Editorial Note: Within the last year or so our sister publication Hi-Fi+ favorably reviewed the full-sized Naim HDX Hard Disk Player (click here to read the review) and this week we learned the HDX will soon be joined by compact siblings called the UnitiServe and UnitiServe-SSD. The UnitiServe will be equipped with a 1TB hard drive while the UnitiServe-SSD will feature a 16GB Single Level Cell (SLC) Solid State Drive (SSD).
Below, we present the text of the Naim press release announcing the UnitiServe, which is chockfull of interesting technical details and includes in-depth specifications for the new compact server.
May 6 2010 High-End Show, MOC, Munich. Two, very successful — as evidenced by the recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise — years on from Naim’s launch of the standard-setting award-winning HDX hard disk player, Naim is launching UnitiServe a compact digital audio player and server. Deliveries will begin July 2010.
UnitiServe is designed to serve three key purposes; all significantly benefitting from Naim quality, secure CD ripping and storage.
Local digital playback through the 75Ω BNC or TOSLINK connected digital output. The Naim DAC – which has established itself as the most musical, musically gripping digital to analogue converter available – is the ideal companion.
Multiple streams made available from the Naim written UPnP™ server. This would be ideally suitable to single- or multi-room systems using NaimUniti or UnitiQute. Streams are at native bit rate unless the UnitiServe is configured to downsample the streams on the fly should the UPnP™ renderer require it.
Up to six StreamNet streams of CD Quality to supply a NaimNet whole-house multi-room system.
There are two versions of UnitiServe. The standard version includes a 1TB Pipeline low-noise drive for local storage of up to around 1200 CD rips. The –SSD variant substitutes the 1TB drive for a 16GB Enterprise grade Single Level Cell (SLC) Solid State Drive (SSD).
UnitiServe-SSD – designed for the music lover with a larger music collection – has no local storage and is designed to save to NAS giving almost infinite storage capability.
UnitiServe can play most common audio formats from files stored on a network providing they are not subject to Digital Rights Management (DRM). WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC and AAC together with MP3 and more are easily found, with Network Scanning, and played. This includes hi-res music files up to 24Bit/192kHz, the current limit of S/PDIF and TOSLINK standards.
Hi-Res digital downloads are the audiophile source of the future. The choice of music available is increasing substantially daily; with more and more classic recordings and performances becoming available.
UnitiServe connects to the local network using an Ethernet cable for maximum reliability.
Ripping utilises the same Naim secure ripping engine that helped the Naim HDX gain its superb reputation. Rips should only be carried out once – they need to be the best rips possible.
Ripped music is stored in Naim’s preferred wav format which requires no further processing thus reducing processor overhead, current draw and power supply pollution; hence improving sound quality.
There are many ways to control a UnitiServe. In its server mode it can be installed, set up and then fed CDs as desired. It will rip, catalogue and store the rips efficiently and efficaciously, serving them to the finest UPnP or StreamNet standards. As a player the UnitiServe can be controlled by a Naim Handset, an Apple iPod Touch or iPhone running the HDX app, or by a computer running an internet browser supporting Adobe Flash®. PC users can also run the Naim Desktop Client giving an explorer style interface for control and setting up. UnitiServe can be a Server and Player simultaneously.