Nagra Debuts its New Reference Anniversary Turntable/Tonearm Record Playback System

Scott Naylor

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Mar 19, 2021
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On the Nagra the tape machine-like belt path is interesting. (I don't understand the reason for it, but it is interesting.)

The suspension pods -- springs positioned in thick fluid -- remind me of the suspension pods of the early Basis Audio turntables.
Mr. Resnick -

An oversimplification of the Nagra belt path and its engineering principles, but the additional loops, or “wrap angles”, provide more friction surface to control the belt(s) movement. DasguhtOhr made mention of these concepts in post #18. I suspect he is much more qualified to explain than I, and might be willing to shed light on the subject?
 
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Mike Lavigne

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Mr. Resnick -

An oversimplification of the Nagra belt path and it’s engineering principles, but the additional loops, or “wrap angles”, provide more friction surface to control the belt(s) movement. DasguhtOhr made mention of these concepts in post #18. I suspect he is much more qualified to explain than I, and might be willing to shed light on the subject?
a single motor and single hub with longer open belt travel might transfer less noise than the Nagra design, but maybe the speed and dynamics are not the same either. i'm not an engineer, just guessing about trade-offs. lots of variables will be involved. two motors is not a choice often made, for whatever reasons.

i've owned a pristine Nagra IV-S and Nagra T, they are works of art, and fully appreciate Nagra's capabilities. i applaud that they are doing this.
 

rando

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Sep 22, 2019
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Could be the TT market is too ripe for someone capable of production to resist a short run - parts, service, sales - as means to place an innovative note in their company year.

This is one for the archetypal smooth jazz in homebound luxury DIY'er. Delightful, it's yours - and a delight it will be to all of your's. :)
 

spiritofmusic

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IMHO the fact that our imagination or experience is limited by our biases or preferences is not a justification for such relative cost valuation in an extremely subjective hobby.

You seem to consider that a different presentation is a secondary aspect in the high-end. Not my opinion, but I respect yours. A pity that you consider that others own expensive equipment for pride of ownership and for being the "main man on the block" - after such comment I have nothing to add.
You're taking me way too seriously. But if you don't think there's maximum status to be derived from this acquisition, and the proverbial t-shirt, beyond any superior SQ considerations, that's fine as well.
 

jfrech

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My dealer is off to Switzerland today. I think he is seriously thinking of buying a demo unit. I am sure he'll let me know more info soon, especially what he thinks of the sound. We both have Grand Prix Monaco 2.0's today.

My dealer got stuck in UK customs on a connecting flight from the US. Switzerland shut down all UK arrivals yesterday, including in transits. So no Nagra Turntable preview....
 

spiritofmusic

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That little virus has a LOT to answer for...
 

CKKeung

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The following "open box" and setting up youtube was together made by Hiendy.com, the most popular hiend audio website and Forthwise Ltd., the Nagra official dealer in Hong Kong.
Enjoy!

 

Audiophile Bill

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The following "open box" and setting up youtube was together made by Hiendy.com, the most popular hiend audio website and Forthwise Ltd., the Nagra official dealer in Hong Kong.
Enjoy!


Beautiful machining and build from Nagra. I can’t help feeling that there can be a better solution to suspension than 4 oil damped springs - I am sure they are effective but was expecting passive or active pneumatic or air bearing type approach. Not to say the oil damped springs can’t work well but it is a $200k TT I think.
 

spiritofmusic

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Those springs remind me of my £2k Michell Orbe. Even I realised they were limited and replaced w O-Rings.
 
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Audiophile Bill

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Those springs remind me of my £2k Michell Orbe. Even I realised they were limited and replaced w O-Rings.

Marc - it is likely that the springs as implemented here as indeed very effective at what they do just that there are even better solutions for isolation available such as those for electron microscopy whether passive or active.
High end pricing is madness anyway so I don’t even want to comment on that now lol.
 

TLi

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May 27, 2016
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i was in the dealer showroom when Reference Anniversary was installed. Although not able to listen to it careful since it was not fully setup, I had an idea about its make and sound.

This turntable is beautifully made, typical Swiss product. Every line and angle is accurate and precised. The edge is a little too sharp, one can accidentally cut his hand if one is not careful.

The platter top is clear acrylic. There is no platter mat, of course, one can add whatever he wants.

It comes with a 10.5 inch unipivot tonearm. There is no provision for antiskate and azimuth adjustment. The oil cup for unipivot joint is exposed, ie without any cover. With time, dust will gather into the cup and mixed with the damping oil. Oil cup has to be cleaned out regularly and change to new oil, just like a motor vehicle.

The spring loaded suspension has its limitation as mentioned above by other members. The isolation will be affected by the amount of damping oil. In a way, it can be tuned to the room and personal preference.

Finally the sound has a typical Nagra characteristic, ie detailed and smooth. It can be a little too plain to some.

My initial impression is not a bad turntable at all, but seems to be a little overpriced. There are many competitors in the market with similar price point. WhatsApp Image 2021-12-31 at 3.15.45 PM.jpeg
 

XV-1

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we will find out. you also have the Wilson Benesch GMT debuting in early 22', ranging from $150k--$300k-ish depending on options.


or more current info here....


and likely there are others who view the $175k-$200k+ tt market as where to be. a good time to love vinyl. it will be interesting to see who actually brings more tech and performance, verses more bling and complication. making a turntable sound exceptional is not a given with a high price. it might be just different, or colored, or not lively and human sounding.

and neither of these 2 have vacuum hold-down, or air bearings, or linear tracking. are those important?

IMO they are not offered on these tables as they do not know how to make them effectively from an engineering pov and how to seamlessly incorporate them into a turntable / tonearm.
 

BruceD

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we will find out. you also have the Wilson Benesch GMT debuting in early 22', ranging from $150k--$300k-ish depending on options.

URL unfurl="true"]https://nirvanasound.com/product/wilson-benesch-gmt-one-system-turntable/[/URL]

and likely there are others who view the $175k-$200k+ tt market as where to be. a good time to love vinyl. it will be interesting to see who actually brings more tech and performance, verses more bling and complication. making a turntable sound exceptional is not a given with a high price. it might be just different, or colored, or not lively and human sounding.

and neither of these 2 have vacuum hold-down, or air bearings, or linear tracking. are those important?

Here is a more detailed Pic of the WB Table. I do agree the finish on the Nagra looks absolutely first rate:)!

BruceD
WB Turntable.jpg
 

No Regrets

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On the Nagra the tape machine-like belt path is interesting. (I don't understand the reason for it, but it is interesting.)

The suspension pods -- springs positioned in thick fluid -- remind me of the suspension pods of the early Basis Audio turntables.
I could be wrong, but I don't think the "... tape machine-like belt path..." that Nagra is currently using is anything new. If I'm not mistaken, years ago (around 2009 iirc) Frank Schroeder designed a turntable for Artemis Labs, called the Artemis SA-1 which used a very similar belt drive design made of magnetic tape for the drive to eliminate elasticity, guarantee sample-to-sample thickness, and to ensure consistent speed transfer; with an adjustable tensioner placed extremely close to the platter to minimize side-thrust and prevent slippage. Granted, Nagra appears to be using two, one on each side of the platter, but the basic concept seems to be very similar to me.

1642083376248.png

The other in-common theme Nagra appears to be following is that they are using a Unipivot designed tonearm. The Artemis SA-1was often paired with Frank Schroeder's DPS arm, which if I remember correctly is a variant of the Unipivot design.

Please don't misunderstand me.... I'm not suggesting that both of these tables are the same or will perform the same. I am just noticing that the belt drive system being used has what appears to be some similarities and that the basic concept is not necessarily new.

Best wishes,
Don
 

DasguteOhr

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Sep 26, 2013
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I could be wrong, but I don't think the "... tape machine-like belt path..." that Nagra is currently using is anything new. If I'm not mistaken, years ago (around 2009 iirc) Frank Schroeder designed a turntable for Artemis Labs, called the Artemis SA-1 which used a very similar belt drive design made of magnetic tape for the drive to eliminate elasticity, guarantee sample-to-sample thickness, and to ensure consistent speed transfer; with an adjustable tensioner placed extremely close to the platter to minimize side-thrust and prevent slippage. Granted, Nagra appears to be using two, one on each side of the platter, but the basic concept seems to be very similar to me.

View attachment 87984

The other in-common theme Nagra appears to be following is that they are using a Unipivot designed tonearm. The Artemis SA-1was often paired with Frank Schroeder's DPS arm, which if I remember correctly is a variant of the Unipivot design.

Please don't misunderstand me.... I'm not suggesting that both of these tables are the same or will perform the same. I am just noticing that the belt drive system being used has what appears to be some similarities and that the basic concept is not necessarily new.

Best wishes,
Don
For the first time there is no stretching effect(slip&dip) like with a belt, secondly, the more area the platter wraps around, the better the frictional connection between the motor and platter very accurate speed.
The deflection near the turntable ensures that the tape does not flutter or tear. a friend build his diy turntable same princip Otto Geraffel 052.JPG
 
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Lagonda

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Rainer uses the same belt tensioner on his Derrenville turntable ! :) B60E28F5-457A-4C47-A36B-441B1D204296.jpeg
 

morricab

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The following "open box" and setting up youtube was together made by Hiendy.com, the most popular hiend audio website and Forthwise Ltd., the Nagra official dealer in Hong Kong.
Enjoy!

Nothing at all new in this design to justify the price. The motors are probably from Maxon (another Swiss company), springs and oil suspension...very 20th Century, belt drive with dual motors, many out there... Non-metallic, non-glass platter (either crystal or plastic...not clear), many different attempts. Perimeter weighting on the platter? My Yamaha from the 80s has that...

It's like they tried to take what they thought were best practice and combined it together except it is highly debatable about if those ideas are best practice. Suspension, for example: Couldn't it be done better with magnets or air? Air bearing for the platter? Direct drive or idler drive instead of belt?

Maybe it sounds good but will it be better than a 50K TT that has just as much (or more) tech and care in building?
 

adrianywu

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Nov 15, 2021
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I was a bit puzzled when Nagra announced this limited edition TT. Kind of the same reaction when I heard Thorens was going to release a new tape deck. I wrote to Gunter Kürten asking him why he was introducing a tape deck when he should be releasing an updated TD124; he told me to wait for more news.... This time, I wrote to my contact at Nagra, asking him why the company spent all this time and effort to make something that many other companies with more experience and expertise (in TT design) were already doing, when they could easily design and build a state of the art tape machine. He told me to wait for more news........
 

jfrech

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I was a bit puzzled when Nagra announced this limited edition TT. Kind of the same reaction when I heard Thorens was going to release a new tape deck. I wrote to Gunter Kürten asking him why he was introducing a tape deck when he should be releasing an updated TD124; he told me to wait for more news.... This time, I wrote to my contact at Nagra, asking him why the company spent all this time and effort to make something that many other companies with more experience and expertise (in TT design) were already doing, when they could easily design and build a state of the art tape machine. He told me to wait for more news........
So maybe this is a statement table and something more affordable with 90% of the performance at a lower price point? Is that how you read his reply? I know they have their HD Phono stage nearing completion, I wonder what else they are working on?
 

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