non-DR Supercap vs HiCaps with NAC 282

There are similar threads I know, as well as 1 vs 2 HICAPS on a NAC 282, but when I got the NAC 282 I envisaged a Supercap DR next, then a move to NAC 252.

Would a reasonably priced (and how much?) secondhand non-DR Supercap beat 2 olive HICAPs?

I believe a Supecap can also be upgraded to DR specs.

Only a Supercap 2 can be upgraded to DR.

I like my Olive Supercap on my 82 :blush:


I’ve gone from 2 olive hicaps on an 82 to a supercap 2 non DR. The soundstage has more authority. Seems to be more depth and a feeling of more power. It hasn’t lost the foot tqpping of the 2 olive hicaps either.

The other advantages are one less box and if you upgrade to 252 you already have the supercap.

The Supercap I bought was a 2012 model for £1600. I’ve seen olive Supercaps for around £1000. Advantage of buying a newer one is it won’t need a service for a while and can always be upgraded to DR if needed.

1 Like

I used a HiCap DR and SuperCap DR on my 282 and there was a definite difference but not as big as you might think. I would be tempted to try a HiCap DR as I have heard several respected dealers suggest this is better than a SuperCap and maybe only slightly worse than a SuperCap 2.

If you are going for a 252 then maybe just wait and save up for a SuperCap DR? Apparently the 252 really warrants it…


+1 to Steve

1 Like

Following with interest. I have a NDX2/282/HCDR/250DR and am considering possible next steps before I retire in a few years. Possibilities are a second HCDR, or a SCDR for quite a bit more money. After that a XPSDR for the NDX2 might be on tap, but since vinyl is my main source I think improving PSU for 282 comes first.

Our systems are similar and residing in the States it might make sense to make a lateral upgrade while the demand for the HCDR is still present. The only problem is finding an second hand SCDR! And I Search Ebay, Audiogon, and Hi Shark on a daily basis! :confused:

The 300DR gave me the biggest change in my system. The difference was incredible. One of those upgrades that makes you grin like a cheshire cat. It really does make your speakers seem bigger and give a much wider and deeper sound stage. All other upgrades have been small differences in comparison. The 300DR makes a BIG change and I think its wonderful with a 282.

If you have to save up for a Supercap DR then the difference vs 1x HiCap DR is not worth it to my ears vs the difference you could get by going for a 300DR for example or even an SL interconnect! I used the SL between 282 and CDS3 and installed it when my partners father was staying with us and he was gob smacked at the difference. The sound stage deepened by about double and the air around instruments became greater.


My instinct and experience with the 282 is that the optimal power supply arrangement depends on source. I found that a second HCDR was a substantial boost over one with more realism, bass extension and drive. A demo with a SCDR didn’t produce much benefit over the 2 HCDRs.
However this was with my (then) CDX2/XPS2 as source. With a better source it may well be that the SCDR is clearly an improvement over 2 HCDRs so I wouldn’t discount it completely. It would be an interesting experiment to see what the comparison between supplies would be with a better - say a CD555 - as the source (sticking with CD as format to reduce the variables).

Of course if you aim to end up with a 252 then the argument for the SC is much more persuasive!

A 300DR would be nice, but the cost is in another league from the other upgrades being discussed. It’s really a completely separate discussion and goal for me. A used HCDR goes for $1500 or less. A S/H 300DR is many times that, and still considerably more than a S/H SCDR when they come up. There is one on Audiogon now for $9500 (and the seller is within a few miles of me). That’s 50% more than a new SCDR.

Yes, I have also noticed that S/H SuperCaps (DR or otherwise) are rather uncommon. I may end up getting a 2nd HCDR or a XPSDR before I find one.

Ahh ok. In the UK a 300DR on a auction site would be about £2-2.5k more than a 250DR (assuming you would sell on the same platform) the SuperCap DR goes for between £2.7-3k. Quite different in your country I see. Obviously you need the correct versions for your country.

1 Like

Great replies, many thanks.

Guinnless - thanks for the detail that only the Supercap 2 can be DR’d.

Dan_M - that’s encouraging if Supercap 2 has improved on 2 olive HICAPs as that’s what I have, though in reality have gone down to 1 HICAP now that I’ve gone active again, at least until I can find the 3rd older HICAP.

Steve - I’ve borrowed several items from a dealer in recent months and I wasn’t bowled over by the difference the HICAP DR made vs the olives but it was undoubtedly a bit better. Also, from what you suggest a HICAP DR would be close to an original Supercap, but a Supercap 2 would be potentially better. Yes, could save for a Supercap DR, but I guess when you see come across older Supercaps on sale you wonder if it’s worth the near £5,000 outlay compared to an older model. The bottom line is a Supercap/Supercap 2 could be a bridge to partnering a NAC 252 earlier if I planned to go Supercap DR eventually (even upgrading a Supercap 2 if I found one).

JosquinDesPrez - I find myself in a similar position preferring vinyl - I’d like to get an NDX 2 (and it’s definitely better than my Nova into the 282 as I’ve demoed one at home), but still prefer vinyl - preamp improvements should benefit (or reveal!) everything. Another thought is upgrading the LP12 and/or new cartridge seeing as I’m currently using an AT OC-9 MK II which is great value but possibly a weak link.

Allante93 - yes 2nd hand Supercap DRs are probably hard to find, in fact Supercaps seem to be, I suspect primarily as they are sold quite often with partnering equipment.

Steve - I demoed the 250DR/300DR last year (I have older olive 250s) and the grip the 300DR gave especially at low levels was amazing. Perhaps I tried too many components together as I plumped for a secondhand NAC 282 out of many components tested, mainly because my older NAC 72 seemed to have noise on one channel, though that could have been other olive components I’ve now serviced. As I’d been planning to get my SBLs active again 2xNAP300DRs would have been prohibitive when I already had 2 NAP 250s, but I’d imagine it’d be a phenomenal combination. Another reason I’ve queried about NAXOs/SNAXOs - the SNAXO 242 allows different amps for HF and LF and I wonder if I’d get away with 300DR for LF and NAP 250 for HF, whereas my NAXO and SNAXO 2-4 would require identical power amps to avoid a completely schizophrenic unbalanced output. The SL interconnect is certainly on the radar as well as a Powerline (but where?) - is it logical that a SL interconnect should come before SL speaker cable, would certainly fit in the ‘source first’ hierarchy. I tried some ex-demo SL speaker cable which I wish I’d bought at half price, but the length wasn’t quite right if I’d have cut it to go active but would have been fine passive - the reality here was it sounded a lot thinner than I’d expected though did do unusually positive things to the music.

Svetty - thanks, sounds as though the HICAP DRs are quite an improvement on my older olive HICAPs in this case, again I wonder if I need to address source first my upgrading the LP12 and replacing Nova (which could be relocated) with an NDX2.


I upgraded my tonearm and phono cartridge earlier this year. That gave my system a bigger lift than anything I else I have done, with the possible exception of my speakers.


@Alley_Cat I have two serviced CB 135s. You might want to consider going down a different route with a 4 or 6 pack with active. For me the 135s work well with new and old equipment and are cheaper than a 300. I have found them to be a big improvement over the 250 CB.

I don’t mind mixing old and new components. Once serviced they sound sublime! :grinning:

1 Like

On the old forum, not so long ago, you’d be shot down in flames for suggesting a power amp upgrade with a lesser preamp, the cardinal sins being 202/250 and 282/300. The prevailing opinion was always that the preamp upgrade should come first.
If course, if you buy from a dealer, you can spend as much time as you like listening to different options before you spend the next large chunk of cash, and make an informed decision for yourself. I’m not sure that trying to canvass opinion on the forum is a good substitute for that.

1 Like

Yes I asked a while back about adding a 250 to my 102/Hicap. An 82 or 282 was the recommended route.
So I got an 82, then a 250 and then a Supercap :slight_smile:

To be fair, it’s a “cardinal sin” only because a NAC202/Hicap/NAP250 tends to give less than the sum of the parts - it really suffers in comparison to a NAC282/Hicap/NAP200 for similar money.

By comparison, a NAC282/Supercap with a NAP300, while perhaps not my first choice pairing, still works well.

1 Like

The key words here being “for similar money”

Yes, Naim’s middle of the road pre-amp ain’t bad!

I recall Naim debuting it’s reference CD player @ the 2007 CES venue.

CD555>282>SC>3 × 250.2>Active DBLs!