Nagra PL-P Preamplifiers

5/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $9500.00


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aurel00 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I am the happy owner of a Nagra PL-L preamplifier (with remote control and balanced outputs through transformers) since 1 month. As my English is not perfect, I will make a brief summary of my thoughts: this preamp is fantastic.

I have tried a lot of preamps at home and I can tell you that the Nagra is really, to my ears, the very best tube preamp on Earth. There are other great ones : Audio Research Reference-3, Conrad Johnson ACT2, EAR 912, Jadis JP800, LAMM L2 Reference, etc. All of them are nice gears, but they have their own sound. They are very good but, as far as I can say, they are coloured. The Nagra is just a direct link with the music. Furthermore, the Nagra features superb measured performances (this is not a sufficient condition but this is a necessary one) and a very low output impedance (5 times lower that the Audio Research REF3 for example, and this makes a difference). Both as a physicist and as a music lover, I am impressed by the Nagra: it is the closest thing to live music I have ever encountered in high-end audio. It has a great low-frequency extension, deep and powerful bass, refined treble and “magic” medium. Everything you can expect from a top-quality tube preamp, and, in addition, an incredible precision and ability to reveal micro-details. This is the most musical preamp I have heard : just the music, nothing more (no noise, no distortion) nothing less (all the information and all the emotions are here).

I have also opened it and the craftsmanship quality is outstanding! I am familiar with space-qualified electronics (I work on a NASA/ESA experiment) and I would like to see such a level of quality in the PCBs used for the most critical scientific experiments. Everything is just… perfect !

Finally the look of the preamp is really nice (IMHO of course) and the modulometer is funny to use (it can even useful to estimate the power going into your speakers if you know the gain of your amp).

Nagra is a legend in professional audio (the Nagra-IV is maybe the equivalent for recorders of the Leica M6 for cameras). We now are lucky enough to be able to have high-end Nagra products on the market. They are expensive, but they are not the most expensive ones. I think they are the very best without real serious competitors (with the exception of PLINIUS amps and preamps -in the SS world- that I also consider as wonderful and of BAT tube gears that I deeply respect).

You can find pics and movies (!) of my PL-L (including inside the preamp) and a dedicated Nagra forum here : http://www.bestofhifi.com/viewforum.php?f=81

You are tired of low quality Breitling and Tag watches (based on ETA movements) ? You want a high-end Swiss watch : a Patek Philippe, an Audemars Piguet, a Vacheron Constantin or a Breguet ? Not yet enough ? You want even better, the very best possible, a “connoisseur” watch : a Philippe Dufour ( http://dufourwatches.free.fr ) ? Nagra is the equivalent in audio…

If you want a preamp for a lifetime, a reference gear beyond fashions (Nagra people do not change there products every 5 years and I congratulate them for this !), try the PL-L.

Best regards,

Aurel.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Lung a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This amp is currently on loan for the last 3 weeks. Everytime I listen, it sounds better each time.

The difference is very obvious when you fire it up. The sound stage just opens up, and is very deep. Very neutral sounding. Slightly thin on the upper third, very airy. Not as forceful or aggressive as my Electro 4.6. A quiet amp. If I could compare this amp to a car, this would be like the Lexus 430...very quiet, smooth... an elegant sounding amp.

This amp is a keeper.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Anonymous a

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The PL-P is a joy to set-up, as Nagra offers very flexible options, from phono gain, load resistance and capacitance to individual gain for tape. It's grounding options are very comprehensive, and should allow any user to enjoy a hum free system. Alas, the ergonomics aren't that great when it comes to connections: inputs are on the right side, outputs on the left, and using thick, heavy, cables can wreak havoc with the quite lightweight PL-P.

Clarity, precision, transparency, dynamics and speed: the Nagra PL-P belies it's compact size and sounds like a monster preamp. Very neutral, maybe slightly on the "yin", or light, side of neutral, it offers - when inserted in a suitable system - a "you are there experience" that brings you closer to the master tape, whatever source you fancy: analog or digital. It's phono section can bring the best out of all magnetic cartridges you may think of, from the lowest level moving coils to quality moving iron/magnet. The line section, er, is transparent. Maybe the output buffer isn't up to par, as the PL-P sounds so very very slighty better from it's "tape out" jacks. Too bad there are only 4 inputs (Phono + 3 line), all asymmetrical, I would have love at least two more line inputs and a processor loop.

Oh, and I love the trademark Nagra modulometer, which is much more than a wonderful gadget thanks to it's awesome precision. You can use it as a peak meter (I do monitor recordings with it), a channel meter (in order to properly setup a cartridge) or...

Expensive? Yes. Worth it? If you can afford it, yes, as much as a Patek-Philippe or an IWC, other outstanding examples of Swiss workmanship, are worth it.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Product model year:   1999




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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