Nait XS 2 & HiCap DR?

Ok Naim people, I’m new here & have a question; I’m about to audition a Naim HiCap DR into my existing system. Naim Nait XS 2, Vandersteen C2e speakers, Project Debut Carbon w/Blue Ortofon cartridge, Lehmann Audio Black Cube phono amp. Do you think I will hear a significant upgrade in sound? I have a sound room that has sound panels placed at(2’x6’x3" Roxul wrapped w/ material) the 1st reflection points, carpet floors, 18.7’ L x 16.3’ W x 7’ H. A few other absorption panels in room as well. Any thoughts or experiences with Nait XS 2 & HiCap DR pairing? Thanks if you care to ring in. Dean

I had a setup similar to this with a NAIT XS 2 and HiCap DR. Sources included a CD5XS and DAC via analogue input. I used the HiCap DR to power the preamp on the NAIT. It did tighten up the sound and gave some control to the bottom end. I would say the amp by itself sounded very good also, so it was nice adding the PSU but you could live without it. The same HiCap now drives a SuperNait 2 and the difference there is more pronounced. The extra output from the power amp helps as well of course as does the internal PSU being DR enabled as well whereas the NAIT XS 2 internal PSU is not. In my case I knew i’d replace the amp in a reasonable timeframe with a SuperNait 2 so I had that thst endgame in mind from the start. I’d describe it as subtle on the XS and more pronounced on the SuperNait. I also had in mind I may move that system to a Pre/Power split at some stage so having a HiCap means it won’t get wasted down the line. I’d say unless you plan to swap out the amp later for either a SuperNait or Pre/Power you’d live with the XS bare and spend the PSU funds on a source upgrade. I changed the source also around that time and added things like a HiLine DIN from CD player and found those changes if anything made more measurable improvements. Adding a Powerline mains cord also makes a nice improvement to the sound on the XS as well.

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Hi, I carried out an extensive, peer-reviewed, survey on the subject :wink:: a third of the forumites will tell you that you should get a Flatcap - not a HiCap, another third will say you definitely need a HiCap, and the rest will say “don’t bother with a PSU, the XS2 is very good on its own”… They will all be right, and in the end, you won’t know what to do. FWIW, I had a Flatcap with my XS (not XS2), and rather liked it. I know have an SN2, with a HiCap - and it’s better.

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Oh, I forgot. One forumite will inevitably say “do you really have to ask that kind of question? Aren’t you old enough to decide by yourself?” :wink: - but I believe he’s a very nice person.

Oh Boy,…:arrow_right::arrow_up::arrow_down::arrow_left:?

Dean, If my experience with a Nait XS and HC-DR is anything to go by, it will be a fine combination. The caveat is be sure to pick the highest grade of sources that you can though.


I’d say two things. Firstly, in response to the question ‘I’m about to try adding a Hicap, and will I hear a difference?’ the only possible answer can be ‘how on earth do I know, I’ve not got your ears’. It’s a totally different question to ‘do you think a Hicap will make an improvement?’, which is the question that will generate the three way no-real-answer split.

The second thing I’d say is that the £350 turntable is already hopelessly out of its depth and adding a Hicap will likely make it sound worse. I’d take the money for the Hicap, flog the Pro-ject, and get a turntable more fitting to the Nait XS. Maybe a Rega P6 or P8, or the Pro-ject equivalent.

Hi Chris, thanks for that & by highest grade sources, U mean quality Analogue Vinyl? D

Yes, I’ve been thinking that Project TT as the weak link too. Thanks! D

HH has nailed it in his reply beneath mine imo. This isn’t about whether analogue is better than digital. Again imo, a better TT than yours into your bare XS2 will give you more pleasure than your Project Debut Carbon into the HC-ed XS2.


Any Naim amp outclasses the project tt completely. I have the Project Debut Carbon and however it is nice to spin a record, it is not up to the task as others have written already too.

I mostly use a digital source (chord mojo + allo digione) and it totally outclasses the TT.

I’d say, save a little more and get a good deck. They exist and you might be surprised how good analogue can be.

I will eventually get a new TT, it was put to me by 3 dealers to upgrade Power source 1st, & it’s tough mining for the “right audio fix” with so much equipment & knowledge out there. Thanks to all who are opining. D

By Deck, do U mean TT?

I prefer Analogue/Vinyl sound

Those dealers are wrong. Who do you trust? Some old boys on a forum who have owned Naim for years and know how to build a good system, or a dealer who clearly doesn’t know jack? What you need is a much better turntable, and that’s that really. You take the advice or you don’t, but if you add a hicap and it sounds worse, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Yes, I tend to agree but, relax. I’m agreeing with U, it’s still difficult navigating thru this Sea of info. I appreciate all the opinions here & value them highly. Thanks, D

I agree with @hungryhalibut, source is king. Rather than a Hicap use the cash for a Rega P6 with Aria cartridge. I have an XS2 and it will show up weaknesses in any source that isn’t up to scratch. I have a Sonos Connect, a relic from my pre-Naim system, and it is hopelessly out of its depth with the XS2. For vinyl playback I have a Michell Syncro/RB808/Dynavector 20X2L/Aria phono and it sounds terrific through the XS2.

… However … There could be a good deal for a hicap which cannot be ignored …

I wouldn’t even think about a Hicap until the source has been sorted out

Ok, I have an update on 2 of the dealers who suggested PSU upgrade for my curent system: One agreed with me & mentioned that its difficult to analyze system without being there to hear it & said source upgrade 1st,always. Second dealer is sticking to HiCap DR upgrade but, insists source will come next. Im having the 1st dealer over to do some room & system tweaks (NAC A5 for speakers, de-couple TT from stand speaker positioning etc), he is adamant to maximize current system/set up 1st before spending big. I will be using this guy for future purchases as far as it can go. This happening next week so, I will have another update then. Also, my music genres are Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Blues. Warm, detailed & sometimes louder than 3-4 is how & what I listen to.Having said that, I will be potentially looking for a TT/Cartridge combo to suit those needs. Thanks much! SgtRock