Naim Unitiqute VS CD/amp combo . opinions please

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Aug 10, 2019
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Hi Guys

I have been running a Denon df101 mini cd / amp set up (2003 best mini hifi ) for the last 6 years, and have just upgraded my old Kef Q15's to some Kef Q5se floor standers, bi wired with Chord Carnival silver screen..

I am not really happy with the sound im getting, especially after listening to a Naim unitiqute today.

My question is .

I want the best possible source and amp for £1000-1500 budget.

My first thought was a cd and amp, unsure of brand at the moment,

Then read about the naim unitiqute, this apeals to me because you can listen to random tracks from your music catalogue, using a NAS.

What would sound better and why a Naim unitiqute (£1350) or a CD/ amp at the same value. and what would you recommend.

Thanks

Also is there any particular type of NAS that work or dont work with Naim unitiqute.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
tim20:

Hi Guys

I have been running a Denon df101 mini cd / amp set up (2003 best mini hifi ) for the last 6 years, and have just upgraded my old Kef Q15's to some Kef Q5se floor standers, bi wired with Chord Carnival silver screen..

I am not really happy with the sound im getting, especially after listening to a Naim unitiqute today.

My question is .

I want the best possible source and amp for £1000-1500 budget.

My first thought was a cd and amp, unsure of brand at the moment,

Then read about the naim unitiqute, this apeals to me because you can listen to random tracks from your music catalogue, using a NAS.

What would sound better and why a Naim unitiqute (£1350) or a CD/ amp at the same value. and what would you recommend.

Thanks

Also is there any particular type of NAS that work or dont work with Naim unitiqute.

Hi

Exactly what is it you DON'T like about your current system? Budget please? Edit very quickly.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sounds quite brash, It does sound clear, and full ,but with no sparkle

But when i listen to higher grade equipment , like the naim unitiqute today and rega apollo / brio in the past the vocals sound much more like the person is in the room, also instruments sound much more natural, and finally the most noticeable difference to me was the treble, much more detail and much sweeter and delicate.
 

audioaffair

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Feb 21, 2009
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Within your budget, have you considered the Roksan K2 amplifier and K2
CD player as a package? These are perfectly matched and should offer the sparkle you feel you're missing. They offer a level of detail and top end clarity among the most impressive amp/cd combos within budget along with a punchy bottom end and excellent timing.

Have you heard these yet as part of your search?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Have a listen to the NAIM XS i picked mine up as new from a Hi-Fi dealer ex demo for £900 with warranty, this would give you a fair amount left for a decent cd player, as you can see from my sig i have the rega apollo and it pairs very well with the naim amp.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
audioaffair:
Within your budget, have you considered the Roksan K2 amplifier and K2CD player as a package? These are perfectly matched and should offer the sparkle you feel you're missing. They offer a level of detail and top end clarity among the most impressive amp/cd combos within budget along with a punchy bottom end and excellent timing.

Have you heard these yet as part of your search?

No, not even considered those, will do now though,

Thanks, ( but still interested in having all my music there at the touch of a button, is there something i could link in to give as good a sound as the naim unitiqute.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If you don't mind getting rid of the speakers too, check out the AVI ADM9.1T. You get a complete package, bar a CD transport. The sub is excellent and can be added later if you feel the need for more extension.

What do they do well? Imaging, bass control, treble sparkle & accuracy. Etc.
 

roger06

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2007
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I guess there's another issue to bear in mind and that's the future of the CD player. I've recently got myself a NAS, MacBook Pro etc but this is partly out of curiosity and the fact I like playing with technology, and so I can easily listen to lots of streamed stuff.

But, my set up for streaming isn't about quality. When I want a serious listen I use my Naim CD5i / Nait 5i combo.

So I'm not one of those encouraging or predicting the death of the CD player. However, if I could afford to upgrade my Naim kit I don't think I'd even look at a CD player. I'd stick with Naim and I'd certainly be looking at Uniti, DAC etc. If Naim, one of the best but also (arguably) one of the slowest to adapt to new formats etc have started going down this route, it's a clear indication of the future.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
roger06:
I guess there's another issue to bear in mind and that's the future of the CD player. I've recently got myself a NAS, MacBook Pro etc but this is partly out of curiosity and the fact I like playing with technology, and so I can easily listen to lots of streamed stuff.

But, my set up for streaming isn't about quality. When I want a serious listen I use my Naim CD5i / Nait 5i combo.

So I'm not one of those encouraging or predicting the death of the CD player. However, if I could afford to upgrade my Naim kit I don't think I'd even look at a CD player. I'd stick with Naim and I'd certainly be looking at Uniti, DAC etc. If Naim, one of the best but also (arguably) one of the slowest to adapt to new formats etc have started going down this route, it's a clear indication of the future.

Thats my thoughts exactly, just don't want to sell myself short on sound quality for the sake of convenience, (i think ???)
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,031
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19,695
roger06:But, my set up for streaming isn't about quality. When I want a serious listen I use my Naim CD5i / Nait 5i combo.

Whereas mine is, and when I want a serious listen I use the Uniti...


That said, I had the UnitiQute in place for about 20 minutes before Mrs JD said that it would never work because it didn't have a disc player. Swapped its big brother back in and calm was restored.

Read my post here for a long term view...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
JohnDuncan:roger06:But, my set up for streaming isn't about quality. When I want a serious listen I use my Naim CD5i / Nait 5i combo.Whereas mine is, and when I want a serious listen I use the Uniti...
That said, I had the UnitiQute in place for about 20 minutes before Mrs JD said that it would never work because it didn't have a disc player. Swapped its big brother back in and calm was restored.Read my post here for a long term view...

Hi, thanks for that, an interesting read, Ive just brought the jan 2011 copy of what hifi, and now to add to the mix i noticed a rotel streamer and amp combination, Have you any experience of this ?

I think i will give them both a listen.

Also will my Kef Q5se speakers be ok with the Naim unitiqute?
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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igglebert:If you don't mind getting rid of the speakers too, check out the AVI ADM9.1T. You get a complete package, bar a CD transport. The sub is excellent and can be added later if you feel the need for more extension.

What do they do well? Imaging, bass control, treble sparkle & accuracy. Etc.

+1
for your budget, the adm9.1 can't be beaten. they'll wipe the floor with what you have, and imo, what you are looking at. in their areas of strength, i'm not sure what you would have to spend to better them.
 

AL13N

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Nov 29, 2009
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tim20:I want the best possible source and amp for £1000-1500 budget... interested in having all my music there at the touch of a buttonCraig M.:igglebert:If you don't mind getting rid of the speakers too, check out the AVI ADM9.1T.+1
for your budget, the adm9.1 can't be beaten.
Take a look at the AVI ADM9T (£1125) + Squeezebox Touch (£199.95). It's within your budget and also allows you to stream files upto 24bit/96kHz. There's also an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app (iPeng).

If you want to keep CD playback as an option, simply connect your present CDP to the AVI DAC.

Just a thought. Happy hunting.
 

AlmaataKZ

New member
Jan 7, 2009
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AL13N:Craig M.:tim20:I want the best possible source and amp for £1000-1500 budget.igglebert:If you don't mind getting rid of the speakers too, check out the AVI ADM9.1T.+1
for your budget, the adm9.1 can't be beaten.
Take a look at the AVI ADM9T (£1125) + Squeezebox Touch (£199.95).

At £1324.95 it's within your budget and also allows you to stream files upto 24bit/96kHz.

There's also an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app (iPeng).

If you want to keep CD playback as an option, simply connect your present CDP to the AVI DAC.

Just a thought. Happy hunting.

Although I have not heard this complete combination, I think it is really worth a serious look. I use SB Touch and it is excellent. The speakers should also be good as it is an active design (with numerous benefits that come with it) plus it is also a pre-amp with remote.

unityq is also very interesting. it consolidates things around the source (while the above option does it around the speaekers) adn will also allow you to use actiev speaekrs as it has pre-out.

try both. my bet is the active speaekers one will sound better (although it of casue depends on the pasive speakers you use and your sound taste).
 

AL13N

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Nov 29, 2009
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Also, if you don't need 24bit support then simply connect an AirPort Express to the ADM9T and control everything with an iPod Touch using AirPlay.

You'll need a computer running iTunes*, or subscribe to Spotify/Napster and have all your music up in the clouds


*To access your media library. YouTube, Last.FM, internet radio, etc. can be accessed without needing a
computer switched on.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
AL13N:Also, if you don't need 24bit support then simply connect an AirPort Express to the ADM9T and control everything with an iPod Touch using AirPlay.

You'll need a computer running iTunes*, or subscribe to Spotify/Napster and have all your music up in the clouds


*To access your media library. YouTube, Last.FM, internet radio, etc. can be accessed without needing a
computer switched on.


Had a quick look, sound like a solution, but to be honest the wife will not have stand mount speakers, so probably a dead start.

I use Kef Q5se at the moment, they are quite small and thin. ( i brought these as they were rated at 5 star speakers) and at the time they where the top of my budget.

Will these hold me back with a Naim uniti or Cd/amp combo costing £1000 to £1500.
 

BillDay66

New member
Nov 30, 2010
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[quote user="tim20")

Thanks, ( but still interested in having all my music there at the touch of a button, is there something i could link in to give as good a sound as the naim unitiqute. /quote]

Hi Tim

Im no expert but have been doing plenty of research lately, think I want the same thing as you, being a good quality 'old fashioned' stereo set up but with digital capabilities. With the help of some advice on here I'm going to be auditioning soon some stereo amps or cd players with dacs built in (cyrus 8xpd / audiolab 8200 cd - to name a couple of award winners) If I dont like these then I can consider an exernal dac and any amp that takes my fancy.

I plan to blow my budget on an amp and speakers (unless I really like the audiolab cd) and use my PS3 as a transport for now - Ive had differing opinions as to the quality of the PS3 but Im guessing just being used as transport into a quality dac it should be ok (at least until the dust has settled on this purchase anyway!) and the PS3 will of course stream all my digital music as well.

You can always use a laptop / pc to stream your digital files via usb into the amps dac or an external dac if you dont have a PS3.

I have considered the merits of the unitqute but feel that for me anyway, doing it this way can achieve the same things, is much more versatile and gives you so many more options.

Hope this helps.
 

AL13N

New member
Nov 29, 2009
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tim20:AL13N:Also, if you don't need 24bit support then simply connect an AirPort Express to the ADM9T and control everything with an iPod Touch using AirPlay.
Had a quick look, sound like a solution, but to be honest the wife will not have stand mount speakers, so probably a dead start.
I use Kef Q5se at the moment, they are quite small and thin. ( i brought these as they were rated at 5 star speakers) and at the time they where the top of my budget.

Will these hold me back with a Naim uniti or Cd/amp combo costing £1000 to £1500.
Those KEFs are very good speakers.

Have a look at the XTZ Class-A100D3. Simply connect an AirPort Express for streaming and your
KEF IQ5SE. A one box solution for £600.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi Guys,

Just an update,

Ive been to my local dealer, and have had a good few hours listening to a range of equipment, using kef Q500's for the speakers.

First up the reason for my trip to have another listen to the Naim Unitiqute,

Result, I didnt like it, very week vocals, not much wow factor. (bass was nice though.)

Next up Arcam Solo Neo,

Result, To my ears way sweeter, vocals much more up front and more detail. Bass not has full or deep. (1st place at the moment.

Next up Arcan CD37 with a A28 amp,

Same sound as the neo but more detail more treble, same softish bass, sounded great to my ear. (REALLY LIKE THIS SET UP) obviously no streaming function , but you could hear a massive step up sound quality from the Naim unitiqute.

Next up Naim CD5i and 5i amp

Vocals much better that the unitiqute , plenty of detail, bass weight was best so far. Sounded very solid, did really like it, but i dont think it touched me as much as the Arcam set up?

So basically i think CD sounds better than streaming! is this normal?

So i think the best bet is to try a Naim Uniti as this has the cd palyer and streaming function. (ran out of time today.)

To sum up, the Arcam Solo Neo would have been taken home today if i hadn't have listened to seperate cd/amp combos.

So maybe the naim Uniti will be the perfect partner. Over budget, but ive been told the uniti will be in the january sale with a large sale on, to bring it very close to my budget.

I'll keep you posted on my findings.

Tim
 

AL13N

New member
Nov 29, 2009
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tim20:So maybe the naim Uniti will be the perfect partner.
Given how much you liked the CD5i and Nait 5i combo it very well could be. The Uniti is very closely based on the 5i seperates, though of course not exactly the same.

Another option would be the Audiolab 8200CDQ and 8200P combo. At £1498 it's just within your maximum budget. Simply connect an AirPort Express to the CDQ for streaming.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
295
1
18,890
tim20:
Hi Guys,

Just an update,

Ive been to my local dealer, and have had a good few hours listening to a range of equipment, using kef Q500's for the speakers.

First up the reason for my trip to have another listen to the Naim Unitiqute,

Result, I didnt like it, very week vocals, not much wow factor. (bass was nice though.)

Next up Arcam Solo Neo,

Result, To my ears way sweeter, vocals much more up front and more detail. Bass not has full or deep. (1st place at the moment.

Next up Arcan CD37 with a A28 amp,

Same sound as the neo but more detail more treble, same softish bass, sounded great to my ear. (REALLY LIKE THIS SET UP) obviously no streaming function , but you could hear a massive step up sound quality from the Naim unitiqute.

Next up Naim CD5i and 5i amp

Vocals much better that the unitiqute , plenty of detail, bass weight was best so far. Sounded very solid, did really like it, but i dont think it touched me as much as the Arcam set up?

So basically i think CD sounds better than streaming! is this normal?

So i think the best bet is to try a Naim Uniti as this has the cd palyer and streaming function. (ran out of time today.)

To sum up, the Arcam Solo Neo would have been taken home today if i hadn't have listened to seperate cd/amp combos.

So maybe the naim Uniti will be the perfect partner. Over budget, but ive been told the uniti will be in the january sale with a large sale on, to bring it very close to my budget.

I'll keep you posted on my findings.

Tim

I've said before (many times - sorry!), if you stream lossless files to a decent DAC and use a good stereo amp, you will beat a similarly priced cd/amp combo.
 

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