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New Nagra DAC announced at CES - list price $65,000

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#1
https://www.whathifi.com/news/nagra-hd-dac-x-aims-for-digital-perfection

Would be interesting to see how it measures on Amir's test bench. As we approach the limits of audibility in $100 DACs, what does this offer besides snake oil? I'm sure they have prioprietary engineering they claim "improves" the sound without really improving measurable results. When you get to this level of kit, your confirmation bias has to kick in hard and I'm sure you would convince yourself you hear something good...

"The new DAC features no less than 37 individual power supplies, with the main digital power supply claiming a noise level 30 times lower than the HD DAC.
The analogue section uses a dual-mono topology, updated and improved from its predecessor, while new Nagra transformers, built in the company's Switzerland factory, deliver the necessary voltage."


Would love to see a blind A/B test between this and, say, a DX3PRO.
 
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#2
Yep, saw that yesterday...:facepalm:

But let be realistic : @amirm will never get his hands on this. First and obvious reason: same price as a brand new, full option, Mercedes E Class.
Second, there is not any owner (or store) on this earth that will risk to see a potential review where this would measure the same as a 100$ Tone Board. But maybe, I'm wrong. :p

Anyway, here are the official (and unacceptably poor) tech specs of the predecessor, the HD DAC... I don't see anything stellar (or should worth 30K€):
Internal processing: 5,6 MHz, 72 bits
Compatible digital formats: PCM 24 bits up to 384 kHz, DXD, DSD x 2
Bandwidth: 5Hz to 40 kHz (+0 – 3dB)
Noise level: -128 dBr (linear)
Distortion: < 0.02% (at -20dBFS)
 
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RayDunzl

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#3
what does this offer besides snake oil?
It's Swiss.

And you could drop by CERN and pick up a few Higg's Bosons on the side were you to visit the factory to pick yours up.

Sounds like a plan to me!
 

amirm

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#7
Gosh, they ruined the one thing that was great about their products: their cool industrial design. That hodgepodge of dials, LED display, and ugly round feet shows they have completely lost their way:

 
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#9
I agree with Blumlein, for that kind of money I want atleast DSD x8192. It it well known fact that after the samplerate exceeds 69 krungavoltrons per linear hexibyte, the spontaneus quasi-modal positron emission occurs in the conductor but only if it is made from 99.9999% + pure cryo silver. This will prevent the time smearing resonance due to heterodyne electron tunneling into the 12th compacted dimension through parasitic flow that happens inside Yau Calabi manifolds.
 
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#10
In some ways, this stuff makes sense - even at that price.
Once you buy into the notion that "measurements aren't everything" you also buy into the notion that 37 individual power supplies must be a good thing (or a billion taps or a super-duper NOS DAC chip with super-duper NOS valves or whatever).
So of course this DAC must sound better than a Topping for a few hundred bucks. Once you "believe your ears" there's no reason why a DAC shouldn't cost this much
 

restorer-john

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#13
I don't think anyone in their right mind would criticise Nagra's pedigree. They have always been superbly built, excellently performing and unique looking equipment. They have stood the test of time in the pro world.

They know their market has shifted and it certainly isn't people poking around with little Chinese toy Topping products.

I put them in the same category of Accuphase. They can charge what they like as far as I am concerned.
 
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#14
I don't think anyone in their right mind would criticise Nagra's pedigree. They have always been superbly built, excellently performing and unique looking equipment. They have stood the test of time in the pro world.

They know their market has shifted and it certainly isn't people poking around with little Chinese toy Topping products.

I put them in the same category of Accuphase. They can charge what they like as far as I am concerned.
Yeah, if money is dropping from the sky, of course I dont care...
 

jasonq997

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#15
I don't think anyone in their right mind would criticise Nagra's pedigree. They have always been superbly built, excellently performing and unique looking equipment. They have stood the test of time in the pro world.

They know their market has shifted and it certainly isn't people poking around with little Chinese toy Topping products.

I put them in the same category of Accuphase. They can charge what they like as far as I am concerned.
Because those people "poking around with Chinese toy Topping products" (which even if they measure perfectly show that the user lacks class) just can't fathom the audio splendor of such an amazing product.
 
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#16
I bought two of the new Nagra DACs for my bi-amped system. I couldn't resist as the dealer offered them to me at 5% off, so they were only 123.5K. Unfortunately my three Great Danes chewed them to near bits on the second night the Nagras were in the house. To make matters worse the dogs had dragged the mangled DACs through the dog door into the back yard water feature. Carpe Diem, they say. The Japanese koi in the water feature seemed to like the DACs a lot. My kids laughed. You can't put a price on humor. My insurance would not cover the loss so I tossed them in the dumpster and got two Schiit Bi-Frost. I was looking at this new amp. What do you think? https://www.naimaudio.com/statement
 

Dialectic

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#17
This product is intended for a segment of the East Asian market within which high price is viewed as a desirable feature. There are similar market segments in other parts of the world, but the market for megabuck high-end audio gear appears to be much larger in East Asia than it is anywhere else.

Nagra's high-end audio business underwent some sort of split from the rest of the Kudelski Group a few years ago. (Sorry I can't be more specific - I cannot find a good link discussing the split.) As Amir observed with respect to industrial design, one has to wonder whether they are losing their way with hideous--and hideously expensive--products like this.
 
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#18
This will prevent the time smearing resonance due to heterodyne electron tunneling into the 12th compacted dimension...
That's certainly true for this version, but an inside source assured me that next year's model will be improved with additional power supplies. While they're admittedly inefficient, their ability to consume 1.21GW & transport you back to the original recording session is unequaled by other brands.
 

RayDunzl

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#19
"37 individual power supplies"

My whole system only has one power supply.

Tampa Electric Company now owned by Canadian Emera, though they may occasionally load-share with other utilities.
 

JJB70

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#20
A $10 Casio will tell the time faultlessly, but people will still buy a Rolex, Patek, etc.
Indeed, but watch enthusiasts admit that the time keeping accuracy of a cheap quartz or slightly more expensive radio signal receiving watch is far superior to mechanical movements and it is all about brand image, style and bragging rights. I have several quite pricey watches but the one I usually wear is modestly priced Casio G Shock which is the most accurate and the toughest. The problem with a lot of high end audio people is they can't accept it is just a status symbol and something that they just like, and try to make silly performance claims.
 
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