Jump to content
IGNORED

*Stream Magic 6/Naim Unitiqute 2*? Help selecting top class system with Magic 6 or Naim Unitiqute 2 at it`s centre?


Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone

 

I seem to recall that somewhere in the dark and distant past i was a member of this Forum? unfortunately due to seriouse illness,memory is all but extinct so please forgive me for any mistakes,anyway I rejoined in the hope you guys might just be able to help me (simply)please.

 

I will briefly try to explain,I am English but have lived in Norway for 12+ years (Married a Viking)it was the helmets that did it for me..Joke!

 

For more than 25 years I have suffered badly with poor health to a point where I am severly restricted in what I can and can not do so I have to fill 24/7 which is not at all easy!for me at 58 to finally acheive the lifelong dream of owning a top class audio set up would be absolutely wonderful.I have known The Cambridge & Naim brands for many years and know the high regard their products are held in.and have being especially impressed by the Unitiqute2 in particular but the Stream Magic 6 as a lot going for it also especially in the upsampling dept!

 

I have collected well over 1.5 TB of Mainly music files 95% @24/96 a few higher resolution,and maybe 2% at [email protected] I only have a few cds which I will rip to file.

 

To date I have just listened through my dear wifes very old HiFi system.

With the the advent of the "Stream Magic 6 Upsampling Network Music Player & Pre-amplifier" I am convinced this or the Unitiqute will serve me well and will give me the sound quality I have dreamt about for many years..

 

What I would like to do if I may,is ask for your feedback/Advice on the best associated gear e.t.c. e.t.c. At present my music is held on a very old laptop (hard drive) and an equally old external hard drive!so I suppose fristly I have to decide where all this music will live within the new system?

 

My wife is buying me a new laptop? maybe there is an option? (your advice appreciated) or maybe some other device?I still don`t fully appreciate NAS devices??

 

next up I suppose would be a good amp? your suggestions ,once again very much appreciated, and finally speakers my room is quite small 2 mtrs x 3.3 mtrs ;wooden floor and ceiling.so small stand speakers probably best option with maybe a sub?? as long as it all compliments the rest of the set up.Finally,Finally! cables suggestions please,plus anything I forgot.no great opportunities to audition so feedback very important to me.

 

I sincerely thank you in advance for your assistance,which is very much appreciated

 

best Wishes Steve

Link to comment

I may write a longer response later ... but just to make sure you realise the UnitiQute2 is not a full all-in-one system just needing speakers where as the StreamMagic needs both speakers and also a power-amplifier.

 

A more even comparison would be comparing the UnitiQute2 to the StreamMagic plus 651W.

 

Speakers are really a personal thing; one option could be matching the StreamMagic 6 with some active speakers.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Hello Eloise

many thanks for being the first to reply,much appreciated.sorry i did not make it clear as I felt my thread was long enogh that I do understand the differences and the required extras for each product.I was just using them as my two starting items.hoping with a little feedback to come up with a shortlist I have being taken by the Kef Anniv 50s also the ATC SCM 11but am open to other suggestions.

 

I like the sound of both the Unitiqute2 & StreamMagic but one of the other Unitiqute range might be okay? I know they are both different to each other

I do not think powered speakers are a good option ,their are so few good examples i once owned the original Audioengine A5s(nearest I got to real hi fi) and to me they were dissapointing.Money is not a real object, with the proviso it`s not limitless also.

 

Please keep the good advice and suggestions coming

 

best wishes Steve

 

 

I may write a longer response later ... but just to make sure you realise the UnitiQute2 is not a full all-in-one system just needing speakers where as the StreamMagic needs both speakers and also a power-amplifier.

 

A more even comparison would be comparing the UnitiQute2 to the StreamMagic plus 651W.

 

Speakers are really a personal thing; one option could be matching the StreamMagic 6 with some active speakers.

 

Eloise

Link to comment

Steve, you might be better off inquiring about the unitiqute2 on the naim forum (in the Streaming Audio section). I have too little knowledge about the UQ2, but two considerations jump out at first glance. Firstly, there is only one set of analogue inputs, not that many people these days need more, but it is still a limitation if you do. Secondly, I suppose you contemplate using the new laptop for playback, but exactly how do you plan to do that? It seems the usb-input at the front has a reduced functionality, which leaves ethernet connection (wired or wifi), or a usb-to-spdif converter on one of the digital inputs. I am not particularly into streaming myself, so can’t advice on which way to go with the QU2. However, since you mention money is a secondary consideration, you might also consider either a DAC-V1/NAP100-combo, or a SuperUniti. The former could be connected directly to the laptop via usb, and has a fairly good headphone output, it doesn’t have any analogue inputs though. The latter is more or less a beefed up UQ2, with a good headphone output, more analogue and digital inputs, and more muscles to drive difficult speaker loads (something which probably both speakers you mention will benefit from). Both would be physically bigger than the UQ2, but still not overwhelmingly big. As I said, the naim forum is probably the best place to inquire.

 

 

Something of a different nature.. You might want to consider doing a back-up of your music files, particularly as you state they are stored on very old hard drives at the moment. Have a look in the ‘Sørg for backup’ on hifisentralen (datahjørnet), to see just how bad (and costly) things can get, if you don’t.

Link to comment
Hello Eloise

many thanks for being the first to reply,much appreciated.sorry i did not make it clear as I felt my thread was long enogh that I do understand the differences and the required extras for each product.I was just using them as my two starting items.hoping with a little feedback to come up with a shortlist I have being taken by the Kef Anniv 50s also the ATC SCM 11but am open to other suggestions.

 

I like the sound of both the Unitiqute2 & StreamMagic but one of the other Unitiqute range might be okay? I know they are both different to each other

I do not think powered speakers are a good option ,their are so few good examples i once owned the original Audioengine A5s(nearest I got to real hi fi) and to me they were dissapointing.Money is not a real object, with the proviso it`s not limitless also.

 

Please keep the good advice and suggestions coming

 

best wishes Steve

Kef and Naim = good.

David

Link to comment

Hello RealHifi

Great to hear from you and especially your support for the Kef/Naim combo must admit I like naim and kef and have read tons of feedback and reviews e.t.c.

 

As you will have read I do have a few health issues which make somethings more complex than they really should be? I just wish to put together a really good system to play my music files,with a smooth path from A to Z if at all possible?

 

Best wishes Steve

 

Kef and Naim = good.
Link to comment

Hello Kvik

Very good to hear from you,are you from Norge by any chance?

I am already a member of the Naim forum and we sort of concluded maybe the naim unitiqute 2 + Kef Anniv 50s were the tickeck? just thought I would widen the audience so to get the best feedback/advice e.t.c.

 

I must admit I am most intrigued by the Cambridge StreamMagic particulary the upsampling which as received rave reviews worldwide?I really am no expert on these things.maybe the upsampling thin is not that big a thing nor that impoortant in which case unless something appears to the contrary I will go for one oof the Unitiqute range as my centre piece.

 

but two considerations jump out at first glance. Firstly, there is only one set of analogue inputs, not that many people these days need more, but it is still a limitation if you do. Secondly, I suppose you contemplate using the new laptop for playback, but exactly how do you plan to do that?

 

The above is one of those areas where I struggle to fully understand so please bare with me a little.Re the laptop using it as a server was only a maybe?and should another methd (NAS) be thought wiser then I would go down this route instead.Not only that but few PCs/Laptops are going to be able to hold all my music?

If you could jog my memory re the importance or otherwise of Analogue Inputs I would be most grateful.

 

DAC-V1/NAP100-combo, or a SuperUniti. The former could be connected directly to the laptop via usb, and has a fairly good headphone output, it doesn’t have any analogue inputs though. The latter is more or less a beefed up UQ2, with a good headphone output, more analogue and digital inputs, and more muscles to drive difficult speaker loads (something which probably both speakers you mention will benefit from)

 

The DAC-V1/NAP100-combo I will have to look at? the Superuniti I am familiar with as far as it goes,and whilst it is true money is not realy a limiting factor I do not wish to ratchet up the cost to much. if possible?for instance can you please give me examples of where I may require more analoue and digital imputs? and I take your point re more muscle to drive difficult speakers,is it possible to gauge just how much better it would be than the cheaper Unitiqutes at driving say the KEFS?

 

I really am excited about all this and have time to get things as right as I possibly can so please keep the good advice coming,Please excuse my amature way of replying.!

 

many thanks Regards Steve

 

 

Steve, you might be better off inquiring about the unitiqute2 on the naim forum (in the Streaming Audio section). I have too little knowledge about the UQ2, but two considerations jump out at first glance. Firstly, there is only one set of analogue inputs, not that many people these days need more, but it is still a limitation if you do. Secondly, I suppose you contemplate using the new laptop for playback, but exactly how do you plan to do that? It seems the usb-input at the front has a reduced functionality, which leaves ethernet connection (wired or wifi), or a usb-to-spdif converter on one of the digital inputs. I am not particularly into streaming myself, so can’t advice on which way to go with the QU2. However, since you mention money is a secondary consideration, you might also consider either a DAC-V1/NAP100-combo, or a SuperUniti. The former could be connected directly to the laptop via usb, and has a fairly good headphone output, it doesn’t have any analogue inputs though. The latter is more or less a beefed up UQ2, with a good headphone output, more analogue and digital inputs, and more muscles to drive difficult speaker loads (something which probably both speakers you mention will benefit from). Both would be physically bigger than the UQ2, but still not overwhelmingly big. As I said, the naim forum is probably the best place to inquire.

 

 

Something of a different nature.. You might want to consider doing a back-up of your music files, particularly as you state they are stored on very old hard drives at the moment. Have a look in the ‘Sørg for backup’ on hifisentralen (datahjørnet), to see just how bad (and costly) things can get, if you don’t.

Link to comment

Steve, yes, I am in Norway.

 

I have the old SuperNait1, which was part of the first wave of Naim electronics with digital inputs. The SN1 onboard dac is alright, but nothing special. Naim has come a long way since then (2007) in terms of sound quality on the digital side.

 

I have not really migrated to computerbased audio replay yet, only played around with it out of curiosity these last couple of years. My digital experience is limited to using an old MacBook (with various softare players), connected via usb (or usb/spdif-converter) to SN1 and a few other DACs.

 

Like you I found it rather daunting to get into computer audio. It appears complex, with several apparently different roads to choose between. I do not yet have a proper grasp on the subject, which is why I refered you to the naim forum (as you asked about UQ2).

 

Both UnitiQute2 and SuperUniti represent a different approach to what I have attemted so far. The DAC-V1 I can more easily relate to, as it basically represents the way I am currently using computer audio, that is, in a secondary head-fi setup (MacBook > DAC > Headphone Amp > D-Amp > Small fullrange speakers).

 

In the main rig I (still) use (Naim) cd-player and FM-tuner connected to analague inputs on SN1. Those, by the way, are two examples of analogue devices, a turntable is a third. If you don’t think you will ever use any of these in your new system, there is no need to particularly consider analogue inputs.

 

As for number and type of digital inputs, well some people need a lot, aiming at using the unit as a digital hub. Others only intend to use it for one or two digital sources, as part of a dedicated audio system. It seems to me, that all units in question have plenty of digital inputs, so I don’t know if you need to worry about this part. And I just need to correct myself, UnitiQute2 has an analogue input on the front as well, so has two analogue inputs, not only one, like I claimed in my previous post.

 

Regarding the aspect of an amplifier with more muscles, well moving from NaitXS to SuperNait1 added some depth and control to the musical presentation in my case (with Naim nSats speakers). How UnitiQute2 and SuperUniti compare in this regard, I don’t know, but I suspect a similar effect.

 

In conclusion, I think the better you are able to define your actual needs, the easier it will be to ask the right questions, get the right advice, and find the right device for you.

 

If you heard and liked UnitiQute2 (sound and size wise), you might simply want to ask the dealer for advice on how to set ut a replay chain that can get you the best possible sound. If you do so before buying new computer hardware, you will have a chance to tailor the computer purchase toward your new audio system, rather than the other way around.

 

In general I would say, that if you want/need a hazzle-free replay system, go with proven ways. And by now both UnitiQute and SuperUniti should have matured enuogh for there to be a record of proven ways. Many of the discussions on the naim forum about these products will be more to do with experimenting to take things even further.

 

Steve, sorry that I can’t be more specific, but maybe you can use some of all this anyway.

Link to comment

God dag Kvik

That was really a superb and full reply, for which I am most grateful.You wrote it in such a way that even I understood 90% of what you were trying to relate.

 

Un fortunately I have never had the opportunity to audition any audio equipment, I have only ever read the reviews (sounds good to me)?not actually heard any of the NAIM gear.and not really likely to I know there at least two dealers in Norge who stock Naim so maybe I can go by train to see one of them or both? who knows all depends on my health and my dear wife`s permission.

 

We do have some similarities in our audio history I have used a 2008 Dell studio laptop as my server and as I said in earlier reply I did own the Audioengine A5s (original) not to impressed really, and that was my set up okay but not real audio. all my music is 24/96 at least and whilst I am very familiar with all the hot debate on the higher bit recordings,I certainly notice the difference to Itunes and normal MP3 & CD reproduction.

 

I have being trying to get my head around NAS drives and I feel either one of these(synology?) or a large capacity external drive?to hold the collection can not afford the offerings from NAIM and others.

analague inputs,I will just require the minimum I think if i run one of the Uniti items + amp(maybe) & speakers,hopefully buy the model withe the good headphone out which is supposed to be better than many head amps which is a consideration? forget which model now.

 

You will see from my proposed basic set up,that connections should hopefully not be an issue?SuperNait1 is certainly an option? also have to take in to account my small room 2 x 3.3 mtrs? I have all but discounted the Cambridge as I see no reason for upsampling my music really and the Naims are I think in a different class and British built which is important to me.

 

I would like to support UK & European audio if I can?

 

You have being a superb with your very kind advice, suggestioins and thought provoking comments.Please feel free to share any information you like I am sure it will help me greatly.

 

you might simply want to ask the dealer for advice on how to set ut a replay chain that can get you the best possible sound. If you do so before buying new computer hardware, you will have a chance to tailor the computer purchase toward your new audio system, rather than the other way around.

 

I have received some help from Oslo Hi Fi centre re my origianl idea of Unitiqute2 + Kefs but really wanted to spread the net wider to see if I caught any new ideas?/suggestions.

 

Regards Steve

Link to comment

To be honest, I think my digital journey so far has been full of challenges (other might call it problems ;-) As it has been to me mainly an experimental/learning situation, I have accepted this as the price to pay. However, had I been completely dependent on computers for audio replay, I would have torn out the last remaining hairs on my head a long time ago. I say this to emphasize the aspect of proven ways. It is so much easier to just enjoy music, when you don’t have to continuously fiddle with the computer side of things. This is not meant to scare you off the concept, it is just to point out, that you want something that simply works.

 

You don’t as such need one of Naim’s (costly) hard drive offerings, their main advantage is simply that they integrate seamlessly. As you already are aware of from you research, there are other alternatives. Some prefer a NAS, others a MacMini (or similar windows-/linux-based) controlled via smartphone, others use usb-sticks for replay.

 

Think about if you want a NAS in the listening room; if you can have it elsewhere in the house; if there is an available ethernet connection already set up in the room, or you need to use wifi; if you want an inobtrusive unit like MacMini (or similar), or a laptop permanently in place next to the streamer/amplifier; if you want to use a smartphone/tablet to control things, or are fine with accessing music directly on the streamer unit; etc; etc:

 

Forget the SuperNait1 in your scenario, the onboard dac will be inferior to the ones in the newer Naim offerings (UQ2 etc). In my digital journey so far only one DAC (Metrum Octave) have come close to being satisfactory sound wise, the rest (including the SuperNait1 onboard DAC) have been rather underwhelming.

 

Room size is useful info, with that small a room UQ2 should be absolutely fine, no need for the beefier SuperUniti really. More likely speakers will be the issue in this room, but that’s a different story. Something like Neat Iota or Guru Junior might be worth considering also, depending on where you have room for the speakers.

 

If you are unable to travel, the dealer might have be willing to let you home audition against a deposit (and shipping fees). You could also ask in naim thread on hifisentralen if naim-owners in Kristiansand would be willing to let you come and have a listen to their system.

Link to comment

Hello Again

What another wonderful reply,I really can not thank you enough for all your efforts on my behalf,it means a lot.I am sorry you seem to have experienced some problems enjoying your music in the digital world?

 

I am embarrased to share my own audio experiences in public?I wasted thousands of Krine on unsuitable custom made cables e.t.c. fra USA!! just got carried away taken in by salesman and snake oil!...but generally the actual storing and playing the music files as been fine,just never experienced my music at full definition and quality.

 

I agree with you tht room size is the critical issue,re -spekers the Iotas are very highly regarded and I have read good reviews saying they offer a much bigger soundstage than their size would have you beleive.

so I could look at them if it was felt the Kefs in particular were to fussy to partner or overblown for my small room e.t.c.?

 

You don’t as such need one of Naim’s (costly) hard drive offerings, their main advantage is simply that they integrate seamlessly. As you already are aware of from you research, there are other alternatives. Some prefer a NAS, others a MacMini (or similar windows-/linux-based) controlled via smartphone, others use usb-sticks for replay.

 

Think about if you want a NAS in the listening room; if you can have it elsewhere in the house; if there is an available ethernet connection already set up in the room, or you need to use wifi; if you want an inobtrusive unit like MacMini (or similar), or a laptop permanently in place next to the streamer/amplifier; if you want to use a smartphone/tablet to control things, or are fine with accessing music directly on the streamer unit; etc; etc:

 

As you have read I am in the market for a new laptop and it is not out of the question that I could if felt the best option (im thinking control apps e.t.c) go for Apple Mac,I did not wish to spend that much on laptop but i could be pursuaded?then I would still need to store 1.5 TB of music? maybe other options?

 

You don’t as such need one of Naim’s (costly) hard drive offerings, their main advantage is simply that they integrate seamlessly. As you already are aware of from you research, there are other alternatives. Some prefer a NAS, others a MacMini (or similar windows-/linux-based) controlled via smartphone, others use usb-sticks for replay.

 

We agree totally here also, Naims and the other top makes are not really an option for me.

 

Think about if you want a NAS in the listening room; if you can have it elsewhere in the house; if there is an available ethernet connection already set up in the room, or you need to use wifi; if you want an inobtrusive unit like MacMini (or similar), or a laptop permanently in place next to the streamer/amplifier; if you want to use a smartphone/tablet to control things, or are fine with accessing music directly on the streamer unit; etc; etc:

 

A smaller Nas in the room would be fine as it will be a dedicated listening room,although small.I need a new smart phone also(not sure weather samsung or apple?) but am not going for a tablet had the 4g sony xperia z and could not get on with it,, which really surprised me so I gave it to one of my wifes staff members at her barnahagen.

 

Getting back to the original UQ2 I still like the idea of using this but am now not as sure as I was.I would not mind travelling to Oslo to the two shops to audition the set ups available? between you and me (and everyone else) I am very wary of dealers in general after all my bad experiences.which is probably unfair I know.but how do you tell the honest ones they are so good at the big sell??

 

Lots to think about

 

and once again I thank you so much

 

all the best Steve

Link to comment

Steve, the MacMini you are linking to is the server version, you would only need the cheapest, regular version. Your files would then be stored externally, for instance on something like this. You would, however, also need keyboard and screen (TV screen will do) when first setting up the Mini, after that you can get by with smartphone/tablet for controlling it. There are cheaper alternatives, my main point was just to show that you can get something neat looking. To some people appearance matter, to others it is of secondary importance.

 

For what it is worth, with the different issues I have had with computer audio, it has been useful to have a laptop (MacBook in my case), with its permanent keyboard+screen access. A laptop can also be controlled by smartphone/tablet (through various Apps) for audio replay. And the files can be stored on an external hard drive, so you don’t necessarily need a laptop with huge internal storage capacity. A laptop could also be temporarily disconnected from the audio system and used other places in the house if needed.

 

As I have no experience with a NAS, I can't really comment on that way of doing things in this context (audio replay).

Link to comment

God dag Kvik,

 

I am actually looking forward to your super replies,which have helped me in so many ways particulary my undersatnding of whats, what? I have never being an expert in Audio matters but due to illness I have little to no retentive memory so i forget almost completely what I have learnts and am continulally haveing to return to the subject at hand which then becomes very confusing at times...a real pain.

 

Thank you for pointing out the server mix up I will get it right eventually,hopefully...I had no idea you could use the Mini Mac in such a way makes things a lot easier and I think more interesting also.I think to begin with I could use my new laptop (yet to be decided?) and then I am hoping to maybe,just maybe have a 45" LED tv in my room maybe with a basic 5-1 speaker set up if it can be worked out, but audio is the first thing.But I could use the TV to lok at my collection and control from smart phone it`s a nice option.

 

It finally clicked in my head that I do not require the laptop to have big storage Finally!

 

I am still checking out NAS drives but unless there is a burning reason to have one over the MAC mini then I would probably go with that..I have noticed their are far more options with apple than android in the control app world? so maybe I should look at a Mac book air or something.I would have possibly prefered Windows 8.1 which I use now and actually quite like contary to majority opinion.

 

 

but we will have to see. luckily I have time to get all this right, which of course is very important.

 

best wishes Steve

 

 

 

Steve, the MacMini you are linking to is the server version, you would only need the cheapest, regular version. Your files would then be stored externally, for instance on something like this. You would, however, also need keyboard and screen (TV screen will do) when first setting up the Mini, after that you can get by with smartphone/tablet for controlling it. There are cheaper alternatives, my main point was just to show that you can get something neat looking. To some people appearance matter, to others it is of secondary importance.

 

For what it is worth, with the different issues I have had with computer audio, it has been useful to have a laptop (MacBook in my case), with its permanent keyboard+screen access. A laptop can also be controlled by smartphone/tablet (through various Apps) for audio replay. And the files can be stored on an external hard drive, so you don’t necessarily need a laptop with huge internal storage capacity. A laptop could also be temporarily disconnected from the audio system and used other places in the house if needed.

 

As I have no experience with a NAS, I can't really comment on that way of doing things in this context (audio replay).

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...