HiCap DR V SuperCap DR. Power and Humph

Hi.
I am thinking about upgrading my HiCap DR, that feeds my SN3, to a pre loved Supercap DR.
I am unable to try before I buy.
So the thought occured.
When Naim designed the HiCap DR, one conjectures that the HiCap DR was designed to have enough power/humph to run the pre amp section of the SN3, when turned to number 11, and not run out of steam and affect the SQ.
If this conjecture is correct, then am I correct in thinking that there is nothing to be really gained from the Supercap DR, as it will only “give” the SN3 the power/humph it “asks” for and no more, as per the HiCap DR, so the SQ will stay the same, all other things being equal?
Thank you.
Kind Regards.
Roger

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Not really. As it’s running the preamp it’s not really relevant how loud anything is, as the amplification is coming from the power amp.

The Supercap is a lot better than the Hicap and so your Supernait should sound a lot better with the Supercap. However, it can sometimes be possible to have too much on the power supply front and it may make things too lively. It’s unlikely but it’s wise to try before spending a large sum of money.

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I did just that and realised how little the HCDR has been doing - so good was the SCDR in terms of added depth and calm gorgeousness (so beauty not power I would say)

It doubles the cost (yes) and the SCDR is not fully deployed (yes), however … I thought it made the SN3 quite special

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In my experience there is more to a Supercap than just “Humph”. Albeit Olive in my case on a Prefix. I doubt once tried that you will send it back :blush:

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There is far more to all Naim PS’s, than some might think… :crazy_face:

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I wouldn’t bother upgrading to the SC unless you eventually want to go to a 282/252. You’re only using a fraction of its capabilities with the SN3.

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That doesn’t really matter if you like what it does and consider the cost worthwhile.

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The recommended upgrade with the SN3 is the HiCap DR. However, Supercap DR used prices have come down and there a great deals to be had for 2 year old ones for less then £3000.

If you want the Supercap DR on a SN3 go for it. I believe it will sound great.

I have been using a Supercap 2 for a number of years now, on my 82 and now my 52. So if you ever upgraded the SN3 you’d be ready for the 282 or 252 which go best with the Supercap DR.

You will get better sound quaility overall with an improved power supply. It won’t sound any louder. It may sound somewhat ‘hyper’ at worst.

To give an example I have a CDS2 and sometimes use my 555PS with it. It sounds clearer and sometimes a little like it’s on steroids. It sounds more Olive and calmer with an XPS2. It’s a different sound you will get. If you can try before you buy it would be good. However, with used items it doesn’t always work like that.

There are a few on here with Supernait 3 and Supercap DR. @garcon had that set up but I gather has moved on to something else now.

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You also have a top quality source with NDS and 555PS so I think that would make the Supercap DR work even better.

Would you consider a 252 preamp and 300DR power amp later down the line (or 250DR). Or are you thinking of sticking with Supernait 3?

You would get a big uplift with changing out to separates rather than integrated amp. A 252 Supercap DR with 300DR would be top notch with your NDS and 555PS.

I don’t want to push you on it as you may be delighed with the Supernait 3.

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Dear @RogerGround Ground, I agree with @sktn77a response. Unless you are upgrading to 282/252,

You have a Bee Knees SN3 system. Kick back and enjoy some fine 16-year-old first malt whisky. You have spent your money well and enjoy your system. From a tech’s point of view, without having listened to an SN3 or above. I would stop where you are and forget a SCDR unless you have many thousands that you wish to be separated from. I see the rear panel on the SN3 has only one 24V 0.3 amps input, and it matches ideally with the HiCap DR. Unless you wish to upgrade to discontinued units. The choice is yours. The SCDR only has two 24V 0.3 amp outlets, which I assume you can only use one with your SN3. It does offer a lot of upgrade possibilities. However, in my opinion, I can see no value in purchasing one. A 24 0.3 amp Naim out is just the same as another 24 Volt 0.3 amp Naim out, no matter what Niam device it is on. However, I can see the box appeal of one large matching box to complement the system visually.

I am going to upset people here as I think unless you are upgrading to the 282/252, everything else is Flaff.

If anybody disagrees, please let me know how one 24V 0.3 amp power supply varies from another 24V 0.3 amp power supply with facts.

Happy Australia Day from Down Under.

Warm regards,

Mitch in Oz

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Surely the only way to get a useful answer to the original question is for the OP to give both options a listen?

It is a fact that we did blind listening tests with a variety of digital sources and several listeners reached common preferences without knowing what I was playing them or what others had said.

The same is true of power from a dedicated supply from my electricity meter versus the standard sockets on my wall, and some of my old vinyl versus new hefty vinyl or 1980s CDs or Qobuz versions. I don’t have facts that provably and completely explain these results.

Similarly, I am not sure that I am convinced by the explanations I have heard for why (for example) adding an XPS2 to an NDX2 improves sound quality, or why my WH Morgana cables beat the Naim cables that ‘came in the box’.

If the only certain difference is how they sound, does that count as ‘fact’?

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Are we saying that Naim makes sub-standard DR 24V 0.3 amp supplies in their HiCaps and better, though, by the same name, 24V 0.3 amp supplies in their SCDRs? I think not.

Looking at the input specs on the SN3, a 24V 0.2 amp supply is required. Possibly, this is why Naim never released an FCXSDR, as it would have been a perfect match for the SN3.

Has anybody connected an FCXS to an SN series amplifier? That is all that the specifications call for.

I think I have answered the OP’s question. Stay where you are unless, as @sktn77a you have 282/252 pre-amplifiers in mind.

I think there are too many wishy-washy statements supporting upgrades on this forum, which leads everyone down the garden path of upgrades. I have an XS2 with an excellent soundstage with my modified Celestion SL6Si speakers. My only mistake was enjoying the music from both an XS2 and SN2, which I could not detect any difference, and as I have said before, if I had completed the necessary maths, I should have purchased the SN2 for the available headroom. Be it minor, it did squeeze in the impedance and power ratings for my speakers better.

If you have difficult speakers, go to the separates. If not, stay with the integrated. Though if you have the money spend as you wish as it is your right too.

I think from what I have read, the OP is trying to decide between a HiCapDR and an SCDR. As I mentioned previously, stay where you are unless you have the desire and money to purchase a SCDR.

A sound test might be nice. However, if that is not possible rely on the maths. Maths first, feelings second.

Warm regards,

Mitch in Oz.

Take Naim’s Headline headphone amplifier. You can run it with a Napsc, but it sounds better with a Flatcap, even better with a Hicap, and best of all with a Supercap. It doesn’t need any of the latter to work, but sounds better with them. It really doesn’t matter what the maths or physics might tell you, it’s the sonic results that count.

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Many here apparently agree HH with your example and your general point.

Of course, some may think that if the maths is not irrefutable then A does not actually sound better than B. One might think it follows that we are daft, deaf, delusional or deceitful (though ‘wishy-washy’ is more polite) for suggesting otherwise - or that what we can reach any useful conclusions about sound merely by hearing.

I think that you and I are both old enough that, for example, we remember being told (with maths) that early CDs offered ‘perfect sound every time’. Thus, we got cynicism training quite a long time ago.

Mind you, even I would say that what my ears say may well be different to what someone else concludes, and that listening is complicated and fallible, so listening oneself to music through the boxes extensively (not to me or any hearsay) should be surely the key here.

If the luxury of a dem (perhaps borrowing a box from some kind soul) is impossible, then the only options may be (a) forgetting about the whole idea or (b) buying on eBay and possibly selling again having done the experiment.

Hi @HungryHalibut
Thank you for your thoughts.
Regards.
Roger

Hi @sktn77a
I will not be upgrading to seperates as I do not have the space.
I just want to squeeze the last bit of performance out of my system.
A bit like fine tuning a racing engine. Small margins and all that.
Thank you.
Kind Regards.
Roger.

Hi @Dan_M
I will not be upgrading to seperates as I do not have the space.
I just want to squeeze the last bit of performance out of my system.
A bit like fine tuning a racing engine. Small margins and all that.

All the best, my thoughts are with you.
Be kind to yourself.
Thank you.
Kind Regards.
Roger.

Hi @Gigantor
I will not be upgrading to seperates as I do not have the space.
I just want to squeeze the last bit of performance out of my system.
A bit like fine tuning a racing engine. Small margins and all that.
I do not drink alcohol, it will have to be 16 year old ground coffee😁
Thank you.
Kind Regards.
Roger.

Hi @NickofWimbledon
From reading all the responces it would appear I have nothing to lose; it will not be any worse than it is now if I do use a SCDR.
However there is always " what the ear does not hear the heart does not grieve about"
Or as my late father was always want to say “leave well alone”.
Kind regards.
Roger.

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i would go supercap dr if you can, especially as the prices have come down a fair bit. its full size aswel so will look smart with your supernait