NaimUniti home theatre: or what is expensive to you?
I am not sure what to think. Crave think the NaimUniti is expensive. It ain't cheap at 2000£, but it certainly ain't expensive for audio/video gear. On the contrary, it is quite cheap. Let's put it in perspective: I have the JH13Pro custom earphones which sell for 1100$ or so, and iPod touch for 200$, an ALO Rx portable headphone amp for 350$, and an ALO Cyro cable which costs 195$. That is my portable listening kit.
Call me crazy because that kit alone costs just a little shy of 2000$ for on the go audio bliss. It ain't home theatre; it ain't even 2.1 channels.
I've just been shocked though at two things: firstly that I don't belong to a typical group of people, and maybe that is a bad thing - maybe not. Since I was 10, I had to have good sound. It wasn't till about 2003 or so that I could afford it. Now, I decide how good of sound I want before I go out. Sometimes it is that nigh on' 2000$ system, sometimes it is just my favourite earphones and my iPod/Sony/Sansa Fuze.
But by any enthusiast's reckoning, 2000£ isn't expensive for home THEATRE! Typical CD players cost around 1000$ unless you typically call a plastic Kenwood HiFi. The same goes for amps, pre amps, etc.. In fact, those numbers are cheap. But what does it all come down to anyway? A lot of honestly, is fluff.
Our ears hear stuff - sure; but so too, do our brains. Placebo has been thrown around a lot in audio circles for a long time, but it is applicable. I do know, however, that my ~2000$ system has some advantages to going naked (without an amp or line out cable from the iPod). I get better bass resolution with the Jerry Harvey JH13Pro and better stereo separation - a great combo for trance and ambient.
But, is it worth it? Well, that depends on me, really. I like my audio as do many other cool guys 'n gals/geeks/slaves to the system. I like to game and watch movies; I like to read; I really like to listen to music - that is what I bought my iPod touch for: music. Decked out in my silly system, I have an emotional and aural high: the best sounds with a geeky system to boot.
But, if I were to suddenly sprout moneybags and buy a home theatre system (I live in a medical dormitory - ain't gonna happen), I'd buy something nice. But, I am not a big home theatre guy, so 2000£ might do me. But, that would be the equivalent of me going ampless/LODless in my portable setup.
You see, something may sound expensive, but only to those who are not into that something. I don't have a car, so buying leather/seat covers/rims - all that seems worthless to me. Add that up to the ever rising costs of insurance (in Canada, hello), petrol, and repairs, and I wonder why people throw away their dosh on cars. But then, I'm not a car guy. I'm a bicycle and audio guy and those two areas get all my throwaway money.
Long story short: the NaimUniti is pretty cheap, especially for home theatre, especially for home theatre buffs who often spend 10x that without blinking. As with beauty, money/cost/price is in the eye of the beholder.