On the Upgrade

Hi Everyone
I’d like to tap into the collective wisdom of the forum.
I’ve been a Naim owner since 1991. Started with a 72/HiCap/140 (olive) picked up from the factory when I was on a trip from Australia to the UK. A tour of the factory had been organised - which was great, but didn’t get off to a great start when I accidentally parked in Julian Vereker’s parking spot.

My current system is:
NDX/XPS DR, Roon, QNAP TS-473, Linn LP12
NAC202 (with NAPSC), HiCap (yep the 1991 original), 250-2
Focal Sopra 3

The biggest weakness in the system is obviously the Preamp/power supply. The HiCap is 31 years old now and the Caps are well past their best. My dealer (definitely addiction involved), whom I’ve dealt with for the last 25 years and is great, has given me a 282/HiCap DR to audition. I’ve done quite a bit of listening using the HiCapDR with the 202, the olive HiCap with the 282 and finally the 282 with the HiCap DR.

The HiCap DR certainly improved the 202 - particularly at the top end. The 282 was an improvement over the 202 with the olive HiCap, but not as much as I anticipated. Different matter though when the HiCap Dr was added to the 282. Broader soundstage, much clearer at the top end, better bass control & more engaging with all types of music.

My dilemma is the path to take. Probably the obvious one is to buy both the HiCap DR and 282. Kind of locks me in though. What I’m considering doing is replacing the Olive Hi Cap with a SupercapDR this year, and replacing the preamp down the track with either a 282 or 252 when funds allow. Thoughts and experiences appreciated.

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Talk of a SCDR ends in one place. If that’s where you are going, great. But make sure your sources are up to it.
A 282/HCDR and suitable power, 200dr or 250dr is enough for most. Your ears, and your pockets. Everyone on here will easily spend your money.


IF you are going to end up with a 252 the SCap is mandatory. If not then HiCapDR then 282 one day. Easy.

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Paul_L, I like your idea to get a Supercap. I enjoyed a 282/Supercap for several years with 250.2, later 250DR. I actually started with a pre-owned serviced olive Supercap, which was a huge improvement to a hicap (or two) and quite affordable. If your hicap has not been serviced, you almost surely will want to upgrade the power supply before the preamp. Good that you are working with your dealer and can audition.


With your speakers, you are seriously under-amplified. I suspect you’d be a lot better off with a 300DR, which would control the speakers so much better. Given that, matching preamps would be 282/Supercap or a 252. Your Hicap is in dire need of attention, so I think going for a Supercap DR at this point would be a very good idea.

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I listened in an excellent dealership recently to NDX2/555DR, 282/HiCapDR, 3 x 250DR into Kudos 808s.

It was definitively not as good as my home system (although it was a lot more expensive).

The dealer immediately identified the main reason - ‘the preamp is the heart of a Naim system’.


It’s a shame the dealership didn’t demo the 282/SCDR in such a setup, oh well :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, that was probably the missing link! :smiley:

Thanks for the reply. JimDog - was the dealers view the 282/HiCapDr wasn’t up to the job?

Thanks CharleP. The more I listen the more I’m convinced the power supply is first in line.

Thanks for the reply. Yes - under-amped, but the Sopra’s were too good to pass up at the time (end of financial year special and a great trade in that put them within reach).
I’ll deal with the preamp first (as you said the HiCap is well past it’s best). I would love a 300 down the track (I auditioned the Sopra’s with one), but I’ve run into rack limitation. My wife has been very indulgent of my music fixation over the years, but there is an one rack limit (NAIM Fraim). Maybe a 250DR down the track & a 300DR later if I can wrangle more space. My dealer is very happy for me to have an extended audition at home.
I love the Sopra’s as is, but they certainly need more amp.


I would plump for the Supercap first, then 282/252, suited to taste and/or budget when possible. I missed out the hicap altogether, going from 282 powered by a NAP 200 to 282/SupercapDR/200, then adding a 250/2 a little later. The Supercap really is a game changer for the 282 in my opinion. Trying a hicap in its place, I found my speakers shrunk and music lost some drama. Also, if you plump for 282/supercap and the 252 is a little out of reach now, it gives you the option to jump on one if a deal comes up at a later date without having to wait whilst you find a suitable PS (if buying secondhand of course).
Either 282 or 252 with a supercap and 250 or 300 would be great with your Sopra’s. Well worth holding out for the DR version of the supercap too.

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I have an 82 with Supercap 2 and 2 x 135s. This preamp and power amp would be on a similar level to 282, Supercap DR and 300. Only much cheaper.

It’s all serviced and sounds fantastic!

If I were you and I would consider the mixed boxes route or go for 282 and HiCap DR to start.

A 52 with Supercap and 250 or 300 could be a good way to go too.

Just consider your options and what you want to end up with.

My end game if I stick with Naim would be 52, 252 or 552 with 500. What is your end game?

A 252 with Supercap DR may also be a good place to start if that is your end game.

Am very happy where I am and would also love better speakers. With your speakers you are underpowered.

For now I am sticking with where I am.

You could also get your hicap serviced and get an 82 and leave it there. Maybe get a 250 in some variation.

Lots of options if you’re prepared to be flexible.

You already have the 250 so that’s good. Focus on an 82 or 282 or 252 Supercap combo.

It’s a case where the 272 successor would fit nicely.

In that system a 252 or 552 would make sense.

Also, the digital front end of my system is in 3 boxes so probably gives a cleaner signal.

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post.
I’ve replaced the Olive HiCap with a new Supercap DR and I’m currently auditioning a 282 with the Supercap. I’ll make a decision re 282/252 next year.


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