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Uniti Star, or not Uniti Star!

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
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10,545
That is the question.....

So, currently have the following..
Marantz CD6005
Rotel 10
Dali Zensor 1s.
I also have a Rega Planar 1 which gets plugged in from time to time, but no space to permanently plug in.
So I need to free up a shelf under the TV to put the Rega.

So, an option is the Uniti Star, with a Rega Fono on the same shelf (either Fono mini, or the more expensive Fono MM if it fits). I need to check dimensions first.

But, for such an expense, there needs to be an appreciable improvement.
The streaming capability on the Star will more than likely go unused.
It's benefits to me over the current system is:
Bluetooth
DAB radio
Ability to play FLAC files from USB. I don't have many, but at present my Marantz can't accept FLAC.
Easy connection to the TV through HDMI- allows the TV to hopefully sound better.

Still, I need an improvement in CD player and amp to make the outlay easier to swallow. Will I see this from the Star? In this forums opinion (I know I need to test it first, but this forum is in the enviable position of deciding whether I even bother going to test it!!)

Next is speakers.
Assuming I have the Star, you have a few options.
Keep the Zensor 1s
Rega RX 1s
Neat Iota
Neat Motive SX3
Neat Ministra (think these might be going a little too expensive though).
ATC SCM7
ATC SCM11 (again, might be pushing it price wise).

The speakers will be sitting on a shelf, and not stand mounted. So they need to be capable of this (I will check make sure they fit on the shelf when I get home, as I know some have a largish footprint.
They will sit about 10 to 15cm from a wall behind.
The room size? Good question. About 4.5x 5.5m. Ish. Give or take!!!

What is the clever folks opinions?
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
745
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19,070
The entire Uniti range is excellent, but as the Uniti Star is not a budget device you’ll want a corresponding speaker to match.

Personally I’ll look at something like the Cambridge Audio Minx 22 with the 301 subwoofer. Trust me these little things sound much larger than they look, but the sub positioning is critical from my experience. You may have to play around with the phase control too, but once locked in the sound is unbelievable.

Monitor Audio have a wider such range of speakers too.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
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10,545
Well if the minx 22 is deemed 'non budget' then the ones I mentioned must be deemed 'extortionate'!!!

As regards what you say about the Minx. I believe similar is said about Iotas?

Also, every now and again, I'm in a position to be very picky. This is one of those occasions. Therefore, only companies that remember where they are from need apply.
That means, a company making out as if they are from Cambridge, actually employing a few people on a production line there.
I'm sure you get the gist, and unless I have got my wires crossed somewhere, everything I mention in my list complies!!

For 5yrs I thought I'd struck gold with the Zensor 1s. Until that bubble was burst in the past few days!! Shame, because the Dali is a fine speaker.

Sometimes I'm too picky for my own good!

Leaving that pickyness aside briefly. The Minx's do look interesting shelf speakers, but decent space to place the sub may not be so easy. As it is, my speakers are about the minimum distance apart you'd get away with.
 

DougK

Well-known member
Add Harbeth P3's to your list of speakers. Go used for a good price - Harbeth owners cherish the brand so they are generally in excellent condition.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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For the capabilities you seek, I think you’re being extravagent with the Uniti Star as you’re wasting its arguable strength as a streamer. DAB radio is a very poor source for home use when you have internet radio as an option, ime.
I am not familiar enough with HDMI and FLAC input options to immediately suggest anything else, and the Naim has some future potential for you. A good dealer might suggest something, and I’m wondering if a good AV amp might satisfy your requirements, though you’d need a CD player.
However, regardless of that, the shelf mounting is a massive compromise for your speakers, hence I’d go for the Neat Iotas as they work well attached to a wall. I heard them pairing very well with the previous Unitilite by Naim, so any Neat should work well, if you can get a good location.
Is a small floorstander like the Neat Iota Alpha possible in your room?
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
Add Harbeth P3's to your list of speakers. Go used for a good price - Harbeth owners cherish the brand so they are generally in excellent condition.
Do you know, I was only just thinking to myself that a pair of Harbeths may be an out the box suggestion. I actually looked at their website last night.
Expensive, but seemingly worth it.
 
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James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
You a
For the capabilities you seek, I think you’re being extravagent with the Uniti Star as you’re wasting its arguable strength as a streamer. DAB radio is a very poor source for home use when you have internet radio as an option, ime.
I am not familiar enough with HDMI and FLAC input options to immediately suggest anything else, and the Naim has some future potential for you. A good dealer might suggest something, and I’m wondering if a good AV amp might satisfy your requirements, though you’d need a CD player.
However, regardless of that, the shelf mounting is a massive compromise for your speakers, hence I’d go for the Neat Iotas as they work well attached to a wall. I heard them pairing very well with the previous Unitilite by Naim, so any Neat should work well, if you can get a good location.
Is a small floorstander like the Neat Iota Alpha possible in your room?
You are right that I am wasting some potential. Hence the Star would have to be a decent improvement on what I've got sound wise for CDs.

As for an AV amp. I can live with what I have tv wise (My lack of film watching doesn't warrant anything special me thinks). I probably wouldnt purchase something aimed mainly at that.
I just mentioned the HDMI connection, as it is a bonus of the Star. A nice bonus at that.
The thing I am mainly concerned about though is Hifi.

All of what I have mentioned is obviously very possible with a bunch of separates, but by that time id have probably killed my bank account, and run out of space. It would take about 3 decks to manage. I have a total of 3 shelves under the TV. One of which is my combined DVD/ VHS player (by the way, anyone know of any combined Bluray/ VHS players?!!!!)
So as you can see, it doesn't fit. That's even before we get onto the Rega P1 that would like a permanent home.

Hence my thinking of the Star, which seems like a decent unit which does everything, and I can squeeze a Fono stage on the same shelf.
Of course, the Star has an extra benefit, in that if one day, paying extra money to subscribe to a streaming service was an option, then I am ready for it.

Taking all my wants and desires into account, the Star seems to fit the bill nicely. If I decide against it, then I stick with what I have. I am just as happy sticking and saving!!

So I think the main question is:
Does the Star provide a better CD player and Amp over what I have?

As for speakers. In the small space I have, enough of my floor space is taken as it is. Cluttering up more floor space would start making the room look more like a dump, and less like a living space. In my parents place, I'd say yes, floor standard. But in my place, I'm thinking not.
Plus at the end of the day, pretty much all stand mounts can be put on a shelf, even if there is a slight loss in musicality!! The thing to worry about is whether they can live with being so close to a back wall.
 

MUSICRAFT

Well-known member
but as the Uniti Star is not a budget device you’ll want a corresponding speaker to match.

but the sub positioning is critical from my experience. You may have to play around with the phase control too, but once locked in the sound is unbelievable.
IME, with all things being equal when a subwoofer is effectively aligned, calibrated and dialled in the difference a subwoofer can make to a system in profound (y)

IMO, a subwwofer is the most important component :)
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
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10,545
OP - in our experience Focal's Aria 906's and Acoustic Energy's AE500's are also worth a look as these have great synergy with the Uniti Star.
The French are invading!!
As you probably sell all this stuff, you can help me with my other dilemma!
Where do Focal make their stuff? I see both France and China in my searches.
Ditto for Acoustic Energy. I've seen China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Oh it's good when you can be picky!
Many thanks for the suggestions though.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
Add Harbeth P3's to your list of speakers. Go used for a good price - Harbeth owners cherish the brand so they are generally in excellent condition.
I've read (admittedly by a bunch of Americans!!) That the integrated Naims are too underpowered for Harbeths (even P3s).

Now is this:
a- The typical American outlook where say, cars are too small unless they are trucks, and engines are too small unless they are 5 litre V8s.
b- An unfair comparison with higher powered seperates, but in reality the integrateds are more than adequate.
c- A fair point.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
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10,545
You’re welcome.

Focal’s Aria Series is built in France.

Acoustic Energy’s 500 Series is built in China.
The Focals are possibilities then.
Acoustic Energy is out the window without a second thought (they probably aren't even made by Acoustic Energy full stop, but some 3rd party). There's a reason I never purchased a Muso for upstairs, despite how good they looked!

Oh it's so fun being picky!!
PS, If anyone points out where the CD player in the Star is made, they are off my Xmas card list!!!

On another note. Somebody, somewhere (was it on here?) Wrote that if you like the Rotel sound, you will like Naim. As it is similar to Rotel, only better.
Is this still the case for their Uniti integrateds as well?

My Rotel 10 I am very happy with, and if I do change to a Star, then my Rotel and Marantz will head upstairs to start a system.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
Thinking, that I may rearrange the living room, and move the TV and it's cabinet onto the long wall, instead of being in the corner. In which case, I may be able to do a pair of floor standers.
So, with that in mind, I ordered a pair of £38,000 Meridian active speakers!!!!!!!!!!

That was a joke by the way!
Anyone suggestions for floor standers that may sound and look better than say the Harbeth P3s?
Shall we say maximum 1k, with more available if they are super dooper, out of this world.

I don't need my ear drums damaged, or my walls shaking through too much bass.
As if I didn't have enough of a shortlist already!
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
831
301
19,270
Now is this:
a- The typical American outlook where say, cars are too small unless they are trucks, and engines are too small unless they are 5 litre V8s.
b- An unfair comparison with higher powered seperates, but in reality the integrateds are more than adequate.
c- A fair point.
a-
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
American engines are usually (though not always) lazy in terms of technology and low specific outputs. Primitive but endearing, like Fred Flintstone.
I was trying not to go too far in my American bashing! Now you have definitely opened a can of worms!

Looking back at the Americans though. The OP in that thread was on about an old Unitiqute. Which only had 30 watts if my searching was correct?
The majority of the replies were incorrect though, as they just used a blanket 'Naim Integrateds', and this was back in 2019/ 2020, after the Atom etc was launched.

What makes me laugh though is somebody then claimed the 50w of some (suspected American) amp was ample power.

Perhaps he/ she had never left their Texan ranch to explore the outside world!!!! Anyone for sending them a Uniti Nova?!!!
 

myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
69
33
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If you can afford it, go with the Uniti Star now and upgrade speakers later. I recently tried a pair of Dali Spektor 2s in my system, which I'd bought open-box as a birthday gift for my son. They didn't sound anywhere near as good as my old Spendor SA2s (phew!) but sounded fine with higher quality amplification than they were designed for. The Naim will give you way better sound for your TV, and I'm sure would also improve your CDs - you also have the delights of internet radio and streaming services, even if you don't use them now you may well in the future (I'd recommend FIP radio for the musically broad-minded...).
I'm with you on the exporting jobs while retaining 'patriotic' branding thing - budgetary constraints have meant I've bought Cambridge before (along with the Dalis and a NAD amp for my son, not to mention my Mac mini...). If I ever change my old Spendors, I'd be looking at brands that design and build in UK or Europe, although perhaps perversely I've less objection to Chinese or Taiwanese based companies that aren't trying to pretend to be European, like Auralic or Matrix Audio DACs.
WRT speakers, I could perhaps throw in a couple of other brands - Kudos (NE England), Amphion (Finland) and of course Spendor (England)...all very different, but a few more choices to consider demo-ing when the impending lockdown finally ends.
 

James83

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2015
83
11
10,545
If you can afford it, go with the Uniti Star now and upgrade speakers later. I recently tried a pair of Dali Spektor 2s in my system, which I'd bought open-box as a birthday gift for my son. They didn't sound anywhere near as good as my old Spendor SA2s (phew!) but sounded fine with higher quality amplification than they were designed for. The Naim will give you way better sound for your TV, and I'm sure would also improve your CDs - you also have the delights of internet radio and streaming services, even if you don't use them now you may well in the future (I'd recommend FIP radio for the musically broad-minded...).
I'm with you on the exporting jobs while retaining 'patriotic' branding thing - budgetary constraints have meant I've bought Cambridge before (along with the Dalis and a NAD amp for my son, not to mention my Mac mini...). If I ever change my old Spendors, I'd be looking at brands that design and build in UK or Europe, although perhaps perversely I've less objection to Chinese or Taiwanese based companies that aren't trying to pretend to be European, like Auralic or Matrix Audio DACs.
WRT speakers, I could perhaps throw in a couple of other brands - Kudos (NE England), Amphion (Finland) and of course Spendor (England)...all very different, but a few more choices to consider demo-ing when the impending lockdown finally ends.
Ta.
It's just moving my living room around when I get home, and finding space for my small unit (came with the house, and very handy for storage of small items).

Then measuring up and seeing how say, floor standers sit. I'm liking the look of the Rega RX3s, because, move away from the reviews on this site, and the reviews are actually very promising. The speakers actually look alright as well.
Floor standers really do go up in price though.
I've looked at Spendor and ATC Floor standers, and they all seem to be out of the price range. It's all a case of what sits right with me, and whether floor standers are worth it for my smallish living room.

I don't think I've heard of Kudos or Amphion. Ta for the heads up. I shall take a look.

I certainly have a nice short list now. With the way BoJo is going though, I'm not going to be able to go and see anything, so I may have to wait.
I'm assuming for home demos, the shops still expect you to pick up the speakers and drop them back?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
526
310
19,270
Acoustic Energy is out the window without a second thought (they probably aren't even made by Acoustic Energy full stop, but some 3rd party).
You will find that many products are built in China to a manufacture’s spec, design and QC, often ones you thought were of British, U.S. or other origin.
Our Volvo car is built in China and trimmed in Norway, for example.
Regarding Acoustic Energy, when we lived in rural Gloucestershire a few years ago, I drove past their head office every day. But most of their speakers are assembled overseas.
If you want British designed and built it narrows the field dramatically, but the likes of ATC and Harbeth are built in England even if a few components might be from overseas.
 

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