Power Supplies - Where to Go Next

Despite it’s unpopularity on the forum, I decided to give a FlatCap XS a go in my system. This is the first power supply, Naim or otherwise, I’ve ever owned and I’m very pleased with the results. I’m curious if the lack of love for the FC is related to what some users have paired it it with, but in my case I’m using it with a Nait XS2 and StageLine or HeadLine with very good results.

Regardless, I’m hooked and now I have a problem; I need more. Initially my intention was to power my XS2 and HeadLine off the FC and then power the StageLine off the XS2 (thanks for the tips HH!). It sounded great but then I tried the StageLine off the FC and found further improvements. I’m not sure if the improvement is gained by powering the StageLine from the FC, removing the power strain from the XS2 or both but the results have been very good.

The problem is this scenario leaves me without power to the HeadLine which I’ve been quite enjoying. The prospect of moving cables around every time I want to listen to headphones doesn’t appeal to me so the obvious answer is more boxes! But what to do? Would I be happy with a NAPSC? Is there something in the Naim ecosystem that could power my HeadLine and my nDAC (I don’t think there is)? I’m still on the hunt for a CD 5XS, possibly another FC would be the way to go?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.

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Have a good think about where you’re heading with this and then take the largest steps you can to get there. If you’re sure you’re staying with the slimline series than another flatcap is the answer but if you have higher aspirations a hicap might save in the long run.


The other option would be to go for a SN3 with its built in phono stage and headphone amp. Then add a power supply to the nDac.

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Initially I had a FlatCap XS which powered the NAC152 and CD5 XS. I upgraded the 152 to a NAC282 and used a SuperCap, freeing up one supply on the FlatCap. I then got a SNAXO 242 and used the FlatCap on that.

In the meantime I got a Headline, but that did come with a NAPSC.

I’ve since sold on the CD5 SX, so the FlatCap is just supplying the SNAXO242.

I’ve been very pleased with my FlatCap over the years as it has been able to supply two components, which has been a benefit.

Finally, you could consider a NAPSC for your Headline and there a number of these on a well known auction site.

You are not alone there, after going back and forth many times over several months, I happen to like my 152XS better when powered from the FlatCap than from the 200DR. The dual rails and dedicated transformer are upgrades in their own right that the 200DR lacks. A DR version would be really nice…

The short answer is yes.

The slightly longer answer is that a Hicap does improve things, but only marginally. The best thing about a HC is that it has an ON/OFF switch, so I don’t have to scrabble around the back of the rack which provides a home for all those bl00dy big spiders!

Current setup on my system is NAHA2+Olive Hicap; cans are Sennheiser 650. My wife’s office system is NAHA+NAPSC driving Sennheiser 420.

(The above opinion is based upon my trials with every possible combination of NAHA, NAHA2, NAPSC, NAPSC2 and Olive Hicap.
But no, I have not tried a Supercap…one should only take “willie waving” so far)

Thank you for your thoughts and this would be a logical approach, but lately I’ve been enjoying the journey so damn much that I’ve intentionally abandoned a final destination.

I would definitely like to try some Classic Series components at some point (SuperNait or NAP/NAC) so a HiCap could make sense but I have a couple concerns about that path. The first is “unbalancing” my existing system. I’m not sure if this is a legitimate concern, but the HiCap feels like it would have diminishing returns in my system. The second is cost but I might be able to make a used version work the budget.

I’d be very interested if there are any other opinions on this.

Thank you for the suggestion. The SN3 has a strong following and has to be the most commonly recommended upgrade path in the Naim ecosystem. I’d really like to try one but budget is a constraint and I’ll probably have to wait until there are a few more on the used market and prices come down.

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Thanks for the feedback. The NAPSC is at the top of my list right now based on price and it would fit in nice with my existing components (sitting right beside the StageLine and HeadLine). My outstanding concern is how it performs relative to the FC. I’m happy with how it sounds with the FC and I’d like maintain the performance if there’s a reasonable way to achieve it.

If you get a NAPSC, it needs to be positioned away from the Headline. As far away as possible as it has a big noisy transformer. That is why it has a long lead to allow you to do this.

This is my set up where I have two NAPSCs, but these are both positioned on the carpet under the rack, out of the way of the other components.


Beautiful stack! Thank you for pointing that out the need for space which is definitely an issue for me and one of the primary reasons I was considering the NAPSC. My hacked Ikea cabinet has run out of real estate and is also on the upgrade list if only my wife and I can come to an agreement on the replacement. More to consider here for sure!

What rack is it that you’re using? Are you happy with it?

It’s a Simon Price SimRack, in solid Oak, which I’m very pleased with.

It’s incredibly stable, solid wood and available in different woods.

You could always put some spiked feet on your existing cabinet to raise it up to fit the NAPSC underneath.

Hi Adikt- I understand what you say about certain naim products being unpopular in this forum, I can’t speak highly enough about nac202/nap200 combo yet many folk advise hopping over these when people are asking for upgrade advice-,in fact they are extremely good amps, are upgradeable and best. of all can be had for relatively smaller amounts of cash- I’ve enjoyed my n-dac with these for many years, they are way better than sn3, I’d urge u to give them a listen

Good system you have there. I would suggest a SN3 unless you want the upgrading flexibility that pre/powers bring.

Enjoy the music.

DG, when I was running a 282/250DR amp I was prompted by a forum post to experiment with the treatment of my NAPSC.
My finding was that the NAPSC responded very posiively to being given its own Fraim shelf, with a noticalble improvement in lyric intelligibility. This was further improved by giving it a socket on the dedicated mains supply. I finally tried it with its own Powerline, which brought such a benefit as for it to be preferable to using the powerline on my 250 instead.
The NAPSC is a star performer if you treat it well, and rumours of its noisy neighbour behaviour are IMHO completely unjust :wink:

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Looks like I might be looking for some more PowerLines.

Just don’t tell Mrs DG…

Hi @Adikt, sorry I’m late to the party, but are you intending to use a CD5XS purely as transport into your nDAC? If so, I don’t think you’d benefit from a FlatCap, or any other power supply come to that, on the CD player. (You would need a PS on the nDAC, ether XPS or 555.)

BTW I ran CD5XS/nDAC for several years and found it a cracking combination, but there are now some dedicated CD transports out there, which have garnered good reviews and could be cheaper.


Humble Apologies PeakMan

Misread your original comment

Disregard my original comment

Agree with you completely

Yes, I’m planning on running the CD5XS through my nDAC (if I can ever find one) and I was curious if the CDP would benefit from a PSU.

Thank you for the thoughts, it’s very helpful and reinforces my thought that I should try the NAPSC.