New Nagra HD DAC
Feb 11, 2021 at 6:28 PM Post #706 of 783

Music2move

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Hi, With a prior HD DAC , the headphone output was at least equal or smoother/less sibilant than Chord DAVE through Utopia, HD 800. Now have Tube DAC with Classic PSU, same musical natural clarity through Utopia via DHC Peptide type 4 cable, source quality equal from Antipodes DX gen3/Roon/Tidal and downloads, or from EMM Labs V3 SACD player.., its a great headphone output and I cannot distinguish differences in music from Nagra Classic Preamp headphone output

Hope that helps your context/comparison. Cheers M2m
 
Feb 11, 2021 at 6:36 PM Post #707 of 783

SurgeTO

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Hi, With a prior HD DAC , the headphone output was at least equal or smoother/less sibilant than Chord DAVE through Utopia, HD 800. Now have Tube DAC with Classic PSU, same musical natural clarity through Utopia via DHC Peptide type 4 cable, source quality equal from Antipodes DX gen3/Roon/Tidal and downloads, or from EMM Labs V3 SACD player.., its a great headphone output and I cannot distinguish differences in music from Nagra Classic Preamp headphone output

Hope that helps your context/comparison. Cheers M2m

M2m, since I’m new to Nagra and the Tube DAC, can you tell me if yours shipped with:
- ~70 hours on the usage timer
- does your volume numbers dial move just a bit when you change the volume? On mine, the dial with the volume/dB numbers moves just a bit - there‘s a bit of play, and the volume knob contacts the dial. It’s not a big deal... just curious.
- does it support MQA?
- my firmware is 1.05 - can’t find anything on Nagra’s site that mentions firmware and downloads, which is odd given that the DAC is fully reprogrammable (PS Audio markets this like crazy in their DirectStream DAC).

Thank you!
 
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Feb 11, 2021 at 6:37 PM Post #708 of 783

bmichels

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Hi, With a prior HD DAC , the headphone output was at least equal or smoother/less sibilant than Chord DAVE through Utopia, HD 800. Now have Tube DAC with Classic PSU, same musical natural clarity through Utopia via DHC Peptide type 4 cable, source quality equal from Antipodes DX gen3/Roon/Tidal and downloads, or from EMM Labs V3 SACD player.., its a great headphone output and I cannot distinguish differences in music from Nagra Classic Preamp headphone output

Hope that helps your context/comparison. Cheers M2m
thanks for the feed back
 
Feb 11, 2021 at 6:45 PM Post #709 of 783

Music2move

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Hi SurgeTO,
Bought from dealer who had it as Demo for short while: only 50 hours on tubes
No shift volume numbers and no rub of dial against anything
Not MQA , reads max Tidal at 96kHz resolution
Inhale software version 1.02

Happy listening , M2m
 
Feb 11, 2021 at 6:59 PM Post #711 of 783

SurgeTO

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Hi SurgeTO,
Bought from dealer who had it as Demo for short while: only 50 hours on tubes
No shift volume numbers and no rub of dial against anything
Not MQA , reads max Tidal at 96kHz resolution
Inhale software version 1.02

Happy listening , M2m

Thanks!

You may want to update to version 1.05; although I don’t know what changes were made.
 
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Feb 13, 2021 at 7:35 PM Post #712 of 783

SurgeTO

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A word of caution: if you don’t want to, or can‘t spend the money on a Nagra DAC, do not listen to one!
On my brand new unit, 70 hours, played a violin concerto (48K FLAC) and my jaw dropped! I have NEVER heard a violin sound like this on digital.
Keep in mind, my father is a professional violinist, and I grew up watching and hearing him play in concerts and at home.
And my main system consists of 6 ft tall custom field coil horns... the midrange is one driver that plays cleanly from 300 - 15000 Hz. So I know how a violin should sound!

My PS Audio Directstream DAC is now going to be sold, as it’s pathetic in comparison to the Nagra.

BTW, I have only listened to the Nagra with the stock power supplies, a cheap USB cord from my MacBook Pro running Roon, and the Fostex Stellia (with the stock cable)!
 
Feb 13, 2021 at 7:50 PM Post #713 of 783

Ross

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A word of caution: if you don’t want to, or can‘t spend the money on a Nagra DAC, do not listen to one!
On my brand new unit, 70 hours, played a violin concerto (48K FLAC) and my jaw dropped! I have NEVER heard a violin sound like this on digital.
Keep in mind, my father is a professional violinist, and I grew up watching and hearing him play in concerts and at home.
And my main system consists of 6 ft tall custom field coil horns... the midrange is one driver that plays cleanly from 300 - 15000 Hz. So I know how a violin should sound!

My PS Audio Directstream DAC is now going to be sold, as it’s pathetic in comparison to the Nagra.

BTW, I have only listened to the Nagra with the stock power supplies, a cheap USB cord from my MacBook Pro running Roon, and the Fostex Stellia (with the stock cable)!
I agree, I came to the Nagra DAC from a Chord DAVE/Blu 2, and then a Lumin X1. I thought the DCS Bartok would be my next DAC, but I borrowed one from a dealer for a week and it did not work for me. In fact, within a few minutes I knew I couldn't live with it. Great detail, startlingly realistic in some ways, but completely un-musical and unengaging.

When I returned the Bartok the dealer had a traded Nagra HD Dac which he let me take home for a week, even though I didn't know anything about it and the dealer didn't seem all that enthusiastic about it. Within a few minutes, I knew this was the one. It didn't have the forensic detail of the DAVE or the Bartok, but so musical and colourful, while still being tonally neutral. It had natural speed and dynamics - which most dacs struggle with, particularly R2R dacs - and a full, realistic sense of tone. It sounded a bit smaller than the Bartok, but so much more engaging. And this was with the stock ACPSII power supply. I then bought the Classic PSU which made a very substantial difference, and have now sent my HD Dac off to be upgraded to Tube Dac status.
 
Feb 13, 2021 at 9:06 PM Post #714 of 783

Music2move

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I agree, I came to the Nagra DAC from a Chord DAVE/Blu 2, and then a Lumin X1. I thought the DCS Bartok would be my next DAC, but I borrowed one from a dealer for a week and it did not work for me. In fact, within a few minutes I knew I couldn't live with it. Great detail, startlingly realistic in some ways, but completely un-musical and unengaging.

When I returned the Bartok the dealer had a traded Nagra HD Dac which he let me take home for a week, even though I didn't know anything about it and the dealer didn't seem all that enthusiastic about it. Within a few minutes, I knew this was the one. It didn't have the forensic detail of the DAVE or the Bartok, but so musical and colourful, while still being tonally neutral. It had natural speed and dynamics - which most dacs struggle with, particularly R2R dacs - and a full, realistic sense of tone. It sounded a bit smaller than the Bartok, but so much more engaging. And this was with the stock ACPSII power supply. I then bought the Classic PSU which made a very substantial difference, and have now sent my HD Dac off to be upgraded to Tube Dac status.
Ross, congratulations, I hope it’s not too long before your upgrade arrives back safe and SOUND ( sorry re pun ), even direct from MacBook Pro Retina, Tidal especially Masters sounds great thruTube DAC,

Cheers M2m
 
Feb 13, 2021 at 11:35 PM Post #715 of 783

Ross

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Thanks, Mark. I'm very keen to get it back!
 
Feb 18, 2021 at 11:54 AM Post #716 of 783

SurgeTO

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End game bedside system complete!
Bedside System.jpg
 
Feb 20, 2021 at 4:23 AM Post #717 of 783

bmichels

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congratulation. This is indeed a relatively small set-up.... wifeapproved I guess...

Now NAGRA must come with a Music server to match this Tube DAC. Using a PC/MAc is not the best solution...

And I hope this NAGRA server that will finaly make use of the "Nagra Link" implemented in the Tube DAC.

PS : NICE Cable ! DHC ? How well does it upgrade the sound compared to the stock cable ?
 
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Feb 20, 2021 at 9:05 AM Post #718 of 783

SurgeTO

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congratulation. This is indeed a relatively small set-up.... wifeapproved I guess...

Now NAGRA must come with a Music server to match this Tube DAC. Using a PC/MAc is not the best solution...

And I hope this NAGRA server that will finaly make use of the "Nagra Link" implemented in the Tube DAC.

PS : NICE Cable ! DHC ? How well does it upgrade the sound compared to the stock cable ?

Thanks! Yes, that‘s a DHC Prion4. It’s too soon to report on how it changes the sound compared to the stock cables. I’ll wait until there’s at least 200 hours on the entire system.

The Tube DAC sound was incredible out of the box (70 hours when it shipped), but now at about 90-100 total hours, the sound kind of sucks, to be honest. Treble is gone, everything is “flatter”, but perhaps more low end. I understand it will change during the break-in; but I’ve never experienced such a dramatic change with other equipment.
 
Feb 20, 2021 at 9:36 AM Post #719 of 783

KHADIS

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Thanks! Yes, that‘s a DHC Prion4. It’s too soon to report on how it changes the sound compared to the stock cables. I’ll wait until there’s at least 200 hours on the entire system.

The Tube DAC sound was incredible out of the box (70 hours when it shipped), but now at about 90-100 total hours, the sound kind of sucks, to be honest. Treble is gone, everything is “flatter”, but perhaps more low end. I understand it will change during the break-in; but I’ve never experienced such a dramatic change with other equipment.
IMG_4422.jpg

Have fun with you DAC
 
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Feb 20, 2021 at 10:25 AM Post #720 of 783

bmichels

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Thanks! Yes, that‘s a DHC Prion4. It’s too soon to report on how it changes the sound compared to the stock cables. I’ll wait until there’s at least 200 hours on the entire system.

The Tube DAC sound was incredible out of the box (70 hours when it shipped), but now at about 90-100 total hours, the sound kind of sucks, to be honest. Treble is gone, everything is “flatter”, but perhaps more low end. I understand it will change during the break-in; but I’ve never experienced such a dramatic change with other equipment.

I read also that during break-in, there is high and low, but your experience is quite extreme. I hope it will change for the good.
BTW: do you also have the Classic PSU power supply ? this one also needs break-in.
 

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