Just added a hicapDR - almost overwhealming!

Hi all,
Just bought an 18 month old HicapDR to power my 102. Rest of system is:
Roon rock with internal SSD for cd rips + Qobuz; sotm-200 powered by MCRU PS; dac-v1; NAC102 ; hicapDR; NAP180; nac5; EPOS Es14s on orig stands and drinking straw port tune. Had 102/180 serviced 3 weeks ago by Class A.

Firstly, as the Hicap came from a dealer so was probably powered off for a few months, how long do you think it might take to warm up?
Regarding listening, well it’s quite a dramatic change! So much more going on compared to before, but verging on too much! Have I unbalanced things?

It’s been powered on for only a few hours and I’m 2 hours in listening.

Thoughts welcome.

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Let your ears burn in for a while, then the more going on will become normal.

I have found that any improvement in opening up the sound is a double edged sword. Everything that is good about a recording is improved, the opposite for everything that is bad.

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If this is relevant, the system rack is this


I would like to suggest that you get a napsc for the 102 as well. Makes more difference for the better. I waited 20 years before I got one for my 102. Boy, what a fool was I!


Graeme, sorry! Missed that off the components as it’s tidied away 10 feet away! Had that serviced too.

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No worries, as long as you have one, that’s what matters. You have a nice system there.


Putting a PSU right next to a source is not ideal. If possible you want those delicate low level source signals well away from big transformers, power cables etc. Obviously it’s not always practical to get these things perfect, and it’s hard to say how much of an audible effect any changes will have, but ideally you want another shelf.


Thats a nice system you have, allow your HiCap a few days to a few weeks to settle in, they really do open things up nicely. I leave mine on all the time with volume control down on pre, power amp off when not in use.

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The HicapDR is a fantastic piece of kit and great value for money. Made a significant improvement to my NAC202 and is now powering my 282. It will give you a lot of pleasure!

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I found the Hicap DR was too bright when compared to an Olive Hicap. Both were outperformed by the Chrome Bumper series. Try the CB with your 102 and you will see what I mean .

I have done a couple power supply upgrades. I have never seen them less than a win. Go for it and be patient.


Nice audio stand so your foundation is great !

CB HC with Holden & Fisher transformer by any chance?

I added a HCDR to my 202/200 and it also made a big difference. Great to see another Epos ES14 user too (although I got rid of the straws). Hold on to them as you improve your system as they seem to be a very capable speaker, given the right input.



My standard Olive hicap with talema is also preferred here over hicap dr on olive gear.

I’d not be surprised if the OP in the long run prefers an olive hicap on the already detailed and bright 102.

Thanks for all the replies people. So far I think it is a little bright. I’m loving aspects of the sound, the detail and separation, generally more dynamics but perhaps harsh sounding. I’m having to listen at much lower volumes as I am getting a bit of a headache!
One of the options I was considering was olive HC and swapping the 102 for an 82, outlay with selling the 102 of about a grand, but decided to go for the ‘superior’ HCDR. Should I still go the extra and swap the 102 up to a 82? Will that deal with the brightness?
I’d decided to tackle this part of the system rather than upgrade the V1 as I’m not sure I could have bettered it without pending lots or going outside the naim family. Thoughts?


I did find mine initially a little of the bright side at first, that has diminished now and sounds really very good with my 202/NAPSC2/200 combination.

Perhaps it may be too soon to assess fully?

I suggest to wait a few weeks but also to experiment a bit with positioning. The current positioning is not optimal. I’d put the 102 on top, the 180 at the bottom and the hicap on the shelf above the 180, on the right side (front view).

Was yours new? Mine’s 18 months old but it’s probably been powered off for a while.

Thanks for the feedback Ardbeg, rearranged last night as so…

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