Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About JBond

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 12/18/1955

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About

Recent Profile Visitors

2,109 profile views
  1. Maybe it will become a fad, You have to be very into Nagra to wear this out in public or around the house for that matter. https://weadmire.net/product/nagra-noire-serie-all-over-t-shirt-by-yukio-miyamoto/
  2. This listed on eBay , reminds me of Dela's collection, I see why he collects them, look at that custom DR radio silkscreen. You have to admit the Nagra IS is a sweet recorder. You will find Dela's IS collection on post 576 page 24 Or just go to the post index on page 1 and click on Dela 576
  3. Thank you, daniel That's a great story and is just the kind of story I was looking for to be told when I started this thread back in January 2015. I wanted it to be about untold stories using Nagra tape recorders in your profession that only soundmen knew about. The original title of this thread was Nagra Stories only soundmen can tell. There were others on here that told stories over the last three years and I appreciated their stories also. Wow, so you were on the ship for a month? God, it seems so primitive using tape reels in your profession today. I can see you now hanging on and trying to change the reels on an SN. The locking reel hubs unlike a Nagra III or IVS really need two hands as the reel lock would make it impossible to do one-handed so I can see you now trying to do that and keep yourself upright on a rolling ship. I can also imagine how you must have felt not wanting to drop a reel to watch it roll down along the deck leaving a 50 ft tape trail behind, especially with a crew as you explained that did not make you feel at all comfortable. You got the gig over a more experienced soundman, so I guess the pressure was on you to show your best. I appreciate your taking the time to tell your story and hope it'll inspire others to tell theirs. After all, when I started this thread I wanted it to be about Nagra stories that only a soundmen could tell. It would've been nice if the guy had sold you the SN. If I were you, I would look for an SN as you have a great memory to go with it.
  4. Thanks JonG, I appreciate it. Its almost hard to believe that Nagra would take all the time and money to come up with this CES 2018 advertisement / web page below in the link, showing 65 years of awards, listing all their achievements of the past 65 years and get the early history so wrong. 2018 CES Nagra http://www.nagraaudio-hd.com/history.html 1st. They show a Nagra II and call it the 1951 Nagra I (even though they have a real Nagra I ). Stefan Kudelski is holding the Nagra I in the picture before, remember the off set reel nuts. 2nd. Look at the picture of the so-called 1970 Nagra “SNST”. They show a picture of a late model black silkscreen Nagra SN, not a 1970 plain no name Nagra SN (even though they have one) but a black silkscreened late model SN and mistakenly call it a 1970 SNST. The SNST did not get developed until seven years later in 1977. 3rd The1957 Nagra III which should say “1958”. (there is no 1957 Nagra III) They show a later pilot model Nagra III and call it a 1957. The pilot model was not developed until 1962. I guess that’s what happens when there was so much miss information over the years, over and over again. The current people at Nagra may not know what’s real or what’s not. Now its clear to see how the Nagra SN story got so messed up over the years. Nagra Stories #373
  5. Some early Covert Recorder beauty shots, Prototype reel over reel developed in 1955, finally completed and first sold in 1959 only to become obsolete. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. The CIA Type 1, "Resin Recorder", circa 1956-57, group pose. First known 2 channel unit lower left. First auto reverse record upper right. First instant erase (self magnetic destruct) tape. The CIA TYPE 2, "Edwards Model 30 Recorder", circa 1960-62. White Nylon reels thought to keep the heat build up to a minimum. The CIA Type 3, UMY-25 recorder, circa 1965-66 - the first to use IC chips, the two chips equivalent to 26 transistors. Type 4, EDI Recorder, Circa 1967-68 first to become public in 1967 and the reason for the name on the recorder. TYPE 5, Alpha One, circa 1970-71. The most advanced recorder of this type, after a 15-year span. MC-2 Miniature Recorder, ("Cigarette Pack Recorder"), circa 1971, known to be used by the FBI. Evershed T704 ("Yellow Recorder"), circa 1973 The Nagra SN Series cosmetic differences - 1970 to 1999. Yes, I know I'm missing a head cover. These are expensive I'm lucky to have it . The Nagra SN recorder will become the most desirable and sought after reel to reel recorders ever made… mark my words. Right to left, 1st, from 1970 Flat gray paint no silkscreen. 2nd, 1973 low gloss gray paint with red silkscreen. 3rd,1974 to 77 dark anodized aluminum in black and some in red silkscreen. 4th In bright anodized aluminum with black silkscreen. The Nagra JBR, 1984. The most advanced analog recording system ever produced at this size. Swiss made Stereo Microcassette covert recorder system used after the JBR and SNST "No controls"; special pen to operate. Not for public use. The Pearlcorder ZUIKO, first Microcassette recorder 1969, Apollo age modular system. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner.
  6. No one on Jwsound remembers using a Nagra SN in their career of recording movie sound? Not even one experience using the Nagra SN as a movie sound recorder? How can this be?
  7. Thanks Tunes, I recently found this out and purchased a copy of the 1970 American Cinematographer Magazine which has the first write-up of the 1970 Nagra SN. The article seems to suggest the first 1970 SN was specially developed for the movie industry. Shown below is my picture of the 1970 style SN with the Dec 1970 American Cinematographer Magazine article in the background. Full credit for the magazine in my picture goes to American Cinematographer Magazine. It’s an excellent and complete first write up of the NEW Nagra SN and written in great detail. Most all of the necessary accessories were available at the time the recorder was released for the movie industry in 1970/71. That makes a lot of sense since Nagra / Kudelski by 1970 was heavily invested in the movie industry and apparently not so much in the secret spy recorder business. There has never been a scrap of evidence that any Nagra SN was utilized for any reason before 1970. Was the first actual SN developed in 1970 for the movie industry and not the spy industry? It's hard to say for sure; the first SN seemed to fit the movie industry more at the time according to this article. The 1970 SN movie recorder was full track 1 7/8 and 3 3/4 for sound quality. It is possible, Nagra thought at the time 1 7/8 would also be good for covert use, 1 7/8 speed certainly would be useless for actors voices. So one dual-use recorder with two-speed choices depending on the application was developed in 1970 and first sold in 1971. Its possible the SN after being used in the field as a covert recorder worldwide, (It was never meant to be a U. S. use only recorder) suggestions were made that a longer running recorder was needed. In September of 1971 the first SN- Slow speed recorder was manufactured with the serial number 83. (per Nagra email) The September 1971 SNS was 1 7/8 and 15/16 tape speed and 1/2 track so both sides of the tape could be used. The first SN used in the movie industry looked precisely like this 1972 Slow speed model below serial number 811, No silkscreen just a plain gray recorder. Does anyone remember using this recorder in 1971 or later recording movie sound? The first SN developed in 1970 was for both the movie industry and to be used covertly worldwide. The SNS was developed a year later more specifically for covert use only. The SNS in September 1971 was truly the first "meant for covert use" recorder Nagra made. From there, they started their line of covert use only recorders with the SNST, JBR, etc. Can anyone share any known information about using the Nagra SN as a body microphone recorder for the movie industry? Was it extensively used and popular? Or hardly used? I know we talked about this briefly before, but I don't know where. I do not know anything about how it was used or how long in the movie industry. Frankly, I always thought the SN was used much later in the movie business and not released right from the start for movie use. I also thought it was released just a little too late and wireless microphones soon filled the sound problem with the actor's voices. Can anyone say for sure if they know of an actor/ actress that first used the Nagra SN on their person? Or the first movie to use the SN that would have been in 1971?
  8. This updated story of the Nagra JBR has some new information that only a handful of people have known about. The Nagra JBR, 1984 by RJW The Nagra JBR (Junior Body Recorder) was perhaps the most needed covert recorder advancement of the time when it was introduced secretly to the FBI in 1984. It was a joint venture between Nagra and the FBI and 2 other three-letter agencies of the U.S. The aging SNST was still in use at the time and still very popular, but everyone "in the know” knew how to detect someone using the SNST. The SNST was large and cumbersome for one to wear secretly on their person. Not to mention the person on the other end of the conversation most likely was using an advanced tape recorder detector of that time. A smaller-sized harder to detect recorder was needed so Nagra, with the help of James B. Reames* of the FBI, developed this smaller, harder to detect covert recorder, possibly the most secret recorder ever contracted. * James B. Reames 1958-1990 Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington, D.C. Responsible for the analyses of audio tapes to improve intelligibility, to identify non-voice signals, and to determine authenticity of magnetic tape recordings submitted by Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. Also involved with the FBI’s Tape Enhancement Laboratory, Tape Recording Capability, Research and Development Activities, Technical Security Counter measures programs and Tempest Programs. The project was kept highly secret, even to the people who would eventually be the ones using the new JBR, for reasons to also weed out any bad characters even within the government agencies themselves. The recorder could now be used to expose people who knew how to detect the SNST and other recorders of the time. They certainly would not be suspecting the new hard to detect JBR. “The design and manufacture of the recorder has been so secret and important to the FBI (and two other unnamed government agencies who are supposedly the sole users of the recorder) that any public availability of information on the recorder would ‘’make the machine extinct,'according to an employee of Nagra who refused to provide any details on the recorder in a telephone interview." (1) . All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. The complete project was spelled out from the beginning, the JBR recorder along with the advanced universal playback unit called the PU-1. The proposed PU-1 was designated to be a “Playback Universal Unit” to be able to play back the SNST reel tapes and a JBR cassette (a multipurpose unit). The JBR and Playback unit was very advanced technology at the time that was never realized before in a recorder of this size. Since the JBR recorder was easier to develop, the JBR and the playback unit were not ready at the same time. Due to time restraints, the JBR was delivered to the FBI without any means to play back the recording. As the JBR recorder started to be used in the field, the playback unit was still in development. There were many delays as this “new” technology was being developed. The center control track on the JBR was to speed correct the tape since it didn’t have a pinch wheel. The speed of the tape and motion while worn were not going to be an issue because of the control track. Everything was thoroughly thought out in advance, except for the delays. The customer now had “ evidence tapes” and no way to reproduce them, due to the lack of any available playback device. A mechanical adapter was developed: Called the CST to work in conjunction with a common SNST to play back the recorded JBR cassette. This adapter was one thing that was not in the original plans, but it was the best way at the time to play back the recorded JBR tapes while the advanced playback unit was being developed. This was not a cheaply put together adapter. It was made in the same fine quality like any other Nagra product. It's almost as if Nagra knew it was going to be awhile before the “PU1” would be ready. A couple of issues emerged: The tapes did not have any speed correction since the SNST host machine didn't have the capabilities to read the control track. Because of the speed issues and Wow & Flutter, the customers started questioning the quality of JBR recordings. Of course, it wasn't fair since the whole concept hadn't been realized yet. No PU-1 or PS-1. A control track filter SCTF was developed to remove the control track tone from the audio during playback. No one wanted to hear the high-frequency tone mixed in with the audio evidence. If not for that filter, the SNST would otherwise reproduce the constant control track tone. All of these things were stop-gap measures to calm the customer (FBI). The other main flaw in the mechanical adapter was its hold-back tension. It was so high, it damaged the tapes when used. With a few gear changes, they got it to work, sort of. (2) The CST adapter was made utilizing a Nagra SN housing: The SNST would slide on top of the SN housing and lock securely in place, and the folding arm would swing out and hold the JBR cassette also locked securely. Underneath the cassette was a fold-out rewind crank like on the Nagra SN for manually rewinding the JBR cassette. It was very well built. Nothing speaks vintage Miniature Covert Recorder like this setup in playing back the recorded evidence tape. It just goes to show in this clandestine world, you gotta do what you gotta do. The folded CST unit Bottom side with the manual SN rewind crank, this is also used to remove any slack in the tape. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. The JBR cassette mounting plate swings open and locks, the SNST slides and locks into place. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. Add the DSP playback amp and this was the first playback setup before the Control Track Filter was developed. You can see it was a continuous work in progress to satisfy a growing impatient customer. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. I was going to post a scan of the instructions for the Control Track Filter, but because of a schematic on the back side stamped “do not reproduce” I am not going to post any parts of the original document at all. The drawing is dated Oct 1985 The Control Track Filter is just a small box that fits between the SNST and the DSP playback amp and the ASN power pack. So the CST adapter was used without the Control Track Filter for almost a year before the filter was developed. The “make-do” playback required these five items from the original Nagra document: ASN Power pack, SNST recorder, DSP playback amp, CST mechanical adapter and the SCTF Control Track Filter. (3) Together they completed the setup required to play back JBR tapes in its early years. This was the only means available to play back a recorded JBR tape for two years. The PU-1 dual use playback unit that plans called for an SNST and JBR combination unit was scrapped and never realized. Either Nagra or the FBI dropped the PU-1 for whatever unknown reason. In 1986, the PS-1 playback unit as we know today was finally delivered to the FBI for the first time since the 1984 delivery of the Junior Body Recorder - the full potential of the JBR system was finally realized. The harder to detect recorder was only one part, but the advancements made in the PS-1’s capability in enhancing the reproduced playback sound was just amazing. The JBR - measuring only 4½” by 2½ - with the PS-1 playback system was the smallest, most advanced analog recorder system ever produced. One of the hardest stumbling blocks of using past covert analog recorders, including the SNST, was the ability to capture clear quality evidence recordings consistently. This was now made easier thanks to the highly adjustable JBR playback system of the mid-eighties. It was all so secret and no one could ever speak about this advancement in reproducing analog recordings. Of course, digital soon took over, and another Covert Recorder quietly and without fanfare goes down in history. All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. Original Nagra JBR advertising poster showing a JBR beauty shot, with the cassette cover removed to show off Nagra’s reel to reel covert recorder roots This extremely rare poster from 1990 was meant to be used for advertising the JBR at Intelligence trade shows, but its use was short lived as Nagra was informed not to advertise the JBR. The reason was stated to me below. As I advised, xxxxx xxxxxx told me that Nagra New York received a letter from the FBI advising that these recorders were an Interception of Communication (IOC) device and if Nagra continued to advertise these units, there could be legal percussions. I don’t think Nagra advertised the recorders in the USA again. (4) "The Nagra JBR along with the SNST miniature recorders were categorized by the U.S. Department of Justice to be Interception of Communication Devices (IOC).” “The IOC statutes make it illegal to own, use, train and/ or educate non-law enforcement personnel to use this equipment.” (4) All photos marked RJW are copyrighted. Any use other than private with or without the RJW watermark is strictly forbidden, without written permission from the owner. Sources for the Nagra JBR 1) From - Full Disclosure Newspaper, Libertyville, Illinois (USA) 1991 2) Anonymous former Nagra employee 3) SCTF instruction manual. 4) Anonymous intelligence source.
  9. Thank you, yes, of course, the SNST-R (typo) It also could be, Philips, a maker of "recording tape" was asked by Kudelski (maker of "tape recorders") to develop a smaller size tape, which might have led Phillips to develop the first cassette in 1963, who knows? I did not research or look into Phillips. I understand what you are saying, that maybe the Prototype was made in 1965 instead of 1960 because the 1/8 cassette tape was developed in 1963. I don't believe that to be the case.
  10. The prototype dates back to 1960 The Nagra SN dates back to 1970 Repost your clapper boxes alone so we can learn more about them.
  11. I'm glad to see they still bring top dollar, I guess I got a good deal on mine.
  12. Hi Vienna Whoever made it certainly tried to make it match a Nagra III But the control knobs, the metal rings around the knobs and even the radius of the corners of the case tells me it's nothing Nagra did.. Most likely it was made to sit under and match a Nagra III. I would think finding a schematic would be about as hard as finding another one of those. What does the top look like?
  13. Every once in a while I do a Nagra search on eBay, this came up today. I post this only because we were just discussing these tapes and here are three of them. I removed the seller name as I'm not promoting, but I thought it was interesting to share the asking price and description. Two tapes 7 1/2 ips and one tape 15 ips. Does the Nagra III record in 15 ips ? I think I will be happier copying the 1 or 2 songs from the Movie HELP onto my Nagra III for free. THE BEATLES January 1969 Get Back Session 5" Nagra Reel To Reel Tapes Up for purchase are 3 original 5" Nagra tapes from the January 1969 Get Back recording sessions. These tapes were mixed in with a large collection of studio tapes and Apple Records acetates that I purchased in 1985. These are incredibly rare tapes and I've never seen anything like these come up for sale on the open market. The tapes have no stickiness to them, there are no vinegar smells and there are no fall off from the magnetic tape. Each tape comes housed in a plastic BASF clear top container and that is placed inside a light grey BASF plastic case with a drop down door. There are numerous scuffs and scrapes on the case and the Roll #s are penciled in on two of the cases. There will be no returns for this item which is due to the ease of copying this material for later reuse. As always these tapes are being sold collector to collector with no rights given or implied for the recorded material. Individual tape information follows: The Beatles recording session January 1969. Tape Box: Grey BASF Box Serial Number: 561A Reel Type: BASF Reel Size: 5” Speed: 7 1/2 ips Tape Type: BASF Leader Tape Color: Green Splice Angle: Angled Splice Tape Color: Silver Individual tape information follows: The Beatles Recording Session – January 1969 Roll 561 Slate 438 continued Paul mentions Roof Top performance Tuning Two Of Us 562A Guide Track – Show track – Slate Take 1 – All cameras Get Back Roof Top concert take 2 all cameras Get Back All cameras take 3 Get Back Don’t Le Me Down I’ve Got A Feeling (Essentially this is the beginning of the roof top concert. Sound quality is excellent. There is approximately 4" to 5" of tape that has compressed on itself and is damaged. This tape damage occurs at the very end of the song Don't Let Me Down and is noticeable but very little impact on the listening experience.) Tape Box: Grey BASF Box Serial Number: 411A Reel Type: BASF Reel Size: 5” Speed: 7 1/2 ips Tape Type: BASF Leader Tape Color: Green Splice Angle: Angled Splice Tape Color: Silver Playback speed 7½ ips – 5” Reel – Grey Box marked 411A Roll 411 Slate 266 Camera A She Came In Through The Bathroom Window Talking – Dialogue She Came In Through The Bathroom Window Tape Static 4 min (cleaning?) Talking / Chatting Tape Box: Grey BASF Box Serial Number: 83 Slate 158 Continued Reel Type: BASF Reel Size: 5” Speed: 15 ips Tape Type: BASF Leader Tape Color: Green Splice Angle: Angled Splice Tape Color: Silver The Long And Winding Road Chatting I Me Mine (This tape is picking up the recording from a distant mic and therefore the sound quality is diminished) (All items will be packed in a strong record mailer to insure safe arrival.)
  14. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/13/arts/critic-s-notebook-let-it-be-said-beatles-tapes-are-a-trove-if-familiar.html http://wogew.blogspot.com/2015/11/source-of-nagra-tapes.html Those Nagra III tapes were made 49 years ago this month. A year later John Lennon's quote, clearly showing at that time was the beginning of the demise of the Beatles. If only things could have been different, either way, after Dec. 8, 1980, it would have ended anyway… Or maybe not. The Nagra recorder has been such a part of so much history. I would love to hear those tapes playing back on my Nagra III
  15. The video does not exist on youtube, probably for copyright issues. This is all I found, but its just enough that everyone on here will remember. This