HiCap DR on an XS3

I might be able to get a HiCap DR. I just have two questions:

  1. I understand that the HiCap DR comes with one cable. What is this? I also understand that it needs two cables to connect to the XS3. What is this that I still have to get?

  2. For over 30+ years, I have been more accustomed to those muscular, tube and SS pre / power combos (mostly US brands) which I would say very good, but “HIFI - ish”.

Getting older, I recently have simplified my amplification needs to a Nait XS3.

I hear it, I love it, and I get it! There is really something different with this brand compared to the others. Simply put, I find myself “toe tapping” more to the music compared to those mega boxes I had before. Some call it “PRaT”, but yes, Im now getting to understand why this brand has a cult like following.

Going back to my 2nd question regarding the HiCap DR. I have read some saying that it does improve performance on Naits, but I sometimes also hear people saying that it improves on the HIFI aspect. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the HIFI - ish attributes. But if given the choice now, I’d rather pick that “toe tapping” trait.

To veteran Naim lovers, what is your opinion / experience on this? What improvements does a HiCap DR deliver to the humble Naits? Does it only improve on HIFI aspect, but at the expense of that toe tapping characteristic?

The HICAP DR comes with a SNAIC5. To use this with an integrated like the NAIT XS3 you’ll also need a SNAIC4 so signal from the pre-amp can be routed through the HICAP and into the power amp section. Naim do this to keep signal earth and system earth running close together for best performance.

My experience with a NAIT 5 and a Flatcap2 was that the power supply only enhanced and took nothing away from the good qualities of the NAIT.


In my experience with the Nait 5 and SuperNait it does improve these hifi aspects indeed, but not at the cost of too-tappingness. It might be wiser to spend the money elsewhere, but that’s for you to judge. In general, the hicap on a Nait is a good improvement.

i think it is pretty useless because you can get a SN3 for the price of XS3 and HicapDR. It adds one box and cabling and makes all more complicated.

I’d suggest that for the same money as a Nait XS3 and Hicap DR, you’d be better with a Supernait 3. The latter has an onboard DR supply for its preamp.

Yes, a stand-alone SN3 may be a more practical alternative. I already have an XS3 for a couple of months. As is, I like it’s simplicity and what it does, and really had no intentions of upgrading or acquiring more boxes. It’s just an opportunity came up on a possible HiCap.

It may sound something like putting a V12 engine in a compact sedan. But I’m just curious on the synergy this would create.

I had XS1 and did not enjoy the effect of adding the HC. Somehow it made the music unrealistically vivid, the aural equivalent of hyper real photographs. OTOH, stepping up to a SN was a big gain in SQ and that is the way I went. YMMV of course.

Oh and the SN really shines (needs?) a source at equivalent level.


A safer bet would be to get a Flatcap, which is the natural partner from within the XS range. Getting an over-spec power supply is a more risky choice, and I certainly wouldn’t do it myself without getting a home demo first.
A Supernait is a good suggestion too, but again, would it be a good fit with the rest of your system? Synergy is important, and in some systems a NaitXS might be preferable to a Supernait.

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Th HiCap DR will boost the pre-amp section in your XS3 far better than it’s internal one, I did the same with my XS2 and thought it was well worth it. However, you could also consider a SN3 instead, which isn’t a million miles away from a capped XS3. If wanting to keep things as they are then i will say go for it, i never regretted do it myself. You will also have to factor in the additional SNAIC 4 mind…

I have an XS3 and HiCap Dr. I love the combination. I know I could of bought an SN3 for the same or even less but the XS3 and HiCap Dr works great for me. I was suspicious if the HiCap Dr would improve or degrade the XS3 sound character. I think that what it’s done for me is enhance detail, tighten the bass some, expand the soundstage and just clean up the sound without compromising the sound character of the XS3. I am very happy with it. I did listen to an SN3 before purchasing the XS3 and for my taste the XS3 has something special in it’s presentation, more deep and involving, less clinical.


I had an Xs2 and added a hicap DR to it, loved the improvements it made and I preferred it to the naked SN2 at the time.

I had that setup for many years and moved to the Supernait 3 when it came out but kept the Hicap dr.

Found the presentation of the SN3 more to my preference than either SN1 or 2.


Appreciate all the honest feedback from all. Thanks!:+1:

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I also have a HC-DR on Nait XS 1.2. It relieves its internal ps with the preamp section job so the amp section seems to have more oomph and control.
Furthermore the Hi Cap has always been a sort of wild card in the Naim catalogue, dating back to '84 and bar the DR update, remained pretty much unchanged over the years, bar. If ever you will uprgrade to Nac 202/282 is pretty much essential for these.

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