Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About JBond

  • Rank
    Hero Member
  • Birthday 12/18/1955

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
  • About

Recent Profile Visitors

2,697 profile views
  1. JBond

    Where is the Senator?

    The Senator is a good guy when I asked for autograph pictures of soundmen with their vintage Nagras he was the "only" one who sent me one. I have nothing but respect for him. Everybody has a different way of things and there was nothing wrong with his way. I for one miss him.
  2. Jwsound gets some attention from Nagra https://jwsoundgroup.net/index.php?/topic/23814-nagra-stories-sound-men-won’t-ever-tell/&
  3. Clearly the Sunset above the skyscraper has the most wow factor with a changeable background that was captured at just the right time, says reaching through the sky. Whereas most of the others are just fantastic building pictures. IMO
  4. Thanks, Dela For posting this, The only Nagra recorder that has eluded my collection for many years, never even saw one for sale. It was easier finding a Nagra II. Once I bought a pair of the ISS larger reels on eBay (one shown in your picture) I knew what they were used for, no one else did. I got them at a good price, held on to them for many, many years then I gave up looking for the ISS. With a good description of the reels and what they were used for I sold them. I figured I would never find the Nagra ISS anyway, well, that and I needed money to buy another Nagra SNST at the time. I'll bet that transport works very well, I'm thinking spring loaded stop with no lag between FF and Rew? Much better than using the SNST to hand crank rewind the tape to re-hear whatever was said. That must have been a pain to decipher the recorded tape. Until the ISN machine you show was designed. Like the JBR was before its final playback unit was finished. Vintage Covert Operations with the classic Nagra SNST how cool the transformation of the playback machines of both the SNST and JBR. What a fantastic Nagra Covert Recorder History
  5. Yes, I was asking the question again, I would have thought there would be a few soundmen here on JWsound that used them. But I never got a reply to a very appropriate question to ask on a form full of professional sound-men who may have used the Nagra SN. Thank you for your reply Philip
  6. Posted April 19 Hi Philip, Since you are the only one that I have found that used the Nagra SN in film could you share with us what you know and think about this prior post of mine. What was the first year you remember using the SN in your career? 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 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?
  7. Maybe this will help explain the Nagra SN over the years. The Nagra SN Series - from Prototype to Production, 1960 - 1970 to 1999 by RJW Size including controls - (WHL) 4 X 1 x 5 3/4 inches Weight - 1.3 lbs Diameter reels - 2 5/8 inch Tape width - 1/8 inch Tape speed SNN 3 3/4 ips , SNS 15/16 , SNST 15/16 SNST-R 3 3/4 stereo Battery life - 5.5 hours The Nagra SN is one of the most well-known miniature covert recorders in history. Circa 1960, the first prototype SN was constructed by Stefan Kudelski, his company, Nagra Kudelski. Nagra started making tape recorders back in the early 50s. This miniature recorder was a very different project from his other larger portable recorders already in production. The SN prototype was one of a kind; no other units were ever produced. At the time, components for such a small, high-quality recorder were not reliable for what Kudelski had in mind. Further development of the prototype SN was put on hold for ten years. The actual production began in 1970, and the first units sold were in 1971. (15) The SN was an enormous success throughout the world and used mostly by government agencies on both sides. Since the recorders were such expensive items, governments were just about the only ones who could afford them in any quantity. The small private investigator and others usually could not afford this type of recorder. Later sales expanded to law enforcement. The SN became known as somewhat of a famous secret spy recorder with a mysterious past, never told in any detail. Stories were told throughout the years of a secret unknown spy recorder with early use by the U.S. Government throughout the 1960s. This has never been substantiated with any fact. The SN is a beautifully built machine, a small, thin, reliable, one channel miniature tape recorder. The rugged recorder chassis was milled out of a solid block of aluminum alloy and assembled with 7 miniature modular plug-in circuit boards and powered by just two penlight batteries for 5 1/2 hours of use. The Nagra SN miniature recorder was created to satisfy the requirements of covert recording during the 1970s. The SN became the machine of choice for many security agencies around the world. It was like no other miniature recorder the world has ever seen. The first units were painted with a flat gray paint with no Nagra name or any other markings on the recorder as most early covert spy recorders were nameless. When asked why the first SN did not carry the Nagra name, a spokesman for Nagra said it was due to the factory understanding of silk-screening. It wasn't until two years later in 1973 that the finish on the recorder started to change. That flat gray finish was now a smoother semi-gloss gray paint. The Nagra SN name was now beautifully silk screened in red lettering on the tape deck’s upper right-hand corner, with the operation and tape path instructions on the reel deck and lid. This new finish only lasted a short time before the finish changed again. No longer was the housing of the SN painted. Instead, Nagra utilized an anodized aluminum finish, topped with a thin undetectable hard protective transparent coating. These early finishes varied slightly in the aluminum color. Each SN was presented with the utmost attention to detail, from the highly mirror polished tape deck screws to a jeweled VU meter, the SN just screamed high quality. Kudelski, the leading manufacturer of sound recorders for the movie industry during this time, also made it so the small SN, a capable body worn recorder, would be able to pick up the actor's voices more clearly and sync with the movie equipment, using the higher speed SNN. The SN was featured in numerous motion pictures both on-camera and as a production tool. The use of the cinema body recorder did not last too long, as wireless microphones became less expensive and better sounding and they replaced the need for the body recorder in motion pictures. The Nagra SN's primary use was always a covert tape recorder. In 1977, another significant SN development designed principally for covert operations was a slow speed, two-channel stereo model developed for the FBI called the SNST. This model was used for quite some time without any information about it released to the public. Only government agencies, not even law enforcement, knew of them at first. The Nagra 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. Through the early 70s to 1999, there were four different models of the SNs. There may have been some insignificant custom versions since Kudelski worked with the individual customer's needs. The four primary models are: 1970: Nagra SNN - Mono full-track recording (3.3/4 - 1 7/8 ips) 1972: Nagra SNS - Mono half-track recording (1 7/8 ips - 15/16 ips) 1977: Nagra SNST - Stereo version (1 7/8 ips - 15/16 ips) 1999: Nagra SNST-R - HiFi version of the SNST (3.3/4 ips) All built with the same size/weight dimensions, etc., the only differences were in the circuitry of the different models. The Nagra SN series was extensively used by many countries all over the world since 1971. Today, accurate total production numbers are not known.
  8. I hate to bring this up but Nagra showed a Nagra SNST-R in their latest video about their Nagra SN, shown at the top of this page, the SNST-R was the last and most advanced Nagra SN that was released in 1999, 29 years after the first Nagra SN. If they are talking about the first Nagra SN released in 1970 why not show a 1970 Nagra SN. ( No Name, No silkscreening ) Sorry, I want to keep the Nagra SN story correct.
  9. If not for his last sentence I would say Mr Muricy just made a mistake between using 1984 and 1994 as this first quote implies. so Mr Muricy came to the US in 1984 to shoot … in 1994 Ok, a clear mistake, but then he adds this last statement. I solved the great Nagra SN mystery, but this I have been stumped. 😎
  10. Nagra posted a series of YouTube videos about their recorders in its museum on their Facebook page. These videos seem to clear up some long unanswered questions. Here is the one on the famous Nagra SN stating Kennedy asked for it “for the US Army” but not released until the end of the 60’s So - the end of the sixties means not in the sixties and certainly not in 1965... In other words Dec1970 or 1971 Sounds like something you may have read before on “Jwsound Nagra stories”.😎
  11. This showed up on my facebook page 4 minutes ago. You're seeing posts from NAGRA AUDIO first. The first portable recorder in the world - built by Stefan Kudelski - released in 1951 Rare interview of Auguste Piccard by Stefan Kudelski. https://www.facebook.com/nagraaudio/videos/1943547572356096/ Looks like Nagra set that story straight, now, no misunderstanding what the Nagra I is. Also added some new information, only 10 - 12 units made. Very nice.
  12. (Better this than none) That may be Nagra's thinking also. They probably know 99% would never know. Or it was just an oversight.
  13. Its too bad they don’t have someone who knows the history of Nagra and would take the time to produce a short film with the correct information. This picture shows a Nagra II; the Nagra I never had a meter or direct center hold down reel nuts. This picture does not belong in the film at all because they never mention the Nagra II, why show it as a Nagra I But here it's showed in all its glory as his prized invention, the Nagra I These next two pictures do show the Nagra I, all they had to do was not show the Nagra II, especially showing it first like they did! I guess they feel no one would know the difference, so it doesn’t matter which picture they use. Or they consider the Nagra I or II are the first Nagra's ever made? Same here below in this next picture and caption, it doesn't matter if it's correct or not who would know the difference? Just run with it. Can we believe anything since the obvious miss representation that seems to show up in any story written about Nagra past and present day? The Nagra SN went to the moon In the Apollo mission but not in 1969, they confuse the first moon landing date with the SN going to the moon, kind of misleading. The Apollo Program 1963-1972 They landed on the moon 2 times in 1971 and two times in 1972 I would suspect the SN went to the moon after it was developed not before. The real story is here on post ; #373 you can believe it or not.
  14. Good work noticing that detail, MarceauFilm I wonder why he looks like he rewinding the Nagra II, as she holds the microphone in front of the person talking into it. It would be the other larger crank on the side to windup the motor. Messed up that interview. I'll bet that was just a pose for the picture, everyone just acted like they were doing something.
  15. This posted on Nagra Facebook today with a link to the local 695 magazine. René Laflamme 6 hrs · Wow this is amazing, here the original tape of Stefan Kudelski inventor of the first portable professional recorder, the Nagra. This recording is from 1953 when Auguste Piccard took the Nagra I with him on his record-breaking deep-sea dive in the bathyscaphe Trieste. The sound of the recording is a real time travel. https://magazine.local695.com/…/the-nagra-recorder-stefan-k… About the Bathyscaphe: https://youtu.be/AOfS-tzxZAs