Advice need on 2nd hand separates and upgrades


I have a SN3 & NDX2. Of course always looking to upgrade, but save a few quid where possible.

As such, I have been offered a hicap and a Nap 200. They are both models circa 2010. The asking price for both is around £1.7k.

The obvious question is will there be that much different with the new models?
I’m tempted. I can then save my cash for Naim XPS for the NDX2.

My gut feeling is that you should hang on for an XPS.
If you go for a Hicap I would hang on for a DR version. Although you can buy a non-DR and have it upgraded, it’s prohibitively expensive.
An older 200 is not significantly different from the current version except that the 200DR has a DR preamp power supply built in, but that’s no use to you with a Supernait.

What are your speakers? The 200 may be an upgrade over your SN2 but it has a lower power output on paper. You may not find it worthwhile.

As always, check the service history and budget for a recap if it’s due.

The Supernait 3 has a DR power supply for its preamp built in. A 2010 Hicap is not DR and won’t make things sound better, in fact it may sound worse. A NAP 200 is very little if any better than the Supernait 3 power amp. Basically both would be a waste of money. Keep your money and buy some music. If you want a real upgrade from the SN3 you are looking at a 282, Hicap DR and 250DR.


Agree with HH. Neither unit will give you much if any benefit.

The XPSDR is the obvious upgrade from where you currently are.

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I don’t think it’s a given that a non-DR Hicap will be worse than the built in DR supply, mainly because it’s a dual rail supply rather than the single rail in the SN3, but also because it’s in a separate box with its own beefy transformer.
Not everybody likes what a Hicap does to a Supernait of course, but there’s only one way to find out.

Hence the word ‘may’.

If you’re planning further upgrades a stepwise progression incorporating HCDR, then 282 (with SN as power amp), then 250DR is the usual pathway.

Thanks for the advice, still adjusting to the NAIM terminology.

Just checking out the upgrade path suggested by Naim and its the NAP 200DR and then the hicap dr. Its seems the high cap should be a priority over the nap 200dr? My speakers are Harbeth Super HL5 Plus.

Future shopping list priorities

  1. hi cap dr
  2. xps dr
  3. nap 200dr

SN3 is a super integrated.
If you add anything, at all, maybe consider HCDR.

Like others, thinking it may pay to look out for a PSU to go with source NDX2, as a likely better upgrade.

A lot will depend on your long term plans. If you get a Hicap and a 200 it makes sense to then trade in the Supernait for a separate preamp, either a 202, or a 282 which would be better.

There is a trend on the forum for adding a Hicap to a Supernait, but some prefer it without. The 200 is not popular with the herd, but as you say, it’s on Naim’s list of recommended upgrades.

The problem with buying used is that while you seem to save money in the short term, you can easily make blind purchases that don’t work out for you either through personal preference, system matching, or the condition of older equipment. A good relationship with a dealer can save you money in the long run.

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In Naim terminology they tend to rate upgrades in a hierarchy order, which is source first , followed by pre amp and then power amp, as you move up the upgrade path in terms of electronics. But don’t overlook the quality of the speakers that have to do justice to the quality of those electronics. A good balanced set up is always the wisest decision.

So I would say a xps-dr would have the most profound effect and then after that a hicap-dr.

The hicap -dr would then take you onto the logical path if you were to choose to move into the world of pre/power set ups and the 282/hicapdr/ 250 Dr is a significant step up from say the sn3/ hicapdr.

Of course there is nothing wrong with being content with what you have already and just because there is an upgrade path you really don’t have to exploit it.

Those 2010 units are probably not worth it and better to resist the need to scratch that compulsive itch until a more sensible option comes up. Those two units will likely require a service soon and that will cost you from £300 to £500 so always bear that in mind when buying used (recommended service levels 8 to 10 years old).

I’ve been buying Naim used for practically 20 years and have never had a problem, as Naim gear is well made and reliable and looked after in general. There is always an element of risk but you can save a fortune this way, unless you are flush with money. Naim generally has good resale values as the Naim/hifi habit is contagious and Naimies often are on the upgrade path so someone is looking to sell or buy always.

So yes xpsdr first and hicap dr second. But if the hicapdr comes up at a silly price first go for it, if you still have funds for the xpsdr at a later point.

Buying used Naim say two/ three years old should make a significant saving and you won’t have to service them for several years.

Don’t forget a good rack and a dedicated mains set up at some point too, if you want to extract full performance and become a real hifi nerd. And keep well away from this forum, if you want to stop at the two suggestions I made, because you will get sucked in thereafter and start becoming somewhat obsessed, putting power supplies on routers and doing odd things with cables, a bit like me!

Hope that helps with good decision making.


Thank you for the considered response. As recommend, ill keep eye out for a new ish XPS DR and then a high cap dr.

How do turn tables factor into the equation? As I am increasingly listening to vinyl on a Rega P6. How do you boost its contribution to the system? I assume this could be through the high cap dr which would boost SN3 performance.

You’d get a better turntable. Swapping to a P8 would make a hugely greater difference to the TT source than a Hicap on the Supernait.

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If upgrading from SN3 then 200 won’t fit the bill.

Personally, I would go 282 HiCapDR 250DR. Or 82 HiCap 250 Olive. Former is modern way, latter the old way.

Or stick with what you have and go XPSDR.

The 200 is not an upgrade on your Supernait 3 as such. A 250 is.

Tbh what you have is great. I wouldn’t get the hicap with 200. It won’t work!

Upgradeable paths for what you have are HiCap DR and XPSDR or 555DR.

If changing amp from Supernait 3 then 282 HiCap DR 250DR.

Or like I say go left field for 82 HiCap 250 Olive or CB mix.

I’d go for the XPS and keep the SN3. The 200 is a forgettable amp and your SN will likely sound better in your setup. After the XPS I’d consider 282/250DR if you’re still wanting to go separates.

Tried and tested balanced upgrade paths from the ndx2/SN3.

Ndx2/ xpsdr/ SN3/hicapdr

Ndx2/ xpsdr or 555 ps / 282/200

Ndx2/ 555ps/282/hicapdr/250.

You can’t go wrong with any of these. It’s ultimately up to available finances or levels of weakness.

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Investing budget into a streaming source, or vinyl source is a personal decision, based on your preferences and available budgets.

The Rega P6 is a decent turntable. How are you using this? Are you using an Exact moving magnet (mm) cartridge with the phono input on the SN3. That’s a great vinyl replay set-up.

If so, then it is an option to upgrade the cartridge to Ania or Ania Pro moving coil (mc) cartridge and add an external phono stage. (A better one than internal SN3 phono stage). Such as the excellent Rega Aria. These steps provide a nice uplift to your P6 vinyl playback.

However, the way Rega turntable range work, they don’t really lend themselves to upgrading individual components. So, the next most significant upgrade would be to swop the P6 for the better P8 and move the mc cartridge and phono stage across with it. Maybe even upgrade the cartridge to the Alpheta 3 in time.

Hope that helps explain. Maybe take a look at the Rega website and study all this potential upgrade steps.

Adding the HCDR to your SN3 will improve the whole system, for streaming and vinyl. However, this won’t get any more music from what the P6 is already doing. Hence, thinking about improving cartridge, phono stage and whole turntable, before you look at adding a PSU to the SN3.

Good luck


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Thanks for the comments. My current turntable is the R6 with an exact cartridge. The dealer is suggesting a 2M black cartridge. Do you have any thoughts on this?

I think a new cartridge and an external RIAA, might be an easy up grade choice. Before moving on to the r8.


Hi mate

I wasn’t that impressed with the XPS DR… made a difference but every time I listened I was thinking about the 555ps… eventually managed to save and bought one… The upgrade was massive, best purchase I’ve ever made… (S/H of course… I couldn’t afford a new one :joy:)

Save and wait is my advice…

The Ortofon 2M Black is an excellent mm cartridge and some might say amongst the best mm’s currently. Lots of forum members will endorse that option for your P6.

One small issue you need to consider (if you move away from Rega cartridges), is that non Rega cartridges require a little extra care to set up on a Rega tonearm and turntable. For some this is an insignificant issue.

The 2M black allows you to upgrade cartridges and continue to use the internal mm phono stage in your SN3. So, I see the logic in this option. It’s a good idea.

I think I would still look at modest Rega mc cartridges, as a better upgrade. If budget allows, maybe look at the Ania mc partnered with Rega Fono MC as an interim and lower budget cost option. Then, later, maybe move onwards to Rega Aria phono stage.

Good luck


[ Note : FWIW, in the same situation as you, I went from Exact to Ania to Ania Pro. In parallel, changing phono stages from Rega Fono MM to Rega Aria ]