Direct stream with Naim Uniti Core

My current system is built around Naim products with my streaming using an NDX served from a Uniti Core. I’m intrigued with the Direct Stream DAC and Bridge given its great reviews and regular free updates. My NDX could use a little more resolution on the top end and openness which seems to be a strength of the DS so I’m considering replacing the NDX with a DS. I’ve also been watching Paul on the PS Audio YouTube channel and have to say I’m impressed with what I’m seeing with the company and it’s commitment to R&D and customer service. So perhaps this will be my first jump outside of Naim!

Before I consider this further I need to know if the DS with bridge will work seamlessly with the Naim Uniti Core. I use the Core in a second system and it’s feeding a portable Naim Qb in my home office so I don’t want to abandon it as my source for all my ripped cd’s and downloads. I searched the forum and seems like some older posts indicate there were some compatibility issues with frequent drops but with the regular updates this may have been resolved.

Appreciate if anyone can let me know their recent experience with integrating DS in to an environment where a networked Uniti Core is storing and serving music.

Thanks in advance!


Welcome @dave709

I owned Naim UnitiServe 2TB which I gave away to a work mate with NaimUniti 2. I upgraded to Naim Uniti Core with 2 TB SSD installed. My current setup includes DS DAC with Bridge II.

UnitiCore is an excellent ripper / server / player. It shone using BNC to RCA digital coaxial into the DS DAC (cable quality was critical). This way, I could play music using Naim app. If you decide to stream from it, then you have to use either mControl, Roon, JRiver, or anything that is compatible with Bridge II.

To realise the full benefits of Bridge II, I bought Nucleus+ and a lifetime license to Roon then added 2TB SSD inside it. Later on, I added an audiophile LAN switch. I am very happy with this cnfiguration.

There are other configurations and tweaks for DS DAC discussed in this thread:

A little off topic but I am picking up a Naim Unity Nova here in a half hour. I have not thought yet of how it may integrate into my main (DS-Integrated) system but it will be handling TV on the ARC and Spotify background music. If you are an expert Dave709 and have ideas I would love to hear them!

At this point all I know is a decade ago or so I had the CD player (with the puck) and it rocked. Solid company too…

I had a Naim server with a PS Audio DAC. I was not interested in the Bridge as I understood it was a third party card and not very good, relying on third party apps, so I used an Auralic streamer.

Bear in mind the PS Audio DSD DAC is soon to replaced with a Mk2 version without a network card option and there will be no more updates.

Naim and PS Audio are not dissimilar in that the NDX came out in 2008 and was replaced after 10 years with apparently the much improved NDX2. They also initially relied on a third party for software (nServe was licensed, my “Naim” server was made by Ava Media, but used the same software). PS Audio brought out the DSD DAC around 2014 (it was also developed externally by Ted Smith) so it will have lasted 8 years. PS Audio are soon to bring out their own streaming software, so now it is an unknown quantity.

PS Audio is focused on DSD as both a playback and a processing format, so there is a lot of emphasis on playback of DSD files and SACDs in native DSD format, which thanks to Sony’s SACD rules requires a proprietary connection (I2S is used). Naim is the opposite. The new Core apparently converts DSD to PCM and the NDX2 DAC then upsamples to 40-bit PCM. Nothing wrong with that, my own system does exactly the same.

So with the UnitiCore not sending native DSD, you are not sending a format that seems to be one of the main reasons why people buy the DSD DAC.

The NDX2 would seem the obvious choice as they were effectively made for each other and has always been highly regarded. I almost bought an NDX in 2009, bought a Linn Akurate DS instead, the reason being I was pushed to get the matching power supply, same applies with the NDX2, and the Naim box count put me off.

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@dave709 I own Naim Uniti Core, NDX2, Uniti Nova and DS Dac and DMP.

Here are few ways u can make DS Dac work with Uniti Core -

  1. Use Roon, MConnect, etc through Bridge. Bridge is an additional $700 n/w card u have to add to DS dac. Bur remember in DS Dac Mk2 this option will not be there.

  2. U can connect spdif output from Core to the input of DS. But this will convert DSD to PCM. All other formats will work great.

  3. U may get a ND5XS2 or NDX2. They can stream frrom Core and provide a Digital Output (spdif) which can send native DSD without converting to PCM. But limited to DSD 64 only.



Thanks @stevensegal thus is helpful