Flatcap XS - XS2/Stageline/HeadLine Puzzle

Hi All,

Despite all the controversy, I’m about to add a used FlatCap XS (2020 manufacturing date) into my system and I’m excited to hear the results. My first stop will be to connect it to my XS2 and Stageline but I’m looking for a couple other pieces and trying to figure out how they might fit into my system.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of headphone listening lately (Focal Elex) and I’ve been looking for a HeadLine 2. Any thoughts about how I might fit this in? Could I use the FlatCap for the XS2 and the Aux/Pwr from the amp for the HeadLine? Does bringing in an external power source kill the internal power circuit? Would I be better off using the FlatCap for the Stageline and Headline and skip the amp all together? Is the latter even possible?

I love a good puzzle. Maybe add in a CD5 XS somewhere down the road just to complicate things further. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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You’d have to power the Stageline from the Aux 2, and the headline and the Nait from the Flatcap.

Another option is to use a Rega phono stage, which is self powered and may be preferable with your Exact.

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A FCXS will power two components.

Potentially, it looks like you could have CD5XS, XS2, Stageline and Headline.

When the XS range was introduced, it was suggested that an XS system might be optimised with two Flatcap XSs depending upon which other components were included.

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Thanks for pointing out the cabling solution. Naim’s connection guide doesn’t have every combination but looking at it this makes sense.

I’ve been considering a move to a Rega phono stage when I go MC some time in the future. I think the FONO MC MK4 and Ania Pro would be fun to try.

This makes sense. I’m looking forward to doing some listening when I’ve got everything sorted to see if I want to continue in the direction of more power supplies. Thanks!

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It’s sounding like I have a deal on a relatively new HeadLine 2 (2020 manufacturing date) and SLIC cable. Super excited to try it out with the FlatCap XS.

One thing I’m still not clear about is what output I would use on the Nait XS2. From reading the manual it sound like AV in/out or HDD in/out. Is that correct?

HH do you have any thoughts on my last question? A few other members have singled you out as the cable and connections guru. With great power comes great responsibility :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:.

All I do is look at the pictures of the backs of things and from that it’s possible to work out what does what. You need to connect the HL to either of the sockets on the XS2 that you rightly identify. You connect the SLIC lead to FC power output B.

You’ll need two leads to connect the FC to the XS2; a Snaic 5 and a Snaic 4. The 5 will come with the FC bit you’ll have to buy the 4 separately.

I’ve never owned a Headline but they always look lovely. My favourite for looks is the Olive series original headline, though the 2 is meant supposed to be better sound wise.

Agree with both parts of that sentence (I have one of each).

Thanks HH. I was confident about FC > XS2 but couldn’t find anything specifically showing the HeadLine > XS2. I appreciate the advice and I’m looking forward to hearing the results early next week!

It wasn’t a path I intended on going down but it’s been fun so far. I upgraded my Grado SR225e’s to a set of Focal Elex’s and couldn’t help but wonder where the HeadLine would land things vs the XS2’s built in headphone amp.

The reality is that despite my vast preference to listen through speakers, probably a third my listening these days is through headphones after my family is in bed.

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Received the HeadLine today. Connected it to my FlatCap XS via a Naim SLIC and the hdd output on my Nait XS2. Wow! Improved in every dimension over the XS2 headphone amp. I’m very pleased with the results.

I’m still waiting on some cables so I haven’t had a chance to try the FC with the amp yet but it’s looking like they might show up tomorrow. I also ordered a 4/5 SNAIC to evaluate the impact of the FC on my Stageline which will be fun. Part of my is hoping I won’t like it too much, otherwise I’m going to need another power supply.

Thanks for the help everyone!

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You always need another power supply… :wink:

If you are thinking of connecting the flatcap to an XS2 amp be aware when i did it the din to din SNAIC on the CD input stopped working (works on the RCA connecter) and yes i did switch the system off and checked that the display was correct

A good outcome then.

I have run both my Headlines (into Sennheiser 650) from a variety of power supplies. I felt that:

  1. NAHA2 (black) was better than NAHA1 (olive)

2.Hicap (olive) was slightly better than NAPSC2 (black) which may possibly have been better than NAPSC(olive) - but more likely to have been coz it was a full moon, yada yada, yada………

I could easily live with the NAHA2 being powered from one of my NAPSCs, but the HC is currently “spare” and at least it has a bl00dy ON/OFF switch!

Thanks for the warning. The rest of my cables finally arrived and everything is working as intended. The FlatCap XS is currently powering the XS2 and HeadLine and my Stageline is running off the XS2.

I’m very pleased with the results! I’ve only listened to the digital side of my system so far (Naim nDAC, Bluesound Node) but the addition of the power supply has made a marked improvement. I’m actually surprised how many negative reviews I’ve read in the forum considering this experience. Maybe it’s just me :crazy_face:

I’m going to connect the Stageline to it later tonight which will involve taking the Headline out of service but I’m looking forward to seeing how the analogue side of my system sounds.

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