I have recently gotten into Naim and got myself a second hand Nait XS and Motive 2 speakers. I like the combo and I know a lot of people here do as well.
I will be solely streaming 16/44 FLAC files, not fussed about hi res. There is currently a second hand nd5 xs listed at $2650 which is way way out of budget so that is completely out of consideration, even in the future I can’t imagine the better half agreeing to a streamer for this price tag. My current source for streaming is an Arcam airdac. I am using my computer which is wired via Ethernet to my router and the airdac is also wired via Ethernet and I am playing my music via airplay on itunes from my computer as it is in a different room.
My question is, would a cheap source like airplay over an arcam airdac combined with a nait XS be worse overall in sound quality compared to a Unitilite or even unitiqute where I would assume using UPnP as a source would be much better. Also I am not keen on upgrading the Nait XS as I don’t want too many boxes so don’t mind losing out on any upgrade paths.
I don’t need to play loud as well which is why I mentioned the unitiqute. There is currently a second hand Unitilite on sale where I am for around $1700 so I should be able to attain or get close to this price by selling my nait XS and arcam airdac. I obviously can’t demo as all will be bought second hand and I need to sell my equipment before buying the Unitilite. There was also a unitiqute 2 which sold for $1100 but I missed out on that but can wait around if that is a good option and would beat my current setup
Another option I am thinking of is selling the arcam airdac and getting a second hand Bluesound Node 2 which would cost about $200-$300 extra. Would this be much better than the airdac as a source, or better than the Unitilite?
Other suggestions for sources are welcome.