nagra cdp

I´m looking to buy a cdp for my PL_L. I´ve seen nobody talks about it. Better than w 861 se? better than meridian 808? agaisnt EMM? level to esoteric 03?. In other way.. The best cable to interconnect them?

i haven't heard the 861 se in so long I can't remember, but to me it is definitely in the league of the EMM labs and Meridian, at this level you really need to listen to it yourself as the differences are small, but personal.
I heard the Nagra in a friend's system. While we, a group of three listeners, spent a whole afternoon listening to it, we did not do critical comparisons with a lot of other machines. We did compare it to a Naim CD555 player. All of us agreed that the Nagra was a very good sounding player. All of us preferred the CD555, but, there is a VERY substantial difference in price in favor of the Nagra. I thought that the Nagra was quite close to the CD555, except in the sense of weight and "scale," particularly large orchestral and choral pieces. The Nagra is lighter in weight. We were all impressed with the Nagra (two of us, myself included, own a CD555).

There were some operational quirks with the Nagra and its remote control. I can recall only one of these quirks, but, I do recall finding several minor annoyances. The one I recall is that if you load the machine and use its controls to start play, then the remote is totally disabled (this is a temporary annoyance because I am sure an owner will get used to doing everything through the remote).

I personally like the idea of having both the Nagra linestage and CDP. The combination would look good (and take up little space), and probably sound very good together (most manufacturers attain some synergy when their components are used together).

Which linestage did you used to evaluate both the CD555 and Nagra player?

I think it was a Hovland HP 200 feeding into a Hovland amp and then into Sonus Faber Anniversario speakers. The Hovland gear is reasonable smooth and full bodied, but, a touch polite and dynamically constrained. I have no idea which player this setup favors. The differences between the units were small enough that favoring one over the other could be easily attributable to system synergy.

I heard the CD555 in a lot of different systems before I purchased one myself. It sounded good in all instances, but then again, one could expect such systems to be pretty good. To me, the only substantial sonic issue with the Naim is that it retains some of that artificial "edgy" quality to the initial attack of notes that makes it sound just a touch mechanical (i.e., "transistor sound"); not as severe as with other Naim players, but still there. For absence of that kind of artifact, I like the Audionote DACs, particularly the DAC-5 signature.