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JBond

Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

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Agreed, Jeff. As I'm sure you know, the Harvey Mod IV-S had a built-in resolver and had the ability to use FM Pilot or Timecode.

 

gt

 

It had more than that.  Besides the ability to changeover between FM Pilot and TC with a switch (and not a circuit board swap as in IVS-TC) AND having a built in resolver that could handle either kind of sync AND having that great display AND being far simpler to use than that silly pullout keyboard--inaccessible in a bag on the factory model, Harvey's system could clock its TC generation from an external field rate signal (as from Barton Box) and had a more accurate clock then the factory model.  Andy Wiskes, Harvey's partner and a longtime NorCal soundie, was determined to have a TC Nagra that was as easy to use as a Nagra 4.2 for recording or playback, including the onboard resolver (ie not needing the extra Cooper boxes to do that function), as well as have 2 tracks.  The IV-S only had 2 inputs to the 4.2's 3, but Bill Ruck figured out and built me an outboard mic pre (from all-Nagra parts) that used the NR loop ports, so then I had a 3rd mic in too (assignable L/C/R), with Nagra rolloffs.   Given the weight of the Nagra re doco style shooting or travelling, not having to have a mixer in the pouch in order to have a 3rd input was a great thing, as was a front-panel slate mic mod that went to all tracks, and saved an input.

 

philp

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Andy W is a very techie sound mixer, and was doing a lot of complex playback and record work with cameras shooting at oddball frame rates @ ILM and other places, hence his original interest in that feature.   I found it  not only useful for clocking code to the output of the "Barton Box" (which derived a field rate from computer CRT monitors running at non standard rates, and cameras incrementally changing their frame rates to avoid scan-bars in picture), it also helped with problematic post sound sync situations, where film cameras had been run at strange frame rates unintentionally.  Harvey made me a custom 32-turn pot dingus that allowed me to not only finely dial in the field rate controlling the Nagra playback, it allowed me to manually chase the sync around in cases where either no sync signal (TC or pilot) had been recorded at all or was of some type we couldn't read.

 

philp

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A brand new 4.2 on eBay.

Wondering how many of you bought a brand new 4.2 back in the day? Young and starting out in the field, Your first? Is it the same feeling back then as today when you buy the latest digital recorder?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-NEW-NAGRA-4-2-REEL-TO-REEL-RECORDER-PLAYER-ADAPTER-CORDS-MANUALS-MORE-/111658283310?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19ff5a312e

Poor little guy, never had a chance to record a good movie, Now whats he going to do?

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A brand new 4.2 on Ebay.

Wondering how many of you bought a brand new 4.2 back in the day? Young and starting out in the field, Your first? Is it the same feeling back then as today when you buy the latest digital recorder?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-NEW-NAGRA-4-2-REEL-TO-REEL-RECORDER-PLAYER-ADAPTER-CORDS-MANUALS-MORE-/111658283310?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19ff5a312e

Poor little guy, never had a chance to record a good movie, Now whats he going to do?

 

I never had the money for a new Nagra of any sort back in the day, and they were very expensive used, as all of mine were.  The eventual price of a new Nagra IV-S TC was one of the major reasons the "Harvey-Mod" was invented!  And if you think THAT price was high, go see the price of a Nagra T-Audio when they were in current use!

 

philp

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The Ebay 4.2 is very nice, but it's not new. Looks like it was just used very little and put back in the original box. There is headwear in the form of a tape contact pattern on the playback, pilot, and record heads, and tape oxide residue on the erase head, guides and strobe roller. Also, the front right and left corners of the rubber edging are darkened a little, which is typical and cause by the operator resting their hands there. Sure, the machines were tested by humans with tape before leaving the factory, but not this much.

 

GT

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Glen, I wish I had your life experience with Nagras. Also the video of the new store in Atlanta that was shown here on JWsound is really good. I especially like that consignment rack. I like the way everything in the store was set up. Very well done video. Your part of this I take it?

Hi JB.

 

The Trew Audio Atlanta store turned out great, and the glass wall displaying the consignment items looking into my office is my favorite, too. The videos were produced by our Nashville-based video team using in-house on-camera talent. Jack Moran did the presentation for one, Kristy Moran (no relation) did the other.

 

The Nagra tape machines were a thrill for me every time I used them, which was hours and hours nearly each day for almost 20 years. Becoming a Nagra-trained service center and visiting the factory in Switzerland multiple times was quite a kick. When Trew Audio moved to it's current location in the 1990's, it was pure coincidence that it was next door to Nagra USA in the same building, but it sure was convenient! It's been a career highlight having a connection with Nagra history.

 

GT

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Thanks Glen

Just so everyone knows, I do not know this seller in any way. I just came across it for sale on eBay. His description says it was sealed and only opened for the picture. He has only 14 feedbacks. So I guess he can say whatever he wants to, doesn’t mean its true. Or maybe he is just repeating what he was told. 

You may be right, it certainly may have been used and put back into the box Now that you point out the reasons why.
I doubt there is any amount of real use on this machine to the point the corners are darkened from use though. 
They may only look darker because the white film on the gray rubber was worn off. Possibly even from removing the Styrofoam packing, rubbing against the corners while sliding it on/ off.

I see in the other pictures once out of the box the white is less and less as it easily rubbed off when handled.

As you said there is evidence the tape has passed across the heads and very slight marks on the roller.
At first, I thought the heads could have aged slightly different from where the Nagra test tape ran over them 35 years ago. Because of the material, the heads are made out of, some tarnish would show up over time. But  I can’t see the aluminum roller aging any different in the tape path and there is definitely trace tape marks on the roller.

 

 Would you call it head wear or the tarnish wore off in the tape path?

I do know for a fact running an old tape on a Nagra can make all those marks in less than 1 minute as the old tape deteriorates, maybe they tried it with tape once opened. I would have tried it. 

In any case, new or not 2400.00 is a lot for a 4.2, 

 

The reason I posted it was not because it's a good buy or anything, but to capture that feeling of buying one new and using it for your livelihood. I could only imagine how it felt,  so I asked.

I did have one member pm me saying he bought his 4.2 new back in the day, saying

Quote
I’ve also bought a number of new cars, and a number of new mixers and recorders, and frankly, those acquisitions do not compare to when I got my new Nagra’s (and factory new Cooper Mixers).

 

That is just what I would have expected a new Nagra owner would have felt.

To spend 8-12K on a new Nagra back then, had to have some pride with it.  Yes, you spend that today but you expect things to cost that much today. Not 30 35 years ago.

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I never had the money for a new Nagra of any sort back in the day, and they were very expensive used, as all of mine were.  The eventual price of a new Nagra IV-S TC was one of the major reasons the "Harvey-Mod" was invented!  And if you think THAT price was high, go see the price of a Nagra T-Audio when they were in current use!

 

Yes, we had two Nagra T machines at Complete Post back in the day, and I think with all the options they went for about $12,000 in the late 1980s. We used ours heavily. I used to smack colorists on the head when I saw them treating the Nagras like a washing machine. It's amazing they held up so well for so long -- almost literally built like a tank. To this day, I've never seen a reel machine that could wind tape faster than a Nagra T. 

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Marc, I think you miss spoke the price of the Nagra T It was 25,000, the STC was 12,000 if I'm not mistaken. 

 

There was a time they sold on eBay for 3500 for a Used clean and working Nagra T

Now they are hard to get for that price. I always wanted one complete with the beautiful bridge but never had the money.

 

I would love to find one locally that is complete, not beat up, and they just want it removed.

Hey! I can dream can't I

 

Now complete ones go for a lot, this one is not even that clean and look what it sold for.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NAGRA-T-AUDIO-TC-REEL-TO-REEL-T-AUDIO-UNIT-w-AUDIO-BRIDGE-AND-STAND-/271835119394?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f4aa2bf22&nma=true&si=NYJoVtpYwOOnaXaoPsxSnvxGW0Q%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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On 5/1/2015 at 0:04 PM, Glen Trew said:

Hi JB.

 

The Trew Audio Atlanta store turned out great, and the glass wall displaying the consignment items looking into my office is my favorite, too. The videos were produced by our Nashville-based video team using in-house on-camera talent. Jack Moran did the presentation for one, Kristy Moran (no relation) did the other.

 

The Nagra tape machines were a thrill for me every time I used them, which was hours and hours nearly each day for almost 20 years. Becoming a Nagra-trained service center and visiting the factory in Switzerland multiple times was quite a kick. When Trew Audio moved to it's current location in the 1990's, it was pure coincidence that it was next door to Nagra USA in the same building, but it sure was convenient! It's been a career highlight having a connection with Nagra history.

 

GT

 That is an amazing story, not only using the Nagras for 20 years but incorporating sales, servicing, repairing and all with a close relationship with Nagra. And now another beautiful store with all the latest electronic toys. You really have the best of both worlds …What a fun life you have, I’m sure you have your headaches also but to truly do what you enjoy is really great. Your store is beautiful.   I could really use an autograph picture of you using your Nagra ::)

 

If fact, I would love to have an autograph picture of all you guys showing you and your Nagra on set.

 I wonder how much that would cost me? ???

Sure would go great with my collection....  A wall of famous soundmen shown with their Nagras. How fitting would that be?

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I have a Nagra II CI that I have put on eBay  - best offer was not good. I desperately want to use it to fund or as part exchange for a used  Nagra VI or even VII - I know this is not the right thread but if anyone knows a collector - please pm me!

Pardon my opportunistic effort!

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There will always be something so special to me, spinning reels of tape, a sight we do not see often or at all these days. Nostalgic memories at their best. Thank you for the visual moving image.

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So many times I have tried to post a youtube video to show with a full picture instead of just a blue link. 

StefB,  How did you do that?  

I have a MacBook pro, is it the computer? Do I need windows to do it? 

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Note:  I am showing these vintage tape recorders as part of my collection only.  They are out of service and no longer used in the manner they were designed, but remain a part of audio recording history.  It should not be considered in any way as endorsing or promoting any activity contrary to applicable laws and regulations.  

 

 

Briefcase Recorders, for a different kind of Soundman, with a receiver, transmitters and other adapters for cars, radios or just to hide in an area. One adaptor would splice between the car radio and antenna for added range. Capable up to 5-mile radius.
Movie soundmen could watch, listen and record, Soundmen that used these, could only listen and record.  I'll bet both jobs were pretty interesting at times.
 
At first a dedicated 5-inch reel to reel, years later the capability to use the recorder of your choice. 
 
1GFT9jo.jpg
 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 briefcases have a cord for AC, a cord for 12-volt vehicle power or six D batteries.
Aren't you glad you were able to do movies with all the excitement?  Rather than sitting in the back of a hot van by yourself listening all day long...  
 
 
r0qLsQh.jpgAll 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.

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What is the serial number of your Nagra II ci?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhFgROi68fo

Hi JBond

My Serial is 56435.

How did you power it up - seeing that we do not get those batteries anymore - did you build a dc supply? 9v is serie?

 

Cheers

Stef

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StefB You called yours a Nagra II CI

I just noticed your' silkscreen on top says Nagra II c, not CI

Does it say CI elsewhere on the recorder? 

 

Interesting, I have not seen a 1956 CI before, your serial number made is 435 and mine 1957 is 524.  89 units between us.  

 

They made about 1,000 Nagra II’s including the CI from 53 to 57  So according to your serial number that tells me there was "at least" 565 Nagra II Ci made.  The lower the CI serial number the more CI were made.  The Nagra II (not  CI) is a much rarer model. Which I knew already but now confirms it. It would be nice to know what the serial number was on the first CI

Can you post some more pictures of yours?

Thanks

 

 

 

That video of my Nagra II Ci is a feeble attempt to make it look like it works, turning up the volume, pointing the camera at the speaker, shutting it off at the end gives people the illusion that it's working.  Don’t feel bad, it fools everyone (at first) who would admit to it. 

 

I had the video up a few times but wasn't happy with it and wanted to make it better so I took it down. Seems like I'm never going to get around to making it better so there it is.  I think the song goes very well with it. Reels slowing down at the end as the song slows to a stop.

 

Just needs a better Cameraman, Sound editor and Director.   Which I am none of those.

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Marc I think you miss spoke the price of the Nagra T It was 25,000, the stc was 12,000 if I'm not mistaken. 

 

I saw the invoice for the second one from Nagra in Nashville, and I believe it was $12,500 around 1991 or so. Now it's possible we got a B-stock or something, but it was an expensive machine. This was with pretty much all the options and would resolve Nagra Neo-Pilot tapes, take video sync, had the roll-around cart with speaker, and so on. My bet is that we got 40% off and they bought it off the floor at NAB, which is something the company did quite frequently: buy a display model that had 1 week of use on it and get it cheaper. 

 

I used to have a complete price list for all the Nagra models from the 1980s... I suspect that's gone to the Great Paper Recycling Plant in the Sky. I did just stumble upon a whole bunch of ASC/LSC brochures and catalogues from the 1980s and 1990s, some of which I kept. 

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If you got 40% off then we are both right, this is 1994 I have an older sheet but I can't find it right now. So it was probably less in 1991

 Let's not forget I'm only going by list price sheet. I wouldn't have any idea what they actually sold for in the field, so you would know more about that than I would. I just remembered seeing 25k somewhere.

qjFmEch.jpg

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What I found out, about the Nagra I

 

I was curious what the differences are between the Nagra II c and the Nagra CI. So I did some research on the Nagra I, Nagra II, Nagra II b Nagra II c and Nagra II CI.

 

What I found

The Nagra I,
Was a bare bones recorder, No meter, No spring wind gauge on the front panel, No window in the top lid, they were brown and only 25 were made. Also, the reel hold down nuts were off center on the reels.

I cannot find any changes that were ever made to the 25 Nagra I’s made between 1951/ 1952 This does not mean changes weren’t made, I just can’t find any.
 

The most noticeable change from Nagra I to Nagra II was the Nagra II has the reel hold down nuts in the center of the reels and a different clock spring wound motor.
All other improvements were on the Nagra II.

Stefan Kudelski confirms this in the quote below.

 

In an interview with Stefan Kudelski
Videography: Was that the first Nagra?

Kudelski: "Yes, the Nagra I. It was just a gadget. When I saw that this was a serious market, then we made the Nagra II with improvements over the Nagra I." Then the Nagra III, which was very serious equipment. I built that in 1956, which means I was 27.

Nagra I
From Nagra, in their collection.

This Is the Nagra # one, they made 25 of them.
jruH4Qb.jpg

This picture shows the solid lid (no window)

glFVphK.jpg

Many changes were made to the Nagra II between 1953-1957
The early 1953 Nagra II originally had No Modulator / vu meter, it looked very similar to the Nagra I Even had the brown front face plate. Later Nagra II added the optional side plug in modulator meter, later Nagra II’s added the front mounted modulator meter, extra switches different spring motor etc. all these changes were made on a Nagra II. In 1955 circuit boards added Nagra II C= circuit it was called.

Not sure what else has changed in the Nagra II CI= circuits inside, basically no big differences except they added the I to the c on the deck top. The front plate diagram changes for the controls and the speaker grill cover from aluminum to black. As shown in these three pictures.
Hopefully, someone has more information they can share.

The first example of the Nagra II it’s a copyrighted picture so I’ll just share the link.
You can see the similarity to the Nagra I, except the spring meter, the window in the lid.

And the hold down nuts.

See First Picture here.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/kudelski_nagra_ii_2_autonome_tape_recorder.html

rnX80Cs.png

cl5r3uF.jpg

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.

From what information I found about the Nagra I and Nagra II, this is not a picture of the Nagra I in the link below.

It has every option the Nagra I never had. The most tell tale sign is, the reel hold down nuts are in the center of the reels, this is a dead giveaway. Not to mention the
window in the lid, spring wind gauge on the front panel, the side meter, and the extra knobs on top and side. Such a beautiful machine, but not a Nagra I

Not sure who the owner is but it’s a 1953 early Nagra II with all the options. Sorry about that.
The owner may know its a Nagra II and it may just be miss labeled in the article. I hope that is the case, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news to the owner if he thought it was a Nagra I. But it is the coolest Nagra II I ever saw.

 

Unless it's a completely decked out Nagra I, but wouldn't that make it a Nagra II? Yes it is a Nagra II

I hope someone can share some information on this machine. Like more pictures etc.

http://695.com/Quarterly/5-2/5-2-nagra-kudelski-tribute/

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