New Nagra REFERENCE Phono cartridge

The Nagra Reference 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. The 4 Ohm edition is an optimal match for Nagra’s forthcoming HD PHONO stage (anticipated release 2023). 

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 cartridge features a number of significant and unique elements. While traditional moving coil transducers utilize a single layer coil body, the Nagra Reference cartridge employs a multi-layer transducer featuring a double layer coil body wound with 20 hyper-pure silver windings in the 6 Ohm version and 12 hyper-pure windings in the 4 Ohm version. The double coil body results in a favorable reduction of impedance with a minimal reduction in output. The 6 Ohm Reference outputs 0.45mV@5cm/s. The 4 Ohm Reference achieves an output of 0.30mV@5cm/s.
A stiff ruby cantilever is mated to a high strength titanium structure featuring a DLC (diamond-like coating). This coating ensures no electrical current between the dual coil bodies. 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 actual stylus tip is a Swiss produced, Fritz Gyger S profile chosen for its wonderful combination of detail retrieval and musicality.

Further evidence of Nagra’s obsessive attention to detail is found in the cartridge connector pins. Those employed in the Reference cartridge eliminate the commonly found connection joint between the pin and the coil. In the case of the Reference, the pin is a continuous single piece from its external 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 motor system and groove/stylus/ cantilever interface, Nagra’s team of engineers and designers paid great attention to the Reference 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. It was developed to address a 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 motor 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. We have 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, we use a super magnesium alloy (unique to Nagra) for the balance of the cartridge body.

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 cartridge. We are anxious for serious vinyl lovers around the world to experience their collections like never before.