New Uniti Core

As an early adopter of the Unitiserve, and still happily using it, I was just wondering what the newly announced Uniti Core might be ? Good to see that NAIM haven't thrown in the towel with music servers, as some had predicted they would.

After a quick look at the new announcement it seems like a new UServe. But I wonder what might be the difference between the Core and the Serve ? It does have a linear PS. 

Any ideas ?

Paul

 

 

 

Original Post
PBenny1066 posted:

As an early adopter of the Unitiserve, and still happily using it, I was just wondering what the newly announced Uniti Core might be ? Good to see that NAIM haven't thrown in the towel with music servers, as some had predicted they would.

After a quick look at the new announcement it seems like a new UServe. But I wonder what might be the difference between the Core and the Serve ? It does have a linear PS. 

Any ideas ?

Paul

 

 

 

Im in the same boat as you Paul (early adopter as well as a happy user of the Unitiserve still). It looks as if the Core has the possibility for users / retailers to fit the HDD drives rather than in the case of the US of it going back to Salisbury.

Also it has wireless updates a linear power supply and a nice new style case. That's it in terms of feature differences from what I can see.

Question is whether it will serve music over the network any differently, ie. as per KRM's point - how will it compare SQ wise with our Unitiserve's alt. Melco's.

Guess this will come out in the wash over coming months.....

KRM posted:

How will the Core compare with the Unitiserve and with the Melco, I wonder? It doesn't copy the Melco's trick of direct connection to the streamer by ethernet.

Keith

N.B. the Melco can do away with any need for ethernet at all except for adding new music from another source - it can provide a rendered output to the DAC via usb 

Adam Zielinski posted:

Well- I see Core as a successor to a UnitiServe. If and whenmy US SSD decides to die completely, Core will be the next one in

You are so fickle. And what is to become of the Society that you have just made me a big wig of? I can't see there being a Dead Core Society so what are we supposed to do?

nigelb posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

Well- I see Core as a successor to a UnitiServe. If and whenmy US SSD decides to die completely, Core will be the next one in

You are so fickle. And what is to become of the Society that you have just made me a big wig of? I can't see there being a Dead Core Society so what are we supposed to do?

Fear not Nigel. Dead UnitiServes Society lives on.

My ns01 that had shown signs of problems over the last weeks, decided to die Tuesday, really at the right time! I wonder what a ns01 from will be sold for now we know the prices for a core? My problem is my special love and only love relationship with the desktop client! If I want to keep that the Core is not an option!

The other very important issue for me is to be able to control all server features from the app. This will have to wait for the next update to the app that must be hidden in the secret development department somewhere.

At least my system sounds  broken, probably because my power amps are at Naim for the DR treatment.

Claus

I think the Core uses a Naim optimized version of Linux for the OS.

Presumably, the Core has the following advantages over UnityServe:

 - Optimized OS for music serving (competitor to microrendu?).

 - Improved ripping software.

 - improvements to vibration-control design.

 - linear power supply.

 - control from new Naim app.

 - possible improvements to SPDIF output?

 - field installation of hdd/ssd.

 - flexible use of usb or networked disk drives.

 - many supported file formats, including dsd.

 - easy to update firmware.

 - possible future support for roon?

 - new design for ease of manufacture reduces selling price.

 - it is presumably a more robust design, avoiding issues experienced by UnitiServe owners?

What else???

Charlie

KRM posted:

Phil Harris confirmed the ripping software is the same as the Userve when I tried sort clarification of the word "unique" in the blurb.

Keith

I think there must have been a misunderstanding then between you and Phil. The new devices have a common platform which is not Windows based. So any application that ran on US or HDX will not run on the new boxes.

KRM posted:

Phil Harris confirmed the ripping software is the same as the Userve when I tried sort clarification of the word "unique" in the blurb.

Keith

No ... I don't think I could have stated further from what you're saying there ... I specifically pointed out that it was on a new and different platform which means that it cannot be the same ripping software...

"Unique as in 'not the same engine as used in the existing server platform' (which it can't be as it's a different platform) and unique as in 'not used on any other manufacturers ripping product' as it has been developed in house by our software guys."

However that does not mean that the entire wheel has to be reinvented at the same time - the work done on the ripping engine for the UnitiServe was used in creating the ripping engine for the new platform however it was recoded, optimised and tailored for the new platform and operating system.

Phil

Nick from Suffolk posted:

Swapping my UServe for one of the new units just looked like a requirement now that the new unit uses proper, not MShite, software. It might be a bit more stable than my UServe as well.

My ns01 has been 100 pct stable. Only hardware problems has taken it down, or rather hardware problems and a few very few restarts when the remote seemed to stop working.

 

Claus

 

Claus-Thoegersen posted:

Is the core still limitted to cds only or can it rip dvd also? As I understand it my last replaced cd drive in my now dead ns01 is actually a dvd drive.

Claus

Core is still CD only ... There is no provision for ripping DVD-A discs.

Cheers

Phil

Phil Harris posted:
KRM posted:

Phil Harris confirmed the ripping software is the same as the Userve when I tried sort clarification of the word "unique" in the blurb.

Keith

No ... I don't think I could have stated further from what you're saying there ... I specifically pointed out that it was on a new and different platform which means that it cannot be the same ripping software...

"Unique as in 'not the same engine as used in the existing server platform' (which it can't be as it's a different platform) and unique as in 'not used on any other manufacturers ripping product' as it has been developed in house by our software guys."

However that does not mean that the entire wheel has to be reinvented at the same time - the work done on the ripping engine for the UnitiServe was used in creating the ripping engine for the new platform however it was recoded, optimised and tailored for the new platform and operating system.

Phil

Sorry Phil, you're right and I misinterpreted/misread/misrepresented your post. I thought you were attempting to justify the use of the word unique because it's in the new platform, but that it's still using the same ripping process which is unique to Naim. In fact, there are two ripping processes which are both unique to Naim - the new one and the old one. You said it's  "at least as good" which I wrongly read as the new platform not making Naim rips worse (because I'm too cynical).

Keith

CharlieP posted:

Phil,

Can you comment on the impact on sound quality, if any, of the new operating system in this new Unity range?  

Charlie

Flippant sounding but serious answer : How about when they're released you go have a listen...?

Seriously - it's not possible to say that "This specific OS has x, y, z of a sonic character" when the product as a whole cannot be auditioned without the OS and the OS can't be run from outside the product - the various parts are intrinsically linked, hardware and software, and it's not possible to separate out the OS from the equation.

Phil

PBenny1066 posted:

Question for Phil -

have you heard the new Core, and if so how would you characterise it, compared to the Serve ? If you haven't heard it, perhaps you could tell us what was the design brief (i.e. design intent) for the Core ?

cheers

Paul

I may have 'heard' one...

Within the context of my own system at home (which is basically an NDX / Naim DAC + XPS / 252 + SuperCap / 2 x NAP300s) I can't tell the difference between the S/PDIF out of my NS01 (I don't have a UnitiServe) and the S/PDIF out of my Core - the overwhelming sonic signature is that of the Naim DAC and I really don't think I would be able to determine one from the other with any kind of accuracy in a blind test.

Similarly when running via the NDX / Naim DAC / XPS then it's the Naim DAC that I'm hearing rather than a definite 'one source sounds different to the other'...

Phil

Phil Harris posted:
CharlieP posted:

Phil,

Can you comment on the impact on sound quality, if any, of the new operating system in this new Unity range?  

Charlie

Flippant sounding but serious answer : How about when they're released you go have a listen...?

Seriously - it's not possible to say that "This specific OS has x, y, z of a sonic character" when the product as a whole cannot be auditioned without the OS and the OS can't be run from outside the product - the various parts are intrinsically linked, hardware and software, and it's not possible to separate out the OS from the equation.

Phil

Fair enough.  I look forward to listening - and with high expectations.  I have great respect for all of you at Naim, and have been very impressed by you other recent efforts.  I have this image of your engineers spending time at frequent listening sessions, assessing the impact on sound quality of every reasonably-imaginable (to a Naim engineer) detail.  Thus developers would in fact have assessed the sonic impact of the OS during development.  I have heard the profound (to my ears) improvement of the Naim DAC firmware (released a year ago), and so I imagine that a streamlined-for-audio OS might have considerable impact.  I also note the discussion around the microrendu on this topic.

I note the positive report from James at Tom Tom after an audition of the Core and Atom, so I expect Naim have hit the ball out of the park on these.

Charlie

CharlieP posted:

Fair enough.  I look forward to listening - and with high expectations.  I have great respect for all of you at Naim, and have been very impressed by you other recent efforts.  I have this image of your engineers spending time at frequent listening sessions, assessing the impact on sound quality of every reasonably-imaginable (to a Naim engineer) detail.  Thus developers would in fact have assessed the sonic impact of the OS during development.  I have heard the profound (to my ears) improvement of the Naim DAC firmware (released a year ago), and so I imagine that a streamlined-for-audio OS might have considerable impact.  I also note the discussion around the microrendu on this topic.

I note the positive report from James at Tom Tom after an audition of the Core and Atom, so I expect Naim have hit the ball out of the park on these.

Charlie

Hi Charlie,

At the end of the day if I say that it sounds wonderful - better than anything else etc. - then a good chunk of readers will shrug and go "You would say that", others would expect it to better their full separates systems at home and pillary it for that. (I kid you not - I had a guy complaining that he sold his 202 / 200 / S400 and bought a Mu-so then and it didn't sound as good as the 202 / 200 / S400....)

There's still an awful lot of work to be done and, as we are very aware, sound quality can be affected massively by relatively minor changes to software but we have units being demo'd in the real world this weekend so we await the feedback on that with great expectation. We think its a fantastic bit of kit but I would hope that you would expect that we wouldn't waste everyone's time launching something that we weren't really happy with ourselves.

"Streamlined for audio OSs" realistically is a bit of a vague term as that could be anything from "We've pulled out all the unused GUI code from the build in an effort to make it small enough to shoehorn into a device that's really not man enough for now let alone the future but at least we can use a set of normal kernal updates to patch any vulnerabilities that are found" to "We've end-to-end recoded and optimised the entire OS and its now all custom but we're either going to have to hope we don't have to patch anything or we'll have to manually hand-craft every update and vulnerability release" ... the actual list of things that the R&D and software guys jump on for getting things to sound right is quite scary - before the Qute finally started shipping there were several hundred units prebuilt awaiting final code and at the 11th hour it was found that if the number of cable ties around the mains inlet wiring to the main transformer was changed then it sounded better and so all the units were dutifully changed to incorporate that update ... the level of tweakery that the guys find to meddle with and all these changes are all going on in parallel is quite nuts. I remember there being nearly a weeks listening tests being done on a release of Naim DAC code that had different arrangements of the same number of NOP instructions in the code!

In that respect yes, the underlying OS here has been extensively honed to work together with the hardware platform and the hardware platform is our own design which should give us the headroom to move forward for a good few years to come but conversely looking at it from the perspective of the OS being "streamlined for audio" is like trying to evaluate the characteristics of a car only by knowing it's got an LS3 engine in it...

I have to say though it was nice to see James yesterday and his reaction to it ...

Phil

Phil Harris posted:
CharlieP posted:

Fair enough.  I look forward to listening - and with high expectations.  I have great respect for all of you at Naim, and have been very impressed by you other recent efforts.  I have this image of your engineers spending time at frequent listening sessions, assessing the impact on sound quality of every reasonably-imaginable (to a Naim engineer) detail.  Thus developers would in fact have assessed the sonic impact of the OS during development.  I have heard the profound (to my ears) improvement of the Naim DAC firmware (released a year ago), and so I imagine that a streamlined-for-audio OS might have considerable impact.  I also note the discussion around the microrendu on this topic.

I note the positive report from James at Tom Tom after an audition of the Core and Atom, so I expect Naim have hit the ball out of the park on these.

Charlie

Hi Charlie,

At the end of the day if I say that it sounds wonderful - better than anything else etc. - then a good chunk of readers will shrug and go "You would say that", others would expect it to better their full separates systems at home and pillary it for that. (I kid you not - I had a guy complaining that he sold his 202 / 200 / S400 and bought a Mu-so then and it didn't sound as good as the 202 / 200 / S400....)

There's still an awful lot of work to be done and, as we are very aware, sound quality can be affected massively by relatively minor changes to software but we have units being demo'd in the real world this weekend so we await the feedback on that with great expectation. We think its a fantastic bit of kit but I would hope that you would expect that we wouldn't waste everyone's time launching something that we weren't really happy with ourselves.

"Streamlined for audio OSs" realistically is a bit of a vague term as that could be anything from "We've pulled out all the unused GUI code from the build in an effort to make it small enough to shoehorn into a device that's really not man enough for now let alone the future but at least we can use a set of normal kernal updates to patch any vulnerabilities that are found" to "We've end-to-end recoded and optimised the entire OS and its now all custom but we're either going to have to hope we don't have to patch anything or we'll have to manually hand-craft every update and vulnerability release" ... the actual list of things that the R&D and software guys jump on for getting things to sound right is quite scary - before the Qute finally started shipping there were several hundred units prebuilt awaiting final code and at the 11th hour it was found that if the number of cable ties around the mains inlet wiring to the main transformer was changed then it sounded better and so all the units were dutifully changed to incorporate that update ... the level of tweakery that the guys find to meddle with and all these changes are all going on in parallel is quite nuts. I remember there being nearly a weeks listening tests being done on a release of Naim DAC code that had different arrangements of the same number of NOP instructions in the code!

In that respect yes, the underlying OS here has been extensively honed to work together with the hardware platform and the hardware platform is our own design which should give us the headroom to move forward for a good few years to come but conversely looking at it from the perspective of the OS being "streamlined for audio" is like trying to evaluate the characteristics of a car only by knowing it's got an LS3 engine in it...

I have to say though it was nice to see James yesterday and his reaction to it ...

Phil

Now, to me, that is an impressive dedication to the 'art' of music reproduction in the home. Yes, there are the technical advances that have to be embraced but to take it to the lengths of internal wiring arrangements and cable ties is the 'art' bit of the equation and I am sure the bit that most manufacturers miss or can't be a**ed with. Truly, truly impressive and maintains my faith in the brand.

Question: Why on earth does the new Muso not sound as good as the 'ageing' 202/200/S400? Only kidding. 

audio1946 posted:

the market for ripper/hard drive is not on the top of the list. because a few years down the road and the increase of high rez downloads  makes it hardly worth it,BUT very smart one box solution of naim pedegree will fly of the shelf

The uServe always did a little more than rip and store (like, integrating multiple sources into one view).  While in 2016 I'm happy with ripping with a Mac (and now a days I rip about 3 cd's a year; I download) and using a QNAP to serve, there IS room for more in my system, be it Roon (??) or whatever.  So while ceding ripping and storage to much cheaper solutions, I do look forward to how my music might otherwise be "reimagined."

Question for Phil:

you said the Core retains the concept of a Music Store for rips, and separate Downloads folder.  Reminiscent of Unitiserve.  Does the Core support editing of metadata for downloads via Naim App, in the same way as Unitiserve supported metadata editing for CD rips? 

Equivalent functionality for managing a collection across rips and downloads would be a very welcome usability feature......  Or will we have to wait for Roon?

As above.  With downloads becoming more popular, will the Core treat all files as part of one library when it comes to various search options?  For example, on the UnitiServe, the Composer search only works with CD rips even if that metadata exists in a downloaded file.  For those with large classical collections this would be appreciated.

40 below posted:

Question for Phil:

you said the Core retains the concept of a Music Store for rips, and separate Downloads folder.  Reminiscent of Unitiserve.  Does the Core support editing of metadata for downloads via Naim App, in the same way as Unitiserve supported metadata editing for CD rips? 

Equivalent functionality for managing a collection across rips and downloads would be a very welcome usability feature......  Or will we have to wait for Roon?

As far as I am aware the Naim App will acquire editing functionality for music ripped on the Core but not for downloaded music (in the same way that n-Serve currently does).

Phil 

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