The Sic Safco capacitors have gone

What I gathered when I asked was that while it’s pretty much impossible for them to sound absolutely identical, the new ones sounded as good qualitatively to the old ones, just slightly different. I’d surmise that this was something easily taken into account during the fine tuning of the product.

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Happy With Naim’s choices… :expressionless:

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It does make sense what Richard is saying, both statement and 500 series being current use the fancy yellow ones, they cant change them over in these products being established but if there is supply issues then it makes sense on a new product to use something else in the cheaper (not not cheap of course) products.

i suppose thinking ahead showing prototype models early wont happen again and is the reason we have not seen official internal shots on the website etc

the same happens with the dac chips in the nd555 etc, the new 333 doesnt use this

It’s totally fine if Naim changes the design. However, my concern was it is clear that the lines on the board have been drawn for the yellow 47uF caps. Besides, considering these are the first batches of the new 300 series, they are close to the original design in terms of time. It’s more like the design was tentatively changed when it was close to production, and the revisions were made in a hurry.

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The elements supplement issues should be considered during the design, at least from the beginning of the production to later, no matter when.

If only things were so simple.


282 and 252 use the yellow ones all the time. The ones being used in 332 now look like the ones used in 202

This is just my doubt…

yea i know mate, this is probs why the new stuff sounds different but people seem to like it so i dont think its an issue really. if they hadnt have been nice to us lot on here and shown the prototype we would be none the wiser. i do agree with you though

I am sorry… but actually no, I am not - the concern over this is laughable.

Sat here listening to the NAC 332, it doesn’t matter to me what is inside helping to make this glorious sound, and I can’t stop smiling.


Understand. But we could never have a chance to do an A/B test, so we will never know the differences.

yea exactly dude, the proto never came to market. might have been at some shows but other than that

Maybe in Munich this year already.

I’d not jump to that conclusion at all. I mean, it might have been in a hurry, or it might have been decided a very long time back and they decided to not throw money at updating the PCB fabrication plans for the sake of some white lines and through holes.

But I guess if people like reading tea leaves, please carry on.

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been quiet for a while. I’ll have more time soon :slight_smile:

The yellow capacitors: Where are they used and what do they do?
The 47uF capacitors are used for taking the last bit of high frequency noise off the power supplies before the feed the audio circuits. It is called ‘CR decoupling’, where C = capacitor (47uF) and R = resistor (27ohms). The CR filters residual wide-band high-frequency power supply noise after the voltage regulators (the -3dB point for the first order low pass CR filter is = 1/(2 x PI x 27 x 47x10^-6) = 125Hz). CR decoupling is used on delicate circuits that use a near constant power (such as single-ended, small-signal, class-A circuits). The near constant power of the class-A circuits are not affected by the high ‘R’ values.

Launch and lead-time
The launch strategy for the new classic range meant having the NC products on the shelves globally on the launch date. To achieve this hundreds of 300 series products were made, stored and primed to go! To do this components are ordered well in advance using our ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning). Some components lead-times are over 52 weeks. Long lead-time components are ordered during the end of the EVT phase of development (EVT = engineering validation test, EVT is like the first prototype after the POC - proof of concept phase).

The prototype 332 used the Sic-Safco capacitors. Towards the end of DVT (design validation test) development the cap lead-time jumped to 48 weeks. They were previously not showing as ‘long lead-time’. The additional delay would have delayed the simultaneous launch of all 300 series by months.

A decision was made to see if we could find an alternative, this is not always successful and in those cases we ride out the lead-time. This time we were lucky. The alternative 47uF caps were all auditioned, some were good, some less so, some good but different. The PCBs for PVT (production validation test) were re-spun with dual PCB footprints as we did not know what dimension capacitor would be preferred or if we’d wait.

The new chosen capacitors sounded as good and slightly different to the Sic-Safco. The new capacitors will stay in the 332 for design continuity. Existing designs with the Sic-Safco capacitors will stay as they are. The scheduling for existing orders of capacitors had been honoured. Again for continuity purposes they will not change to the new type of capacitor. The new capacitor is not the same as the ones in the NAC 202.

Fortunately the dramatic change in component lead-times caused by lockdown is finding a new equilibrium.



Thanks for taking the time to explain the situation Steve. Much appreciated I’m sure by all here.


Thanks Steve. One question, as they are used to take top end off the PS, are they still in use with the external PS?

Yes, the capacitors are used in both internal and external PSU modes.

They are placed after the internal voltage regulators directly on the audio circuits. Often called PoL or ‘point of load’ or ‘local decoupling’.



Thank you so much Steven for your such detailed explanation, and thanks for the effort from you and your team.