Isn’t Hicap overkill..?

I got a Hicap DR recently to my SN3, and I must say it sounds very good.
But I mean, Hicap has a 500VA transformer, which is beefy.
And it only supports the preamp section.
I’m not complaining, it’s just a reflection.:grin:

Some put a Supercap to their SN, with apparently great sounding results.
But most an Hicap.

Can’t comment if 500VA transformer is beefy or not.

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That’s the Naim upgrade process, better power supplies.

Works well.



In answer to your question: No


When I had an SN1, I bought it along with a HC (subsequently upgraded to DR) and would not have purchased the amp if I’d had to use it bare. But forum wisdom appears to be that whilst worthwhile with SN2 or SN3 a HC is not as essential as I, personally, found it to be with SN1.


A very renowned expert on Naim stuff said to me a little while back “do you know how blindingly good the SN3/SC pairing is?” I’ve never heard myself.

SN pairing?

Sorry SC - edited.

I have tried multiple items with both a Hicap and a Supercap.
These include (but may not be limited to…)
Snaxo 36
Snaxo 362
Snaxo 24

And in every single case the performance with the SC was much, MUCH better than with the Hicap.
Ironically, the item that had the LOWEST current draw (the Prefix) showed the greatest gains.
A supercapped CD5 came very close to a CDS2, while with a Hicap it was unacceptably compressed.

You don’t need to ‘believe’ in Naim… Its not a religion…!!

But… Naim do believe in large, high quality power supplies…


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As others have testified, the Hicap makes the sound clearer, the bass tightens up and hits harder.
It’s like a window being cleaned, in lack of a better description.


That HiCap will come in handy when you come across a used NAC 282 and use it on the preamp and connect to the SN 3 using the power amp section. It was a lovely and worthwhile upgrade when I added it to my HICap DR / SN 2 system. A few months latter add the the 250 DR to replace the SN and that was once again a lovely upgrade.

The HiCap DR was a piece of the puzzle that easily transferred quite nicely to accommodate the upgrade…


Oohh…I didn’t read that…:wink:

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But dont think a SC is necessarily a larger PS than a single HC. And certainly not two HCs.

The SC transformer is bigger I am sure.

It’s an interesting technical issue though. The HC and SC deal in constant DC output, not variable current swings. So in that reapect, the transformers are hugely over specified.

But their headroom capacity means that they will never ever operate under strain. It’s a constant trickle of easy stable juice. IIRC, the output of a HC is just 0.3A. Miniscule next to the transformer’s load ceiling.

It’s a shame really. So many turntables run on 24v but higher current. I’d love to have seen Naim do a high current version and a selection of turntable motor leads. Wasted opportunity.


While were on HC DR. Anyone using one with a 72 and to what effect?

I always sort of thought that was the Naim way. I’m no electrical engineer but my basic understanding was that the power supplies are overkill in order to give solid overhead to cater for rapid fluctuations. Happy to be corrected though if this is all just lore that I’ve made up along the way haha.

That’s certainly correct for power amps. For the HiCap and SuperCap and XPS, it just steady low current DC between 15v and 24v (depending on the output socket).

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I think the SN3 and Hicap transformers both are 500VA.

I’ve got two HC drs and three off-72s, but I’ve never tried the combination. It should sound good.