Anyone using a Flatcap 2 with an XS integrated? If so, what benefits are you noticing?
Well, I listened to the flatcap 2 with the XS a little this afternoon. It does improve the sound. It’s not “worlds” better, but there is an improvement; most noticeably in bass, which sounds perhaps a little tighter and lower. Didn’t really notice too much change in the imaging/soundstage dept., but overall maybe a little more refined due to the bass improvements. At least I know now they do make a difference. I’ve had it powered on now for only a day, and I’ve heard they take a week to fully get up to speed, so maybe it will improve even more.
Some years ago I used a flat cap XS with a nait XS 2
I did not like what it did AT ALL …and was glad to get rid of it…it seemed to do the opposite of what I expected … close in the sound and remove sparkle from the treble
Your experience may differ
I had one for a few months and thought it didn’t bring enough improvement to justify the outlay. I still have a Nait XS in my second system: it is such a balanced, well-rounded amp by itself that I would suggest leaving it alone.
I had a flatcap 2x with a nait xs and don’t believe it’s worth the outlay…save up for the next amp up the line imho.
It’s one you need to try in your system with your ears. Personally I thought it took the Nait up a level and was a good move. I did try a spare Supercap 2 which i had at the time and this completely changed the presentation - more Hi-Fi and less music - it lost a lot of what makes the XS such a nice amplifier.
That’s a good way to word it: Hi-Fi vs. Music or “Musical” as I indicate below. I recently sold my CD5x and went with a CD5i-2 as the CD5i-2 is a much more musical sounding player to my ears. Some say the CD5x may have resolved a little more (not that I could detect it) by was just more analytical than the CD5i-2. Therefore, the CD5x was “Hi-Fi” sounding to me.
I’ll leave the Flatcap 2 connected all week and demo more of my reference songs. Then I’ll go back to stock XS and see what I notice.
I had a FlatCap 2X for almost a year and it never impressed me. At best, it may have reduced some background noise, but what it seemed to actually do was make the presentation sound dry. It was not dramatic and I did not notice it doing that all the time, but it was noticeable on certain good recordings that I knew well. I agree with the overall consensus here that it does not seem to do much of anything, good or bad. Coincidentally, I came across a great deal on a HiCap-2 today and so, out of sheer curiosity, I bought it to try with my XS-2 (60w).
We have the Flatcap XS with the Naim XS and the CD5X and could not be happier driving nSats. This has been a great system for our upstairs. We bought every thing new except the nSats, so they are well run in and still going strong since 2006 for the CD5X and 2011 for the Naim-Flatcap combo.
When was your FC2 last serviced? I ask because there was a bit of talk on the old forum about unserviced power supplies possibly making things worse, or at best, no real difference.
Richard Dane has mentioned many times that well overdue PSUs perform worse than no PSU.
Since the Flatcap 2 I am currently auditioning made a positive improvement in the sound, I would assume then it has a some remaining “life” in it yet. Though I do figure it probably is overdue for a servicing… per production year on naim’s serial number database.
One question I wanted to ask regarding Flatcaps: When they are implemented with an integrated, what exactly does the Flatcap do? Does it solely supply power to the preamp section of the integrated? Therefore, leaving the main torroidal in the integrated for powering the amp section exclusively?
Yes, Flatcaps, Hicaps and Supercaps power the preamp section of Naim NACs and integrateds.
How did you find the CD5X with FC2?
Flatcap new 2011. Might have been a demo. With the units it pairs with, the CD5X and Nait5X and XS respectively, and Headline and Stageline series, the Flatcap is your friend and may soon be unobtainable. Get one and recap it if necessary. It may see you out and sound better than the new entry level series if you want to err on the side of analog. The NaitXS and its peripherals including the Flatcaps make a giant-killer system.
Hi Skip, Unless I did it wrongly, my question about FC state of service was intended for the OP
Glad you like your FC. I’m very happy with my FCXS on my CD5XS and NAC152XS.
Could anyone advise the best way to connect a Nait XS2 & Flatcap XS (just picked one up second hand) and I’m a bit unsure. Would it be:
Nait XS2 Pre-Amp Out <-> Flatcap XS Power Out A or
Nait XS2 Power Amp In <-> Flatcap XS Signal Out A
You need two leads, a Snaic 5 (which comes with the Flatcap) and a Snaic 4. The connections are shown in the Nait manual.
The manual showed both connections (as above) but didn’t make clear that I needed to connect them both (I assumed it might be a choice).
Very much appreciate your help - thank you.
XS2 Pre out via SNAIC 5 to FC XS Power out A.
FC XS Signal Out A via SNAIC 4 to XS2 Power Amp in