Naim is expanding its networked audio range here at the Munich High End Show, launching two versions of the UnitiServe, first seen at the Bristol Show, and a version of its HDX digital music player designed for those with large music collections stored on network drives.
Both versions of the UnitiServe function as a compact digital audio ripper, player and server. They use the same Naim-developed secure ripping engine found in the HDX, and rip tracks as WAV files: this, Naim says ' reduces processor overhead, current draw and power supply pollution, hence improving sound quality.
'UnitiServe connects to the local network using an Ethernet cable for maximum reliability, and 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.'
The UnitiServe delivers music using a Naim-written UPnP server, plays at native bitrate unless it's configured to downsample on the fly, and can deliver up to six StreamNet streams at CD quality to a NaimNet whole-house system.
More after the break
In addition, it can be used as a local player, feeding offboard digital to analogue conversion via electrical or optical digital outputs, and can be controlled by a Naim remote handset, an Apple iPod Touch or iPhone running the Naim HDX app, or via an internet browser supporting Adobe Flash. There's also a dedicated PC desktop client.
The standard UnitiServe (£2000) has a built-in 1TB Pipeline low-noise hard-drive, and can store up to 1200 CD rips, while the UnitiServe SSD (£2250) has a 16GB Enterprise grade Single Level Cell (SLC) solid state drive, and is designed to save rips to a NAS device.
The latter thinking also informs the new £4595 HDX-SSD variant, which loses the internal hard-drives of the standard model in favour of the same 16GB solid state drive, designed to contain the operating system and handle future upgrades.
The player can then be used with external NAS drives, with Naim saying at least half of HDX owners and potential owners would prefer to store their music remotely.
The company says that the HDX-SSD 'also gets significant performance improvements with double the RAM to reduce paging and therefore reduce variable current draw and more importantly a new Naim designed low-profile PCI audio card.
'This new card, designed for a single stereo output, is further optimised and consumes less current than the one it replaces. This delivers a twofold opportunity for a sound quality improvement.
'These improvements are also heard on the digital output.'
All the new products will be available in July, and existing HDX owners can upgrade with the new RAM and PCI card. An upgrade to the SSD drive will require the return of the player to Naim or local distributors.