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Analog Technology Switzerland introduces its first cartridge, the Nagra Reference MC

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The following is a press release from Analog Technology Switzerland.

Swiss high-end audio firm, Nagra, announces the upcoming release of its first phono cartridge – the Nagra Reference MC cartridge. Initial units are scheduled to be delivered in December.

The Nagra Reference MC cartridge is the product of a number of years of intense R&D supplemented by extensive listening tests. This moving coil cartridge will be available in 4 and 6 Ohm variants. Designed in parallel with the Nagra 70th Anniversary Reference turntable/tonearm system, it is an ideal companion component to complete the ultimate LP playback platform.

The Reference MC cartridge features a number of significant and unique elements. While traditional moving coil transducers utilize a single layer coil body, the Nagra Reference MC cartridge employs a multi-layer transducer featuring a double layer coil body wound with hyper-pure silver windings. The 6 Ohm Reference outputs 0.45mV @ 5cm/S. The 4 Ohm Reference achieves an output of 0.30mV @ 5 cm/S.

A stiff ruby cantilever is mated to a high strength titanium structure featuring a DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating. The titanium structure utilized in the coil body/cantilever interface addresses a traditional source of resonance and substantially reduces vibration unrelated to the musical signal. The stylus tip is a Swiss produced, Fritz Gyger S profile chosen for its wonderful combination of detail retrieval and musicality.

Further evidence of the obsessive attention to detail in the cartridge’s design is found in the connector pins. Those employed in the Reference MC cartridge eliminate the commonly found connection joint between the pin and the coil. In the case of the Reference MC, the pin is a continuous single piece from itsexternal end point to its internal point of contact with the coil, resulting in a welcomed lowering of inductance.

In addition to the extensive focus on the generator system and groove/stylus/cantilever interface, Nagra’s team of engineers and designers paid great attention to the Reference MC cartridge body. Substantial material science investigation lead the team to a unique, non-ferrous alloy called EXIUM AM. Born from aerospace materials research, EXIUM AM is the result of a collaboration between the CNES (the French equivalent of NASA), the Ecole de Mines de Paris and the French firm LBI Foundries. It was developed to address the need for an alloy with very high damping properties – a necessary attribute for a particular Mars mission whose purpose was to measure minute seismic activities on the red planet. Nagra engineers determined that this high damping characteristic alloy was perfect for use in audio applications where the elimination of unwanted vibrations and resonances is an extreme priority. As a result, the Reference cartridge utilizes an EXIUM AM inlay at the critical interface between cartridge generator and the cartridge body. (An examination of Nagra’s 70th Anniversary Reference turntable will reveal that the table’s platter features a precisely CNC machined ring of EXIUM AM.) Nagra’s use of EXIUM AM is exclusive. Nagra has secured the sole worldwide right to use EXIUM AM in audio products. In order to produce a cartridge of optimal weight for the Reference Anniversary tonearm, while maintaining high internal damping properties, a proprietary super magnesium alloy is utilized for the balance of the cartridge body.

The Nagra Reference cartridge has exceptional tracking ability, resonance control and exemplary specifications. It will match most tonearms and phono stages but will reach its ultimate potential when paired with the Nagra Reference turntable/tonearm system and Nagra phono stages.

As these highlights indicate, Nagra is committed to being a world leader in state of the art LP playback products. We look forward to the upcoming release of the Nagra Reference MC cartridge. We are anxious for serious vinyl lovers around the world to experience their collections like never before.

Impedance 4 or 6 Ohms
Compliance 12 µm/mN
Ouput voltage 0.45 mV (6 Ohm) 0.3 mV (4 Ohm) @ 5 cm/S
Channel balance < 0.5 dB
Crosstalk > 30 dB
Weight 14.3 g
Stylus FGS
Cantilever Titanium / Ruby
Transducer Multi-Layer Core
Coil material Pure Silver
Tracking force 2 – 2.2 g

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.

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