Nagra Users Section/Discussion

I’d love to see a section or just a discussion for users of Nagra equipment. I don’t think we’re that many though?

Me, i’m using a Nagra HD DAC along with a MPS power supply and ow that it’s done around 300hours i can fully appreciate what the hype was all about!

I am curious about if someone has been able to get the Nagra DAC’s to accept native DSD however?

I think you are in rarified company.

Always wanted to demo Nagra gear and bit worried if I got the chance as it would put me in an interesting dilemma.


Oh, i wouldn’t say i’m all alone, there are a few who have hinted through the “What DAC are you using” thread. :slight_smile:

These Swiss jewels are one of the most well built audio products i have ever heard and used. At a cost, of course, but there is always the second hand market.

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Lovely! The Nagra DACs are now considered Roon Tested!

Not that i’ve had any issues but i look forward to some nice line art and optimized settings.


Just connected my Nagra Tube DAC to Roon. Can someone help with the DSD Playback Strategy setting? Not sure why a “strategy” is needed, since the Tube DAC can accept DSD 256?
Thanks in advance…

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I think that this might originate from that Roon does not have contact with the DAC, but rather it’s “transport” (Yes, even if its attached to the server itself). So, the setting here reflects the available methods of transportation of the signal.
If Native is an option, i’d select that, if not DSD over PCM sounds similar, but consumes a bit more bandwidth.

Native is not an option, but should be!
I think the best option, until Native becomes an option, is DSD over PCM, since that displays “DSD 1X 2.8MHz on the DAC when I playback DSD64”.
When I tried switching to DSD Over PCM, Roon could no longer find the Nagra at all! I know this setting worked, it said something like DXD on the DAC display. No idea why the DAC disappeared from Roon, it was still showing as available in the Roon Audio settings.

My “luck” with Roon has never been great… it still has a lot of bugs… but getting better I suppose. Although album cover scrolling in the newest version is bad.

Sorry for your troubles. I know it’s not much of a consolation, but my HD DAC works as expected. (please note, this does not mean Native DSD in all circumstances)
What i was fishing for in my last post, was what you are using as a transport? i.e. what is your Tube DAC connected to?

Hi Mikael, the Tube DAC is working well, accepting DSD 1/2X, when Roon is set to “DSD over PCM”. I’m just not sure why Roon doesn’t display a “Native” option. Nagra says the DACs are “Roon ready”, or whatever.
I’m using a MacBook Pro as a transport.

Ah, there you have it. Mac’s generally don’t need drivers for DACs within USB Audio 2.0 specs, but for native DSD to work you need drivers, either built in the OS (not on Mac) or installed manually.
I believe the drivers from Nagra are Windows only, correct?
At least that’s how it work for me, I need a Windows machine with drivers to go native with my HD DAC.

There are several Linux based endpoints which do support native DSD for the Nagra USB receivers though. I think the Aries will do this for the newer Nagras, as an example. (And I think, a Roon Rock/Nucleus will recognize the Tube DAC as native enabled, but don’t go running off, buying a Nucleus based on my speculation! :slight_smile: )

Thank you, Mikael, that’s very helpful!

Now the question is, why does the Nagra show “DSD 2X” when playing DSD256 and Roon is set to “DSD over PCM”? Shouldn’t the Nagra show PCM on its display?

I think you mixed up some numbers here,
but no, DSD over PCM is only the “envelope” for the signal to be transferred unharmed.
What’s happening is basically that the DSD stream is packaged into packets similar to those containing PCM. The DSD stream arrives at the DAC unharmed and can be extracted untouched. The DAC recognizes the content, not the package, and displays the contents properties on the display.

This is totally transparent aside for the fact that it utilizes some more bandwidth than native DSD, but that’s neglectable in these scenarios.

thanks again, makes sense!

So when playing DSD256 the DAC display says DSD 2x 5.6Ghz
When playing DSD64 the DAC displays DSD 1x 2.8.
That doesn’t seem to make sense. Can you help explain? Sorry for all of the questions.

It shouldn’t, and most likely your Mac is transcoding the DSD256 content to DSD128, which the Mac can deliver in a DSD over PCM-encapsulation.
DSD ~ DSD64 ~ 2.8Mhz ~ if the DAC cannot unpack the DSD-content, you’ll see 176.4Khz on it’s display.
DSD2X ~DSD128 ~ 5.6Mhz ~ if the DAC fails to unpack the DSD-content, you’ll see 352.8Khz displayed.
DSD4X ~ DSD256 - 11.2Mhz ~ This is beyond the USB Audio 2.0 specs, but in some circumstances the display will show 705.6Khz if the DAC can accept this sample rate, and still fail to unpack the DSD content.

Have a look at the Signal Path in Roon when playing DSD256 content? You’ll likely see a downsampling taking place, like this:

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Aha! Thank you very much!!

Just a good way to finish and start the new year…I am curious about server used with your Nagra DAC?

I run a Antipodes K50 which run as Roon Core and file server, just wandering what other options are used.


Hello Alain,
I have run my HD DAC on various streamers from a extremely cheap but surprisingly good NanoPi Neo (2) through SOtM sMS-200 (both std and the Ultra Neo) and Aries G1 to my current Auralic Aries G2.1.
I also sometimes use my home built music server (Win 11/Roon) with a SOtM tx-USB Ultra PCIe which sounds surprisingly nice (no power to the Nagra).
There is no doubt that the Aries G2.1 has smashed the glass ceiling of what is possible with digital audio though, it really lets the Nagra (and other DACs) shine their best properties!

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Hi all, nice to see this thread. I have recently moved to the Tube DAC myself, feeding it from an Antipodes EX Server in two ways: via AES/EBU (through the Antipodes P2 reclocker) and via a Sonore UltraRendu (USB input). I think the AES input has tighter bass but overall find it puzzling, i would expect that the Tube DAC working internally in DSD128 rate would work better with the USB input.

@velcro22, you have the K50 Antipodes which allegedly has a better AES output compared to USB… Have you tried this with your NAGRA Dac?

@DrPo Sorry for the late reply but obviously i don’t come to the forum nearly often enough. AES connection is on my list of todo but have yet to play with it. The main reason is I need to source a cable of similar quality to my current USB so I can compare them as equals. I read on the Antipodes forum somewhere that is AES is the preferred connection on the K50 (according to Mark Jenkins) so I am really not surprise about your experience. As a note, the AES can only push DSD64. Will keep you posted.

OK, thanks and looking forward!