Hoping to purchase a unitiserve in the near future and would appreciate any tips or advice and what acessories that come with the unit ,cheers
It should come with a mains lead and power supply. You will just need to provide an Ethernet cable. If you plan to use it directly into a DAC you will also need to get hold of an SPDIF cable (coax or optical depending on the DAC.)
My advice would be not to buy one. It’s long superseded, lacks functionality and is a bit of a nightmare to back up. A nas will sound just as good and is far more flexible. Rip CDs on your computer with dbpoweramp and you are away. If you really want a Naim solution then look at the Core. Again it’s very limited but at least it’s current and it makes ripping CDs very easy.
When I got mine it only came with a quick start guide. The manual is online and very comprehensive. I run mine with the N-Serve app, although with a naim streamer you use the naim app.
I have found it is sensitive to installation. Put it on a proper shelf instead of being shoved in the cupboard along with the router.
Functionality is a user issue in that it depends entirely how you want to use it.
I don’t have any issues ripping, tagging or backing up, it’s a very easy solution in that regard. With regards to tagging, it has had criticisms about tagging classical music as it’s editing methodology is not very flexible. But for my limited classical collection, it is not a problem.
I’ve been using one since 2013 and with regards to ripping, tagging, backing up and serving music to my streamer, it’s been faultless.
Other people seem to be less pleased with it. Like I said, it mostly comes down to how the user wants to use it.
But there are are other options out there that you may find would suit better. Also check out the other options.
The Userve, I find is very good for my needs - rip & storage of CD’s, it also streams internet radio…
Got mine when they first came out…had a couple of initial issues but seems all sorted…
Make sure you get latest firmware 1.7c (just got mine uploaded).
Get one for the right price…some good competition out there though…
I purchased the U/serv new, as a special price-reduced offer from my Naim dealer, although a little bit disappointed to learn it was about to be discontinued and replaced by a newer model about four months later. The good points were that it interfaced easily with rest of my Naim gear - ND5XS and the Naim app and it matched the rest of the gear in the rack in terms of appearance (it sits nicely besides the Hi Cap). It proved a simple and easy way to rip my 100’s of CDs onto the system. Now for the slightly negative points:- it refused to rip a couple of CDs which showed “errors”, although my PC ripped them ok. Occasionally, it wouldn’t show the album artwork, but that can be retro added via the N-serve app. My main gripe was that at one particular time we suffered power cuts for some unknown reason ( nearby construction works?) about once every 3 months and each time after the power was restored the U/serve wouldn’t re-boot. This required a visit to my dealer to get them to re-boot it using an external keyboard and screen plugged into the back of the Unitiserv. A real pain in terms of wasted time. Eventually it went back to Naim who annoyingly charged a full fee for a service , even though it was in guarantee when I first raised the issues with my dealer. Since returning it has behaved faultlessly. I think it ha d a software upgrade. So in conclusion, to echo comments of previous contributors; 1) make sure it has the latest software so you don’t my re-boot problems if it’s not switched off properly; 2) it probably isn’t really any better than an external NAS - in theory when I demmed it at my dealer as U/s CD rip sounded a bit better than a NAS-ripped CD [more “Naim” like and detailed] but at home, I’ve not discerned that. 3) in my view , if you like to have everything in your system Naim and you can get it at a reasonable price then it’s a good buy. Hope that helps. Good luck.
Functionally I think the Unitiserve is OK, but you have to remember its operating system is Windows XP Embedded which is out of support by Microsoft. And putting downloads into the downloads folder needs SMB1 enabled in your PC, which is a security risk unless you disable it after doing whatever you wanted to do.
The other problem is when it doesn’t start properly. If you are lucky then this is just telling you it needs a new CMOS backup battery. But this requires setting up after being changed. A good dealer will do it for low cost and you can do it yourself with help from people here on the forum. If you send it back to Naim they will want to do a full service which is several hundred pounds.
If you are unlucky when it doesn’t start then you may have a hard disc failure. This is relatively commonplace. The unit has to go back to Naim or a major service centre outside the UK for replacement of the hard disc. Unfortunately this isn’t a DIY job at all because the operating system is stored on the same hard disc and Naim does not make the disc image available for non-Naim approved repair.
You definitely want the 1.7c firmware, but you can upgrade that yourself with a CD supplied by Naim (also that CD image is available on line, although not on Naim’s website for some reason).
This was quite an expensive unit originally and you should be able to get a good one now for £500 or less, so it is worth looking at. But if you live in an area with frequent mains power interruptions, then I think you would be wise to give it a miss. Windows XP computers don’t like being turned off improperly and after a power cut, waiting while it goes through its longish startup routine is fingernail biting!
Just using the Unitiserve to stream some stuff from a network share on the PC out via a CA dac and into a FC/92/90. Sounds pretty damn good.
What the Untiserve lacks is multi room capability and Qobuz, Amazon etc onboard. As a stand alone it does what it’s meant to do very well.
Is there a particular reason you want a UnitiServe?
And not a Core?
Those units are so long out of date now, I cannot imagine the incentive to buy one unless you’re a TOTAL do-it-yourselfer (with the proviso that I am somewhat sure that you cannot get your hands on the OS if you need to reformat).
The core is out of my price range,truthfully I hate the look of it
I’ve owned my UnitiServe for six years. Apart from a failed CD drive it’s performed faultlessly. I know a couple of ex Core owners who have moved on to other products, and who both wished they hadn’t got rid of their Serves! I wouldn’t be parted from my US. Software is solid as a rock, and the sound through my system is exquisite. Buy with confidence!
I understand the price range thing, but the looks are ok and you don’t need to put it with your other Naim. My Core sits on a shelf in my home office, where I can easily relax and feed discs into it.
How are you going to connect it to your hi fi? Because there are other options on the market, to use current hardware, etc.
I would say if you can pick one up for circa £200 then its a reasonable purchase. Otherwise there are so many better options out there.
Thank you all for the advice
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