Naim UnitiQute and lower cost speakers options

millem

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Dec 20, 2010
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I'm taking my first baby steps towards 'serious' HiFi and I think I've found the product for me. After demoing the Arcam Solo Neo and Naim UnitiQute; it needs to be a 1 box solution, I've settled on the Naim UnitiQute.
They both sounded fantastic; the BOSE Wave Radio/CD that wakes me up in the morning is my reference! Ultimately the Naim UnitiQute sounded more open, neutral and pacey - but in a good way! What convinced me was the way it made the Mick Fleetwood, John McVie rhythm section sing when playing some early Peter Green Fleetwood Mac FLAC files. The Naim's features and lack of them i.e. CD player are also a good match for me.
Here's the situation/plan:
- I listen to an eclectic mix of music but my iTunes genres and play counts tell me I listen to more blues and classical music than anything else.
- the principal listening environment is similar to the room used in the What HiFi 2010 awards videos. Open plan with two large glass windows which the speakers would back on to. Specifically it's a 8.5m x 8.5m (28ft x 28ft) combined kitchen/living/dinning room with wooden floors, and on two sides 6m (20ft) floor to ceiling windows. The room is about 3m (10ft) tall.
- despite it being a largish room we actively don't want to fill it with sound. While we have good sound insulation, we still have neighbors on one side and are only looking to fill the living area with sound.
- hardwired CAT 6 (2 subnets) and a WiFi network
- I buy CDs but don't play them. I rip to FLAC and then convert to 320 kbps AAC files for iOS devices.
- the AACs live on a shared Mac Mini OS X Server, the FLACs on a primary NAS and a backup NAS
- the Mini will push the AACs to the Naim UnitiQute via an optical input
- the Naim UnitiQute will pull FLACs from the NAS
- wireless control with Naim app and Apple Remote. My wife loves the convenience particularly on her iPad and I must admit, so do I.
- I'd like to experiment with Apple TV2 streaming as it appears to buffer content in memory before playback, which could be interesting
BUT. There's a problem and I'm sure I'm not the first. The Naim UnitiQute will take most of the budget. When I demoed the Naim UnitiQute it was with the circa GBP 1000 n-SAT speakers, and while I liked the sound my wife didn't like the price!
Fortunately I have a flexible dealer who is prepared to let me take a demo unit home for a few days over christmas, to help me decide. He's suggested a new speaker from Monitor, the BX2, which he felt might suit me.
So after a long preamble there are two key questions:
1. Can I do the Naim UnitiQute and myself justice with a 250-300 quid stand mount speaker (Excluding stands.) for a couple of years
2. Are there other speakers I should consider testing, the dealer is willing to source
If you made it this far, you deserve a medal. Thank you
 
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Anonymous

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I think the BX2 is defo worth an audition..... see if it's up to your standards....... other wise. I would maybe have a look at the speakers I use. I think they are incredible value for money. A very natural presentation. I know that along with other brands they use Naim with their speakers during testing. They are only available on line but have a 30 day trial period. other than that.

I guess around Christmas you might pick up something second hand in great condition. or have a butchers at the new Kef q 100 but have no idea about how they might match.

good luck
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JohnDuncan:Well I'm running some of these on the end of a NaimUniti at the moment...


Excellent........... and that leaves some change for booze.
 

millem

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Dec 20, 2010
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Thanks for your thoughts. I'll definitely take a closer look at your suggestions. In the meantime the dealer has lined up a set of B&W 685s which he could do a deal on to get closer to my budget if I don't mind taking a demo model.

So I pick up the UnitiQute, the BX2s and the 685s tomorrow and get to play until January. I live in a small country and specialist shops often close until around January 6th :)
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I'd give the little KEF Q100's a go - very revealing speakers for the money - might be a little more at £380, but worth it for the extra you'll hear over other speakers. Also, try the Rega RS1's if you can.
 

millem

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Dec 20, 2010
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The Rega might me tricky to track down but I've got a good chance with the KEF. Cheers for the suggestions. I'll let you know how I get on.
 

millem

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Dec 20, 2010
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JohnDuncan:millem:specialist shops often close until around January 6thOh no...Ohh yes all the 'specialist' shops ;-)
 

northernsoul

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May 7, 2010
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You can pick up a pair of Quad IL2's for around £250 brand new at the moment, serious value in my opinion...
 

bay24

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Aug 13, 2007
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northernsoul:You can pick up a pair of Quad IL2's for around £250 brand new at the moment, serious value in my opinion...
The quads could be a good bet but also if you are willing to go second hand you could pick up some avi neutron v or iv at £300 mark perhaps less.
 

millem

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Dec 20, 2010
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A few weeks have passed and I wanted to thank those who gave me suggestions and let you know what I eventually decided. I went with a set of B&W 685s. They were a demo model so I was able to get a decent price. In the end, and to me at least the sound felt a little more rounded than the Monitors and that's what decided it.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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FrankHarveyHiFi:I'd give the little KEF Q100's a go - very revealing speakers for the money - might be a little more at £380, but worth it for the extra you'll hear over other speakers. Also, try the Rega RS1's if you can.

Sorry to hijack this thread people, but David do you think for my Arcam Solo Mini the Q100s will be a sideways step? I am interested because I have my 685s close - about 15cm from the back wall, and am quite happy with the sound but thinking a smaller, more premium speaker like the KEF might tighten things up a bit?
 

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