Nagra HD DAC X aims for digital perfection

Nagra has taken on a tough job - improving on the Nagra HD DAC. We heralded this ultra-high-end DAC as quite possibly the most desirable DAC we've ever tested. Yes, ever. So we were naturally pretty excited to hear the new Nagra HD DAC X on show at CES 2019. And it certainly didn't disappoint.

Forming part of a jaw-dropping system, the HD DAC X has had some fairly hefty upgrades in comparison to its predecessor. The new DAC features no less than 37 individual power supplies, with the main digital power supply claiming a noise level 30 times lower than the HD DAC.

The analogue section uses a dual-mono topology, updated and improved from its predecessor, while new Nagra transformers, built in the company's Switzerland factory, deliver the necessary voltage. In fact, all manner of special components have been custom-built for this updated DAC.

Nagra engineers have also adapted the company's newly designed vibration free stand to further lower any hint of resonances to a new level.

There was no denying the end result was one of the best rooms of music we've ever heard at CES. But with the new HD DAC X set to cost you a cool $65,000, we're maybe not surprised.


Inside the Nagra factory in Switzerland

CES 2019: news, highlights, best new products

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).