HiCap DR or other

LP12 (mm), NAS xs2, SN3, ProAc dt8 system. c.35m2 room. Eclectic listening tastes.

Question is, should I add a Hi-cap DR (on useful sale at moment) or is there anything else I should be directing my upgrade bug monies to? If former, have others done this and how much of a benefit was it?


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HiCap DR will blow life into the music in a way you’ll start to blame yourself for not having done it sooner, your SN3 is not complete without it.


I fully agree, although i have an SN2. The SN2 on it’s own is very very good, but with a Hi-Cap DR becomes a transformed animal altogether.
Do it, you will never regret it.


The Hicap also get my vote as your next step.

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If you need convincing, just use the search function and read the many threads on this topic and explore the general consensus.

Also, it’s a yes, from this SN3 + HCDR user

Good luck

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I’d suggest you try it first, as not everyone prefers the sound with the Hicap added. By NAS xs2, do you mean ND5XS2? Before adding a Hicap, I’d like to hear what difference an NDX2 makes, or alternatively adding a secondhand Naim nDac.

What’s the spec of the LP12? You have 3 sources, as do I.

My experience is better amplification you have the more revealing it becomes.
The CD5Si isn’t as good as the ND5XS2. It’s about creating harmony.

If you have amplification that is really high spec then it will make the sources sound worse. In effect it will be more revealing.

When I did my system upgrades I found out pretty early on when I went from Nait 5Si to 82 HiCap 250 that CD5Si didn’t fit.

Anyway, you will find out for yourself. Just be careful with upgrading and getting a balance.

A HiCap DR will work well. The ND5XS2 is very good. The higher you go with amplification it may sound a tad bright.

If I was you I would look at Lp12 first, which is why I asked what the spec was.


I’d also suggest nDAC. And if there’s still money in the bank add an XPS or even a 555PS.



A hicap does not harm but you have a good space there which may make improvements and details inaudible. Details is what hicap improve amps on. Are you sure your room works good enough?

Another very happy SN3 owner with HCDR.

I did have the SN3 running solo whilst HCDR was serviced, and it was still a cracking amp, but once returned and refreshed it went back in and just adds that little bit more.

Think everything just flows a bit more effortlessly.


I have mixed feelings about adding a HiCap to my Supernait 1. On the one hand, I know what the PSU does to it, on the other hand it’s true about not everybody loving the effect. If I remember correctly, years ago you were doubtful about adding a HiCap to a CD5(x), suggesting that a FC2(x) gave better balance. Sometimes a HiCap may seem to ‘turbo charge’ (your words) a unit. I’ve had similar feelings a couple of days ago listening to a SN3 with and without HCDR; the PSU seemed to add ‘flesh’, to ‘saturate’ colours, to bring everything more upfront. I wasn’t sure I liked it. Yet, I personally find it very difficult to leave an empty PSU socket alone.

Once I tried a dual-railed SNAPS on my second or third SN instead of a HiCap. The SNAPS used a NAP110’s transformer by design, had only one large-ish capacitor and a simpler version of LM317 regulators. I found it brought benefits in terms of timbre more than of detail and/or presence. It seemed to give the SN a more refined, nuanced and less muscular voice overall. I’ve always found the SNAPS an extremely wise compromise between a FC - not much of an addition to a SN - and a HiCap. If I found one again, I’d surely use it directly on my Stageline, on which it seems perfect to me.

But of course, a SN3 needs a DR-ed PSU to fully benefit from it.

Pointless Post I know, but I like telling of my short life with SNAPSs.


Yes, sorry typo, should have read NS5 xs2.

Hi Dan, the LP12 is 1986 vintage (from new) but did have the circus upgrade. Only the Basil+ arm with Adikt mm cartridge.

Hi Ardbeg10y
I would say that the room does not do justice at the moment as speaker positioning is not how should be, but I have plans to rectify that. Also, is a fairly ‘bright’ space (ie with hardwood flooring and rug, albeit with quite a few curtains) so could probably do with some more absorption to reduce the reverberation time.
The room proper is c.28m2 (with rest around corner in L shape), so listening distances not too much.
In perfect world would have dedicated listening room, but upgrade budget in no way able to find construction of that :joy:.

Hi MaxBertola
Lots to ponder. (Think was someone else you recalled? I do have a CD5i in the loft, but should probably sell as us the ND5 xs2 for digital source material, ie all ripped to my NAS)
Trouble is you can listen to a shop demo and not fully appreciate long term. Even if take a loan one for a week or two, need to listen to for probably longer.

It did occur to me that could probably buy one (at current sale price), use for a few months, and then if not to taste sell again as near new and have lost very little. :thinking:

Thanks all for thoughts

I started out with a Basik arm on my first LP12, and the best thing I ever did to it was change it for an Ittok. If vinyl is a priority for you I would consider this.

If you want to improve the digital side, an NDX2 would be a nice step up, or keep the ND5 and upgrade the DAC.

The advantage of the Hicap, of course, is that if you like what it does (and I think you really need to live with one for a while to decide) it benefits any source.

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That might be with a Naim DAC ( nDAC ) external DAC or similar

This mirrors my experience. While my HiCapDr was being serviced I thought maybe I don’t need it and should sell it, however once I put it back in my system the magic returned. I think the SN3 is so good I’d wait until you have everything else sorted then add a HiCapDr (however if the price is right buy it now with confidence )

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Can’t go wrong with HCDR at a good price e.g… 60% of current rrp or less :blush:
And only accept one if it doesn’t hum in your environment (some do, some less so). Otherwise, the hum may outweigh the benefits!

I paired HCDR with my supernait 3, great improvement, but even with HiCap off I hear a hum from the speakers.
Doesn’t this happen to you?