Supernait 3 Improving built-in headphone amp with PS?

Hello to all Supernait and power supply specialists!

After sending my NDX-2 for repairs to Naim (see „Various issues with NDX-2“), which is still covered by warranty, one question came up.
If you have a SN3 with it‘s integrated headphone amplifier, would the sound on that particular device get better if a Hicap or Supercap is added?
I know that both only feed the pre-amp part of the SN3.
But does that have any influence on the phones?
My dealer suggested two options how to get the max out of my „Standesign“-5-tray rack:
NDX-2 + XPS > Unity Core > SN3 + Hicap > Headline (soon to be discontinued according to Naim/ Germany) + 2nd Hicap

NDX-2 + XPS > Unity Core > SN3 + Supercap

2 x Hicaps plus 1x Headline and cables get pretty close to the Supercap so the price is no dealbreaker.
NDX-2, SN3 and Core already sit on the rack and wait for some reinforcements/ cavalry! Well, the NDX-2 should return in a week or 2 or 3.

Unfortunately the SC can not power both SN-3 and Headline due to ground-loop problems according to Naim.


Meccanoman from Switzerland

Afraid I can’t help with the first part, but for my ears, Headline/HCDR was better than SN out. Headline/SC2 was better still (markedly)…

But a Violectric V200 (bought in great condition used) bettered them all. So good it was an easy decision to box up the Headline.

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Adding the XPS DR will certainly improve the headphone output, and I found the HiCAP did too with my SN2. But now, I’ve gone for a dedicated headphone amp and power supply (Heed Canalot and Obselik PS) directly off the NDX2 and it’s in an entirely different league than the SN2 headphone stage. As above, the V200 is also highly rated. I’d skip the Headline personally.

I guess there is an obvious reason as to why Naim has discontinued the Headline…

I bought a Headline to use with a HiCap. Then someone told me about Violectric. I was fortunate to get the next to last V281 in North America and it’s better than any of the built-in HP amps I’ve used including those from several Naim devices. It’s also better than the Bryston I owned and believe it or not when the V281 is fed from my ND555 it’s better than the Chord Dave I owned.


Hi Leatherneck,
I see you had the Chord Dave / Blue combo before, and now the Nd555.
Can you tell for what reasons you change, if I may ask?

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Mike, so you connect your streamer via din to your amp and use the Phono outs to your headphone amp?
Does using both outputs affect SQ at all?

Yes, exactly.

I switch between outputs using the app, rather than having both enabled and haven’t noticed any effect on SQ. I have system automation on when using the SN2, and variable volume on when using the headphones so I can use the remote or app to control the volume. Need to remember to switch back to system automation though when going back to the SN2!

Thanks, useful
I will try that with my ND5XS2 and Graham Slee.

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[quote=“frenchrooster, post:6, topic:10633”]
I see you had the Chord Dave / Blue combo before, and now the Nd555.
Can you tell for what reasons you change, if I may ask?
I had spent a fortune on Ansuz DTC digital cables to avoid passing noise from the Blu to the ground plane of the Dave. That along with the cost of the Dave/Blu and Chord stands was just too much. I had also spent too much on other Ansuz cables.
I decided to downsize so I could sleep nights. I went all the way back to a Naim Nova. That was an over reaction. Over time I built back to the system I have now. It’s a big investment but I don’t feel so bad about it.
I’ve had some really good streamers/DACs but the ND555 is the star of my current system and I’m at peace with it.


Hello to all readers,

to give you an idea how my rack with 2xHC + HL or just SC could look like, two small drawings including wiring plan have been created:

As you can see, both versions would make full use of the given space on the 5 trays, as the Headline could be placed next to the Core or two Hicaps next to each other.
The problem with external headphone amplifiers as recommended above is, that they might not fit next to the Core without exceeding the total standard width of 43cm. So anything within that range is welcome.
A Focal Arche wouldn’t fit well, even if the price is similar to a HL + HC.
And it would probably work well with my Focal Clear.
But I’d also like to watch a combo of boxes that match with each other (read: have the same logo from a factory in Salisbury).

Greetings from Switzerland


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