Hope you’re having a flying start to 2021! (the year after the year from hell, and hopefully not another year of hell!)
Okay, I am a Naim lover but a very humble one - my only piece of kit is my beloved original Uniti streamer. Think I’ve had it for almost a decade and its been nothing but an absolute pleasure.
But I’m starting to think maybe there is a way to upgrade without breaking the bank. I wondered what my options were.
If we said a SuperUniti was the absolute biggest possible upgrade I could afford (i.e. the upgrade ceiling), what are the slightly lower priced upgrades that people can recommend from their own experience.
My speakers are Neat Motive 2 (small floorstanders) and I’m sticking with them.
BTW, my Uniti was upgraded some time ago by Naim with the updated streaming board. That was a big improvement in SQ. Prior to that, my dealer upgraded the firmware (this was approx 5 years ago) as my unit was on the original firmware! That again was a big improvement. And recently, v4.7 was yet another upgrade in SQ.
So my uniti has just kept improving over the years of ownership - SQ and functionality. Which is pretty remarkable and I take my hat off to Naim. But I think I’ve reached the limit now with this unit, it’s not going to get any better from here on, put it that way.
So, in terms of upgrades other than a SuperUniti (i.e. cheaper), what did early owners of the Uniti upgrade to and was it a successful upgrade in SQ? UnitiQute 2 and Unitilite spring to mind. But is a SuperUniti the only realistic and genuine upgrade?
Thanks for any advice you can give me!
All the best,
I would just go for the Superuniti. There aren’t really many inbetween options, other than possibly a small upgrade going for a Uniti 2. You could add a power amp, but I can’t see that costing less than trading in the Uniti for a SU.
I did not go directly from uniti but I have ended up with a Nova. I really like it and see it as “next gen” Naim looks. I think sound is great for a one box and has a lot of the more modern stuff built in.
I owned the original Uniti, and that was my first ever Naim product.
The first “upgrade” I did was the additional of a Powerline - which I thought made a big difference to the sound quality.
As my plan back then was to eventually move to separates, i added a NAP200 to the Uniti to drive the Naim s400 speakers I had, again this was a very significant upgrade to my ears.
Interesting responses so far. Appreciate it.
I went from original Uniti to Superuniti to Nova. Both were big incremental improvements and the SU was great but I would recommend you try for a used Nova if you can possibly stretch to it.
It’s well worth considering an ND5XS2 with either Nait XS2 or XS3. Either should be better than a Nova. It depends if you want an all in one and the different styling of course.
The SU is significantly better than the Uniti and is obviously cheaper. However, the current streamers are a lot more future proof and continue to receive upgrades. The Uniti and SU are frozen in time, which may or may not matter.
I really didn’t like the catsnake when I tried it. It sounded really weird. I’m not sure a lot of tweaks - mains blocks, switches, wires etc - are what the OP really needs at this stage. It’s better to get the boxes sorted out with wherever funds are available.
I must agree, leaving aside the suggestions that are well above the OPs stated budget, messing around with different cables and gadgets isn’t going to make a Uniti sound like a Superuniti.
I tried various cables with my old platform 272 and as you say, it can change the sound. For me the catsnake made it worse. The way your post was phrased implied more of an instruction, which I’m sure wasn’t meant. The idea of filtered power blocks is also something that isn’t a universal panacea and they generally make things worse. The advice just seemed too black and white - the OP could spend quite a lot and make things worse. Whereas with boxes it’s much more obvious when something is better or worse. I’m of the opinion that settling the electronics first is the key, though others may not agree. The OP seems to want to change, rather than add enhancements. Of course, they may choose the latter, which may or may not be better.
We were in the same position and replaced the Uniti with a used SuperUniti which we consider a very cost effective upgrade. Interestingly we also listened to a Nova (with PMC20.23’s as we have at home) and were quite disappointed, the sound lacked the warmth and body of the Uniti and especially the SuperUniti - could just have been the demo room though.
Thanks for the insight @mikeyb
I would go for the Superuniti. I began my Naim journey with one, and it sounded great. The SU has a very solid amplifier section and drove my ol’ Kef R107’s (which I’m still using) beautifully. It also has Naim’s special volume control which I believe makes a difference.
And although there’s a lot going on in the one box, I also believe that the positive side to that, is that the conections between the separate sections are all made at the factory, and are absolutely concise and direct, and extremely clean, factory solderings, unlike external cable connections between separate boxes. I’m sure that this adds to the excellent overall SQ of the Superuniti.
It even has an FM tuner!
However, a pre-owned Nova would be much better again, if you could swing it.
I went from a Unitilite to a Superuniti and it was a massive upgrade then on to a Nova which was equally as big a jump in sound quality.
Trust Naim and go up through the range as far as your budget allows.
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