Nagra Debuts its New Reference Anniversary Turntable/Tonearm Record Playback System

Romanel, Switzerland – Wednesday 24th November 2021—Nagra celebrates 70 years with a limited edition Reference Anniversary Turntable. According to the press release, the new turntable is the result of four year’s worth of R&D by a team of designers and engineers in the fields of applied physics, mechanical and electronic engineering and material science.

This debut project is but “the first step” in what Nagra says is “a return to our legacy of analog mechanical reproduction”, which will be followed by more projects to be announced in 2022.

Describing the turntable as “a product for life” that can be passed down from one generation to the next and not subject to obsolescence as is the case in the digital domain, the company will manufacture but 70 units, each of which will include an “in home” set up and “dial in” by Nagra factory specialists as well as a VIP tour of the Nagra factory and exclusive accessories.

The main features of the Nagra Reference Anniversary turntable are:

• Massive and precise dual motor drive system
• Belt transmission inspired by the legendary Nagra IV series of reel to reel
• Exclusive aerospace material platter
• Non-resonant chassis
• Floating mechanical and hydraulic suspension
• Watchmaker style caliber with special finishes
• “Skeleton” watch style transparent methacrylate top surface revealing the drive system’s workings and watchmaker finishes
• Pure copper record weight
• Dual concentric carbon fiber tonearm
• Uni-pivot tonearm with unique geometrical bearing shape
• Unique no-contact magnetic anti-skating
• Camera lens-like “on the fly” adjustable VTA
• Custom silver monocrystal tonearm wiring
• External and internal super-cap modules
• Full chassis power supply as found in the HD range
• Personalized engraved name plate including number within the 70 unit number sequence

The press release says the Reference Anniversary turntable was designed as a system, meaning the turntable and tonearm were designed to work from “the ground up” as a unified playback system.

The drive unit employs a pair of high precision, Swiss made, decoupled, brushless DC motors. The drive system alone weighs 24.6 pounds. An accelerometer monitors the floating chassis to insure absolute stability before speed calibration, which is accomplished over a 20 second window during actual vinyl playback. During the cycle the platter’s speed is compared to a high precision quartz reference. During listening no active speed control occurs, which is said to eliminate the negative sonic effects created by “cogging” and other issues produced by active speed adjustment protocols.

The platter material is of a highly specialized, very high density (60% more dense than titanium) non-ferrous alloy with extreme damping properties, called Exium AM® developed by a French company at the request of CNES (France’s equivalent to NASA). The alloy, after being spun in a centrifugal casting machine in molten form, is CNC machined into a 14.3 pound platter. It’s the first audio component ever to be produced using this exotic material.

There’s so much more to this design in terms of technology and artistry including a non-resonant sub-chassis fabricated from numerous materials, and a unique suspension system that results, Nagra claims, in zero breakthrough when a full response loudspeaker was placed adjacent to the turntable.

The 10.5” one piece arm allows for all set-up parameter, repeatable adjustability and features a dual concentric carbon fiber tube with an intermediary wood layer. The arm is composed of but eight parts. All parts other than the wand were designed by the Nagra team and manufactured and assembled in Switzerland and you know what’s coming and it involves watches and Swiss precision.

The Nagra Reference Anniversary Turntable weighs 176 pounds and costs $175,000 or about $1000 a pound. In the exclusive world of exotic turntables, despite what appears to be the highest level of technology, materials and build quality, the price can rightly be called “lightweight”.

COMMENTS
StonedBeatles1's picture

After my custom made dust free apartment in Switzerland is complete I'm ordering 2 of these baby's..

volvic's picture

Saw this and got very excited, time to sell my turntables and get the one last table for all eternity, then I got to the second to last sentence and saw the price. I knew it was too good to be true. LOL! What an engineering feat this is and quite a statement product. Love it.

Freedom's picture

Just came here to say that I really love this turntable.

Freedom's picture

Gotta talk to my wife about her wish list first ;-)

Ortofan's picture

... an HD Line version of their vacuum tube phono preamp and a custom phono cartridge from EMT.

scottsol's picture

It is odd that Nagra boasts that their platter material is denser than titanium when titanium is a low density metal, being half as dense as copper.

anomaly7's picture

Alright, this certainly looks spectacular and I'll be waiting for the Mikey review- though this is far enough outside my budget that I won't be in line to buy one. On the other hand, maybe I could afford one of their arms if you could somehow arrange for Nagra to sell me one?

jazz's picture

which is “not so much more” expensive if one’s fine with the 175k of the Nagra, I wonder if something like the Nagra is still “lightweight” in price, as overall measures of such big players seem considerably higher than “just” fancy material and a few great ideas here and there.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/HIGH_END_2016/Acoustical_Systems/

(no I’m no other sales rep ;-) )

Michael Fremer's picture
Has covered this turntable at a few Munich shows. Not news.
jazz's picture

There’s for sure a market for any kind of gear from each brand, but I’m not sure if the audio world really needs turntables from electronics companies like McIntosh and amps from turntable companies like Thorens where each of them spend dozens of years developing their core product and far less developing the product filling their portfolio gap. Especially if this gap product is on the price level of the state of the art class. But Nagra is a great company and the fans probably wait for such a completion. Let’s see when Nagra speakers show up.

Tom L's picture

won't let me sell the house.
So it goes.

Alastair McClean's picture

I owned a PL-P,VPS and CDC a few years ago. Beautiful,fine sounding,exquisitely built equipment.I’m very fortunate to have been able to buy such lovely equipment. I moved onwards and upwards (CH Precision and Ypsilon) but still retain a wish to see Nagra in my system again. Sadly my wife won’t agree to sell the house either….can’t imagine why not…

Analog Scott's picture

state of the art vinyl playback. Active Isolation, precision record centering, and vacuum clamping. I would have expected Nagra of all companies to address record centering.

Ortofan's picture

... produced a turntable that addressed the problem of off-center records?

mrl1957's picture

Shouldn't this issue be addressed at its true source...the pressers themselves? None of my JVC-pressed super vinyl MOFIs from the 1980s had this problem.

MrRom92's picture

It’d be nice if the plants got their act together, but this does nothing to address the ~120 years worth of records that have been pressed already

Analog Scott's picture

I don't see how.

Michael Fremer's picture
No.
MrRom92's picture

I’d like to see Nagra remake the IV-S. Or maybe it’s high time for a Nagra V? Technology has come a long way over the last 50 years, I’d really love to see what they could do for R2R nowadays with this level of engineering… QGB 10.5” adaptor too please!

directdriver's picture

The Nagara tonearm resembles the Kronos Helena tonearm. Perhaps Nagra commissioned Kronos to design it for them?

http://www.kronosaudio.com/tonearms.html

Fsonicsmith's picture

implementing "house style" design elements into all products regardless of how ridiculous they appear? Case in chief; the Nagra rotary knob. It looks utterly silly on a turntable much like McIntosh's blue power meters look silly on it's turntable. C'mon, do you really think people (men) with 175K to burn on a turntable are that shallow and lacking in taste and sophistication? Oh wait a minute, now I see.

figaro's picture

of a fremer review of this table?

lgoldman's picture

Yorke's S7 was similarly conceived though differently executed and they were a nightmare to request armboards for different arms ("Why would you want to do that? No!" Simon says). But 20 years later the old TT is still going, Simon still provides drive belts, even though had to get a KCC Scientific box to vary cycles to obtain 33.3 exactly. You pays yer money and use gets....

X