Swiss Nagra introduced the first cartridge for turntables in its history – Reference MC. The pickup is conceived as a component of the Nagra Reference Anniversary player, released last year to mark the company’s 70th anniversary.
The Nagra Reference MC will be available in 4 and 6 ohm versions. This is the resistance of ultra-pure silver wire, wound, against the usual, not in one, but in two layers. At 5 cm / s, the 4-ohm version produces a signal with a swing of 0.30 mV, and the 6-ohm version – one and a half times more.
The internal mechanics of the cartridge is made of titanium coated with diamond-like carbon, which made it possible to defeat traditional resonances for many analogs. The ruby needle holder ends with a diamond-ground needle with a Fritz Gyger S profile. The manufacturer explains this choice by a combination of high detail and musical sound.
Separately, Nagra emphasizes the serious study of the hull design. The search led to the high-damping Exium AM non-ferrous metal alloy developed in France – it is also partially used in the Nagra 70th Anniversary Reference turntable disc.
The recipe for this alloy is the result of a collaboration between CNES (French space agency), Ecole de Mines de Paris and the French firm LBI Foundries. Initially, Exium AM was developed for seismographs designed to work in Martian missions.
As a result, for the Nagra Reference MC pickup, the channel discrepancy is not worse than 0.5 dB and the amount of crosstalk is higher than 30 dB with a downforce of 2 to 2.2 g. The mass of the cartridge is 14.3 g, and in addition to the Nagra Reference Anniversary, it is quite possible to install it on some other turntable.
The first Nagra Reference MCs will be available in December 2022 for $18,500 per pickup in the US.