In parallel with the Paris Audio Video Show (PAVS) at the Palais des congrès de Paris, Acoustic Gallery proposed with Nagra the presentation and the listening of the Nagra REFERENCE ANNIVERSARY turntable on a Nagra electronics system.
The Nagra REFERENCE ANNIVERSARY turntable was designed specifically for Nagra’s 70th anniversary. 4 years of work were needed to develop and produce this turntable in only 70 units. This turntable is therefore an exceptional piece where all the technological mastery of Nagra has been employed to allow the best possible rendering of vinyl records.
The Turntable is divided into two parts:
- The turntable itself with its weight of 78 kg / 172 lb
- The power supply of the turntable weighs 14.5 kg / 32 lb, which is heavier than some of our turntables!
The power supply is the energy source of this turntable , we all know the advantage of using batteries, but also its disadvantage, to offer the best possible solution Nagra uses supercapacitor based power supplies offer all the advantages of battery based power supplies, with the added advantage of accepting and delivering more energy much faster. In addition to the supercapacitor in the external power supply, the drive system has been designed to use multiple supercapacitors at the source to allow the motor to have an almost limitless supply of energy.
The turntable is built like a high precision clock, everything is perfectly adjusted. Everything is thought to make the turntable of reference, here, no gadgets, just a 4 years conception and a realization implementing the best of each part constituting the turntable.
We find :
- A platter realized in an alloy EXIUM® AM developed by the CNES (equivalent to NASA in France), 6.5 kg/14.3 lb.
- The belt system is inspired by the reel-to-reel system that Nagra has mastered for many years, with 2 brushless DC motors system.
- Qualibration and speed measurement system for optimum adjustment.
- Use of a suspended frame with spring and cylinder.
- Reference Anniversary Tonearm with Dual concentric carbon fiber tube
- The cartridge was made specifically with a diamond cut between the elliptical and microline.
More information and description of the turntable on Nagra.
The listening was realized in very good conditions, installed in a sofa in a very quiet room (unlike the conditions of the PAVS).
This point is important, because it allows, as soon as listening to the first vinyl, to appreciate the silence of the turntable. Even on the quiet passages of the music, the surface noise did not stand out, remaining at an almost inaudible level.
The first thing that stands out from the listening is the precision of the restitution. All the instruments are perfectly distinct, with a very great definition. On the orchestral formations, it is not a global sound mass which is played, but well a whole of instruments, each instrument or group of instruments are perfectly in its place, that it is the distribution from right to left, but also in depth with well defined spaces.
This capacity to separate the whole of the instruments, while preserving the coherence of the resemblance makes it possible to the orchestra to be present in front of oneself, even at the time of the crescendos, all the plans remain detailed without the least blur in the restitution.
The bottom of the spectrum is very clean, perfectly defined, without any roundness as one can hear it on certain vinyl system, the low register is precise and perfectly detailed.
We are closer to an analog master tape listening than to the vinyl as we know it (rounder and softer). Only one or two small clicks present on a vinyl reminded us that we were indeed listening to a vinyl.
An exceptional vinyl listening on an exceptional turntable, which shows tall the potential of the vinyl.