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Nagra’s HD PHONO or a Porsche Taycan?

Do you have $87,500 burning a hole in your pocket? We think you could buy two really solid high-end systems and a lot of music for the same amount of money.

Nagra HD PHONO with Power Supply

Looking back through my notes from T.H.E. Show 2022 in Long Beach, I was reminded that three rooms really stood out for the quality of the analog playback and overall experience.

Commonwave Audio and DeVore Fidelity‘s room was the most attainable in terms of overall system price, Verity Audio and Kuzma delivered one of the most impressive demonstrations of the resolution of a world class analog source, and then there was Boenicke and Nagra.

You can read my thoughts about this extraordinary system here, but what really stood out was the quality of the Nagra electronics and how it turned an extremely narrow pair of floor standing loudspeakers into full-range transducers that filled a rather large listening space without much effort. The resolution, timbre, and soundstage were reference quality.

Nagra has demonstrated for almost 75 years that it can produce state-of-the-art components, but that has always come with a rather serious case of sticker shock.


Nagra HD PHONO Phonostage

The new Nagra HD PHONO is $87,500 USD and whilst I have no doubt (based on my experience listening to multiple Nagra systems over the years) that it is probably superb — who exactly is buying this? And do they need any more children?

After more than four years of R&D, Nagra’s ambitious new phono stage is finally available for discerning listeners of vinyl. The Nagra HD PHONO completes a trifecta of analog listening nirvana when combined with Nagra’s Reference turntable and Reference MC cartridge.

Nagra’s first phono stage was derived from the Nagra IV-S reel to reel microphone preamplifier stage. It later evolved into the phono section of the legendary Nagra PL-P preamplifier. Ever since, Nagra has worked and improved that original design with the creation of the Nagra VPS.

In 2020, the Nagra Classic PHONO ($21,500) became the company’s reference phono stage which achieved acclaim around the world by both press and critical listeners. It remains a benchmark in its class bettered only now by the HD PHONO. 

Nagra HD PHONO Selector

The Nagra HD PHONO follows the introduction of the Reference turntable and Nagra MC-4 moving-coil cartridge. Both the Reference turntable and MC-4 cartridge were utilized in the design phase and final evaluation of the HD PHONO before its release.

The HD PHONO is a two chassis design in which the delicate phono stage circuitry is isolated in its own CNC machined aluminum chassis. 

The best of analog is incorporated in the HD PHONO. It is dual-mono, pure Class A with 100% tube stages. In addition, it incorporates remote control cartridge load adjustability from 5 to 390 Ohms, with steps as fine as 5 Ohms for smaller values. This allows perfect matching between your cartridge and HD PHONO stage – all confirmed by ear from the comfort of your listening chair.

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Nagra HD PHONO Angle

The HD PHONO features a new generation of input transformers. Following the original VPS transformer and based on the Nagra IV-S microphone input transformers, the HD PHONO’s transformers are a fourth-generation design featuring 26 dB of gain.

The new transformer’s core is made with Cobalt and is cryogenically treated over the course of several weeks to improve performance. The transformer itself is hand wound in a very delicate process requiring watchmakers’ type of skills.

A second chassis serves to house a massive supercapacitor external power supply. Supercapacitor based power supplies provide all of the advantages of battery-based power supplies with the added advantage of accepting and delivering charges much faster and with higher current load and cycle stability than battery-based power supplies.

This power supply is based on those of the HD PREAMP and HD DAC X but features a number of innovations which make it even more silent with improved performance. Both chassis are suspended in a system incorporating a damped, constrained layer platform coupled to four isolator damped towers providing superior vibration resistance.

Nagra HD PHONO Back


  • Dual mono / class A tubes
  • 4x EF806S, 2x E88CC
  • Custom-made input transformers with 26 dB gain featuring cryogenically treated Cobalt cores
  • Overall gain of up to 68.5 dB adjustable by +/- 6dB so 62.5 and 56.5 dB
  • 2x MC inputs on RCA
  • 1x MM input on RCA
  • 1x option input for future custom transformers
  • Remote controlled loading system from no load to 390 Ohms by 5 Ohm steps
  • Separate power supply with supercapacitor module ensuring silent power
Nagra HD PHONO Front

Price & Availability

The new Nagra HD PHONO is shipping from Romanel, Switzerland and will be available through most of its retailers for a suggested price of $87,500 USD.

For more information:

About ATS – Audio Technology Switzerland 

Founded in 1951 by Stefan Kudelski, NAGRA has been designing some of the most influencing equipment in the audio industry. From the Oscar ® Award winning NAGRA professional tape recorders to the rewarded NAGRA HD electronics, the company has continuously perpetuated the utmost excellence in electronics design and manufacturing. In 2012, Audio Technology Switzerland S.A. formerly Nagra Audio division was created. Still largely owned by the Kudelski family, Audio Technology Switzerland designs, manufactures and market NAGRA professional, high-end audio and security products. It continues the tradition of sophistication and originality that has established the prestige of the NAGRA brand all around the world for 70 years.  



  1. GordM

    November 3, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    I concur. In fact you could buy 4 copies of my own system, which I happen to think is pretty satisfactory.
    Moreover, I do think the cosmetics of the Nagra hardware is rather overwrought. No doubt some are wowed, I’m not one of them.

  2. Ed Brumbaugh

    November 5, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    In agreement with GordM above. I have no doubt it sounds fantastic, but for my money, I’d buy the PrimaLuna EVO100 Tube Phonostage, which is also a dual mono, full tube design (to go with my other PrimaLuna gear) and pocket the other $83,500. Thanks for the article, interesting read.

    • Ian White

      November 5, 2023 at 3:01 pm


      We are in agreement. I would buy a Kuzma table and the EVO100 and never look back.

      Ian White

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