HiCap DR for Supernait 3

Hello again - second topic on this forum…

I will be collecting my first ever Naim equipment - a Supernait 3 - next Thursday :grinning:

I’m already jumping the gun, and thinking about getting a demo HiCap DR from my dealer for home evaluation. I’ve read that it’s a step on the recognised upgrade path, but am not clear on exactly how it integrates with a SN3…

From reading literature, it appears that the built-in 24 V DR module supplies the preamp section. When the HiCap DR is connected, does the on-board DR module still supply to the preamp or power amp - and the HiCap to the other section - or does the on-board PSU become completely redundant?

Thanks for putting me straight :blush:

The onboard PSU is still required for the power amp, so you still need to keep it connected. Also make sure your dealer provides the correct leads for the Hicap, which should be simple enough for him as long as he knows you are using it with a Supernait. (It is supplied with a Snaic5 which is what you’d need when connecting it to a preamp, but with the Supernait you will need a 4 pin DIN as well.)

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Thanks for your very quick reply Chris - much appreciated :+1:

So, presumably, I will have to find an additional mains outlet for the HiCap DR…?

The HiCap DR should come supplied with a SNAIC 5 and mains cable. To connect to a SN3 you will of course need to purchase an additional SNAIC 4 cable.

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Yes, you’ll need another spare socket to connect it…and another shelf for your rack, and a DIN4 cable.

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Hold on, you’ve not even got the Supernait 3 yet!! How do you know it’s not good enough already? I use mine very happily without a Hicap and it sounds great.

If vinyl is a serious source for you I’d be getting a better turntable. The SN3 has an excellent inbuilt MM phono stage, which would enable you to lose the Moon.

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Thanks HH - yes, as I acknowledged, I feel I’m already “…jumping the gun…” :roll_eyes: - so your observations/experience are very useful.

I do have quite a collection of vinyl - dating back to the 1970’s. I purchased the Moon phono preamp as it gave me much improved SQ from my Hana EH high output moving coil cartridge (compared to the phono input on my Rega Elex-R), and it is highly configurable - particularly as I was considering trading-up to the Hana SL…

Thanks for your advice :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree with HH here - for the price of a Hicap you could get a P6, or probably a P8 by the time you traded in your RP3.

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The Hana SL is really too much for a Planar 3. In the turntable / cartridge match, the turntable comes first. The Planar 8 that I use is very often matched with Rega’s Ania Pro or Apheta 3 MCs, but I chose an Ortofon MM in order to use the SN3’s phono stage and eliminate a separate box, power supply and cables.

In any event I’d live with the SN3 for at least the rest of this year. Then you’ll have a baseline and be able to assess whether a Hicap really is an improvement. Not everyone thinks it is; it’s all to easy to get upgrade fever and buy stuff you don’t need. A Rega 8 was a really good improvement on the 6 I had before, and will therefore be an even greater one over your 3. The improvement from 3 to 8 will be a lot bigger than that from adding a Hicap.

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Thanks for your sage advice HH & Chris :slightly_smiling_face:

The 8 looks pretty nice as well.

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Deck first, always.

FWIW when I ran SN2 I actually preferred it without hicap, so get used to the sound first…

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Since you will just be getting your SN3, I suggest you first let it settle in as well as know it’s characteristics first before “jumping the gun”. Enjoy it first.

I got the lower model, XS3 around 8, 9 months ago. Although Naim offers upgrade plans by way of a Flatcap or HiCap, I plan to keep it as is for at least a year before upgrading to anything. In fact, up to this day, I don’t have the itch of upgrading or adding a PSU since I am satisfied with my XS3 already.

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HH and I have clashed,not in the biblical sense ,on this forum before but his advice I always read and value, despite wording sometimes.
I can totally support his suggestion of not upgrading anything too soon, if at all until you have let it settle in. I sold on a phono stage when I got my Xs3 because I was so impressed with the Naim built in stage.
I went straight from a P1 to a P8 and it knocked my socks off. As he says, upgrade your turntable, use the built in stage of your lovely SN3 and leave the Hicap option on the back-burner.

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Since we are on the topic of adding a HiCap DR, I’m a complete novice when it comes to phono stages etc. Would adding a HiCapDr help with the built in phono stages sound quality?
From my personal experience I like what the HiCap does for the SN3.

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Hello Henry ‐ I recently started the Supernait 3 upgrade post when I first received my Supernait 3 on August 8th. I also saw the upgrade path that was available. I was quickly given great and solid advice from this group and my dealer. They advised to wait until you hear the amplifier and let it settle in. Now after 3 months of use I am so impressed with it.

I made sure that everything upstream of Supernait 3 was up to standards because the Supernait 3 gets better for it. I aquired the spectacular NDAC, Super Lumina DIN5-5’S, a great digital cable. I even tried to buck the system and use off brand speaker cables. But when it came down at the end, I ended up going with the NACA5. I am very surprised and satisfied with their performance.

I am no hurry to upgrade currently but if you decide to I understand the urgency. Honestly I do. The Supernait 3 is that good.

I’ve taken the advice offered here and assembled a very musical system. That’s the important thing. My dealer advised once you’ve gotten your system settled in then borrow a Hicap DR and listen to it for 2 weeks. Then remove it from the chain and then you’ll really know if it’s missing.

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Adding the HiCap DR will improve both the phono and headphone stages, as well as the pre and power amp side of things, as those also become electrically de-coupled from each other, effectively turning the SN3 into a sort of separated pre-power amp.

I agree with some here though in that the OP maybe rushing things a little…

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I totally agree with the first paragraph.
Not so much with the second one though.

I would describe the phono preamp of the SN3 descent.
For sure it is better than the Pro-ject ds2 I was using.
The Pro-ject tube box ds2 I tested, is a bit better than the built in phono preamp of the SN3.
I also tested the Goldnote ph-1 which is jaw dropping.
Better dynamics,better frequency response,smoother presentation & of course offers MC option as well.
I ended up buying one & very happy with it.
I would advice you to keep the SN3 without a HiCap at first, improve your source (cd or vinyl) & then try the HiCap.
Believe me is a very powerful amp,you won’t be disappointed.
My friendly advice,Vaggelis.

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