Audio Technology Switzerland : the Nagra HD Phono

Audio Technology Switzerland is delivering the first units of its new phono stage the Nagra HD PHONO

Romanel, Switzerland – November 2023. With more than four years of R&D efforts, Nagra’s new ambitious phono stage is finally in production and first units are shipping worldwide.

The HD PHONO is the ideal companion to the Reference turntable and Reference MC cartridge and, when all three are combined they form the ultimate analog source. Nagra, the reference in analog tape reproduction now offers a reference playback solution for LP lovers.

After years of intense research and development, the HD PHONO is finally available for discerning listeners of vinyl. It is the ideal complement to the HD range and the world-acclaimed HD PREAMP, HD DAC X and HD AMP monoblocks.

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, after years of extensive research and countless listening sessions, we introduced the Nagra Classic PHONO. It became a new reference in phono playback and 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.

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 are state of the art contenders in their own rights and proved to be major assets in the finalization and fine-tuning of the HD PHONO.

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.

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.


  • Dual mono / class A tubes
  • 4xEF806S, 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

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

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.