172 upgrade

I have an 82 and 2 Hi-Caps and I like the idea of stresming from my Muso experiences. Should I trade the 82 and 1 hi cap for a 172 and get remaining hi cap serviced, or should I hold on to 82 and purchase seperate streamer

Don’t get rid of that 82! The 172 will not sound as good as a preamp. What you really want is an NDX, and now that the new NDX2 is out, the old version has dropped in price on the used market.
By the way, unless you have another use for it, why would you keep one Hicap, as it won’t power a 172?

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Yes, absolutely what ChrisSU said. Then at some point, get an Olive supercap to replace the hicaps. It’s a massive boost.

Trade both Hicaps and the 82 for a 272?

Oh no. Dont sell your 82 and hc for a 172. That is a significant downgrade. I think you might regret it. If your keen to dip your toe into streaming I would recommend you build on what you have. The 82 is a great ‘vintage’ pre. I still have mine from new.

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The 172 was discontinued for a reason. Don’t go there is my advice.
A much better investment would be add an ND5 XS or if you can find one at the right price, an NDX.


I have several olive Hi-Caps used for an active SBL system with a NAC 72. I recently got a secondhand NAC 282 and dabbled with 1 vs 2 HI-CAPS - really not sure what I preferred. A few weeks ago had some stuff serviced including 2 HI-CAPS and the system has sounded rather anaemic since - still fiddling but I think I may fall into the 1 HI-CAP sounds better than 2 camp at the moment! Weird.

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You’re not alone. I bought a 2nd hc for my 82 some years ago thinking it must be an improvement. Preferred just one. Weird may be the norm :+1:


When I got my 82, I already had 2 hicaps. Tried both 1 and 2 hicaps but like you guys, preferred the 82 with 1 hicap only. Since then I got a supercap and oh dear Lord is it good.


Oh and to clarify the above, after servicing the HI-CAPs I automatically decided two ‘must’ be better whereas prior to this I was thinking I probably preferred one because one was a few years older and in greater need of a service.

It’s baffling in a way as if the Supercap is such an improvement, why on earth shouldn’t 2 Hi-Caps give at least a partial boost. Perhaps name only officially suggest 1 Hi-Cap or Supercap, at least from memory that was what was in the connections guide.

There used to be a lot of discussion about the need to have “paired” Hicap, ones pretty close in serial number. I ran my 82 with a Hicap for 25 years, then a Supercap for a few months. The Scap was a massive uplift, I never tried the twin PSU at home, shop dems didn’t show a massive uplift to me.
The olive preamp manual did show the twin Hicap connection scheme.

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I found 2 Hicap DRs were significantly better than 1 and when I tried a SC the additional benefit was there but not enough to justify the extra cost. I will get a SC but only as an interim solution when a move to a 252 seems possible.

Fred, 172 is the least performing product Naim has ever made.
Though it should still make sense in certain set-up ,yours is definitely two or more steps ahead.
Get a good source and do not waste your time.

The 172 was a cracking streamer, that hit well above its weight… into high end amplification it sounded sublime… quite astonishing really… I remember listening at my dealers setup into a NAP300 and a pair of Kudos Titans… absolutely phenomenal. It was never that loved though… it didn’t fit well in the hierarchy and was not that upgradeable … so prices should be low… the 172 took great advantage of the less is more approach which has trickled through to the NDXS2.
However the 82 is a great NAC too… so I’d be tempted to try and grab the 172, but retain your 82…

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25 years with 82 and 1 Hicap. That’s a long time.

I bought the 82 from new in 1993, and ran it with a pair of 135s I’d bought second-hand in 1989. (The Hicap was new in 1990 after a loaner from the dealer when I bought the 135s). That was such a good amp I didn’t feel any need to upgrade until last year when I decided for its 25th birthday I’d treat the 82 to a Supercap, and then spotted a second hand 52. Maybe if I’m around in 25 more years I’ll upgrade again.

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