HiCap DR vs Chord Hugo

Another NDAC vote here, in this case as an upgrade to the previous ND5 XS using SN3 and PMC 20.23.

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I have a non-Naim/Chord DAC. Moon and Cyrus still do streamers without DACs. Can’t imagine buying a CDP with a DAC inside though.

Thanks for all the responses. Have chosen to go with an nDAC and try that for a while with my ND5 XS2. Given they still seem to have quite a following hopefully shouldn’t be too difficult to move on if it doesn’t work out. Its a 2011 model so I guess may benefit from a service but will try it for a while first in any case.

Looking through my ‘man draw’ of cables amassed over the years I’ve found a Kimber Kable DV-30. If I add BNC adaptors to the current RCA terminals should that be OK to use between nDAC and ND5? Online description states:

  • 75 ohm RG6 coax

  • Pure solid-core conductor

  • Air articulated fluorocarbon insulation

Can’t even remember what I previously used it for! Would like to get a Naim dc1 cable but will have to wait until I can find a used one.


I’ve read good feedback on the Hugo dac.
Purchased one some years back - Wow

Was impressed at first.
After a week or two it was simply too much.

Quirky operation, non standard battery needed exchange at some point, didn’t really need the HP section.

I decided to ditch it and was left with choice of DacV1 and my old Rega DAC instead.

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I would certainly go for a cable with BNCs rather than using adapters, although it will be fine just to get you up and running. I find my DC1 a real nuisance as it only comes in one length, it’s a bit stiff, and ends up jammed tight against the wall behind the rack. I use a much cheaper Mark Grant HDX1 instead, and it seems to sound just as good.

I agree with Chrissu. Better not use adaptors. You can use Chord spdif cables or a lot of other brands.

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I agree, still use my Hugo original. Yes slightly rounded/slow deep bass response, and smoothed filtered high end… but incredibly insightful.

Yes at the time I was one who sold my NDAC/555PS for a Hugo original… however there was a but… I couldn’t find a model that sounded as spot on as the demo Hugo I borrowed… so I bought the demo version… and still going strong today, albeit on it’s third set of batteries.


Yes it is fine… at least initially … over time adapters may need to be unconnected and cleaned, but other than that fine.
With SPDIF audio upto 192/24 they will be fine. It doesn’t have to be an exact impedance match.

Thats great, thanks for advice on cables. Good to know I can use it over the weekend then have a look at other possible cables including the Mark Grant HDX1. My rack is also close to the rear wall so the DC1 might be a bit problematic in any case. Will share my thoughts back on the nDAC with ND5 XS2 once I’ve had a few days to listen.


Good stuff. If you can see if you can borrow an original 555PS to put on the NDAC before you finally decide… it totally transforms the NDAC in a very positive way in my humble opinion.

BTW you can loosely coil the DC1 if too long… no issue.

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I’m just setting up the nDAC and have 2 quick questions.

  1. I will have ND5 XS2 connected to the nDAC using spdif, the nDAC connected to the SN3 via DIN. Also connected to the SN3 via rca is a Rega P3 (with Neo PSU). What should the signal grounds be set to on the nDAC and ND5?

  2. Up until now I have had a Grahams hydra power lead (2 heads) connected to the ND5 and SN3. I expect I will get a new lead made up but in the meantime any benefit as to which 2 devices to connect using this or unlikely to make any difference?

I leave the switch floating on qute2 and ground on the ndac.
Also You may want to check that your ndac is running the latest firmware
To establish if an update is required to check firmware versions:

  1. Connect an iOS Device (iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad) to the DAC via USB 2. On the iOS Device, go to Settings → General → About → Naim DAC 3. The current firmware version is reported on-screen

Hopefully running 4.11.8.

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I have my ndac on chassis and Nd5xs2 on floating. I believe the grounding is through the din cable.

I have also had good luck with the Beldin BNC to BNC digital cable

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Interesting. I have an ND5XS2 and a SN2 with a non-Naim PSU (sorry!). Would an nDac really be worth the 1K ?

Yes . Full stop

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Thanks for advice on the signal ground. All connected and no hum etc. Another query I’m afraid. On the underside of the chassis to the front and slightly to the left of centre is a hole! I’m not sure whether this is a missing screw, something that has previously been attached or otherwise. Any views from those familiar with the nDAC would be appreciated. Purchased from a reputable naim dealer who posts on here and the rest of it looks in great condition. But its the first used Naim item I’ve purchased and not sure if I should be too concerned about this.

Thank you! A little difficult to see from the pic but is it just a standard screw like the others on the bottom of the chassis?

More like a dome cap. Not a screw.
Maybe one end of a fixing, with the other end inside securing something to the chassis. (But that’s just an educated guess).

Thanks … though now slightly worried I have something that’s not fixed down as it should be inside!