Naim hi-fi system... dusted off!

Apologies to you FR and anybody else for whom the phrase is unknown. I actually cooked and chopped up some lamb’s liver for the dogs this morning (not my kind of thing, but the dogs love it), so maybe the phrase came all too easily to mind.

The Wikipedia entry explains;

Chopped liver - Wikipedia.


Hi Antony. I also had a SN1 with HiCap and a CD5XS.

When it was offered, I did have the HiCap upgraded to DR and I found it a substantial improvement. If you can trade your HiCap for a DR version I’d consider it, but only if you can do it at reasonable cost.

I would suggest the most effective box you could add is Naim’s top DAC: we often refer to it as nDAC. How easily you’d find one in Italy I don’t know, but the nDAC using the digital output of the CD5XS makes for an extremely fine CD player and an excellent match to your SuperNait.


Thanks Richard. Always interested to learn something.
So I understand that Hicap non dr is chopped liver and Hicap dr the “ foie gras “.

Actually FR my point is that that the regular Hicap is not chopped liver (unless you’re a dog of course!).


I bet you regret using that phrase!

When I bought my NDX2, I also considered an ND5XS2 and nDac. I rang a dealer who had an nDac for sale and asked them what they thought, in the knowledge that I’d not be buying the streamer from them, only the nDac. They were unequivocal in their advice that the NDX2 was better than the ND5XS2 / nDac pairing.

The nice thing about the NDX2 is the remote; so much nicer than relying on a phone or tablet to start and stop music.


Why do I have this vision of rows of Hicap DRs being force overfed by people in white coats also wearing clean room hats and shoes in Salisbury of all places, muttering “that would go rather nicely later on with a Sauternes or Alsace Pinot Gris”

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Well, after all your talk you have convinced me that it is useful to upgrade the Hicap to DR so…I will! Then I will do maintenance on the Supernait with replacement of the capacitors because it has been standing still for several years. I am happy to make the system that has been unjustly stopped for too long resonate

since you are very experienced, I also ask you which cables do you recommend, in addition to the NACA5, to combine with the Proac Studio 140 mk2 and Supernait 1. The “defect” of the NacA5 is the minimum length of 3.5 meters, I would like cables of three meters in maximum length

I hope this helps.

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It’s not just NACA5 that needs to be 3.5m long. Other cables may well need to be longer. It’s a matter of the length required in order to achieve the inductance and capacitance that a Naim power amp likes.

Excuse me, if I wanted to buy different brand cables for a Naim Supernait 1, HICAP DR, Naim CD5 XS and Proac Studio 140 Mk2, which brand and model should I choose and in which length? I already have the Naim NAC A5 in the 3 meters size but as a cable is broken I would have to change them; so I wonder whether to buy the same Naim NAC A5 in 3.5 meters or other cables. What do you say? Thank you

A5 is an excellent choice and 3.5m is usually recommended as the minimum length.

Some of us have swapped to cables from Tellurium Q or Kudos, to name two of the most obvious candidates, either for a slightly different presentation or (in particular room and systems) slightly better sound, or just because A5 is so massively inflexible.

Another advantage of A5 is that pairs sometimes turn up on eBay, which happens less often with other suitable brands.

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In fact… NAC A5s are damned stiff! Then they have a printed arrow that maybe points to the direction? I’d like to change without making a mistake, which model do you think?

I use Tellurium Q Black in a long run in my main system.

In the fractionally more modest system in Tasmania, I will be swapping the black A5 for Kudos KS1 - partly for the extra detail but mostly because it is so much more flexible (and in white it is less obvious when wrapped around a door frame).

With the Atom in my bedroom, I have shorter runs of Tellurium Q Blue (cheaper than Black) because I got a s/h bargain some years ago. However, I would opt today for KS1 if I had not already bought.


I think you’ll be very hard pushed to find a speaker cable that’s better than NACA5. It’s actually quite an astonishing cable. A lot of people will tell you it’s coloured (which it strictly speaking is) but that colouration just disappears within minutes of your first track, and then you never notice it again. And when I say you don’t notice it again, I really mean it, you just don’t. I tried out (and built) dozens and dozens of cables over a couple of decades and never got one that was close to NACA5. I had a few with some nice qualities, but nothing that I wouldn’t have surrendered for what NACA5 does well. A hair dryer will help you get over the stiffness and if your cables are only 3m I expect that’ll be just fine, even for the amplifier.

Also in the interest of saving you money, perhaps for some Naim interconnects, I’d be surprised if a fairly underused SuperNait needs recapping already. The capacitor chemistry might have moved to a different equilibrium through having been left, so they might need to bed in again, but it would be very premature to assume they have reached EOL. Certainly listen to a few CDs across a week or more before deciding. The Hicap is probably a different matter as that could be 3 or 4 times as old.


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