Upgrade bug/ where do I go from a superuniti

Hi all.

I have a su connected to Q900 speakers and the sound is very good. However I found I am not using the streamer because I prefer the ritual of using cds. Hence I bought a cyrus cdi and psx. This got me thinking... the su now appears to be at a dead end in terms of upgrades... with the introduction of the new atom etc. If I want to upgrade.... slowly.... due to cost... what are my options I know this is vague.. and I know you are going to say go to a dealer etc, but I live in the Black Forest and dont have this luxury.

Original Post

I went the 272/250m route.  I first got the 250DR and used that with my SU.  I then got myself the 272 and then a 555.  After that is was new speakers followed by cables.

Putting the 250DR on the SU was a worthwhile upgrade in it's own right and sets you up ready to upgrade either retaining a streamer solution like the 272 or going for a dedicated pre amp

alanbass1 posted:

I went the 272/250m route.  I first got the 250DR and used that with my SU.  I then got myself the 272 and then a 555.  After that is was new speakers followed by cables.

Putting the 250DR on the SU was a worthwhile upgrade in it's own right, although probably only true VFM if you are going to replace the SU in time (which you are so should be all good).

Laudable, but doesn't take into consideration OP's desire to continue with CDs as opposed to streaming.

 

Thanks HH - I noted that on my first reply and edited it to include the Pre route as well (before TIMMO hit the post button!).  However, the 272 is a very decent pre amp in it's own right and internet radio is worth having.  But if Streaming is totally out then the dedicated pre is the way to go and getting an upgraded power amp first would improve the sound of the SU whilst waiting for the next upgrade

Due to a lucky coincidence, after 12 years of all sorts of buying and reselling and trying everything, and tons of mental energy flushed down the toilet, not to mention the money, I now have a CDX2 and a SuperNait. It is a combo that I have not only heard a number of times, but bought a number of times. I agree with Bob the Builder, but these times are – rightly so, from a certain point of view – dominated by pushing newer (streaming) products, and it seems that CDPs and plain integrates are Stone Age. Too bad.

There are various options - add a 250, then sell the SU for a 282 and Hicap - but is the Cyrus up to it, and is iRadio important? Then there is swapping the SU for a SN2, but again is the Cyrus up to it, and does iRadio matter? Then there is weaning oneself off the ritual of playing CDs once they are all ripped. Then there is getting a Nova and continuing with the Cyrus......

I'd be really interested to know how that Cyrus CDi performs with the SU, and how the two differ, i.e CD vs streaming rips on SU.  I had a Naim /  Cyrus combo for a while before deciding to go all Naim, and it was an impressive performance, especially considering the price of the complete system as was, but just didn't quite work for me.  Naim source and Cyrus amp was too airy and polite for my liking; lacked a bit of oomph and solidity.  And as oomph at least was something the all Cyrus system didn't lack at all, I concluded that most of the bombast came from the CD player.  Since matching with a Naim amp the energy and enthusiasm is great, which lead me to suspect that a Cyrus source with a Naim amp would be somewhat over powering.  That was a much older CDP though, I had a CD8X which was released well over 10 years ago.

I have nothing but good things to say about the SN2, and general opinion seems to indicate a significant improvement vs the SU, so that combined with a CDX2 should be lovely, but as already suggested not convinced it would be a great match for the CDi.  272 with a 250 would give great flexibility, but if CD is to rule in your camp, a dedicated pre would probably give better results and VFM.  Plus, if streaming is a nice-to-have, but very much secondary, there are relatively inexpensive ways of having that on the side, but with a noticeable, though not embarrassing, compromise in sound quality.  

Then there's just speakers to worry about, which is an unfathomable minefield of differing performance, and disagreement on what works.  Good luck with that bit.  

Thanks.  I had a complete cyrus system and it was very detailed but very bright almost difficult to listen to.  Adding the Su mellowed everything.  The streaming although practical is takes away the ritual and I find gets used less and less. I never use the radio at all. On my ipad with headphones I check out new music via spotify and then buy the cd. The combination of cyrus and su i find is more detailed with more space. I know this will start lots of other discussions which I will remain neutral about. .... this whole exercise started because I get the impression that the su is going to be left behind with the new uniti range.

Richard walker posted:

Thanks.  I had a complete cyrus system and it was very detailed but very bright almost difficult to listen to.  Adding the Su mellowed everything.  The streaming although practical is takes away the ritual and I find gets used less and less. I never use the radio at all. On my ipad with headphones I check out new music via spotify and then buy the cd. The combination of cyrus and su i find is more detailed with more space. I know this will start lots of other discussions which I will remain neutral about. .... this whole exercise started because I get the impression that the su is going to be left behind with the new uniti range.

If you want to play CDs and don't bother with the radio, then the SN2 sounds ideal. Then you could try the CDX2 against the Cyrus and see what you think. That keeps everything nice and simple. To significantly better the SN2 you are looking at a 282, Hicap and 250DR. It would be worth trying to hear the two options to see if you think it's worth the extra. A good used set would be £5,000 to £6,000; twice the price of the SN2. 

I didn't find my Cyrus set up bright generally, but then I had relatively warm and mid-range focused speakers with it.  Still, I would say it could all get a little crashy with complex rock music at enthusiastic volume, and it was pretty rubbish with classical; just lacked the separation, detail and insight to unravel that kind of thing properly, and something that I found Naim kit did much better.  Seems like your combo is working pretty well though from what you've said there.  Which leads me to motive for upgrading.  Is there something specific you seek to address and are not quite happy with?  Yes, there are new Uniti products, but so what?  It's not like your set up is going to function any less well because of that.  I don't mean to state the most obvious of points, yet just have.  

John132 posted:

I've got the same dilemma, wondering about SU upgrade but not wanting to increase the box count, will the replacement offer significant improvement or would it be just a vanity purchase of the latest gizmo?

Vanity and Hifi, that's a rare mix, or at least a narrow field of appreciation.  I recommend new sunglasses.

Richard walker posted:

Thanks.  I had a complete cyrus system and it was very detailed but very bright almost difficult to listen to.  Adding the Su mellowed everything.  The streaming although practical is takes away the ritual and I find gets used less and less. I never use the radio at all. On my ipad with headphones I check out new music via spotify and then buy the cd. The combination of cyrus and su i find is more detailed with more space. I know this will start lots of other discussions which I will remain neutral about. .... this whole exercise started because I get the impression that the su is going to be left behind with the new uniti range.

I think the SuperUniti still has plenty of life left! I recently purchased mine after decided to return the Atom. I have a audiolab CD player connect via coaxial, for when I want to spin some discs. I don't really find a difference between the CD source and streaming from my NAS. It all sounds very good.

I might try a 250DR in a year or so, if I find it a worthwhile upgrade.

If you want to stick to a one box solution perhaps waiting to hear the Star vs the SU might be an option if you can get to a naim dealer.

 

Timmo1341 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Yes it does - the dedicated preamp option. 

Why bother with a 272 if not interested in streaming? Surely better off going the 282 route?

Streaming is almost free vs 282 road if you think the price level.... one always can change their mind and maybe even use radio/Tidal some time.... 

Been thinking about this and I'm a bit confused by what the OP's objective is.

As I understand it, the new Uniti series is really about the new streaming engine and form factor. If the OP isn't bothered about streaming then I don't really see why he would be worried about the SU being "left behind"  - as I understand it the SU amplification in it is based very closely on the SN2 (likely compromised a bit by cramming so much in the case) and should be well up to handling a source of the quality he has? Plus of course I think we can all rely on Naim to support legacy equipment given their track record.

If the question is more about upgrading CD performance then I would have thought CDX2 and PSU would be more obvious than switching the SU for 282/250... But then I wouldn't want to lose streaming from my system.

 

 

JedT posted:

 If the OP isn't bothered about streaming then I don't really see why he would be worried about the SU being "left behind"  - as I understand it the SU amplification in it is based very closely on the SN2 (likely compromised a bit by cramming so much in the case) and should be well up to handling a source of the quality he has?

The SU amp is no match for a Supernait - if the OP doesn't want to stream, selling the SU and buying a used SN would cost little or nothing. If he went for a SN1 he might even make a small profit. 

Timmo1341 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Yes it does - the dedicated preamp option. 

Why bother with a 272 if not interested in streaming? Surely better off going the 282 route?

Using a SU or 272 with a Naim CD player lets you control both from your iPhone/iPad, whether you stream or not.  282 would need an ND streamer, if this is important to you.

Nick

Good evening. Thanks for all the advice. I am now tending to consider a supernait 2 which I can try with the superuniti and also try on its own.

What should I pay for a used version ? I have looked on fleabay and there is a large range. Can anyone recommend an exdemo somewhere ?

This

Max_B posted:

Due to a lucky coincidence, after 12 years of all sorts of buying and reselling and trying everything, and tons of mental energy flushed down the toilet, not to mention the money, I now have a CDX2 and a SuperNait. It is a combo that I have not only heard a number of times, but bought a number of times. I agree with Bob the Builder, but these times are – rightly so, from a certain point of view – dominated by pushing newer (streaming) products, and it seems that CDPs and plain integrates are Stone Age. Too bad.

Hi Thanks. A supernait one or 2 ?

Either SN1 or 2 would, I think, be worthwhile. The SN1 has a built in DAC that you don’t need, but being older, you might get a good deal on one. I would also be on the lookout for a good used CDX2, which you could run into the SU while hunting for a Supernait. 

Drewy posted:

Been there. I actually put a 300dr on my SU on the way to the NDS and 552. 

The SU is a very good preamp. Putting a 250DR on it would be a great upgrade. I'd do that first and then think about the next step

Starting with a SuperUniti, I added a 200DR, then NDX, and finally 282. The last of these 3 upgrade stages was the biggest jump in SQ by miles, so I concluded that the SU pre was really holding things back. 

ChrisSU posted:
Drewy posted:

Been there. I actually put a 300dr on my SU on the way to the NDS and 552. 

The SU is a very good preamp. Putting a 250DR on it would be a great upgrade. I'd do that first and then think about the next step

Starting with a SuperUniti, I added a 200DR, then NDX, and finally 282. The last of these 3 upgrade stages was the biggest jump in SQ by miles, so I concluded that the SU pre was really holding things back. 

Yeah in the end it is bound to hold things back and must move over but does perform well with a power amp upgrade. 

i would go for a modified version of Max B's recommendation: a CDX2, Supernait 1, and a Hicap DR. reasoning: i felt the Hicap did nice things for my Supernait when i had it; the Hicap can power a separate preamp if Richard, our OP, decides to go that route in the future; and the SN1 has an onboard DAC into which he can plug in a Sonos (or equivalent) for Internet radio, making playlists for parties, etc., should the urge strike. i realize streaming isn't his jam at the moment, but it's good to keep one's options open.

although the SN1 DAC isn't as good as the SU one is it? Have to say I've had pretty damn good results feeding a humble bluray player into my SU digital input. The SU DAC has the dejitter buffering stuff from  the Naim DAC so cuts some of the need for an integrated CD player... And of course a bluray player has a considerably more challenging job to do than a CD player in extracting an accurate digital signal from a disc

IME at least

How many boxes do you want to end up with. Or asked another way, how many boxes can you permit yourself to put on a rack in your listening room?  If you value a smaller number of boxes, I'd think about the SN2 rather than adding a power amp to the SU setup.  

I have SN2/HiCap2/NDS/555PS and I do not believe that I can significantly better the sound without adding to the box count.  When I can, I will seriously consider it.  

I heard 282/250.2 (pre-DR) in my home a number of years ago, and it did not 'blow me away' vs. SN2.

Bart posted:

How many boxes do you want to end up with. Or asked another way, how many boxes can you permit yourself to put on a rack in your listening room?  If you value a smaller number of boxes, I'd think about the SN2 rather than adding a power amp to the SU setup.  

I have SN2/HiCap2/NDS/555PS and I do not believe that I can significantly better the sound without adding to the box count.  When I can, I will seriously consider it.  

I heard 282/250.2 (pre-DR) in my home a number of years ago, and it did not 'blow me away' vs. SN2.

The Supernait2/Hicap2/NDS/555PS are 4 boxes and will need 4 levels of rack. The 282/HCDR/NAPSC/250 are also 4 boxes but can sit on 3 levels. I have 282/250/HCDR/NAPSC and Chord QBD76 altogether 5 components on a 4-tier rack.

Did you have the HCDR and NDS/555PS with the 282/250.2 in the same system when the setup was compared to the Supernait2? The comparison should ideally be made in the same system with the same speakers for a more meaningful conclusion. By the way, great system you have there in the NDS/555PS. I just realised this front end statement products are costlier than the 282/250DR/HCDR combined.

Due to the SU having  a relatively low market value at the moment I have decided to keep it for the time being.

My choice to improve the sound appears to be to add either

1.    SN1 with non-Naim PSU or Naim PSU. 

2.    Add a SN 2

3   Add a 250 -2

 

In the meantime I have exchanged the speakers for PMC 20 25s. The older version.

I really dont want to be spending more than 1600 per upgrade if poss.

I am prepared to sell my cyrus cd1 and psx along the way.

By the way, bought a mac mini and run roon with it to the SU dac  via a wireworld nova 6 cable and it is very close to the cdi.

Last question. Everyone refers to me as the OP. What does that stand for ?

Moderated post:  Richard, I have made a small edit to your post.  Please note that discussion of unauthorised modifications, which includes non-Naim power supplies, is not allowed. Non-Naim power supplies will not allow the equipment to perform as intended - at best performance is impaired, and at worst their use may well cause damage to any associated Naim equipment and may invalidate any Naim warranty that may exist.

 

 

 

The moderator is Richard Dane. The rules are all set out at the top of the forum, but basically we can mention and discuss other manufacturers kit as much as we like, but as Richard says we can't discuss modifications to Naim kit and that includes particularly using non-Naim power supplies, although he isn't massively strict about casual mentions in passing. But discussion of the merits of non-Naim power supplies is off limits.

best

David

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