Na­gra HD PreamP

Australian HIFI - - SHOW REPORT -

Na­gra’s long-awaited HD Preamp made its North Amer­i­can de­but at the Rocky Moun­tain Au­dio Fest in 2017, as re­ported in the pre­vi­ous is­sue of Aus­tralian Hi-Fi Mag­a­zine, but at CES 2018 it picked up a CES In­no­va­tions Award.

The HD Preamp is a two-chas­sis af­fair, with the power sup­ply in a dif­fer­ent chas­sis and the pream­pli­fier cir­cuitry fea­tur­ing valves. The power sup­ply uses Su­per Caps and is based on Na­gra’s ‘vir­tual bat­tery’ tech­nol­ogy, which the com­pany claims ‘ pro­vides su­pe­rior re­sults com­pared to a con­ven­tional bat­tery with­out the in­con­ve­nience of deal­ing with charg­ing time and bat­tery life.’

The vol­ume con­trol on the HD Preamp uses a patent-pend­ing tech­nol­ogy that Na­gra says al­lows per­fect level match­ing, yet has a more trans­par­ent sound than if the com­pany had used a po­ten­tiome­ter or even switched re­sis­tor tech­nol­ogy. Matthieu La­tour, of Au­dio Tech­nol­ogy, which man­u­fac­tures Na­gra in Switzer­land, wasn’t giv­ing away much in­for­ma­tion be­cause of the patent ap­pli­ca­tion, but he did start to say, ‘ it’s be­cause there is no at­ten­u­a­tion of the in­put sig­nal, just an au­to­matic se­lec­tion of a tap…’ be­fore stop­ping him­self.

La­tour was more forth­com­ing about the HD Preamp’s vir­tual bat­tery tech­nol­ogy. ‘ Just as the PL-P made use of bat­ter­ies to iso­late the unit from ex­ter­nal in­ter­fer­ences, the HD Preamp’s power sup­ply uses a unique vir­tual bat­tery tech- nol­ogy,’ he said. ‘ One of the con­se­quences of this su­pe­rior sup­ply is that the noise floor level of the HD Preamp is the low­est ever mea­sured on any Na­gra prod­uct.’

Na­gra says that the de­sign of the HD Preamp started from a blank page. ‘ Ev­ery aspect and step in the de­sign process in­volved re­search to find the most el­e­gant so­lu­tion to ac­cu­rately and faith­fully con­vey the mu­sic from the source to the am­pli­fier,’ said La­tour. ‘ As a re­sult, the HD Preamp, which like the PL-P is also a tube de­sign, in­cludes sev­eral patent-pend­ing tech­nolo­gies that take the mu­sic lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to new heights. It is the per­fect part­ner for the HD DAC and HD Amp.’ As a trib­ute to Na­gra’s leg­endary recorders, the HD Preamp also fea­tures a ‘mod­u­lome­ter’, a cus­tom-made me­ter that Na­gra says is faster and more ac­cu­rate than a tra­di­tional VU me­ter and an im­prove­ment on the mod­u­lome­ter fit­ted to the orig­i­nal PL-P.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Na­gra’s Aus­tralian distrib­u­tor, Ad­vance Au­dio Aus­tralia: www.ad­vanceau­dio.com.au

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