HiCap DR vs Supercap

Forum members,
I have an opportunity to purchase a 9/10 rated 2011 supercap non-DR. I was curious if it is a a significant increase in sound quality and worth the cost given my current hicap is a DR version. Asking price of supercap is $3200 USD.

Currently running:
Hicap DR
Lp12 with prefix K powered by aux in 282 (prefix recapped with zfoil transistor by Chris West)

I am aware the supercap needs to be recapped soon and with DR upgrade is $3195 USD


Hi Scott

I did the same in a very similar system a few years ago but neither my Hicap nor replacement Supercap were DR. A very definite improvement, a fuller better detailed sound. My Hicap used to hum like mad but the Supercap never has. The sound of my LP12 / Stageline was also much better powered from the Aux2 rather than from the Hicap. It will be interesting to see what difference folks think there is between the Hicap DR and non-DR SC, I suspect there will be one.

When I bought my HiCap DR the dealer felt that a Supercap non DR was inferior to the HiCap DR. They had recently done a demo with a customer and reached that conclusion. This could have been sales talk of course!

Bear in mind that the service interval of a Supercap is 10 years so this used one is now due a service. This would be a good opportunity to service and DR the unit but then you will be upping the final price considerably. Even if you don’t DR the unit it will still need a service. I suspect a Supercap non DR that is due for a service may be inferior to an ‘on song’ HiCap DR.

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I ran a SuperCap2 with my then 282/250DR for a while and found it an improvement over the HiCapDR-equivalent I was running (forum rules mean I cannot be more specific).

I really liked the SC2/282 combination, more so in fact than the subsequent SuperCapDR/282 combination I briefly had. This was before I replaced the 282 with a 252 (overall a costly upgrade, but I expect minimal depreciation).

The SC2 was a 2008 model, unserviced, from the first owner - the person I subsequently sold it to is using the SC2 happily with a Superline. I didn’t feel the cost of a DR upgrade on the SC2 was worthwhile, but a service at around £300 (UK) would have been worth it for peace of mind.

In the UK the secondhand market for Naim Classic gear is buoyant - I was able to make these changes (i.e. buying & selling HiCap-equiv, 282 and SuperCap2) without any financial loss - only ‘investment’ is in the replacement ‘assets’ of 252/SCDR as I moved up the chain. I am very happy with this system now.

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I have just been placed in the predicament of having a Supercap (non-DR, Olive Series) being sent in for recapping. In my case the Supercap was powering a SNAXO. Replacement is a HiCap DR whilst the Supercap is in for service. A definite difference with the HiCap DR definitely out performing the older unserviced Supercap. The fact that the Supercap you are looking at is going to need a recap (~$995) at a minimum, or upgrading to DR spec (if it is a Supercap in the “Classic” case) should be able to use that as a bargaining chip for the price.
Good luck should you chose to purchase the unit.

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I sense we share the same dealer!

While I can’t help on the HCDR vs SC question, we do have similar setups & I went HCDR to SCDR a year or so back. While I know SC’s don’t come up on the used market all that often in North America (I’m in Canada) my thoughts would be, that is likely more then I’d want to pay for a unit that at best is due for a service & personally I’m a fan of the DR sound signature, so based on the quoted price above for a service/DR upgrade, the cost would be too high. CDN vs US prices seem to run around the same for pre loved Naim gear, a few year old SCDR would likely run you in the mid $4K range, so spending ~mid $6K range for a serviced/upgraded 2011 year model, doesn’t seem like a good deal (you’d be getting close to the cost of a new unit)

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I can’t comment on the DR v non-DR but I’ve gone from a HC to a SC and a SC2 and both were significant improvements. Well worth it to me.

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Thanks for all the replies thus far everyone, seems as if I have some pondering to do. The ad does say “make offer”, and the SC is being sold as a consignment piece, and not owned by the dealer.

Original price, recap, DR upgrade, and The overall return on investment … meaning, is the incremental improvement worth the overall cost in relation to diminishing returns. Will do some thinking for sure.


It was actually one up north who I have used a couple of times. I bought my NDX ex demo from them and chopped a HiCap2 for DR model under a special trade in offer, hence my slight skepticism as to the advice.

I don’t have a local dealer, we’re not blessed with much in Poole. I tried one and wouldn’t go back and the other one is supposed to be good but I have never made contact.

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I hear you bought your 300 from some bloke you met in a car park.


With apologies to the OP, I can easily recommend Alan at Audio-T in Soton or Andy at Winchester Hi-Fi should the need arise.

Now back to the thread.


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