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  1. #1
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Nagra MSA - my new power amp!

    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!


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagraboy View Post
    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!

    Very nice amp. Always admired the Nagra build quality and clean yet musical sound. Enjoy.
    It is nice to own a simple setup with little faffing about. Whilst I dabble in counter audio via sbt, it perpetually f's up and requires rebooting etc. Something nice about grabbing a cd and pressing play

  3. #3
    Depression Vortex kernow's Avatar
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    Can I ask what the little cloud switch is for? I read a review of this amp when I saw you talking about it before but never found out
    If you're reading a thread I've created it's probably to do with something breaking or not going to plan again.

  4. #4
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khfm865 View Post
    Very nice amp. Always admired the Nagra build quality and clean yet musical sound. Enjoy.
    It is nice to own a simple setup with little faffing about. Whilst I dabble in counter audio via sbt, it perpetually f's up and requires rebooting etc. Something nice about grabbing a cd and pressing play
    Yep, it's always simple with this setup. I'm a big collector of SACDs too, so I need a disc player. If I do go for streaming/computer audio I can use the digital inputs on the dCS - I already use one input for my Cambridge 650BD to play 24/192 DVD-As and BD. They'll be doing a software update soon to allow the Puccini to decode DSD-over-PCM from the U-clock. Right now Channel Classics DSD downloads are more expensive than the SACD version, but things are moving...

  5. #5
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kernow View Post
    Can I ask what the little cloud switch is for? I read a review of this amp when I saw you talking about it before but never found out
    There's a little toggle switch for adjusting the brightness of the light for the meter. Cloud means dimmer, sun means brighter!

  6. #6
    Depression Vortex kernow's Avatar
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    haha, amazing.
    If you're reading a thread I've created it's probably to do with something breaking or not going to plan again.

  7. #7
    Super Wammer AlanB's Avatar
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    What a cracker Greg. Now just enjoy!
    As you know I'm a big Frank man myself and I too am getting that 'in the room' and 'singing just for me' feeling with my new system. I too went down the Leben route to much disappontment. Hopefully we are both at the end of the long and winding road.
    Love to hear a Nagra someday.
    Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.
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  8. #8
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanB View Post
    What a cracker Greg. Now just enjoy!
    As you know I'm a big Frank man myself and I too am getting that 'in the room' and 'singing just for me' feeling with my new system. I too went down the Leben route to much disappontment. Hopefully we are both at the end of the long and winding road.
    Love to hear a Nagra someday.
    Hi Alan, nice to hear from you. Yes Frank is alive and well for both of us!

    Have you bought the 2012 remaster of 'The Concert Sinatra'? It's an absolute knockout.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Concert-...8918684&sr=8-2

  9. #9
    Super Wammer
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    I have a digital version of Sinatra's Sinatra and recently bought a MOFI vinyl version as well. I would be fibbing if I didn't say the vinyl had the edge. I know Nagra don't do turntables but even so....

  10. #10
    HiFi Dealer Wammer BD Audio's Avatar
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    Very nice. I really enjoy Nagra kit myself. The design is right up there imo.

  11. #11
    Deaf Wammer Tel's Avatar
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    That is some heat sink!

    An amp with a built in waffle iron
    "We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap" Kurt Vonnegut

  12. #12
    Cogito, ergo doleo. rabski's Avatar
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    I am a vinyl and valves man myself, but I have to say that I have enjoyed every bit of Nagra stuff I've ever heard. Beautifully musical and utterly stunning build quality. JVS (where is the boy, incidentally) has brought his Nagra CD to a couple of events I've been to and it's amazed everyone.

    Lovely things.
    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but Iím not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.

  13. #13
    Wammer Hornucopia's Avatar
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    I always wonder why they use a block of Ally and cut it down.
    What's the difference between casting it and cutting?
    None, I'd guess!
    First heard of Nagra -a recorder - via the Jean-Jacques Beneix film 'Diva' in early 80s.
    My favourite film, I think, still!
    Tolerance is not a Sapiens characteristic.

  14. #14
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words everyone

    Robin - I used to have the Mo-Fi LP too. It was literally jaw-dropping via my SME/V/Benz/Nagra PLP front end.

    Tel/Kevin - the funny thing is, with such a huge heat sink, it barely gets warm even after hours of use.

    Rabski - yes the Nagra CD is wonderful and I heard JVS' one at Scalford this year. I used to own the CDC with the meter and variable output and it was exquisite. But I do like SACDs so I had to make a hard decision and let it go. I still miss it when I see pics of the Nagra CD player now and then.

    Chris - cast or machined? Machined looks nicer and costs more! Definitely accounts for a few grand of the cost, I'd wager. And Diva? I've got the DVD. I love the part where he says "Don't touch that! It's Swiss, and very precise!". I screamed and clapped when I heard that line for the first time!

  15. #15
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Just a note to any Nagra fans. At the Tonbridge AudioJumble 20th Anniversary meet on Sunday 7th October, my mate Jim Creed will be putting on an exhibition of Nagra recorders. They'll all be working on the day and he's even bringing along the rare and beautiful 10 1/2 inch reel adaptor for the Nagra IV-S. See if you can make it, I'll be there as usual.

    Not sure of everything he's bringing but he told me at least this many...I'm sure there are more...

    Nagra SN
    Nagra III
    Nagra E
    Nagra 4.2L
    Nagra IV-S TC with 10.5" adaptor
    Nagra BB+
    Nagra LB
    Nagra T-Audio
    Nagra ARES C
    Beyerdynamic DT-48 to try them with.
    Last edited by Nagraboy; 29-09-2012 at 10:01 PM.

  16. #16
    Super Wammer cobbler's Avatar
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    That's a lot of Nagras ! Is there a collective noun for Nagras ?

  17. #17
    In the trade Wammer ob1's Avatar
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    love Nagra stuff myself apart from the peramid looking one, the rest that I have heard sounded great. Enjoy
    Authorized retailer for TAD Labs, Vertex AQ, Soulution Audio, Brodmann, Ikeda Cartridge, Benz micro, AMG Turntable, Ziro Audio cables, , Airtight, Thrax Audio

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  18. #18
    Registered Nagraboy (2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ob1 View Post
    love Nagra stuff myself apart from the peramid looking one, the rest that I have heard sounded great. Enjoy
    I've seen the Nagra PSA pyramid amplifier at a dealer's a few times but never heard one. I actually do like the look of it, but it's not as nicely made as the MSA by far.

  19. #19
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    The Nagra PSA pyramid is ..if you can say this for any Nagras! the bargain of their range. Its lot cheaper than the MSA and has more power at 100 watts.
    I personally think all the other classic Nagra looking pieces really look great when matched together. CDP +PPL + MSA for example.

    Once you mix and match with other equipment it doesn't look quiet right ( possibly due to Nagra small size)
    This is probably why the pyramid PSA/PMA's hasn't found as much favour with die hard Nagra fans. It just never matched up visually with the rest of range.

    Conversely thats the same reason why I actually think its the best piece of Nagra to match successfully with equipment from different manufactures it bigger and has a chameleon quality to fit in even though its such a striking shape.

    My PSA certainly matches my Wadia cd player visually much better than a MSA would. I've also seen a system with PMAs ( pyramid mono blocks) which looks great along side an Oracle cd player.
    Having said all that a Nagra CDC matched with a pair of MSA would be my dream set up . But much to expensive for me!
    Last edited by P.C.; 30-09-2012 at 01:19 PM.

  20. #20
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    BTW Greg, why did you give up on the vinyl? Seems you had an excellent rig!

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