and use internet radio.
Note that the SSD version does not have SSD storage for music. The intention is that you use other network storage instead of a built in HDD.

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I think you would be better looking elsewhere.

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I had one, it wasn’t reliable, expensive problems, I think there are far better alternatives on the market in terms of quality and value.

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I had the US SSD and used as both a ripper and CD player with a Uq2, Nap100 and Synology NAS.

Had same concerns as you but never had an issue and sold the US for more than I paid for it!

I recommend against it. I did own one for a few years (2011-2014 or so; 2tb hdd).

As a cd ripper, it’s overpriced given that you can rip cd’s for free on any computer you already own that has a cd drive. And if your own computer doesn’t have a cd drive, an external one is very inexpensive.

As a cd ripper, it uses a Naim proprietary format for metadata that makes the default rips neigh unusable outside of the UServe. While you can set it up to rip to flac instead, even then the metadata it adds is very rudimentary. Better results with ripping cd’s on a computer.

While I cannot determine its statistical reliability, mine did need to go to service once during its lifetime.

As a player using its BNC output into a dac V1, it’s a good quality player. But not exceptional or better than other options. (Do you already own the dac V1?)

If you opt for the SSD version, and end up having to use a nas for storage of files anyway, you’re 90% there to just using a Nas with a home computer to rip and the UServe being redundant (if you want to use the nas as a server; a nas directly into the V1 will not be satisfying).

Yes, I have the DAC-V1. Currently I use MacMini & Audirvana+ as a transport. The Mini is only audio dedicated. Have also a CD5i, rarely used the last 2-3 years.
I like the shoebox size and design of the US, UQ2, DAC-V1, NAP100. I remember a very positive Unitiserve revue by Martin Colloms, Hificritic.

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I’ve had a UnitiServe on 24/7 in my system for the past five years and not had a jot of trouble . Certainly there are cheaper solutions but I don’t know any as fast, easy, and fuss free.

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I’d stick with the Mac Mini. I think that the user reviews here are more pertinent than that of Hificritic; we’ve owned the device for some period of time.

I dont think in this context how it looks is a good enough reason to drop money on it. I think it runs embedded XP, its beyond old tech.

You could create a fantastic streamer from a raspberry pi for instance for less than a 100.

For half the price, and near to shoe box size, I would have a look at the Innuos Zen Mini. Can also perform as a Roon core which is handy.

I considered the Zen mini, but in the end went for an Audiostore product. I’m enjoying the Roon experience.

I went for the Innuos Zen, not the mini, my Naim dealer is a stockist, quick listen to the Uniticore and check of the spec it was a no brainer. Also considered Melco but really wanted Roon core facility.
Not really familiar with the Audiostore products, hear good things though.

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The Zen Mini would be on my shortlist too, and the Mk3 has an SPDIF output. Having said that, there will no doubt be Unitiserves at low prices now that they have been discontinued for a while. With a V1/100, I think it would make a neat system.
If you are in the UK, Naim’s fixed price servicing means that a US is a somewhat safer bet, as you know that they can fix it in the event of a catastrophic failure. Outside the UK, it would be worth checking what service options are available, as it isn’t likely to be easy, or even possible, to do a DIY fix.

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I liked the look/design of the Unitiserve, ran it with a Unitiqute in a second system was happy with it. It was only when it started to act up I had a serious look at the competition. I realised there were better products both in relation to spec and price.
Also the fact Naim charged me £340 for less than an hours work to change a battery somewhat soured my opinion.

Thank you for all opinions!
Will see if the sense will prevail :blush:.
Beside the facts that I like it and want it I have no other practical reason. MacMini and DAC-V1 work great for me so far.
I’m sure that there are different, no Naim, solutions. But for this particular system of mine only the analog sources aren’t Naim - TT, cassette deck or R2R.

All this fixed price servicing seems particularly ill-conceived to me. On the one hand, it can be an absolute bargain if there’s a lot that needs to be done. I’m thinking of someone who had his HDX completely refurbed, upgraded to the 2TB version, software loaded, and a bunch of other stuff, for £395. If you have to pay nearly as much for just a battery replacement (which some dealers will do themselves for very little) I think you could deem that to be ‘unreasonable’, and whilst I would hope there would be no need for such an issue to escalate that far, I’m pretty sure the current UK consumer legislation would back you on that.

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One well known UK dealer advanced the view to a mate of mine, when asked whether it was worth swapping the Unitiserve CMOS battery after a few years and before it failed, that it was so easy and quick to change the battery when it did fail that it simply wasn’t worth the effort of doing it earlier.

So I think a lot less than an hour’s work.

Best

David

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I completely agree, it was an even more frustrating experience as Naim were operating a standard charge within the 5 year “extended” warranty at this time, if my Unitiserve had failed 6 months later it would have been fixed for no charge under the revised extended warranty terms. This last issue I am still pursuing with Naim and other regulatory bodies.

I completely agree David, I couldn’t believe it when I read the work sheet, I think highway robbery was the term I relayed to Naim at the time, even the offer of a couple of “free” power chords did nothing to placate me. I did consider selling off my Naim gear at this juncture but have resisted, infact have bought more.