Nagra Jazz + ACPS II: Elevating Audio Excellence

Introduction

In the world of audio enthusiasts, the pursuit of high-quality sound amplification is a never-ending quest. The ability to reproduce music with depth, clarity, and precision is a paramount goal for any audiophile. Today, we delve into the realm of exceptional sound amplification with the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier.

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is a tube preamplifier that operates in pure Class A, embodying a new concept in product development adopted by the Swiss company after reorganization. This amplifier sets new standards for sound quality, redefining terms such as depth, naturalness, and detail in audio reproduction. With its ability to finely adjust the balance between channels, it allows for precise control over stereo imaging and the placement of virtual sound sources.

Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II boasts an exterior that deserves the highest praise. Its meticulously crafted anodized aluminum chassis can be compared to a finely cut diamond. On the robust front panel, made from aluminum, you’ll find input selector knobs, volume controls, channel balance adjustments, and the signature “modulometer” – Nagra’s renowned signal level indicator.

Featuring three high-class electronic tubes and custom-made transformers, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II achieves the highest sound standards set by the company. Each tube used in Nagra Jazz amplifiers undergoes a 48-hour burn-in period followed by rigorous testing to ensure its quality. The design philosophy behind the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II follows an uncompromising audiophile approach by utilizing components of utmost quality while maintaining a simple audio path.

One common issue with preamplifiers is compromised sound quality due to low-quality power sources or interference generated by them. The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II addresses this problem by incorporating an external power supply called ACPS II. Specifically designed to minimize background noise and enhance system stability, this power supply provides complete isolation from electrical grid noise and delivers power to the preamplifier using a high-class power cable equipped with a connector from the renowned Swiss company LEMO.

With five inputs – one unbalanced (asymmetric) XLR and four RCA – the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II offers versatility in connecting various audio sources. The signal automatically disconnects when switching between inputs. The outputs of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II are directly connected to the output tubes, ensuring the highest audio playback quality. The output signal level can be adjusted within a range of 0 to +12 dB using a dedicated selector on the front panel. Additionally, there is a switch for selecting Output 1 or Output 2. Output 1 allows for connection via two pairs of unbalanced RCA connectors, enabling bi-amping or simultaneous connection to an amplifier and recording device. Output 2 utilizes balanced XLR connectors. By employing transformers of their original design, Nagra has achieved a fully balanced output that guarantees maximum playback quality.

The convenience of control without compromising sound quality is another remarkable feature of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II. The included remote control allows for source selection, volume adjustment, and channel balance control. The volume and balance adjustments are carried out by special electric motors that move potentiometers. This ensures that remote control does not degrade sound quality as no additional changes are introduced into the audio path.

To ensure precise level matching and compensate for differences in recording levels, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II incorporates Nagra’s proprietary “modulometer.” This highly accurate level indicator is identical to the one used in the legendary Nagra IV-S model. The modulometer can be used to fine-tune channel balance and compensate for varying levels in different recordings.

With its exceptional build quality, meticulous design, and innovative features, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II sets itself apart as a top-tier amplifier in the world of high-fidelity audio. It promises to deliver an unparalleled listening experience, allowing audiophiles to immerse themselves in the richness and intricacies of their favorite music.

In the following sections, we will explore the technical specifications, design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, sound performance, advantages, value for money, and conclude with our final thoughts on this remarkable amplifier.

Technical Specifications

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier is a tube preamplifier that operates in pure Class A, delivering exceptional sound quality and redefining terms such as depth, naturalness, and detail in reproduction. Its design represents a new concept developed by the Swiss company after reorganization.

This amplifier features three high-quality electronic tubes and proprietary transformers, ensuring compliance with the highest sound standards set by Nagra. Each tube undergoes a 48-hour burn-in process and rigorous testing to ensure optimal performance. The Nagra Jazz embraces an uncompromising audiophile approach, utilizing components of the highest quality while maintaining a simple audio path.

One common issue with preamplifiers is poor power supply or interference caused by it. However, the Nagra Jazz addresses this problem by including the ACPS II external power supply. This specially designed power source minimizes background noise and enhances system stability. It provides complete isolation from electrical network noise and delivers power to the preamplifier via a high-class power cable equipped with a LEMO connector from the renowned Swiss company.

The amplifier offers five inputs: one unbalanced (asymmetric) XLR and four RCA inputs. Switching between inputs automatically disconnects the signal on the output of the preamplifier.

Regarding outputs, the Nagra Jazz provides direct connection to its output tubes for maximum audio playback quality. The output signal level can be adjusted within a range of 0 to +12 dB using a selector on the front panel. Additionally, there is an output selector switch that allows you to choose between Output 1 or Output 2 modes. In Output 1 mode, two pairs of unbalanced RCA connectors are available for bi-amping connections or simultaneous connection of an amplifier and recording device. In Output 2 mode, balanced XLR connectors are used. The utilization of proprietary transformers in this preamplifier enables fully balanced output for ultimate playback quality.

The Nagra Jazz comes with a remote control that allows you to select input sources and adjust volume and channel balance. The volume and balance adjustments are made using special electric motors that move the potentiometers. This ensures that the remote control does not compromise sound quality as no additional changes are introduced into the audio path.

Furthermore, the preamplifier features a high-precision level indicator or “modulometer,” similar to the one used in the legendary Nagra IV-S model. This modulometer serves as both a decorative element and a precise measurement device, allowing for accurate channel balance adjustment and compensation for level differences in various recordings.

In terms of dimensions, the Nagra Jazz has a height of 76mm, width of 310mm, depth of 254mm, and weighs approximately 4.5kg. Its sleek silver aluminum chassis exudes elegance and craftsmanship.

Overall, the technical specifications of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier showcase its commitment to delivering exceptional sound quality through meticulous design and engineering. From its tube selection and proprietary transformers to its external power supply and precise level indicator, every detail is carefully considered to provide an unparalleled audio experience.

Design and Construction

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier boasts an exquisite design that truly deserves the highest praise. Its meticulously crafted chassis, made from anodized aluminum, can be compared to a finely cut diamond. The front panel, constructed from aluminum, features input selector knobs, volume controls, and a unique “modulometer” – Nagra’s signature signal level indicator.

The attention to detail in the design extends beyond aesthetics. The amplifier incorporates design features that contribute to efficient cooling and reduced interference. This ensures optimal performance and longevity of the components. The choice of materials and construction techniques used by Nagra demonstrates their commitment to producing high-quality audio equipment.

The connectors and switches on the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II are of exceptional quality. They are sturdy, well-built, and provide a secure connection for audio cables. This attention to detail enhances the overall user experience and instills confidence in the durability of the amplifier.

Overall, the design and construction of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier is a testament to Swiss precision and craftsmanship. Its elegant appearance combined with robust build quality ensures both visual appeal and reliable performance for years to come.

Functionality

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier offers a wide range of functionality to cater to different audio sources and user preferences. With its versatile connectivity options, this amplifier allows you to connect various audio devices such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more.

The amplifier features multiple inputs, including one unbalanced (asymmetric) XLR input and four RCA inputs. This allows you to easily switch between different audio sources, ensuring seamless integration into your existing setup. The automatic signal disconnection when switching between inputs further enhances convenience and ease of use.

One notable feature of the Nagra Jazz is the ability to finely adjust the balance between channels, allowing for precise control over the stereo panorama and virtual sound source placement. This level of control ensures an immersive listening experience tailored to your preferences.

In terms of operating modes, the amplifier offers a range of options to customize your audio playback. While it does not include an equalizer or built-in DAC, it compensates with other features such as balance controls and tone adjustments. These features enable you to fine-tune the sound output according to your personal preferences and the characteristics of your audio sources.

Additionally, the Nagra Jazz comes with a remote control that allows for easy source selection, volume adjustment, and channel balance control. The remote control utilizes electric motors to operate the potentiometers, ensuring that there are no compromises in sound quality during remote operation.

Overall, the functionality of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier provides users with a comprehensive set of features to enhance their audio experience. From its versatile connectivity options to its precise control over balance and tone adjustments, this amplifier offers a high level of flexibility and customization for discerning audiophiles.

Sound Characteristics

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier delivers an exceptional sound quality that truly captivates the listener. The attention to detail, instrument separation, and overall clarity of the sound is truly remarkable.

When it comes to details, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II shines with its ability to reproduce intricate nuances in the music. Every subtle nuance and delicate texture can be heard with utmost precision and accuracy. This level of detail allows for a truly immersive listening experience, where every note and instrument can be appreciated individually.

The instrument separation of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is outstanding. Each instrument occupies its own space within the soundstage, creating a sense of depth and realism. The imaging is precise, allowing the listener to pinpoint the exact location of each instrument within the performance.

The bass response of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is tight, controlled, and impactful. It provides a solid foundation to the music without overpowering or overshadowing other frequencies. The bass notes are well-defined and have a natural decay, adding depth and richness to the overall sound.

The treble clarity of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is exceptional. It offers a level of transparency that brings out all the intricacies in high-frequency details. The treble is crisp, airy, and extends effortlessly without any harshness or sibilance.

In terms of overall sound presentation, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II offers a balanced and neutral sound signature. It does not overly emphasize any particular frequency range but rather presents music as it was intended to be heard by the artist. This makes it suitable for a wide range of music genres, from classical to jazz to rock.

Regardless of the genre you prefer, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier elevates your listening experience by faithfully reproducing the essence and emotion of each track. It brings out the dynamics, tonal accuracy, and subtleties in the music, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the performance.

Whether you are listening to a delicate piano piece or a high-energy rock track, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier ensures that every note and instrument is reproduced with exceptional clarity and precision. It truly enhances the enjoyment of your favorite music, making it an ideal choice for audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.

Sound Performance

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that will transport you into a captivating auditory experience. With its pure Class A tube design, this amplifier has been meticulously crafted to redefine the terms depth, naturalness, and detail in audio reproduction.

One of the standout qualities of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with remarkable clarity and precision. From the delicate nuances of a whisper to the thunderous impact of a bassline, every element of the music is presented with an astonishing level of detail and accuracy.

The dynamics of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II are truly impressive. It effortlessly captures the subtle changes in volume and intensity, allowing the music to breathe and come alive. Whether you’re listening to a gentle acoustic ballad or a high-energy rock anthem, this amplifier preserves the dynamic range of the music, ensuring that no detail gets lost in the mix.

Furthermore, the tonal balance of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is impeccable across all frequency ranges. The lows are deep and well-defined, providing a solid foundation for the music. The midrange is rich and vibrant, allowing vocals and instruments to shine with exceptional clarity. The highs are crisp and detailed, adding sparkle and airiness to the overall sound signature.

No matter what genre of music you prefer, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier will elevate your listening experience to new heights. It brings out the subtleties and nuances in recordings that you may have never noticed before, immersing you in a world of sonic bliss.

In conclusion, the sound performance of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is nothing short of extraordinary. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance sets it apart from other amplifiers on the market. If you’re searching for an amplifier that will truly bring your music collection to life, look no further than the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II.

Advantages

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier offers a range of advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market. Firstly, its use of high-quality electronic tubes and custom-made transformers ensures that it meets the highest audio standards set by the company. The 48-hour tube warming process and rigorous testing further guarantee the exceptional quality of the amplifier.

One standout advantage of the Nagra Jazz is its ability to finely adjust the balance between channels, allowing for precise control over stereo imaging and virtual sound source placement. This level of customization enhances the overall listening experience, providing a sense of depth, naturalness, and detail that is unparalleled.

The external ACPS II power supply, specifically designed to minimize background noise and improve system stability, is another significant advantage of the Nagra Jazz. It provides complete isolation from electrical grid noise and delivers power to the amplifier through a high-class power cable with a LEMO connector.

In terms of design, the Nagra Jazz exudes elegance with its meticulously crafted anodized aluminum chassis. The front panel features selector knobs for inputs, volume control, channel balance adjustment, and a signature “modulometer” – a precise signal level indicator unique to Nagra products.

Compared to other amplifiers in its price range, the Nagra Jazz stands out for its uncompromising audiophile approach. The use of top-quality components while maintaining a simple audio path ensures maximum sound quality without any additional modifications or compromises.

Overall, the advantages of the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier lie in its exceptional sound quality, precise customization options, elegant design, and high-quality components. When compared to competitors in the same price range, it remains unmatched in terms of performance and attention to detail.

Value for Money

The Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier offers exceptional value for money, delivering outstanding performance and a range of impressive features at its price point. With its high-quality construction, meticulous attention to detail, and top-notch components, this amplifier provides a level of audio performance that is truly remarkable.

Considering the technical specifications, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II boasts an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 105 dB, ensuring clean and clear sound reproduction. The minimal distortion rate of 0.02% further enhances the audio quality, allowing for a highly accurate and immersive listening experience.

In terms of functionality, this amplifier offers a comprehensive set of features that cater to the needs of audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike. The inclusion of five inputs (one XLR and four RCA) allows for versatile connectivity options, while the ability to adjust the output signal level within a range of 0 to +12 dB provides flexibility in matching the amplifier with different speakers or recording devices.

Furthermore, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II comes with an external power supply unit specifically designed to minimize background noise and ensure stable operation. This attention to detail demonstrates Nagra’s commitment to delivering exceptional audio performance without compromising on quality.

When considering the overall value proposition, it is important to recognize that the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is backed by a one-year warranty, providing peace of mind for consumers. Additionally, its sleek and elegant design adds a touch of sophistication to any audio setup.

In conclusion, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier offers excellent value for money by combining superior audio performance, advanced features, and meticulous craftsmanship. Whether you are an audiophile seeking pristine sound quality or simply someone looking for an amplifier that delivers exceptional performance at a reasonable price, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is undoubtedly a worthy investment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier is a remarkable piece of audio equipment that delivers exceptional performance and quality. With its pure Class A tube preamplifier design, it redefines terms such as depth, naturalness, and detail in sound reproduction. The ability to finely adjust the balance between channels allows for precise control over stereo imaging and the placement of virtual sound sources.

The external appearance of the Nagra Jazz is truly deserving of high praise. The meticulously crafted anodized aluminum chassis can be likened to a perfectly cut diamond. The front panel features handles for input selection, volume control, channel balance adjustment, and a unique “modulometer” – Nagra’s signature signal level indicator.

The use of high-quality electronic tubes and custom-made transformers in the Nagra Jazz ensures adherence to the highest sound standards set by the company. Each tube undergoes a 48-hour burn-in period and rigorous testing to guarantee its quality. The design philosophy behind the Nagra Jazz incorporates an uncompromising audiophile approach, utilizing components of utmost quality while maintaining a simple audio path.

One common issue with preamplifiers is the impact of low-quality power sources or interference they create. However, the Nagra Jazz addresses this concern by incorporating the ACPS II external power supply specifically designed to minimize background noise and enhance system stability. It provides complete isolation from mains noise and delivers power to the preamplifier through a high-class power cable equipped with a connector from renowned Swiss company LEMO.

The Nagra Jazz offers five inputs – one unbalanced (asymmetric) XLR and four RCA inputs. When switching between inputs, the signal automatically disconnects at the output. The outputs of the Nagra Jazz have a direct connection to the output tubes, ensuring the highest audio playback quality. The output signal level can be adjusted within a range of 0 to +12 dB using a selector on the front panel. Additionally, a switch allows for selecting between Output 1 or Output 2. Output 1 offers two pairs of unbalanced RCA connectors, enabling bi-amping or simultaneous connection of an amplifier and recording device. Output 2 provides balanced XLR connectors. The use of Nagra’s original transformer design in the preamplifier enables a fully symmetrical output, ensuring maximum playback quality.

The convenience of control is not compromised in the Nagra Jazz. The included remote control allows for source selection, volume adjustment, and channel balance control. The volume and balance adjustments are made using special motorized potentiometers, ensuring that remote control does not degrade sound quality by introducing additional changes to the audio path.

The Nagra Jazz also features Nagra’s high-precision “modulometer,” which is equivalent to the indicator used in the legendary Nagra IV-S model. This indicator serves as a precise tool for balancing channel levels and compensating for level differences in various recordings.

In conclusion, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier is a testament to Swiss engineering and craftsmanship. Its exceptional sound performance, exquisite design, and thoughtful construction make it a standout choice for audiophiles seeking unparalleled audio reproduction.

For potential buyers looking for a preamplifier that delivers unmatched sound quality and precise control over stereo imaging, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II is an excellent investment. While it may come at a higher price point, its exceptional build quality, attention to detail, and superior audio performance make it well worth the investment for those who demand the best in their audio systems.

Overall, the Nagra Jazz + ACPS II amplifier sets a new standard for tube preamplifiers with its outstanding sonic characteristics and meticulous design. It is truly a masterpiece that will elevate any audio system to new heights of musical enjoyment.

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