Nagra Audio has unveiled a new high-definition digital-to-analogue converter that will "reproduce the purest sound possible" – something that it claims digital audio has so far been unable to achieve.
According to the Swiss high-end hi-fi manufacturer, musical reproduction loses its "natural and true sound" in the transition between analogue and digital – despite a series of improvements over the years.
The company says, however, that the Nagra HD DAC has now bridged that gap as a result of extensive research and development and will "open the musical path to high definition".
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Andreas Koch of AKDesign worked with Nagra Audio on the digital element of the new DAC, which features circuits that use DSD 2X and claim to operate at a level 128 times greater than that of a traditional CD.
The Nagra HD DAC comes with extensive connection options, including the USB audio input that can accept a signal up to DSD 128 from a PC or Mac.
Matthieu Latour of Nagra Audio says: "A new product is considered worthy of appearing in the catalogue once it brings a true improvement in sonic reproduction and the new Nagra HD DAC reaches and surpasses this goal."
No word on pricing, though a web search suggests around €15,000. We saw the new products at Audio Lounge in London as part of a £350,000 reference system. Check out our Facebook page for pictures of the system and more Nagra kit.
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by Pete Hayman