Nagra VPS phonom stage - how good

I have hjeard very good reports about the Nagra VPS phono stage.

Has anyone heard one or own on. I am interested how it compares to the best out there and against it's price base of 6.5k
It's ok.
I am trying it out right now. It has a very open, wide and deep sound stage. Instruments have thier own space and do not seem to loose it even in complex movements. Vocals are very clear and focused as well.
I have been using it in the hi gain mode to break it in. I will try it without high gain this weekend.
This weekend I will also put it against the AR PH7 and hopefully the Manley stealhead.
The Manley Stealhead seemed to have more pop in the lower end if my memory serves me, but we will see. The AR PH7 has a great sound stage as well so the weekend should be fun.
Hevac, pls remember to post back here after the comparison. A friend of mine who'd listened to the VPS told me that it sounded awefully close to Conrad Johnson Tea-1, but $4k cheaper!
Have it in my system now and compares favourably to Audio Note M6 phono stage, takes the involvement and adds detail, soundstage.

One question is the gain, I have a low output (0.14mv) cartridge and it need the electronic gain. So you do need a medium to high output to be able to choose between the low & high gain output.

Thomasheisig : what is your cartridge?

I think, 0,14mV is too low. I did listen to it with a 0.48mV Zyx cartridge.
Hello all,

Well I listened last weekend and this is my opinion between the AR7 and the Nagra VPS:

The gain of the AR7 is lower than the Nagra VPS; to match them I had to set the volume from 60 down to 50 on my AR Ref3 to match volume levels. When in the no gain with the Nagra VPS, I set the volume at 85 or above to be in the listening range I like.

Music I listened to: Classic Records: The Royal Ballet, Dave Brubeck Time Out & Miles Davis Kind of Blue. MFSL: Saint-Saen Organ Symphony Bernstein NY Philharmonic, The Beatles Abbey Road, & Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon UHQR. Japanese Recordings: Rickie lee Jones, Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound. & Deep Purple Machine Head. DCC: JethroTull Aqualong & Elton John Greatest Hits. Standard recordings: Sufjan Stevens, Illinoise & Van Halen 1984 and others since the weekend.

This is the differences between the two units in my system - I used the same interconnects with both units:

First I will start with what I liked about both units. Both units have an open sound stage, depth and space around the instruments. They both handled complex movements easily.

The AR7 was more laid back in the presentation and treated all instruments with equal emphasis. It did not have the punch and excitement of the music that I expected and wanted. It was better with Jazz & Classical than with Rock. Bass did not go as low as I’d like.

The Nagra VPS was much more forward in its presentation and treated the instruments with equal emphasis also but gave more energy to instruments when needed. There was more punch and excitement, depth and lower bass was better. It was very good with all the music I played. I found my self tapping my toes to the music with the VPS.

I have been using the Pass Alpha ONO before this.
I bought a Nagra VPS recently kinda broke even on it when upgrading to Maxx 2's. (swapped for my BAT VKP10SE superpak which is very good) "tapping my toes" was exactly what I was doing and am doing ever since.

Hevac1 said it perfectly "...treated the instruments with equal emphasis also but gave more energy to instruments when needed. There was more punch and excitement, depth and lower bass was better"

The VPS has a tonally correct sonic signature and feels like live un amplified music quality that is just "right" for me and my system.
Well the Nagra VPS is my new phono stage. Waiting now for the second MC input to show up.
Does the VPS have xlr inputs?
The VPS has RCA input & RCA/XLR output.
Does the Nagra have enough output to drive a power amp directly?
The Nagra VPS doesn't have a volume control. So it's not really desgined to drive a amp directly. (But like any source, you could do this, if the gain matched your amp just right and you never wanted to change volume)

The Nagra PLP is a full function preamp with nearly the same phono stage built in.


Not sure why you're asking about xlr inputs. Just fyi, I went from a all BAT system, vkp10se superpak, 51se, 150se. I was nervous about going with any type of single ended component. (The Nagra does have xlr outs, but it is not a balanced design). I was using a din to xlr tonearm cable and the BAT phono sounded better balanced in and out. The VPS single ended is that good. I took NO steps backwards in running my phono stage now single ended into my BAT balanced pre and amp...
Have you heard the TRON Seven - all tube phono. Great sound and build quality from a boutique British designer ( - available from Highwater Sound in NYC

Where can I buy Nagra VPS? I tried emailing Nagra Audio asking them about dealership network. It took them one month to reply to my email! Worse, they gave me a dealer contact in Austin Texas but I have called him 10 times and he didn't even pick up a phone one single time.

Way to go Nagra!!
To Viper_z:

I am the contact in the U.S. for Nagra, and if somehow we've managed to provide such bad service, please accept our apologies; however I should note I keep every bit of e-mail correspondence, and I can't locate anything about the VPS referral to Ne Plus Ultra in Austin, Texas you mention. In any event, please feel free to contact me directly at or 617-314-9296 if I can be of help, and if you are trying to get a response from Casey in Austin, please be sure to leave a message when you call.

Thank you, and best regards,

John Quick
Sales Manager, NAGRA USA

Hi, I posted earlier above. The dealer in Austin, Ne Plus Ultra is super good. I think you should give them a second chance. I can't comment on why re: the 10 times, he does have a extensive customer network, and seriously values personal-in home service. If you tried him last week, I had him one on one for a day and a half for visit to a speaker manufacturer, we both had our phones off.

This, imo, is way it should be when we are spending this kind of money. Since I met Ne Plus Ultra about 2 years ago, my system has never sounded better. When my current preamp broke, Nagra loaned me a PLL. If the stock market ever goes up, I will buy it, it's a killer combo with my VPS.

Ne Plus Ultra is truly one the best dealers anywhere. You'll be dealing with a audiophile, musician, and someone with passion.

Re: Nagra USA, via their dealer in Austin, they have provided me with several loaners to evaluate, and when I purchased, they fed ex'd my new VPS so I could get it the next day-on his nickel. I had several questions (I get anal on new purchase) and Nagra USA was very informative-they know their product.

I honestly think this is a simple mixup. I want to say this carefully, and please interpret it the right way, not buying for Ne Plus Ultra is as much of a loss for you as it is a sale for them. Besides, the VPS is a KILLER PHONO stage...

If you live around Austin, send me a note, and stop by for a listen to my setup...bring your fav LP's :)!
Thank you Jfrech, you have a killer system - a system to die for!!! I live in Houston but I'll defintely give you a buzz when I have plan to visit Austin.

John, you may want to check the email you sent me on the 24th of June 2008.
OK, Barry... you were right... I found the e-mail I sent on the 24th of June, 2008; however the delay in responding was actually only 6 days from the date your inquiry hit our system in Switzerland- not quite the month you stated in your post.

So I have to ask- what axe do you have to grind with us?

It's now 4 months since I responded to your inquiry, and most people reading would take your earlier post as a shot at Nagra and/or our dealer in Austin. I don't believe this is called for. I tried to be polite and accountable for possibly overlooking your inquiry, but you still insist on trying to make us look bad. I think an apology is in order, however I'd be just as happy if you simply stopped trashing people who have offered to be helpful.
You are the one who's made yourself looking bad. You responded to my first post suggesting that I was lying by claiming that you have never sent out the dealer contact in Austin. And now you found out that you are wrong so you're accusing me of trying to axe-grinding you ?

Let's get this straight. I am a potential Nagra customer that has been trying to audition Nagra products and have been frustrated by the dealer who never picked up his phone, and never responded to my phone message.

I sent one email to Nagra audio in April from a contact I found on and got no response, so in June I used Audiogon to send another one and finally got a response.

You wrote on your post that I STILL INSIST on trying to make you look bad. Now can you check how many post have I written on this thread and how many times did I INSIST on trashing you? So you considered me telling you to check your email as "trashing" you?

And you are telling me that I should stop trashing people who have offered to be helpful? What 'people' are you talking about? The people who have tried to be helpful are Nagra customers like JFrech, when have I ever 'trashed' JFrech?

I may end up liking Nagra products, but in that case I will buy directly from Europe. Good luck with your business.
Viper Z
I have emailed plenty of dealers and other who have either lost or forgotten to reply.
All I do is email again and put second request in the subject area and usually get responded to very quickly. How can you make that person responsable for a reply from someone else even if they recommend them. How would they know what that person is doing, how busy they are or if they responded to you in the first place.
I would just email that person and ask if they could find out why I have not gotten a reply from the person they recommended.