Nagra HD DAC
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Thread: Nagra HD DAC

  1. #1
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    Nagra HD DAC

    I have seen very little mention of this DAC in this forum.

    Disclaimer: I have not listened to many DACs. I purchased Berkeley Alpha 2 and then Berkeley Reference DAC, after listening to a handful of highly regarded DACs. The music just sounded more accurate to me with Berkeley than, say, dCS, which never felt musically "right" to me, especially in the bottom end.

    I had planned on upgrading my Berkeley Reference DAC to a Ref 2. Spent a couple hours listening to Ref2 at a local dealer last week. This was with my speakers players (Rockport Atria), but not my preamp and amp (listened direct through DAC with Nagra Classic Amp).

    In any case, after listening for about an hour Ref 2 DAC and Nagra Classic Amp, I asked to hear the Nagra HD DAC for a change. I was shocked at my reaction: listening to the same exact tracks that I just heard for an hour with Ref 2 DAC, I had a completely different reaction listening to Nagra HD DAC. The music was so emotionally involving, musical. A great energy to every track I heard. Alive. I didn't sense that I was missing resolution. But it was just one of those things where you lose yourself in toe-tapping musical bliss. And there was one especially great sign: while chatting with my audio guy and the volume turned way down, the music still was totally captivating. I was emotionally moved!

    Now, I am in no way saying this is a better DAC than Ref 2. Could be the synergies the Nagra HD had with the Nagra Classic Amp. And my system has a VAC Signature SE preamp in it, so maybe I was missing some tube warmth in the system I was listening to. More than likely I am guessing this is just another sign of me discovering the sound I am seeking. Organic, warm but not mushy at all, LIVE sounding, oh so musical (to me).

    But still, I left seriously impressed with this little DAC. Has anyone else been impressed by this DAC? I am going to try it out in my home environment. And this has also motivated me to listen to Lampizator GG, thinking maybe I want a tubed DAC after all. I have never heard Lampy and I know they are beloved around here.

    Anyways, just wanted to pass along my impression. It was startling to me and challenged one of the assumptions I had taken for granted (that Berkeley was the right DAC for my almost entirely PCM listening).

    Any love for Nagra HD Dac among others?

    -Justin

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  3. #2
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Bitten by the TOOB bug I see! Yeah, I am a Lampi fan and I liked what I heard of the Nagra Dac last year, but more $$$. https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2015/...nce-statement/

    I would suggest the GG and a tube rectified Atlantic (less than $7K loaded). Chipless DSD512 and superclocks are a must for both!
    NORMAN
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  5. #3
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    yeah i own the hd dac for about two years now....and i love it!
    have the classic amp for a year now.....and love it!
    own the cdp for many years.....as a system the price becomes really ok compared to others, while the hd dac alone seems a lot of dollars.
    really love this nagra-sound, just as you described it.
    i could do with a second amp for more power and i do wonder what the new pre would add

  6. #4
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    me too.. and in a full nagra system (jazz, cdp, vps, mps, 300p)
    really enjoying it with my nagra cdp and media server
    best DAC I have ever heard...
    next step 2 x classic amps

  7. #5
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Welcome jussy1254!
    Joe

    McIntosh MC1.25KW monos, McIntosh MCLK12, McIntosh MC303, Luxman C900u, Job INTegrated, Accuphase A-36, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Falcon LS3/5a, Sonus Faber Stradivari, Revel Ultima Studio 2, JBL 4312D, Klipsch Palladium P17-b, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber RCA and XLR cable, VPI Classic 3, VPI SDS, Lyra Kleos, Burmester 948, Metric Halo LIO-8, PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge II, Linear Tube Audio MZ2 - MicroZOTL2.0 Preamplifier.

  8. #6
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Today, with my BHSE tube amp + Stax SR009, I compared quite intensively TotalDAC, DAVE, dCS Rossini DAC and the NAGRA HD DAC.

    The NAGRA HD DAC with my BHSE was by far the most involving and enjoyable !

    I Finally got some saoul & spirit into my music ! Much more than with TotalDAC, DAVE or Rossini, all 3 being very precise and detailed but... NOT very exciting ( to my ear).


    Until I heard the HD DAC, I had the feeling that all those high-end DAC sounded almost the same, but with HD DAC there is something more, some emotion I did not get with the other DACs.

    So... I wonder if the NAGRA Classic DAC will bring the same magic or if I really need to get (pay) the HD to get this feeling ?

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  10. #7
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Have you ever tried a Lampizator? To my ears, the DHT in the Lampi Big 7 and GG is outstanding.


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  11. #8
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
    Today, with my BHSE tube amp + Stax SR009, I compared quite intensively TotalDAC, DAVE, dCS Rossini DAC and the NAGRA HD DAC.

    The NAGRA HD DAC with my BHSE was by far the most involving and enjoyable !

    I Finally got some saoul & spirit into my music ! Much more than with TotalDAC, DAVE or Rossini, all 3 being very precise and detailed but... NOT very exciting ( to my ear).


    Until I heard the HD DAC, I had the feeling that all those high-end DAC sounded almost the same, but with HD DAC there is something more, some emotion I did not get with the other DACs.

    So... I wonder if the NAGRA Classic DAC will bring the same magic or if I really need to get (pay) the HD to get this feeling ?
    The digital section of the Nagra HD DAC was designed by Andreas Koch, who owns Playback Designs. While there is certainly more to the overall performance of any DAC than the digital section alone, I would respectfully suggest that you check out their Merlot DAC if you have the opportunity to do so. It's getting very favorable reviews and is quite reasonably priced compared to the competition. Good listening my friend, and I hope that you soon find your destination DAC.

  12. #9
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    Nagra HD DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by audio.bill View Post
    The digital section of the Nagra HD DAC was designed by Andreas Koch, who owns Playback Designs.
    Before setting up his own joint Andreas Koch was working at Meitner as well.


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    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Ayre Codex/ Auralic Aries Mini/ Sbooster PSU/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 3PSR2/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

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  13. #10
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    Re: Nagra HD DAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    Before setting up his own joint Andreas Koch was working at Meitner as well.
    AHHH ! So I shall also look at for example the EMM-XDS1 V2 DAC/CD/SACD which was on my list ? anyone heard it ?

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