Supernait 3 + Supercap DR

This has been circling in my head a little recently based on various recent threads around system evolutions based around NAIT’s.

I currently run a Supernait 3 + NDX2 in a 2 box system on a full Fraim rack and have a plan to evolve this with the addition of PSU’s with a focus on adding a XPS DR to the NDX2 and perhaps a HiCap DR to the Supernait 3.

I did have a HiCap DR until fairly recently and used that on a number of NAIT’s, most recently a Supernait 2. I let it go with the move to the current system as part of a trade in package I did with my dealer. The experience that I had with it on NAIT’s was positive and I felt it was a worthwhile enhancement.

I was curious if anyone had actually powered their Supernait (2 or 3) with a Supercap DR and if that was of any value given not just its relative higher cost and complexity but also the partial redundancy when used to drive a Supernait. The same logic would apply when considering an XPS DR vs a 555PS for the NDX2 which arguably would be a performance improvement vs what a XPS DR could deliver but I wonder if those PSU choices would only really make sense if the system evolution was a move beyond a NAIT based system to a NAC/NAP based system driving a 282 or 252 for example and a possible move to an ND555 at some stage.
Assuming that the Supernait 3 would remain at the heart of the system as would the NDX2, is the natural PSU choice a HiCap DR for the Supernait and an XPS DR for the NDX2?

XPSDR. The source is more important

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I’d say the thought process in my case isn’t either/or in that I will certainly at some stage add at least an XPS DR to my NDX2 and if I can factor for it possibly a 555PS but again that may only make overall sense in the longer term if the goal is to replace the NDX2 with a ND555, which isn’t likely any year soon.
In my head it only makes sense to add a Supercap DR to a Supernait 3 if the goal beyond that is to use the Supercap DR to drive a NAC252 which whilst desirable, is not a likely end game in my case. There remains a possibility that it could one day be replaced by a NAC282 in which case a HiCap DR would probably make most sense for both driving the SN3 and later the NAC282.
In a way the reason for asking the question here was to validate if anyone else had tried that combination of SN2/3 + Supercap DR, if they liked it sufficiently and stayed with that system for an extended period of time or if it was done mainly as a short term step towards a system based around a NAC252.
I’m not expecting many replies from folks who have this combination, and even if they do exist I don’t expect they ran it for long before adding in a NAC.
My instincts tell me the most suitable power supplies for my current system and likely systems to follow for some time is a HiCap DR for the amp and an XPS DR for the NDX2.

This is a question I have raised also as I use NDX2 bare into Supernait2 but do use HiCapDR.

My thinking has always also surrounded the fact the used/ex demo SupercapDR’s can be had on a regular basis for around £2500. My thoughts were this “I would think” would be a very nice upgrade for potentially £1700-1800 when you factor in the sale of the existing HicapDR.

Never got an answer tho if I remember right.

I also am thinking XPS or 555 onto my NDX2.

Hello sir, it may well have been a previous conversation we both interacted with that got me thinking again on this!
I’ve gone through a similar thought process to yourself I’m assuming. The issue I have here is that these PSU’s aren’t just better versions of each other, they are designed with specific equipment in mind and whilst you can certainly power certain combinations of boxes with a variety of PSU’s you get to a point where you’re using a power supply that is mostly redundant in certain scenarios.
There’s also the risk that it might not sound right either even if on paper it’s a better supply. An example here could be a NAC282 with a single HiCap or 2x HiCap or even a Supercap. Which combination people prefer in their own systems tends to vary.
I’m anticipating a lot of theory and opinion but less actual hands on listening experience of these sort of combinations. That’s probably less the case with the NDX2 being powered by a 555PS but even in that case, given its relative high cost vs an XPS DR, I wonder how big an improvement overall you would expect to gain from the higher spec 555PS.
Once things are less restricted I’m going to aim to do a dealer demo as mine has all the boxes I need to answer most of my power supply doubts, I’ll certainly share what I find as that becomes possible.
In the meantime, still curious if anyone has actually powered a SN2/3 from a Supercap and ideally if they’ve compared that against a HiCap for reference.

Given that you have a HiCap DR already £2500 + your Supernait 2 gets you close or even at a used 282/250DR.

I suspect that will give you far more bang for your buck than the Supercap.

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Not if you want to end up at a 252 and again 252’s can be had for reasonable secondhand value.

I haven’t done the audition but I’ve a suspicion that NDX2/555PSDR/SN3 >> NDX2/XPS2DR/SN3/HCDR and quite possibly NDX2/XPS2DR/SN3/SCDR.

True, but I’d want to be using an ND555 on a 252 or above, not an NDX2. Then it’s big money!

I think an NDX2 with 555 or XPS is fine on a 252 and officially Naims recommended system build is NDX2,XPS,252. A NDX2 and 555 is officially about a £12,000 source into a £6500 pre amp as it is.
ND555 has been designed for the 552/500 system.

Let’s face it, in the scheme of upgrading a system has to go out of balance for a period unless you are prepared to drop serious money in one hit.


This is all theory and what I’d class as a Chasing Rainbows discussion!
I think my point with asking the question was if anyone had actually tried this combination of NAIT + PSU and if so was it something they felt was a good mix and worth sticking with.
I think my natural conclusion is that the logical pairing is a Hi-Cap and this falls in line with what Naim themselves would recommend in terms of upgrades to a Supernait and you can end there or if needed use it later down the line with a NAC282 as the obvious “next step”.
I’ve certainly used a HiCap DR on a Supernait and Nait XS in the past and know what its capable of. I’ve never tried a Supercap on a NAIT but to my mind it seems like a step to far.
Given the replies aren’t full of “I’ve got a Supercap on my Supernait” comments I’m guessing my instincts are probably correct on this occasion!

Hi Mr.M,
your next move is a new HiCap DR. Let’s not beat around the bush here. :slightly_smiling_face:

XPS DR is where my list is taking me next. HiCap DR is the logical pairing with the Supernait for sure and at some point both will be added in. Then my head got me thinking about NAP 250’s and NAC 282’s, but that’s another thread…

Maybe if you can do it all in one hit? But i’d be inclined to add the HiCap DR first, regardless…

I’m basing the order of play partly on what I’ve learnt from hearing both PSU’s added to the mix and the fact I’m expecting the XPS DR to be a solid uplift, I’ll not likely be in a position to add both at the same time, I’d rather wait a bit and do the XPS first making the HiCap a nice finale so to speak.
This may all end up becoming a 282/250 based system, I had pondered scoping out a stretch to a Supercap with a mind to evolving to a 252/250 based setup but that may be a stretch for “Phase 2”
The journey continues anyway…

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Hi Mr.M,

I appreciate i’m a beginner here in the Classic world and i have formed many of my notions from your good self, it’s all relevant. You’re looking for upgrades so soon after your recent upgrades? Maybe you’re missing the HiCap. I’m amazed what it brings to the table, even with my ND5 XS 2 as source. Hopefully you are planning well. It’s all good in the hood.

No the HiCap is a worthy addition as I’ve spoken to many times. The things up for debate here are steps that will materialise over the next couple of years, it’s unlikely anything will change this year.
I may add either a Nova or a Supernait 2 to my 5.1 system as a parallel project, that and fiddling about with Rega decks!

…add the XPS DR to the NDX 2 prior to the HiCap DR to the SN.

JMHO (based on experience) - YMMV

Ask your dealer for a home demo of the two boxes and you will get the answer.

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On Supernait2 I found the HicapDR to bring a much bigger performance boost over the XPSDR.

However the word on the street is the HiCapDR on the Supernait3 doesn’t make as much of an impact as on the 2.

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Quite a few people prefer the SN2 and 3 without the Hicap. Remember that they already include a DR power supply for the preamp part. If upgrading from an NDX2 and SN3, it’s the source that is the way to go.

I would have a good think about whether a 555PSDR might be practical. It is an amazing power supply, and way better than the XPSDR. I have used both on my 272 and the difference between 272/XPS and 272/555 is much much greater than that between 272 and 272/XPS. I’d suggest that NDX2/555 and SN3 would be considerably better than NDX2/XPS and SN3/Hicap. This has already been suggested above by Svetty and I agree. Those three boxes may be all you ever need.