Nagra HD Pre Amp arrived today

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
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Austin
#1
Matches my Nagra HD amps. My dealer ran it in for 2-3 days while I was traveling on business.

It's replacing a Robert Koda K-10, which is one of the worlds best pre amps. I've only listened casually for 2-3 hours. I'll post more as it gets some time of the clock...

IMG_0075 (1).jpg
 

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awsmone

Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,181
82
48
Canberra Australia
#2
Wow gorgeous love the footers, rack

B interesting how it compares to Koda which is awesome pre

One would expect a synergy with the HD amps

Is it SS or toobs?

PS and off blog subject since u have monaco like me, how do u find the VPS ?
 
May 30, 2010
15,508
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Portugal
#3
Congratulations John - I am eager to listen from you!
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
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Austin
#4
Wow gorgeous love the footers, rack

B interesting how it compares to Koda which is awesome pre

One would expect a synergy with the HD amps

Is it SS or toobs?

PS and off blog subject since u have monaco like me, how do u find the VPS ?
I LOVE the Nagra VPS. I have it on a Nagra VFS platform and a Nagra MPS for the power now (battery option). The Nagra VPS is my oldest component. I'd have to check...but like 9 years running now. I've had about a 1/2 dozen other phono stages come in for demo. Some beat it hear and there but not as a whole. The colors, textures and emotional engagement are amazing...

Nagra HD Pre amp is tubed with a solid state power supply (box at bottom)

PS, I'll upgrade my Monaco next to 2.0 (I have a 1.0 vs your 1.5) My dealer had his 1.5 updated and it's not subtle...
PS2, your Halcro DM8 doesn't have a phono right? I heard a Halcro DM10 years...and I swear one of the very best phono stages I've ever heard...not sure if you can update it
 

gshelley

Member Sponsor
Jan 10, 2011
48
6
8
Austin, TX
#5
John, very interesting change for you moving from the Koda. Congrats.
Very interested to learn more about your impressions on how the two compare.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,321
344
83
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#6
Congrats!
I've spent quite a bit of time in the Nagra room at CES, where this preamp (as well as the HD amps) were being played with YG Acoustics Sonja 2.2. Best sound of the whole show, no doubt!


cheers,
alex
 

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
442
136
43
#7
Wow. Congrats. I used to have the PLL and VPS. Great pieces of kit. What is the MSRP of the HD preamp if I may?

Howie
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
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38
Austin
#8
Wow. Congrats. I used to have the PLL and VPS. Great pieces of kit. What is the MSRP of the HD preamp if I may?

Howie
I used to own the PLL too ! I wish I never sold it and kept it for a 2nd system one day. Plus I've read the Nagra MPS really super charges it (similar to how it helped my VPS) US list price is "gulp" $59,500. Upon first listen to the HD pre you know why they are commanding such a high price.
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
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Austin
#9
John, very interesting change for you moving from the Koda. Congrats.
Very interested to learn more about your impressions on how the two compare.
Hi Gayle, hope you're doing well and happy new year. From the start, it's presenting more information - in terms of more energy/dynamics, spacial context, and resolution all with a natural and relaxed character. The instruments just sound more like a live event. All this coming from the Koda which is stellar in it's own right. Let's get together soon, I haven't heard Arnie's CH Precision yet either, need to make the time...
 

howiebrou

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
442
136
43
#10
I used to own the PLL too ! I wish I never sold it and kept it for a 2nd system one day. Plus I've read the Nagra MPS really super charges it (similar to how it helped my VPS) US list price is "gulp" $59,500. Upon first listen to the HD pre you know why they are commanding such a high price.
60k! That’s a fair whack. I must go have a listen and see what you get for that. Must be quite special.
 
May 30, 2010
15,508
716
113
Portugal
#11
Curious that I can not find the HD preamplifier on the Nagra site. Do you have the values of input and output impedance in the manual? (Yes, it is a mandatory question for Opus users ...)
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
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Austin
#12
Curious that I can not find the HD preamplifier on the Nagra site. Do you have the values of input and output impedance in the manual? (Yes, it is a mandatory question for Opus users ...)
I just looked in the manual, it's a "provisional" manual and the finished version to come later. It does not have the specs. My dealer did call Transparent who did contact Nagra on my Transparent Opus cabling. The output impedance is variable with the transformer based volume control. I think, don't quote me on this, it can vary from .4 ohms up to 80 ohms. My Koda was 75 ohms output impedance. So Transparent asked me to try it as is...then as I decide on a normal volume range they may fine tune the cable. They felt anything lower than what the cable is set at is ok, anything higher for sure needs to go back. So far I've never had the volume past 1 o'clock (-10 db on the Nagra HD Pre) so i am under the 80 Ohm max output impedance (which would be +6b on the Nagra HD Pre).

My Magnum Opus cabling from dCS to HD Pre did not have to go back. Koda was 50k Ohm input ....
 

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
1,735
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#13
If you are happy with Koda K 10,was interesting also K 15 that is in the same range of price of Nagra,even if my idea is to have same brand in top amp to have a better sinergy
 
May 30, 2010
15,508
716
113
Portugal
#14
I just looked in the manual, it's a "provisional" manual and the finished version to come later. It does not have the specs. My dealer did call Transparent who did contact Nagra on my Transparent Opus cabling. The output impedance is variable with the transformer based volume control. I think, don't quote me on this, it can vary from .4 ohms up to 80 ohms. My Koda was 75 ohms output impedance. So Transparent asked me to try it as is...then as I decide on a normal volume range they may fine tune the cable. They felt anything lower than what the cable is set at is ok, anything higher for sure needs to go back. So far I've never had the volume past 1 o'clock (-10 db on the Nagra HD Pre) so i am under the 80 Ohm max output impedance (which would be +6b on the Nagra HD Pre).

My Magnum Opus cabling from dCS to HD Pre did not have to go back. Koda was 50k Ohm input ....
Thanks. Fortunately the Vivaldi has several output levels, you will be able to easily optimize the best range in the preamplifier for your system. How many steps do you have in the preamplifier volume?

BTW, I found this picture of a sketch of the footers of your new preamplifier during the design project - really impressive.
 

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jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
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38
Austin
#15
If you are happy with Koda K 10,was interesting also K 15 that is in the same range of price of Nagra,even if my idea is to have same brand in top amp to have a better sinergy
I thought long and hard about the K-15ex. Someone in Texas owns a K-15 and had it recently upgraded to the EX version. Also the new Koda phono stage was quite intriguing. After my dealer heard a prototype HD preamp I took the plunge on the HD Pre. I'll miss the Koda, it was stellar in every way. My dealer has it on trade if anyone wants to try or buy it...

The potential for synergy gains seems to have been realized now that the HD pre has been playing for a few days. It's quite special
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
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38
Austin
#16
Thanks. Fortunately the Vivaldi has several output levels, you will be able to easily optimize the best range in the preamplifier for your system. How many steps do you have in the preamplifier volume?

BTW, I found this picture of a sketch of the footers of your new preamplifier during the design project - really impressive.

The HD preamp doesn't seem to have steps. It has the traditional Nagra pots. But instead of the pots being used as a volume control the pots seem to be controlling relays that are adjusting taps on a transformer per channel. The volume seems to infinitely variable...it could just be fine steps. I'm on GUESSING at how this works based of usage and looking at the internals....However it works, it's quite stunning sound wise. The Koda had also gone to great lengths on volume control - but it was definitely stepped. Which never ever bothered me...

The footers do seem to be a engineering marvel. The have a shock absorber action to them..not a lot...The Nagra VFS also under my VPS phono stage makes a remarkable improvement. Nagra seems to know something about vibes and how it effects circuits...
 
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XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
1,901
298
83
Sydney
#17
Congrats John

The Have a pre amp must be out of this world to dislodge your Koda.

Is Nagra going to bring put a HD phono stage?
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
15
38
Austin
#18
Congrats John

The Have a pre amp must be out of this world to dislodge your Koda.

Is Nagra going to bring put a HD phono stage?
Nagra is planning to bring out a HD phono stage...I don't think they have a timeframe set yet...

And yes...even just after a few days playing time, the Nagra HD pre is quite special. It just keeps pulling me into the music...
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
15
38
Austin
#19
Curious that I can not find the HD preamplifier on the Nagra site. Do you have the values of input and output impedance in the manual? (Yes, it is a mandatory question for Opus users ...)
Micro, just found this info posted at http://www.nagraaudio-hd.com/index.html

"TUBE NOS CIRCUIT

The HDPREAMP has the best specifications ever achieved by any tube preamplifier, 160 dB of signal to noise and 5 Hz to 200kHz frequency response with perfect phase integrity. The impedance input is 50k oHm and the output impedance is 0.2 oHm so you can drive any amplifier on the market."
 
Jul 22, 2010
399
20
18
SF Bay
#20
Great news on your HD preamp. Are you running xlr or rca to the HD amps? I remember my pl-l bypassing the transformers if using rca. I'm sure the new preamp will only improve with time.
 

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