Picked up my new power amp on Tuesday, the Nagra MSA (MOSFET Stereo Amplifier).
I had one of these when I joined the 'Wam in January 2011 but after some dalliances with Leben and Nagra valves, I'm back to my favourite amp.
It's been a long expensive road, but I've finally got my system where I want it to be after giving up valves and vinyl
The system is sounding superb now and is also a lot simpler than before when I had the SME deck, valve preamp and 845 Nagra monos. The dCS Puccini with its' digital volume control goes directly into the Nagra MSA through XLRs, then onto the Harbeths.
The VPAs were amazingly good but the MSA seems to have even more resolution and noticeably better portrayal of the acoustic space. Above all, and most importantly to me, is the rich colourful tone it has. I don't mean 'coloured', just very vibrant and nuanced.
My beloved Frank Sinatra CDs sound better than ever. When I used to have this amp a few years ago I was always amazed by how it could bring Frank to life in my room. It's uncannily holographic in a right-here, right-now sort of way. One of my main criteria is how well a system plays Sinatra and this amp delivers as good as I could hope for. (I should be moving soon and a bigger room beckons - some bigger Harbeths could be on the horizon eg. the new Monitor 30.1)
Baroque music on Channel Classics SACDs is stupidly realistic and fresh. The MSA seems to give me all the musical insight I need to fully appreciate these recordings and yet also carries everything along in a broad sweep of majestic musicality. Oh dear....nurse!
The build quality is exemplary, with the top heatsink machined from a 10kg block down to about 3.5kg and tall the switch gear and the meter are a joy to use. I love all things Nagra but this is my keeper! I promise!