Master of Sonic Arts

Nagra's new 60Wpc MSA stereo power amp ($8000) is loosely based on its older "pyramid" PSA amp. This MOSFET stereo amplifier (geddit?) sounds far better than the older one, IMHO. Verity's John Quick played some tracks from Manu Katches stunning Neighborhood and the new guy had better pacing and, more importantly, far better timbre. I heard deeper into the soundstage, especially hearing more of Katche's superlative stick work.

And I have to admit, I'm a sucker for Nagra's grittier industrial design, having never really liked the way the PSA looked. Superficial, I know, but there you have it.

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COMMENTS
michaelavorgna's picture

Nothing wrong with admiring industrial design unless of course you're one of a handful of escapees from the Academy of Joe Hifi Malcontents who appear to have nothing better to do than crap all over this show report. Keep up the good and enjoyable work (I'm with you on the Nagra gear especially that "CD Concept Player" - beautiful stuff).

Adam's picture

How can it be mosfet based and still have those big inductors at the output ?

John Atkinson's picture

The inductors are associated with the switch-mode power supply,

Adam's picture

If it comes with SMPS, what is this big toroid for ?

John's picture

I didn't know there was such an "Academy" Michael. Be careful what you say and do, SE will surely clip your wings, as he's done in the past to his GOOD writers.Apart from that, another great looking (and probably great sounding) piece of Nagra gear. I agree with JA, these guys have great sense of style with their gear.

Jerry's picture

A reply personally to michaelavorgna. This Academy of Joe Hifi Malcontent; is someone with a 6 figure income that also has a social conscience and loves fine music as much as you. I have a collection of 2-3,000 LP’s (down from 5,000 – 2,000 donated back to the local VFW Thrift) many of which were $1 ea purchases at numerous local Charity Run thrift stores. In the last 5 years, I have stood by and married a woman with cancer, whom I dearly love, all the while almost loosing her to chemo therapy 3 times (cancer now in remission) (the bills are finally paid off), made substantial financial donations to several disaster charity relief efforts and over the last couple of years put out a good 5 figures trying to help one of my wife’s step children (the former husband is deceased) get through rehab and he appears to finally be in recovery. So I spend my money wisely, but tip generously as my wife and I are truly blessed.

Jerry's picture

A reply personally to michaelavorgna. Part 2 What this Stereophile subscriber has not seen is a real attempt by the Audiophile Press to report on reasonably priced made in America or Canada goods between $250 and $1,000. As press representatives for all of us, I feel that Stereophile (will not renew my subscription) and The Absolute Sound (subscription now lapsed) have an obligation to think real world for a change when reporting at a show like this. I am looking for quality budget priced item that will enhance my experience, as I suspect many others are. You have just convinced me that a theory of mine is correct. The theory is that the role models of the Frazier TV Series were really members of the Audiophile Community and Press. I sincerely hope that you are not one of those who find themselves out on the bread line, flat broke with no place to go.

Ben's picture

I wish Stereophile would add just a bit more context to it's RSS feed. The entire contents of these posts on my reader tell me almost nothing that would even lead me to read more.

michaelavorgna's picture

Jerry, I don't believe I needed to convince you of anything. On a personal note, you are a fortunate man as I am to have found someone you dearly love. And I thank you for your sincere concern over my financial well being.

Charles Hansen's picture

"not seen is a real attempt by the Audiophile Press to report on reasonably priced made in America or Canada goods between $250 and $1,000"Sorry Jerry. After last year's stratospheric price increases in aluminum and copper, it's simply not possible. The closest thing there is to what you want is *probably* the Sim Audio integrated and CD player at $1500 each. (I know that they are made in Canada, and assume that the major internals are also.)I would dearly love to sell a US-made *anything* for less than $1,000. Unfortunately, it's simply not possible (excluding accessories).

Jerry's picture

Michael, I am probably the first Academy of Joe Hifi Malcontents that threw the first stone. What really irritates me is the complete lack of common sense that appears to be appears occurring with this show/good old boy convention. The aptitude exhibited here is that nothing is wrong. The world is in financial turmoil and all that I see here is reporting that is mouthing (vendor written) support for industry friends that are their buddies with lackluster objectivity. Is it impossible (have we slid that far into the import abyss) that Stereophile can not produce a list of products that don’t cause atmospheric nose bleeds when we read the price that will help the budget conscious build a really nice sounding audio system. As for me I am going to post a sign proudly stating that I am a charter member of the “Academy of Joe Hifi Malcontents League” on my cubicle at work. From personal, product related experience the reps/importers in this field can be very arrogant and ignorant at times.

Frank's picture

I continue to puzzle over why Nagra includes that funky rotary control on all its products, seemingly whether or not said product even needs a multiple choice control at all. It's surely an example of function following form, and probably wears out and becomes noisy over time.

Frank's picture

Despite my overall negativity/antipathy to most of the products covered in this years report, I'm actually grateful that Stereophile takes the time, trouble, and expense to report on these shows at all. I highly suspect that in this gloomy economy, there is a conscious attempt here to "jump start" the ultra-high end (fashion audio) segment of the market. But I do feel that, in the process, Stereophile snubbed the rank and file hobbyist/listener core market (of which I am a part). Jerry, count me as a member of your club.

tom collins's picture

times are hard, i find reading about this gear, most of which i will never own, refreshing.

John's picture

I'm with Jerry.Time for another "road trip" Mr. Lavorgna.

michaelavorgna's picture

John, I really enjoy those road tours in part because we get to focus on the enjoyment in this hobby (which has nothing to do with how much someone spent on their hifi).

John's picture

clip, clip, clip.

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