CES 2017: Nagra and YG Acoustics keep the balance

The Classic looks of Nagra’s, well, Classic line always stops me cold.

There’s always an expectation on my part when I walk into a room featuring electronics by Nagra of Switzerland. It’s sort of like going to the pub: you know there’s good beer, food, and friends there, so you have an expectation of a fun time. Same goes for the Nagra kit. At CES this year the steady-handed Swiss had paired up with YG Acoustics out of Arvada, Colorado, and were driving a pair of Hailey 1.2 loudspeakers with Tara Labs cabling throughout. I was pressed for time on my last day of the show (well, OK, every day of the show), so I was only able to listen to the system being fed ones, and zeros via a Nagra CDPClassic DAC, Classic Preamp, and a pair of Classic Amps being used as mono-blocks.

A beautifully presented system with honest tonality, and an exquisite sense of timing.
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Having spent some time with the Hailey’s very big brothers – The Anat III – I’d had a glimpse into the transparency to source that YG seems preternaturally dedicated to maintaining throughout their transducer line. Being somewhat familiar with the clean, dynamic, open, and innately musical predisposition of Nagra gear, I certainly felt like I had indeed arrived at the pub as I sat, and listened to music wash over me in a very satisfying way… not too different from that first quaff of a pint.

Getting out of the way of the music: YG Acoustics.

This is kit that I qualify as precision-quality, not only just for their drool-worthy looks, and design (everything is done in-house, with nothing but the very finest parts sourced when needed), but in the playback that Nagra is capable of to my ears. Their uncanny ability to transport a listener much closer to the recorded event is in no small part due to their ability to maintain what I interpret as perfect timing, and tonal balance.

A purveyor of nuance, and timing in the digital realm.

There’s never a sense that Peter is robbing Paul to pay Phillip. Everything is in its rightful place in both space, and time. Upper octaves do not become dry, or parched so that the midrange may keep its liquidity, nor do the lowest octaves become lean, or conversely flabby so that the mids stay lush, and the higher registers maintain their breathing space. Balance seems to be key for Nagra to my ears, and the Hailey 1.2s accomplishes what a great loudspeaker excels at; it simply translates all the sonic information without any coloration of its own. Well done to both YG Acoustics, and Nagra. I look forward to hearing you both again.

For further information on pricing, please contact your local Nagra, YG Acoustics, or Tara Labs dealer.

–Rafe Arnott

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream