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dela

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About dela

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  • Location
    Copenhagen
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes
  • About
    I have been working with film post production for 12 years; I am now primarily working with TV (on a danish national broadcaster, as well as being involved i film projects. I am quite fascinated by Nagra recorders and everything connected with them.

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  1. I had some spare time today, so I thought I would also add some serial numbers for the Nagra III SN. collection... I have 5 fairly garden variety Nagra III recorders; if it is accurate that the first two digits show the production year, they are manufactured in 1962-1968. On the photos it can be seen how there are slight but noticeable differences. To sum up, the serial numbers for the recorders are: BH 62 1599 PHO 6813072 PHO 6710710 PHO 6710740 PHO 6711121 The main difference between the 1962 unit and the later versions is, that the pertinax (baked paper) boards are replaced by the much more stable fibreglass boards. A tiny difference is that the modulometer is a bit more robustly mounted than in the later units, where a more traditional meter is used. Could be caused by a change of supplier; the "new" type seems a bit simpler and thus cheaper. On all the Nagra III recorders (and actually all Nagra III recorders) Philips electrolytic capacitors are used. They tend to dry out over time, making it a good idea to replace them if the Nagra is to be actually used. But strangely enough I have never encountered a Nagra III that needed capacitors changed... The 1962 Nagra III is a bit special to me, because that was my first Nagra. A year after the next III came, then a Nagra IS, and from then on they just kept coming to me. I am sorry about the dirt on the 1962 unit; I hadn´t noticed that the semi-rotting bag had left such a mess...
  2. dela

    Question for the Nagra aficionados...

    Great machine! If you are not using the TC capabilities, you might completely disable the recording of TC, so that you don´t get any TC bleed into the audio. Normally it is not a problem, but if you can hear any TC at all, it is quite easy to disable it (i a non-destructive and reversible way). It is described in the service manual; tell me if you need a scan of it... I have not been polishing any lids myself yet, but a very knowledgeable german Nagra owner gave me a description of how to do it: "Also for clear lids I have the same results with "UNIPOL" and a very soft towel. This gives very good resultsHere is the link to Amazonhttps://www.amazon.de/Unipol-Metal-Polish-Pflegemittel-Metalle-1000ml/dp/B0056EW4IQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504464910&sr=8-1&keywords=unipol+polierpasteI use a PROXON device to do the jobhttps://www.amazon.de/Proxxon-Winkelpolierer-WP-E-28660/dp/B00JVT00JM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504464981&sr=8-1&keywords=proxxon+poliermaschine" It is an excerpt of a mail, in the rest he says that the machine polisher gives a much better result, but if a towel w. polishing creme is used, be sure to do it slowly and always keep moving. And never press... But if you take it to Trew Audio, I am sure that you will get all your questions answered...
  3. Actually there is a link between Nagra IS, me and Procol Harum: One of my DR Nagra IS recorders are from the collection of Anton Stormlund, who owns a large collection of Hammond organs. On a tour of Denmark, procol Harum (or rather: One of the incarnations of it) visited his exhibition and tested his instruments, including his huge theatre organ. It is indeed a small world...
  4. dela

    Hirose-powered Mac Mini.

    A smart mod, but keep in mind that the Mac mini expects a supply voltage of 12V DC with possibly a quite narrow tolerance. So be very careful, if you want to run it directly on a battery supply, where the voltage can vary considerably.
  5. This (rather blurry) photo is from a SNN currently on sale on eBay. It seems to have had the extra input connector installed as well, so it is probably a common mod.
  6. I think (without actually having access to a SNST) that it is just a hole with an internal threading, possibly for an accessory. I have found a picture of a partially disassembled SNST where the mysterious hole is shown: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-nagra-snst-circuit-boards-nagra-snst-spy-recorder-35920311.html On that image, the inside part behind the hole looks identical to the parts behind two screw holes in the connectors, where they are used for fastening the male connector or accessory. My guess is that the Kudelski people of some reason put an extra fastening option on the SNST, in addition to the two connector locking screw holes. But that is just speculation...
  7. It seems that the IS is quite popular at the moment; there are two up for sale on eBay and another one locally in Denmark. And interestingly enough they are all ex-DR... DR had a large number of them in use, and I think that a lot of them "disappeared" when they were phased out. I have heard numbers of app. 400 recorders (half on TV, half on radio), and in the Radio Denmark collection they only have 5-10 left. So it is not impossible, that I have more IS recorders than Radio Denmark itself... I have checked the two Nagra IS on eBay, and they are both quite nice. The one in JBonds post is a IS-TLSP, ie. it is prepared for pilot use. The other one is a bit newer, but without the possibility of upgrading to pilot use. The bag for the one in the picture is actually not an original bag (as stated in the eBay posting), but it is on the other hand a much nicer and better bag. After what I have heard, this bag was supplied to DR by the father of one of my former collegues; he had a quite well assorted company at that time. The real original bag is a rather boring beige thing, while this one is of much better quality. I have one of them, and it is clearly more attractive than the others. An interesting thing about the other IS on eBay is that the pictures in the posting shows a bottom view of the recorder. On the bottom side it has a label saying that this recorder is a replacement for another one, borrowed to DRU (probably Radio Denmark youth radio dept.) in 1994. This means that the IS, which was released in 1974, was still in active use 20 years later. Not too bad, I think. I was just about to write that they are both a bit overpriced, but when checking up on them a minute ago, I found that they were actually both sold. If the prices stay this high, I might not have to worry about my life in retirement (which is, admittedly, still quite some years out in the future).
  8. dela

    Sony TC-510 Tape Deck Needed

    I just got a Sony TC-510-2, and by a coincidence I found this thread about what the abovementioned recorder was to be used for, and how it was prepared for the Mindhunter intro sequence: https://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=282827
  9. I worked on a film (Dear Wendy, 2004) where a SN was used in an abandoned coal mine in Germany. It (and a 16 mm camera) was the only recording equipment allowed to be used in the mine. Unfortunately I never had the SN "in real life", as the recordings were transferred to DAT in Germany. So the first Nagra I ever encountered, I never actually saw... Regarding the SQN3 + SN combo, the SQN3 was actually designed to be used in conjunction with the SN (as an early mixer/recorder unit). SQN then found out that the mixer on its own was a winner, and the rest is history.
  10. I was lucky enough to start collecting before the prices started skyrocketing... And, not least, have the luck to know a lot of people who has used Nagras, and who more or less have donated Nagras to me. So now I have 26 machines, each with a history from different corners of the (mostly) danish film and broadcast world, all maintained but not so polished, that they hide their original use. But it is getting harder and harder to get new machines for a non-ridiculous price, as most potential sellers follow the eBay "Buy Now" price... It is typical that whenever an expensive Nagra is sold on eBay, more sellers follow tgrying to sell the same type recorder for that same high price. Which seldomly works out, indicating clearly that the market for Nagras is quite limited and easily saturated. A year ago Nagra IS machines hit a peak, with decent condition machines were sold for up to 1200-1400 USD. Now I could buy one locally for app. 300-500 USD, also in fine condition.
  11. It definitely sounds like an antenna problem... The annoying thing about that is that the antennas are built into the screen base, so they are not easily accessible... The antennas can be replaced without damaging the screen, but I don´t know if Apple supplies it as a separate spare part. So Apple may see replacing the entire screen as the only solution.. If you can find a scrapped screen, the antennas can be moved to your screen, it just takes a bit of finesse (and perhaps help from YouTube) to do it.
  12. If you click on the WiFi icon in the top menu while holding down the Alt-key, you will get a reading of a range of parameters of your connection. You can check your RSSI (received signal strength); on my connection (with app. 5 m to my Airport Express base) I get a RSSI of -59 dBm. If your RSSI is significantly lower, you might have a problem with either the WiFi card (easy to fix) or the antenna in the screen base (not easy to fix). It might still be a software problem, but in this way you can start by eliminating hardware issues...
  13. dela

    1/4 Track Playback Head On A Nagra IV-S

    Here is a guy who did replace the pilot head with a quarter track head: The tricky part would be to find a head that is an exact physical match to the original Nagra head. It doesn´t look like a Kudelski head viewed from the front, so he might have fitted another type head in a Kudelski head casing. Which in itself is quite a feat... In the commentary field someone asks about the make of the head; there is no answer, but a direct question to the guy might give an answer (which I am eager to know...)
  14. I know of a place (in Copenhagen), where they have a NOS wide track record head for the IV-S. Unfortunately not a corresponding playback head... Then you just need the IV-S, but that might well be a standard 2mm track width machine, which is (relatively) easier to find.
  15. The pilot and non-pilot versions of the IV-S came out at the same time; they were just two variations of the same machine. So the non-pilot wide track IV-S also has the NRS option... The only reason the track width was reduced, was to allow for a center track with the pilot information. It was important not to mix tapes recorded on wide- and narrow track recorders, so often non-pilot recorders were fitted with narrow track heads to avoid incompatibility. Sometimes non-pilot IV-S recorders are described/sold as very desirable and better for music recordings, but that only goes for wide track machines; if it has narrow track heads there are no difference. As for the sound quality with NRS, I guess that a lot of factors play in, f.ex. the design of the specific noise reduction system and the calibration of the system/recorder. In theory the noise floor will be lower with a NRS, but it also adds a lot of circuitry to the signal path. So the resulting sound quality depends on the actual setup...
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