Added a Hicap-DR (HCDR) to my Supernait 3

Happy New Year!

I never got around to adding a HCDR to my Supernait 2. I was always curious and by the time I had the budget to spend, I opted for the Supernait 3 instead of adding a HCDR to the Supernait 2. No regrets with that upgrade. That was November 2019.

Fast forward to December 2021, I was able to purchase a lightly used HCDR for about $1K USD less than a new model, including both SAIC4/5 cables. The HCDR is a May 2020 build, verified by NAIM, with less than 20 hours on it, according to the seller. So mint condition.

Before installing the HCDR, I wanted to give my ears a good baseline by listening to a specific playlist for about an hour. I then installed the HCDR and BAM…

The difference was immediately noticeable. The first immediate difference was a lower noise floor. The second was more grunt, a bit more power to the bass, and more control of the bass as well, more grip. In general, I think adding the HCDR allows the SN3 to do what it does so great but allows it to just do all these things even better: imaging, instrument separation, and volume all seem to improve. Due to these improvements, it seems that low volume listening seems has improved as well. The specific degree of improvement is difficult to quantify, but improvement nonetheless. Certainly no loss in PRaT either. Just even more listening enjoyment.

I am posting this because for years I was skeptical and on-the-fence about the HCDR and I know I was and am not the only one. But the improvement is there and it is real. I connected the HCDR and since then only powered it off briefly while everything was playing (at low volume) to test that indeed the sound tapered off as it is supposed to as the power drains from the HCDR. Since then, the HCDR has remained powered on and connected and there it will stay.

Of course those that have budget to upgrade their SN3 by adding an HCDR or a 282 or a 250DR or all of the above: your mileage may vary and your value for money may vary based on these options. I have never auditioned a 282/250DR and am committed to sticking with an integrated amp. Moving to separates has never been and is not my goal. I want minimal box count.

I am using my SN3+HCDR to power Dynaudio Contour 20 speakers with Tellurium Q Black II cable.

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Always best to try these things out for oneself rather than riding on someone else’s opinion as a gospel, as you have quite rightly discovered by doing just that. Great upgrade. No regrets here either. Enjoy.

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Congratulations on the purchase of the HiCap DR at a wonderful price!

I added a HiCap DR to my SN 2 and enjoyed the upgrade for a long time. Eventually I moved it over to the NAC 282 when I added the PreAmp to the SN 2… then replaced the SN2 with a 250 DR.

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I share the experience you have described, although I put my HiCap DR on a Supernait 2. Instant improvements to my ears.

Regards

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Thanks for posting your findings - I love hearing how people find adding the Hi-Cap to a Supernait, as this may be my next upgrade. What is your source?

was the DR adding change to worse the sound of poor recording ?
Is that adding force you to choose better the recording quality of the music you playing ??
can you explain what dose it mean “GRUNT” in music terms
is it change the sound to less warmth ?

Not very good ones at the moment. Well, my HTPC is pretty good but my Schiit Modi Multibit DAC needs replacement. It does a pretty good job for a little $250 component.

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That’s exactly what I found… toyed with selling it but as soon as it’s removed it’s very noticeable…

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It’s definitely a bit more revealing versus stock, so yes imperfections in recordings will also be more audible.

I use Spotify Premium and otherwise a mix of FLAC files, records, and CDs. When I am doing concentrated listening, I aim for the best quality digital files. This also applied before the upgrade.

Grunt just means a big better bass quality and control. More oomph.

The Contour 20 is a very neutral speaker. I have not perceived a change in “warmth” versus before. It is all just very musical and enjoyable.

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