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Nagra Traditional HiFi System Evaluation 2022.



Nagra Traditional System Evaluation. Pre, Amp, DAC.

By Steve Huff

As I sit and write this evaluation I’m listening to music and awaiting the snowstorm that’s purported to deliver us a direct hit inside the subsequent few hours. I’m listening to “the most important snowstorm in 100 years” although I’ve my doubts. It’s at the moment coming down as sleet.

I’m not apprehensive although. After I was a child in Chicago I lived by way of the Blizzard of 79. It was superior as a child however I’m certain it was not a lot enjoyable for my Dad who needed to shovel the snow and dig his automobile out after it was buried.

I even had a T Shirt….

As I bear in mind these days as a ten yr previous child with mates, having fun with the time without work of faculty and taking part in within the snow I’m listening to songs emerge from my audio system that sound supremely elegant. Clear, clear, sparkly, recent and with a refinement and presentation that I’ve hardly ever heard in HiFi.

The songs are being performed courtesy of a set of electronics that’s fairly particular certainly, for a large number of causes. 

The Nagra Traditional Amp, Traditional PreAmp and Traditional DAC has discovered its manner into my reference room. After my analysis I’ve to say that I want these items had been extra accessible to the lots with regard to value. They’ve a Beaty about them within the flesh. They harken again to a bygone period in the way in which they used to make issues. Dials, knobs, lights, steel and meters. High quality by way of and thru. You could have heard the time period “They don’t make ’em like they used to”. Properly, at Nagra, they do.

Then we’ve got the sound. The best way Nagra reproduces music in my room is in contrast to some other electronics I’ve had on this room, and it confuses me considerably.

Being a man who feels blessed to have the ability to attempt to evaluation so many items of HiFi from low value to excessive, I’ve been educated to consider that the larger and heavier a chunk of drugs is, the higher it have to be. Go Labs for instance makes a few of my favourite amplification however they weigh a ton and are not any enjoyable to maneuver round. The Denafrips Terminator II DAC is big, heavy and borderline unruly in weight for a DAC.

My previous Line Magnetic 219ia was over 100lbs, for an built-in amp.

The Kinki Studios EXM1 built-in I lately talked about is 61lbs. 

Now all of those heavy items sound beautiful. They’re stunning in design, construct and sound is world class. Interval.

Then I’ve the Nagra set that appears stunning, exact and properly, very small.

See the pre and amp in could area. 

The $15k DAC is beneath 10lbs. The $18k AMP itself is beneath 40lbs. The $18k preamp is 10lbs. Your complete stack of seperates has a retail value of almost $55k and is available in at beneath 60lbs for the set. Virtually the identical weight because the $4500 Denafrips Terminator II DAC by itself.

Sure, $55k. It’s onerous for me to wrap my head round however I additionally know many individuals on the market on the earth have the money to purchase issues reminiscent of this with out blinking an eye fixed. There are thousands and thousands of millionaires on the earth and I’ll evaluation any gear wether the price is $1000 or $100,000.

I do know some get offended with opinions of loopy costly gear however I don’t. There’s something for everybody in HiFi, and I imply everybody.

Taking a look at all ranges of HiFi additionally offers me perception into why some manufacturers cost a fortune for the gear they construct. It might additionally present me what’s value it, and what’s not. What’s hype and what’s designed for the wealthy, simply because. Sure, some gear in HiFi is designed only for these with cash however some is born of a ardour for being among the many greatest there might be.

Going again to Dimension and Weight

How might HiFi gear that’s so small, so gentle and so costly sound pretty much as good as the large heavy muscle that some manufacturers construct? I began to suppose…is Nagra for actual? Is it simply focused to the wealthy who need the title and elegance over sound? Are another manufacturers items made to be heavy to impress us with construct and mass?

If certainly Nagra is ready to ship sound above the others (as they need to for the price) with the small measurement and weight how come others want large heavy enclosures? Hmmm. I wished to search out out if Switzerland summit-fi model Nagra was value the price for these Audiophiles who can afford it. I additionally wished to see simply how significantly better or totally different Nagra could possibly be vs manufacturers that value a lot much less.

As I sat all the way down to take heed to the Nagra trio, powering my Fleetwood Deville audio system with a full loom of Cardas Clear Reflection cables, I used to be skeptical however excited. I used to be about to listen to a full Nagra set, albeit with out the $7500 vibration platforms and $18k energy provide.

Going from a $2500 Kinki EM1 or $20k Go Labs setup to the $60k Nagra set ought to have the skies open up with a golden gentle beaming all the way down to the room. Sure, a beam of white gentle ought to journey down from above the clouds to permit me to have eargasm after eargasm at this stage.

I must be impressed as I’ve a tough time determining why these items value a lot. Positive, handcrafted in Switzerland the place wages are excessive and high quality is high of the heap. I get it. Distinctive model and design, yep it’s right here. However what concerning the sound?

Earlier than I get into that permit’s discuss a bit of extra concerning the construct of those items. BTW, I don’t get technical, I simply discuss concerning the vibe, the texture, the sound, the expertise.

The Traditional Pre-Amp is a Jewel Certainly.

The Nagra Traditional Pre-Amp is a tubed pre-amp. It has three tubes inside, Two 12AX7 and one 12AT7. Nagra hand picks these tubes sourced from Electro Harmonix and reject as a lot as 50% of the tubes that they check. They’re gold pin, and are hand picked, examined and listened to inside each pre-amp earlier than it leaves the manufacturing unit.

Sure, each bit Nagra makes is listened to by an individual earlier than it ships out. That’s some fairly spectacular high quality management. They extremely suggest that when the tubes begin to die out (someday between 5000-10000 hours) that you just solely substitute them with an official Nagra Tube Substitute set.

The Nagra substitute tube set comes with a field, gloves and instruments for a cool $450, for about $60 value of tubes. Hmmm. I did order some greater value Gold Lion Gold Pin’s to check out at round $120. I ended up going again with the inventory tubes. They sounded higher certainly. I suppose at this value level $450 is just not a problem when it comes time to interchange the tubes. They’ll final 5000-10,000 hours and you’ll relaxation straightforward realizing you may have good tubes on your costly pre-amp.

These extremely regarded items are certainly handcrafted in Switzerland utilizing solely the best high quality of components inside. That is the Traditional pre-amps declare to fame. It sits as a small field that measures round 15X10X3 and is available in at beneath 10lbs. The DAC is similar bodily measurement and the amp is as properly. It’s simply taller however has the identical size and width dimensions.

The pre is beautiful. Stable. The sound is beautiful and whereas it doesn’t sound like golden age tube electronics, the tubes do permit for some slight heat and physique to be injected into the sound. The result’s beautiful and the pre is an ideal mate to the Traditional Amp which can be a really particular piece.

Magnificence. Precision. Type. 

There’s a magnificence to the design, model, seems and components utilized in all of Nagra HiFi Merchandise. It seems like a precision instrument to some, and medical tools to others. Nagra is designed with excessive consideration to element and I’ve by no means discovered somebody who has had their Nagra Audio product fail on them. To not say it doesn’t occur however I’ve looked for points and have discovered none. It’s mentioned that Nagra audio items final 15 years or extra earlier than even needing a test up.

In actual fact the audience of those that personal Nagra are males aged between 50-60 who’ve tried all of it earlier than. Nagra says those that lastly strive Nagra nearly at all times stick with the model for all times. They’ve a stable fame for high quality, magnificence and naturally spectacular sound high quality.

The construct of every piece is improbable and I discovered zero faults. The 100 WPC amp has two units of speaker binding posts. One for spade connectors and one for banana. You possibly can set the amps enter sensitivity to 1mv or 2mv and the pre-amp can go from 0db of achieve to 12db of achieve with a flick of a change. This is useful for audio system that want extra oomph to stand up and go. I really feel all preamps and amps ought to have this characteristic.

I can say the amp is superb and delivers superb efficiency within the bass, mids and highs. Many say this amp is particular, and I agree. Similar to the Traditional Pre, the Traditional AMP is a star. It has element and imaging efficiency up there with one of the best, however on the identical time it delivers a contact of heat and good physique. It sounds extra like a 200WPC amp to those ears. The best way this amp does dynamics and assaults are jaw dropping but it stays composed, refined, and easy regardless of how loud you pay attention. In comparison with the Go XA60.8 the Go amps are juicer, hotter and a extra stress-free pay attention. The Nagra extra refreshing, thrilling and vast open. Extra 3D.

Behind the Traditional Pre and Traditional Amp. 

The DAC is exclusive as properly (although it was simply discontinued lately) and whereas it is available in at a whopping $15,000 retail, I even have a Chord DAVE right here that is available in at $12,500 retail. I’ve discovered {that a} high tier world class DAC can rework a system extra so than an amp or preamp and sure, large time DAC’s do make a really good distinction in most programs.

Hear the Nagra and Fleetwood Making Music

So long as the system is about up proper, in an excellent room and with high quality gear in place, a world class DAC can actually elevate it.

I used to be tremendous interested in this Traditional DAC  as the brand new Tube DAC providing from Nagra begins at $27,000 and may go as much as nearly $50k relying on choices reminiscent of energy provide, vibration base, and so forth. It makes the price of the traditional appear, properly, inexpensive.

From Nagra on their Traditional DAC: 

“The circuits of the Nagra CLASSIC DAC use the DSD 2x model of the format, working at a stage 128 instances superior to that of conventional CD and twice that of SACD”

Nagras present Tube DAC is taken into account the most effective on the earth. The Traditional is taken into account a decrease value various (that’s now discontinued because the Tube DAC is alleged to outperform it simply) and am unhappy to see it not being supplied any longer because it was essentially the most inexpensive possibility for traditional lineup.

I just like the time period “Traditional” as I’m in my 50’s, so I’m a traditional as properly. The Traditional DAC is nearly on the opposite aspect of the spectrum when in comparison with the Chord DAVE. It’s simply as large, nearly as dynamic however affords up a bit of bit extra euphoria within the sound. The place the DAVE is a element hound, the Traditional is a music hound. Sure, it’s as musical as I’ve heard a DAC

Backside Line on construct is that it’s a number of the greatest I’ve seen and so they by some means saved all of it gentle in weight and small in measurement.

Beginning the primary Listening Session

I let the traditional trio heat up for an hour earlier than sitting all the way down to pay attention. These items listed below are all used, 5 years previous for the pre and amp and 6 years previous for the DAC, in order that they have burned in way back.

With 290 hours on a brand new set of tubes within the preamp, I used to be able to roll.

I’ve been used to the sound of the Go Labs gear in my system because the XA60.8 amps and XP-10 and 12 preamp have been with me for the final 8 months or so for long run evaluation. I’ve fallen for them fully.

The Go preamp and amps are available with a heat, nearly stress-free sort of sound. Detailed, holographic and candy but by no means offensive within the highs, in any respect. If something the highs are a contact rounded off with the Go Class A Amps. Huge juicy bass and humanity come from Go however its power doesn’t lie within the dynamic areas of music with their XA60.8 amps in place.

Consider Go Labs Class A as a juicy, natural, detailed and clear but with a heat (although not darkish) and ore relaxed juicy type of sound.

I’ve additionally listened to the Nagra Traditional pre and amp with my Chord Dave DAC, which is essentially the most spectacular and “wow” DAC I’ve skilled to this point, in my audio lifetime of 35 years.

With the DAVE the Nagra set was alive, electrical and extremely detailed but remaining easy always. The best way particulars emerged was breathtaking with the Dave. Dynamic but refined. When listening although, I felt there could possibly be extra physique to the music because the Nagra gear appeared to lean extra to the clear, clear, detailed aspect of spectrum with a pleasant tall and deep 3D soundstage.

The Dave leans a bit of..properly..lean on this matching. Dave matches greatest with hotter audio system or amplification. The 2 collectively, Nagra and Chord, could have been an excessive amount of of an excellent factor. As superb because it sounded there have been moments I needed for extra physique to the music when the Dave was paired with Nagra.

With the Nagra Traditional DAC put in, and an ideal mate with the preamp and amp, I heard a very totally different presentation.

With the complete Nagra set in place the sound remodeled into a hotter, fuller, larger, taller and deeper sort of sound. The 3D was there, the main points had been additionally there. They had been simply extra subdued and now not shot out from the audio system direct to my head. Slightly they stayed inside the combine (which is extra correct to the recording however much less thrilling to the ears) gently and extra naturally  introduced.

Whereas the traditional DAC was not as holographic because the DAVE, it supplied extra musicality, was extra ethereal and euphoric however by no means stepped into the muddy waters of being uninteresting or darkish. It’s fairly good and I’ve by no means heard this sort of refinement in a DAC earlier than.

I can solely think about what the TUBE DAC appears like. Wowzers.

Truthfully, the primary few hours of listening I used to be lacking the DAVE.

By the following days and week although, I used to be in love with the Traditional DAC because it was presenting the music extra as an entire, slightly than in items. It pumped in additional physique to the sound and there was a contact extra ardour and emotion popping out of the audio system. The sound was a bit extra rounded and it additionally blossomed with a contact of humanity. It was breathtaking and exquisite on the identical time. It was ethereal, but fluid and candy.

Whereas the DAVE could possibly be eery actual with some vocals and devices, the Traditional DAC was bringing in additional soul and a bigger sound. I might inform it was an ideal match to the preamp and amp, and as time went on I felt it was a significantly better match vs the DAVE inside this all Nagra setup.

The music was easy and easy with the all Nagra setup and the kicker is I used to be utilizing round 1 watt, or much less to fill my listening area. With 100 of those watts available within the Traditional Amp, it does ship the primary 10 watts in pure Class A, and I used to be utilizing just one of those watts to energy my Fleetwood Deville Audio system. The gorgeous yellow meters inform us the watts we’re utilizing in actual time. Fairly cool.

My Lifetime Audio system…The Fleetwood Deville

There was no signal of digital harshness, sibilance or stridency with the all Nagra setup in place and with the ever so barely heat leaning Deville’s, it was a match made in Heaven.

Music. That’s what I mentioned to myself. THIS IS MUSIC. It’s not making an attempt to wow me with particular results or particulars that startle me, Slightly it was impressing me with the way in which it simply reproduced any music I performed with a sweetness, scale and readability. Nagra was proving itself to be an incredible Synergistic match to the Fleetwood Deville audio system and even my Klipsch Heritage Heresy IV’s.

In different phrases, it was bringing one of the best from all audio system I connected. Dynaudio? Verify. Klipsch? Verify. Fleetwood? Verify.

After I wrote down in my notes “That is how music is meant to sound”, it hit me. 

The best way Nagra was delivering the music felt proper. It was not overly heat or darkish, it wasn’t vibrant nor did it have sizzle or siblance. It was easy however by no means crossed into that uninteresting territory. It was alive, very a lot so. It supplied fairly a little bit of refinement over the a lot decrease value Kinki EXM1 that has an identical “Swiss” sound signature.

What it was specializing in was being semi impartial but in addition delivering a easy soundstage that was simply as tall as vast. Vocals got here out into the room with physique and that holographic imaging that makes some music so involving. It was as musical and pleasing as I’ve heard. I couldn’t fault any of it with regard to efficiency. It’s good listening to a soundstage that’s vast. It’s magical listening to one that’s vast, tall and deep. The Nagra was doing this effortlessly, prefer it was constructed for this function.

After some time with Nagra I took all of it out (which was straightforward and downside free as a result of small measurement and weight) and I positioned within the Go Labs XP-12 and XA60.8 set. I saved the Traditional DAC in place. The sound modified for certain. It was softer, extra subdued, not as dynamic or impactful.

Alternatively, the Go Labs set was a shade darker but sounded very candy, open and intimate. These Class A 60 Watt amps are actually improbable. I like the Go Sound and when listening to small scale Jazz I simply soften in my seat. It’s so welcoming.

After I positioned the DAVE DAC again in with Go, the main points had been again, the dynamics had been higher and the DAVE introduced forth some exiting sounds. The Dave was an excellent match to the Go Labs gear, moreso than the Nagra traditional DAC. No query right here. The pairing of DAVE and Go Labs was good.

These are simply two totally different sounds between Go and Nagra. Each do properly with any music however I do need to say the Nagra setup of DAC, AMP and PRE impressed me extra. Bear in mind the Nagra set is greater than double the price of Go Labs and each of those manufacturers are tremendous excessive finish audio, make no mistake.

Nagra’s first devoted pre-amp, the PL-P from 1997. 

There’s something particular concerning the Nagra set and it’s not simply within the sound. Even so, I count on if one spent the identical quantity on Go Labs the sound can be simply as magical for certain. You’ll simply need to cope with the scale and weight. I’d count on a Go Labs XP-32 and X250.8 can be up there with the Nagra in sound. This could set one again round $30k, or $8k lower than the Nagra Pre and Amp. This set would additionally weigh in at over 150lbs vs 50lbs for the Nagra.

The particular factor about Nagra is the scale, design, low weight, components high quality, fame of the model, longevity and the way in which you simply know when listening that you’ve got reached the highest of the mountain. As I sat and listened I wrote down “It doesn’t get higher than this” and I imply that. “Nobody else gives you all of this, even in the event you pay extra”. “All of This” means magnificence, design, sound, components high quality, simplicity and sound high quality.

Most HiFi on this value vary is big, heavy, and can deliver solely a small distinction within the taste of sound.

I’ve by no means seen small, lighter weight HiFi that truly carried out like this. Nagra is very like the Leica Digicam of HiFi. Costly however stunning and with a heritage. Nagra’s foremost declare to fame was with their previous reel to reel recorders and so they date again to the 1950’s. They’re identified for high quality, reliability and design.

Leica is understood for his or her small measurement, design, and ease. Leica is also up there within the greater priced class for cameras and oe can count on to pay properly over $20k for a Leica M11 and a few Leica M lenses.

Leica = Small, Mild, Lovely in seems and efficiency. Nagra = Small, Mild, Lovely in seems and efficiency.

The Nagra Traditional INTEGRATED. One Field, no tubes, $20k. 

When evaluating the Nagra Traditional set I mentioned to myself “If I owned this set it could be buried with me”. There may be nowhere else I might wish to go, and that’s saying lots. With so many superb HiFi manufacturers on the market I’ve discovered some I like. Go Labs is without doubt one of the manufacturers I contemplate lifetime manufacturers. Nagra is yet one more.

Fleetwood Sound is doing a little improbable issues with audio system and even furnishings for our audio gear (I hear they are going to be doing electronics quickly). All very particular with regard to construct, delight of possession, high quality and sound. Then we’ve got Luxman who’s one other favourite model for the way in which their gear seems and sounds.

It has solely taken me 35 years in HiFi to find these items ; )

Going up the Nagra Ladder. Be ready to pay. I truly desire the design of the Traditional line to their way more expensive HD line.

I perceive I’m writing about loopy gear right here that isn’t accessible to everybody. One factor I’ll say to all of us who can’t deliver themselves to spend this sort of money on audio? You would not have to. I might say that in order for you a stable system that sounds beautiful and affords up an enormous heaping serving of true excessive finish sound you are able to do that for a lot a lot much less.

Even so, there are a few of you on the market who wish to hold climbing the mountain of efficiency inside your audio programs. If you’re one among these passionate music lovers and you haven’t heard Nagra, I extremely suggest you give them a pay attention.

If you’re in Phoenix AZ, AZ HiFi carries Nagra and has them on demo of their reference system. You possibly can even hear the Fleetwood Deville’s there ; ) Should you cease in, say Hey to Glen and Invoice for me!

Is Nagra Value The Price?

So did I uncover if Nagra is value it? Properly, the reply to that isn’t minimize and dry. All of it is dependent upon your love of audio, your ardour for it, your checking account or credit score line and your needs on the subject of sound.

Should you worth the title in a model, Nagra is up there close to the highest of the audio heap.

Should you worth construct high quality and precision design, Nagra is up there on the high.

Should you worth simplicity, longevity and rock stable dependability, Nagra is up there with one of the best.

When you’ve got the funds to have the ability to get into Nagra, they’re a should audition.

If you wish to finish your audio search as soon as and for all, Nagra can assist you do that.

If you would like sound that matches the value, look, and construct…properly, Nagra delivers that as properly.

I might enterprise to guess I’ve misplaced extra money over the past 35 years in HiFi audio than what these three Nagra items would value me on the USED market right now.

Conclusion

The three items I’ve right here weren’t despatched to me by Nagra to evaluation. Slightly, I purchased all of them used to guage from TMRAUDIO.COM, one of the best place on earth to purchase prime quality used HiFi. Critically. These Nagra items had been about half the price of new from TMR and so they even examine, {photograph} and check all of the gear they absorb to promote. In addition they have a return interval and guarantee as properly.

I had 15 days to test them out and if they didn’t ship I might return them for a full refund.

At half value, these items are 100% value it if you’re a passionate audiophile with the funds and nerve to leap. New is value it in the event you can actually afford it and desire a full manufacturing unit guarantee and the satisfaction of proudly owning “new” however on the new value there are numerous different choices on the market to discover.

These music makers are certainly particular in some ways. They’re distinctive and they’re extraordinarily uncommon on the used market. They keep worth very properly in the event you purchase used. My items are all 9/10 situation, and carry out and look as new. I now really feel like I bought a deal however after I bought I used to be sweating. I wished to have the ability to evaluate these items to Go Labs, Kinki, Naim and some others to see if they’re the true deal or simply made for the wealthy.

I’ve heard nice issues concerning the Traditional INT. The Built-in from Nagra. Small, candy, straightforward. 

Over the past yr I’ve saved my eye out for used Nagra, to meet that curiosity I’ve had ceaselessly concerning the model. These traditional line items nearly by no means popped up. Those that purchase Nagra often hold them for long run and improve when Nagra releases new fashions. That proper there tells you an terrible lot.

The sound signature is clear, clear however with heat as properly. It’s ethereal, intimate and actual. It’s very large and 3D. The sound delivers the whole lot one might need in a excessive finish system however remember the sound could be very clear, very clear, very noise free and could also be totally different from what you might be used to. An audition or trial is at all times 100% really helpful.

Make no mistake, you might be additionally paying for the gear to be made in Switzerland, the title, the heritage, the design, the components high quality. Very similar to a Leica Digicam that almost all photographers really feel is overpriced. Even so, you do get one thing from a Leica you can not get from a Sony, Canon or Nikon. I ought to know as I’ve been testing cameras from all manufacturers for 15 years.

Satisfaction of possession simplicity, model and small measurement.

As for audio gear, sure you will get gear that sounds as candy (however totally different) for much less, I’m certain. However you’ll not get the seems, measurement, weight, model AND the sound from others.

With Nagra the music has simply the correct amount of physique and mid bass presence although some could really feel it’s a tad shy on this space, particularly if you’re used to large faux booming bass. The treble is silky but prolonged. With the traditional DAC the sound is easy and hash free with a heat and fullness that’s pleasing to the ear.

The soundstage impresses with width, depth and peak and imaging is world class, if not gentler over another tremendous detailed choices (such because the DAVE).

It’s as near that good musical presentation that I’ve heard, regardless of the price. Nagra is finish sport for 95% of those that will take the leap and now I perceive why.

Costly however stunning. Timeless. Traditional.

Yet one more factor. Anytime I take heed to the Nagra it takes about 45 minutes for the sound to get to it’s greatest. I feel it’s a category A factor because the Go Labs gear is similar. The primary 45 the sound could also be a contact skinny and barely gray. After 45 minutes it opens up into a large stage, will get hotter and far larger. You possibly can hear this enchancment in actual time and it’s fairly cool.

I prefer to activate the system on Friday evening and depart it on by way of the weekend after I pay attention A LOT. I do flip the preamp off although, because it has tubes.

If you would like some stunning gear for much less, made within the USA..see THIS SETUP. Although in sound, construct, components, and design it doesn’t and won’t match the Nagra. Even so, improbable high quality correct HiFi gear for the cash. 

You possibly can see extra of the Nagra choices together with extra particulars concerning the traditional line at Nagra.com. 

LISTENING NOTES…

Listening to Gabor Szabo’s “Someplace I Belong” on his 1969 album confirmed me the delicacy and musicality of the Nagra gear. It’s a stunning monitor with a guitar instrumental, drums, and it additionally has a pleasant heat and welcoming sound with the Nagra at work. It’s  a full sound with particulars and a particular treble efficiency that elevates the sound from the heat.

There may be 3 dimensions right here as properly, with light but pure imaging efficiency. The sound is beautiful, pretty and alluring. Nagra manages to do the main points with out sounding overly detailed. There are reverb decays and only a stunning sound to this whole album recorded in 1969. It’s about as good for these ears because it will get for a recording reminiscent of this.


 

Sharon Van Etten singing Femme Fatale is a haunting pay attention on the Go Labs gear. She is in my room with the Kinki Studios EXM1. With the Nagra it’s a mixture of each. It’s haunting, stunning and composed. This music has layers of sounds, music and voice.

The Nagra setup offers a wealthy, nearly lush presentation of this music. It highlights the subtleties and the shadings of each single sound and unwraps the digital bits by way of the Traditional DAC in a supremely musical and hotter leaning manner.

After I swap within the Chord DAVE DAC I get extra vitality and separation of all of those layers. It’s not as musical however has extra wow issue certainly. The factor is, the extra musical items at all times wins in the long term for me. The Traditional is gorgeous.


It’s onerous to be human from Lawrence Rothman and Marissa Nadler affords up a dreamy and ethereal presentation. It’s sound can differ from system to system however when the whole lot is dialed in proper it ought to sound clear but full with vocals that sound candy and big.

With the Nagra set the imaging is so pure and actual it’s stunning. Mid music the soundstage expands much more and we’re handled to a beautiful wall of music and devices that we will hear clearly. Haunting vocals cling within the again after which come ahead. With the Chord DAVE within the system this music elevates with extra separation of particulars.

It additionally loses a number of the physique and heat that the traditional DAC brings to the desk. I like each shows however can see the longevity within the Traditional DAC because it simply sounds so pure, actual and musical.



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