Naim Unitilite All-in-One + KEF R300 Standmount Speakers

A

Agitater

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#1
Sitting at a friend's place a couple of Saturday evenings ago for a Jazz and Scotch session. The TIDAL HiFi stream through the UnitiLite's built-in TIDAL app and the Unitilite's internal DAC helping to drive a pair of well-undersood (read: advantageously set up up in the room and familiar to the listeners) KEF R300's sounded absolutely great. The Unitilite all-in-one and the KEF speakers are a great combination. Everything - and I mean everything - is there: rock solid bass, bass clarity, fine details (e.g., the softest accents),a sweet midrange that is warm and detailed, and a treble range that extends with great definition and no fatigue whatsoever. Even at uncomfortably loud volume, the Unitilite drove the KEFs distortion-free and with great control.

Several of my music loving friends ask me from time to time about great combinations at various price points. The $2500 Naim UnitiLite and the $1500 KEF R300 speakers are terrific together. It's a true, very complete high fidelity and high quality system includes a CD player, FM, TIDAL HiFi, network (uPnP) player and a good control app for iOS and Android, all for under $5000.

The UnitiLite integrates a Naim CD transport. It seems to be a stripped down Naim CD5. The drive is physically quiet, responds acceptably quickly to remote commands, and most important, is a very good player that is well-damped internally to avoid chatter and other problems caused by loading CDs that are in poor physical condition. For anyone looking for an all-in-one that includes a very good 24/192 DAC, a solid and reliable CD transport, a preamp and amp that compete with many well-respected integrated amps at the price point, a creditable FM tuner (though not for DXers),Internet radio, TIDAL, Spotify, uPnP (for accessing music elsewhere on your home network),with enough power and (more important) plenty of reserve current to drive a vast selection of speakers, the UnitiLite is a great choice.

The Naim UnitiLite is a few years old (at least in consumer electronics years),but still current in the Naim lineup and it can hold it's own against any other all-in-one and many integrated amps at its retail price. It was extremely well reviewed when it was first hit the market, and is every bit the home run it was touted to be. I have used the Unitilite to successfully drive KEF LS50, Bryston Mini-T, The Advent/1, KEF 104aB, Spendor A5r, Audio Space AS3/5A and a rather astonishing pair of Diapason Micra sperakers.

I have felt for a couple of years now that the KEF R300 is the sweet spot in the KEF R-series, and dollar-for-dollar just about the very best value in the entire KEF lineup. It has most of the attributes of the R500 and R700 floorstanders, but without the size. It's a hefty bookshelf speaker that does best on heavy 24" tall stands. It also provides just enough of the stellar sound of the KEF Reference 1 to impress at every turn. The lastest-gen UniQ coaxial driver (albeit not the very best UniQ that KEF makes - that one is reserved for the Blade, Muon and Reference 1 speakers) and the 6.5" woofer make the R300 a true 3-way (rear ported). I think the system as it stands is something that many, many music lovers and many, many audiophiles could happily live with for years.
 
A

Agitater

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#3
The Micras are really something special. I'm currently driving them with a Simaudio Neo 250i in a well set up home office system. But I also drove them with a Teac AI501DA and was completely surprised at the quality of that combo as well - lots of snap. A delight to hear. The Diapason stuff is not widely known in North America, but it should be.

The cabinetry is gorgeous as you noted. Perfectly sculpted and finished.
 
Andreas

Andreas

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
3
#4
Agreed, I own the Unitilite with old Matrix 805's and am very pleased but looking to update the speakers.
  1. Dynaudio 40 Specials
  2. B&W 705 s2
  3. PMC Twenty5 .22
  4. 3A MM De Capo BE Monitor
are on my short list
 

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