Uniti Atom: first use...and first issues as well

Hi all,

While i've been happilly enjoying my Uniti Atom since it arrived last week, I've also been accountering my first problems with the unit.

I chose the HDMI version to be able to connect my TV and i've noticed the following : while everything seems fine, from time  to time the sound just goes off with no sound coming out from the speakers at all !!!

I checked the connections several times to ensure everything was at the right place and properly set up and did not notice anything anormal. And still, I keep having the same issues, suddenly no sound at all.

I also noticed another sound related issue while streaming music from my NAS, but a little bit different from the one described above: before having the sound just cut off; I would only the right or left speaker goes off, before both speakers stop "singing".

And over this week-end i even got a warning message that said Something like that : "system overheating detected; check speakers connection".

I did a power cycling and checked once again speakers proper connection and turn the unit back on.

Everything worked just fine; until the same issue occurs once again.

I must specify that both issues I'm desbribing here occured just 2 or 3 times over the whole week-end, but I was wondering whether that'd be a hardware related problem, or more likely to be software-related ?

Does anybody else have the same issue?

Finally, I just got my unit back from my dealer since a week, as Naim had delivered the unit with the HDMI card not installed but simply thrown in the box. My dealer get it installed for me and sent me the unit back home.

He assured me absolutely everything was working just fine and I tend to trust him as upon very first use of the unit, I already accountered the issues above. My dealer did a test back then and did not find anything unusual Under the Atom's bonnet as regarding the speakers binding posts.

So I'm kind of worried now even though the overheating message did not show up since then.

Could that be due to the cabling I'm using (Emotiva XSS series equipped with standard banana plugs at both ends,  which I also used with my former UQ2 and NAP100 with great success) or is it that Something is going wrong with my unit ?

 

Original Post

It could be a speaker cable/plug issue.  The newer kit is more tolerant than of old but supposedly still works best with the Naim speaker connectors and Naim's recommended low  capacitance & moderate inductance NACA5 cable run at a minimum of 3.5m per channel.  In my experience, deviating from this could possibly make the amp run hotter than normal. Is the Emotiva XSS cable extreme in some spec or other?  Are the cables very short &/or very capacitive?

Maybe worth checking this with your dealer or with Naim just in case.

Hey Richard,

I actually have very little information about the technical details, there's no info about capacitance or other. But the cable are 2 meters on each channel and here are the only details available on Emotiva's website:

Solid brass machined ends with 3 micron thick gold plating.

Dual-twisted, 10 gauge, high strand count oxygen-free copper conductors

Strand Count: 455 x 2

Interchangeable tips: banana plugs or spades (4 of each included with every cable).

Diecast, non-ferrous metal alloy breakout collar for added support.

Nylon braided anti-scuff jacket over PVC outer insulator

 

 

Naim unit shuts down for no apparent reason, but is OK is powered down and then repowered. The Naim unit has  thermal cut out protection.

User has short (2 metre), non-Naim speaker leads, of unknown characteristics, but of twisted construction (??).

Sorry, but this seems a bit obvious to me. I guess the cost of these leads (and cost of others) may be a disincentive to try something else....?  

@Richard: the cable are the same as the one pictured below; mine are 2.5m long. There is no information at all available on the website of the manufacturer. the thing is I've been using those for 5 years now with different system including a NAP100 and UQ2 with no issue at all. I'm not a cable freak.

@Ianrobert: I know on this very forum a lot of people who are non-naim cables with great success, along with naim kits. So sorry but I don't understand what the cost or manufacturer have to do with the issue I have, as long as they're not from an obscure, completely unknown manufacturer who does not respect the basic industry's standard.

Emotiva is a well known company, they're rather serious actually, and I've been using their products for some years now with no issue at all.

As regarding the cable length I'm not knwoledgeable enough to tell whether that's the culprit or not. But I'm pretty sure the cable is of good quality if not of very high standard.

whether it's the right cable to use with the Atom, I can't say, hence my question.

Funnily enough, I listened to music for hours yesterday, with no sound problem at all, things were Crystal clear and sounded really good, with none of the problems I decribed above.

 

 

jon honeyball posted:

I wonder why the hdmi interface was “simply thrown in the box”

If you really are curious on this, then you could read the OP's original thread. Although I would doubt if anything was "thrown" here. According to Naim, the HDMI board was to be fitted by the distributor or dealer before installation...

You're right Richard, apparently, Focal simply did not warn the dealers about this, my own dealer who offers stellar service and know very well naim kits confirmed he did not know about that. He was quite surprised when I told him that the card was not fitted in the unit.

 

If you're concerned about a possible speaker cable mismatch, your dealer should be able to lend you some Naim cable, or possibly something else which is known to be of compatible spec. to try in your system. In your position, I'd want to get to the bottom of the problem, rather than leaving it unresolved, especially with an overheating issue. 

Bouba posted:

@Ianrobert: I know on this very forum a lot of people who are non-naim cables with great success, along with naim kits. So sorry but I don't understand what the cost or manufacturer have to do with the issue I have, as long as they're not from an obscure, completely unknown manufacturer who does not respect the basic industry's standard.

@Bouba - My point was that cables cost - they cost you, you are 'invested' in them. I am assuming here that they are not cheap....?  They are however, unknown to me, and respecting 'basic standards' (whatever they are) may not help you in matching with a Naim amp. 

Naim NACA5 cable is/was £32 per metre, according to the Jan17 Naim UK Price list. So it also represents a significant cost (in my view - YMMV) - £224 for a 2 by 3.5 metre set - the usual Naim recommended minimum - or £512 for the 2 by 8 metres that I have. But - if you are spending 1000's of your currency units, I question the logic of using anything else (YMMV, clearly) - other than know 'similar' cables often mentioned here. 

I am with @ChrisSU above - borrow some Naim cable from your dealer - and try.

The amp shutting down due to overheating caused by the inductance / capacitance of the cable strikes me as unlikely. I would suspect a fault in the unit before throwing money away on Naim's own brand of cable. How hard are you driving the speakers? What is the ambient room temperature and does the unit have plenty of breathing room? If none of these are problematic I would send it back to have it checked out.

Ltaylor, none of the above is problematic. and I don't think that the unit is faulty either; I tried several things yesterday, and the amp behaves normally and is perfectly driving the speakers. I'm not buying the cables inductance/capacitance problem either. I'm now suspecting the cable rigidity and weight actually as both have a ferrite at each end; adding even more weight to it. And as far as I recall i think that the unit's binding post are "floating" and not solidly fixed to the chassis; so the overall weight of the cables might well be the cause of some bad connections with the naim's binding posts.

Yesterday I tried some very simple but high quality spare cables I had at home and have no issue at all. I'll leave those for the time being but I think cabling was the problem: they're just to weighty and rigid; and I do intend to replace them with a pair of Tellurium Q.

Will keep you posted about my findings, just order a new pair of cables and they shall be with me next week.

 

ianrobertm posted:
Bouba posted:

@Ianrobert: I know on this very forum a lot of people who are non-naim cables with great success, along with naim kits. So sorry but I don't understand what the cost or manufacturer have to do with the issue I have, as long as they're not from an obscure, completely unknown manufacturer who does not respect the basic industry's standard.

@Bouba - My point was that cables cost - they cost you, you are 'invested' in them. I am assuming here that they are not cheap....?  They are however, unknown to me, and respecting 'basic standards' (whatever they are) may not help you in matching with a Naim amp. 

Naim NACA5 cable is/was £32 per metre, according to the Jan17 Naim UK Price list. So it also represents a significant cost (in my view - YMMV) - £224 for a 2 by 3.5 metre set - the usual Naim recommended minimum - or £512 for the 2 by 8 metres that I have. But - if you are spending 1000's of your currency units, I question the logic of using anything else (YMMV, clearly) - other than know 'similar' cables often mentioned here. 

I am with @ChrisSU above - borrow some Naim cable from your dealer - and try.

Having looked up YMMV in the Urban Dictionary I'm barely any the wiser! Sorry, but obscure acronyms make reading hard work (IMHO, obviously!!)

ltaylor posted:

The amp shutting down due to overheating caused by the inductance / capacitance of the cable strikes me as unlikely. I would suspect a fault in the unit before throwing money away on Naim's own brand of cable. How hard are you driving the speakers? What is the ambient room temperature and does the unit have plenty of breathing room? If none of these are problematic I would send it back to have it checked out.

I agree  ,yes there are some queer loading of some cables .   but normal speaker cables are really very similar.  the largest  loading is the speaker itself .  . if cables are a problem then surely naim should give a list of cables best to use.... my guess that new customers of the new range will not purchase expensive cables /£30 plus and may not even know of the vast range available 

I changed my pairs of cable for the very same (i had a spared pairs left in stock as I used to bi-amp my speakers) and the problems did not occur for several days now. So I strongly suspect a faulty pair of cables now. don't ask me what happened as the outer shell of the cables is immaculate and plus, it's the exact same cable with same construction. I did not do anything special to them once connected to my previous speakers.

Anyway, no warning message from the amp since I swapped both runs of cables. I intend to change the cables for lighter ones from Tellerium as soon as those get delivered, just in case. Strange!

Just a quick question to all regarding my volume issue : I find the speakers output posts to be surprinsly loose on my Atom. Is that the case on all units or there maybe Something really wrong with mine ? Richard, if you're around, any thought ?

Hi Richard,

I referred to the speakers sockets on the Atom itself, as regarding the issue described above; what I meant is that the Atom's speakers sockets are a little bit loose, they actually "move" quite easily, and I was wondering whether that could be the source of the issue I experienced.

it happened that yesterday, the same problem occurs again, so I call my dealer once again, to check with him what could be the problem, he told me he would be checking the demo Unit they have in store and advise me about what to do. I think I'm better sending back the unit once again to make really sure there's Nothing abnormal with the Atom's speakers socket.

I really carefully examined my speakers cables and there's Nothing wrong with them and seems to work just fine with my UQ2. But I experienced exactly the same issue described above and while unplugging the cables from the Atom's speakers posts I found that the right speakers post seemed lightly more loose than the left one. Hence my question: is that on purpose and are the speakers sockets supposed to be a little bit loose or shall they be really "fixed" and not moving at all?

Bouba, I'm not sure.  On the old NAITs and NAP90 the sockets were fixed and mounted on the PCB.  This mean't you had to use the Naim speaker connectors, otherwise, use of other banana plugs, particularly heavy ones with heavy cables could cause stress damage and create a dry solder joint.  I'm wondering now whether this has happened here (I assume that the sockets are similarly PCB mounted).  Only way to be sure is to check.  In the meantime, I'll run this past Naim's service dept for their thoughts.

YMMV is a piece of Internet slang, based on the phrase Your Mileage May Vary. I think that is a sticker that used to come on cars telling the owners they may not get the predicted mileage frpm the car. It's become Internet shorthand for "you may see it differently".

Eoink posted:

YMMV is a piece of Internet slang, based on the phrase Your Mileage May Vary. I think that is a sticker that used to come on cars telling the owners they may not get the predicted mileage frpm the car. It's become Internet shorthand for "you may see it differently".

One more dubious acronym to have made its way across the Atlantic. Yet more grease added to the slippery slope. I hold out little hope for the future of our once beautiful language. 

Ok I'm puzzled here !!!

I received my Atom HDMI back from my dealer. They opened up the unit, check during 2 days to replicate the problem I experienced at home: sound dropout whatever's  the source, including when using the HDMI ARC output to TV.

The dealer's and Focal's representative conclusion is the following: the unit behaves normally, no sound dropout, no warning message appearing on the Atom's display, Nothing just happened when they performed several hours of test.  I insisted that they open the unit to check whether speakers posts or HDMI card were correctly installed in it, which they told me they did and did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

I connected the ATOM back to the speakers and then to the TV (a Samsung UE46F6400 from late 2013) using brand new speaker cables sets for the speakers and Atom ARC output through a standard 1.4 compatible HDMI cable.

And guess what ? It happened again: yesterday evening, while watching a TV program: the sounds just keep droping out from time to time for at least 3 to 5 minutes and then came back just the same way it drops.

I did not make any further investigations to see what'd happen while listening to a musical program but will do tonight.

Even more weird: the Unit seems to respond just fine with the TV while using the TV remote to increase/decrease the volume of the Atom, using the Samsung Anynet+ protocol (using the HDMI CEC input of the tv) and the TV can see the Uniti Atom (it even displays "Naim uniti" whenever you use the tv's remote to + or - the volume)

However, I keep experiencing sound dropout, which happens twice while watching a movie yesterday.

Really don't know what to do now: my dealer keeps telling me that everything is perfectly working when he performed the tests and at first place i did think that my cables were to blame. Now I changed those and I'm still experiencing the same issue.

I know it would be a pain but do you or a friend have another tv with hdmi Arc that you could test. I use optical from my virgin box to my Nova, works fine, I know you need 2 remotes. But it might be worth seeing if you get a drop out on optical?

Hey Richard,

Initially no, It happened whatever source was used.

However, in the meantime I changed my speaker cables for some TQ Ultra blue, and did not have a chance yet to play only music. But since then, I've been using the unit when watching tv programs or a movie, and that's when it occurs since then.

Best of luck I know it can be very frustrating. But if that works it’s a temporary fix, leaving the problem still being the TV hdmi output or the Atom hdmi. Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable members can advise if any TV menu settings for audio need to be changed?

I know the tv setting that needs to be change are within the sound sub-menu section (1 audio setting shall be set on PCM to allow the sound coming through the Atom)

Other than that, there is Nothing special to be changed though, the TV is supposed to handle the rest on its own, which it does seem to do, since the Uniti Atom is even listed among the audio peripherials connected to the TV.

Hi All -- This is my first post here so please be gentle with me... 

With regards to the speaker cable issue discussed above, I have my Atom hooked up with Chord Clearway cable (around 3m per channel) and have had absolutely no heat problems.   I am also using standard banana plugs and the speaker terminals on the back of the unit are rock solid. 

Well it's the best thing I've ever heard but I'm new to high end audio so take that with a pinch of salt!  Seriously, I fell hook line and sinker for Naim's lifestyle strategy, acquiring a Mu-so  Qb, a Mu-so and a Uniti Atom in the last 12 months.

I have the Atom hooked up (via the Clearways) to a pair of B&W CM6 S2s, which had previously been under-utilised in an AV system.  The first time I heard it (Imagine Dragons, Believer) I couldn't believe how much bass the Atom was able to extract from the speakers.  I'm  sure there are better pairings out there but I want to enjoy it for a while before chasing those improvements.

 

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