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Haggy38

New to Nagra!!

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Hi guys,

 

This is my first post here, Ive been using reel to reel more than 10 years and I really love them, I always wanted a Nagra deck but prices are crazy this days, finally find a Nagra III, as description its working but no more info, I just wanted to do some simple music recordings, I know is mono but its all visual to me, no experience with the banana connections and would like to adapt some type of power supply, this beauty works on 12 D batteries. 

 

I wanted to learn as much as possible from you guys, and try to find a nice top cover, mine has some cracks, please feel free to give some advice  where to start.

 

 

Regards,

Gustavo

 

PS, From far far away.... I really mean it. Bogota-Colombia 

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Gustavo said: "I wanted to learn as much as possible from you guys, and try to find a nice top cover, mine has some cracks, please feel free to give some advice  where to start."

 

I think that no one has responded because we don't know where to start! It seems as if you are not too familiar with the Nagra III and it is not clear what issue(s) most concern you. I'm sure someone will jump in with some help/advice if you have a specific question. 

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Hi Gustavo,

 

I’m surprised that no one answered you as there are a number of Nagra enthusiasts on this board. I expect you will reap responses from them soon. 

 

Your recorder is quite old. First produced in 1958, the III was replaced by the IV-L model (and subsequent 4.2 variation) in 1968 according to Wikipedia. Personally, I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing of a IV-L before 1970 but the roll-out of the new model may have been slow. Anyway, your machine is now fifty years old or older so finding parts may be a challenge. The factory supported these machines for a very long time but eventually stopped giving support somewhere in the mid to late 1990’s.

 

The III is the model that made the reputation of the company. It brought sonic quality previously available only in studio machines to a portable recorder. It was amazingly reliable and, because of its ability to run on ordinary flashlight batteries, could be used anywhere in the world. It was the favored recorder of people making ethnographic recordings. 

 

The replacement IV-L (& 4.2) brought another input and more sophisticated construction using a motherboard, daughterboard configuration. 

 

While the Nagra parent company no longer provides active support, they may still be a source of information. The original company, The Kudelski Company, has moved on to the manufacture of video decoding equipment but audio gear is still made by a spin-off of that original firm. United Technologies Switzerland, headed by Stefan Kudelski’s son-in-law Pascal Maroux (sp?) and daughter Magritte Kudelski, still makes audio equipment. 

 

Several companies here in the U.S. still service the Nagra III as they are able. A reliable source of parts can be a problem and navigating cross-reference manuals to identify replacements for transistors and capacitors long out of production can be time consuming, driving up service costs. But servicing is possible. I believe that Trew Audio will still work on the Nagra III and possibly also Location Sound Company although their resident Nagra III specialist, Peter Pham, has retired. But it would be wise to contact these companies directly. Dan Dugan in the San Francisco area may also be a source of support. 

 

Regarding external power, I am 99.9% certain that the ATN power supply made for the Nagra IV (& also 4.2, IV-S, etc.) will work with the III. That opens a wider source of supply as those recorders were made into the 1990’s and components may be available on EBay. You might also contact Ron Meyer at Professional Sound in Valencia, California. Ron made a power supply for Nagra recorders. I expect he stopped making them twenty five years ago but you never know what might still be on a shelf in the shop. 

 

I hope our this helps. Good luck with your new acquisition. 

 

David

 

 

 

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I found several items in a quick check on eBay. There is an ATN-2 power supply being offered for about $500. This seems excessively expensive but it at least affords the opportunity to look at pictures of what you seek. Other examples are likely to surface if you are patient. Be aware that you seek the ATN power supply, not the battery charger that only charges batteries and does not power the recorder. 

 

There is also a plexiglass lid for a Nagra IV available on eBay for about $300. The lid for the IV is not exactly the same but may be adaptable. On the other hand, a whole III recorder is offered for notmuch more money than that lid and might be useful as a source of parts. 

 

David

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The Nagra IV lid isn't going to work on a III.  If you bought this machine as a collector then right on--my last III is the one piece of audio gear I've owned that I regret selling.  If you bought this machine to do hobby recording, cool, but you will probably need to learn how to align it yourself (and get the tools and test tape to do it).  As was said, parts and knowledgeable service people are hard to find and very expensive (this was always true).  If you bought this machine to do professional recording I'd recommend reconsidering your plan.

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Aloha, I have a plexiglass cover with a small crack which has been repaired. This lid is for 7" reels and uses a special frame that bolts to the Nagra. A piano hinge supports the frame and lid. You will have to custom fit the Nagra 111 levers on the front to hold the lid securely. This type of lid was developed many years ago to upgrade the Nagra 111 for 7" reels. I noticed you have a takeup reel which appears to be a 16mm film reel. Search for a Scotch 7" reel.  Also I wander if the Quantegy 406 tape would be a good fit for the recorder. If you can get Scotch 208 it be in the same time as  your Nagra. My experience with shipping to South America is a major effort. Very rarely does a Nagra 111 lid come up for sale. Best of luck

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Your Nagra III is from 1963 (see the serial number), and it will be difficult to find replacement parts. However eBay will be your best bet for finding a lid, power supply, or other parts. Also, a quick google search will bring you to nagrit and nicks film sound which both have parts for sale. 

 

Be sure to get parts specifically for your model. Power supplies and lids for other models may not be compatible. 

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Thanks to all replies, as I said before, I got some experience with rtr machines but never with Nagra, I'm been digging through internet for information and parts, wayyy expensive by the way, I will try to make my own power supply with the touchel connector and see if I can make some recordings, of course it won't be my daily use machine but time to time so see her working.

 

According to the seller, he bought it in 2002, do some recordings and the las couple of years hiding in a closet, cross my fingers is working, as soon get it I will report back.

 

 

Gustavo

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Hi Philip,

 

the seller confirmed me before shipping, it's actually working with 12 D batteries, playback and recording functions. My beautiful Nagra is traveling now to Colombia to reunite to my vintage audio collection 

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Hi Gustavo!

 

Re - the graphic EQ - do you not like the mid frequencies or are you just into Betty Boop eyebrows? !

 

Seriously, I've never been too worried on running the Nagra on anything other than batteries: it's now the retired thoroughbred and no longer the workhorse and comes out for shows rather than the morning shift! And batteries will run it a surprisingly long time.

 

I have two IV-S in 'service' (ready and willing) but would love their older brother the III to join them on the shelf (or indeed Wunderkammer) one day ... along with a David Lane Playback Mod ... and my dream would be their wayward sister the Crevette appears! Enjoy your III - if you haven't seen it already look up 'Images Of Interest' on this site for much more Nagra stories.

 

Best, Jez

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Hi Jez,

 

Thanks for your feedback, I really like how it sound like this, congratulations for your Nagras IV-S, I really love this decks but prices are above my budget way way to far hahahaha. Now I just finished to restore my Revox B710 MKII cassette deck, this old analog machines bring magic and pride when you bring them to life. Will check "images of interest".

 

 

Regards,

Gustavo

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If you search for D cell battery adapters online you’ll find enloop D cell cases which you can put AA batteries in. This seems to work pretty well for me. I put rechargeable AAs inside and never have to buy D batteries. 

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3 hours ago, JonG said:

If you search for D cell battery adapters online you’ll find enloop D cell cases which you can put AA batteries in. This seems to work pretty well for me. I put rechargeable AAs inside and never have to buy D batteries. 

 

Wow thanks for the tip, I didn't know this type of adaptor still exist, I got a ton of AA Eneloop rechargeable batteries, now Im studying the owners manual and schematics, I got fresh Emtec LPR35 tape to use my Nagra III, Im looking for a good 5in metal reels, they will look amazing!!

 

 

Gustavo

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Congratulations with your first Nagra. I also started out with a Nagra III, and now I am running out of storage space on my shelves...

 

I have a couple of comments about getting to use the III:

 

1) Power supply. Don't bother about looking for the original ATN supply, as the III (as are all the other Nagras) is very tolerant when it comes to external power. It isn't using much power, so virtually any 12V and upwards standard supply will work. BUT: Remember that Kudelski of unknown reasons chose to use positive ground, so you will have to ground the positive terminal of the supply and use the negative terminal as supply voltage (it is marked on the case beside the Tuchel connector). If you can´t find a Tuchel connector, a more common 270 degrees DIN connector will work, although it is a bit wobbly.

 

2) Banana plugs: The input and outputs are transformer balanced, so if you want to connect you Nagra using RCA connectors, you simply get 2 banana plugs, connect one to the shield of the RCA connector and the other to the center pin, and you are good to go.

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Hi Dela,

 

 

Great information, thanks.  I would like to see your collection!! I was looking information regarding the banana plugs and rca conversion, 

 

 

Gustavo

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Here is a new(ish) image of my Nagra shelf and the Nagras a bit more on display; unfortunately I don´t have room for having them on a fixed display. But at least they are constantly visible and easy to get to...

Once in a while they are out working too. In the shown setup you can actually see three generations of recorders working together.

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Wow, fantastic collection there, Dela !  Like the cat too !

 

Gustavo, you have a terrific Pioneer setup there too ! 

I have the Pioneer RT-1050 2 track deck myself, it works very well. 

 

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@dela I have nightmares of that becoming my future. As of now I have 7, and an 8th on the way, plus a couple 4 Track machines. I already feel like I’m being buried alive!

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Oh my God!! thats Analog Heaven!!!! What a beautiful collection you have, I know this is very addictive but you need deep pockets for that. I can see two Nagras III, do you still use them? Hope you can help me with the banana plugs(pics) for recording and playback and be able to connect my Nagra III to my rack Pioneer, I know is mono but its just for the pleasure....

 

Thats my brothers analog cat!! 

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2 hours ago, Spectreman said:

Wow, fantastic collection there, Dela !  Like the cat too !

 

Gustavo, you have a terrific Pioneer setup there too ! 

I have the Pioneer RT-1050 2 track deck myself, it works very well. 

 

 

Thanks, it took me a couple of years to complete my Pioneer rack, you got a beast tape deck!! The RT 1050 is one of the best out there for professional recording on 2 tracks!!

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Cool.  Pioneer gear is very nice.

But my main tape deck is actually a Tascam 42 2-track, this is bigger & a lot heavier than the Pioneer deck !

I have a Nagra III and Nagra E also, but the Nagra III still has a few issues...

 

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I have tried to find a photo or a schematic for a banana plug->RCA adapter, but unfortunately I could´t find any. Probably because it is quite simple... The closest I can get is to google "XLR RCA adapter schematic" and then show images. The line out/in banana plugs correspond to pin 2 and 3 on the XLR (in no particular order). 

 

I have 5 Nagra III´s but I must admit that they are not really being used for other than just testing. I like the III as it is an iconic and historically important machine, but my inner technician is more turned on by the newer recorders (especially the IS, SN and D). But I still collect/hoard any type...

 

I have just noticed that I have accidentally posted a pair of exposed female nipples on the image of the table arranged Nagras. Sorry about that; the poster in the background actually belongs to my wife. But I guess that it is a first on this forum.

 

I have attached an image of 3 swiss digital recorders, just to show that digital recorders can also be quite nice, even in a retro/vintage context...

 

 

 

 

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