Entries and exits are on transformer-coupled coax, BNC and AES/EBU plus Toslink and Amanero USB, then RCA and XLR. The ground post is a carryover from pro applications. It all fits into Nagra's signature classic case. That's a mere 28x35x7.6cm WxDxH to weigh just 3.8kg. Of course there's a modulometer; and upgrade path from internal switch-mode power supply to the external super-cap Classic PSU below which had proven so effective on our Classic Preamp.
Not common knowledge? Nagra at one point had considered licensing discrete R2R tech but stepped back when provenance proved shaky. That prompted further investigations to find that treating PCM as DSD to simplify the conversion process was superior still. The Nagra Classic obviously treats pure DSD as DSD. It simply upconverts DSD64 to DSD128. Meitner, Playback Design and PS Audio do it similarly. And today's Asahi Kasei and ESS Sabre chips can be set to on-the-fly resampling of PCM⇒DSD as can certain software players.
Format lines are blurring.
Digital has learnt Esperanto. Kiel vi fartas?
When trickle-down isn't a dirty word?
Back in plain English, none of it matters. As end users, we're only concerned that all our files from RedBook to hi-rez and DSD go in properly; and that superior sound results no matter what. To find out what that means to the ears is why reviewers do this job. To frame today's subject, enter a discrete R2R DAC from Denafrips. It's either zero upsampling or massive x 32 upsampling to 1'411.2 or 1'536kHz. Enter a COS Engineering Burr Brown-based 192kHz DAC. Both process PCM as PCM. Both are pure transistor machines. What flavor and qualities would Nagra champion by contrast?
The right trickle-down can still be very grand.
Having been released in 2016, the Classic DAC perhaps has been a bit overlooked since the costlier tube versions of the Classic and HD lines premiered?
That possibility is precisely why I pursued it. Do you already own a valve preamplifier like we do? Now you may not want more upstream tubes. Now transistors might talk your language without any accent or brogue. That could just benefit overall intelligibility. And what de 'eck is wrahng wit dat? Which was an Irish accent. How about German which 80% of Swiss speak? Skit alert.