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Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

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I hope that they are not trying to record anything on the second shot... The tape is threaded wrong, making the tape pass the erase head without contact...

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2 hours ago, dela said:

I hope that they are not trying to record anything on the second shot... The tape is threaded wrong, making the tape pass the erase head without contact...

 

Good eyes!

 

D.

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Maybe they are doing old-school home overdubbing by bypassing the erase head!  (Did this on purpose with my earliest mono tape decks, like Bell and Howell 350 or Wollensak T1515).

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@tourtelot this process is called Sound on Sound. 

 

In this episode they are using the Nagra for playback only, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual sound mixer on set threaded it like this to avoid the actors accidentally erasing the tape? Although the playback was clearly added in post, so it could just be done wrong and nobody caught it. 

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My vote is that the Nagra was setup by prop people, and the PSM had nothing to do with it. 

 

YES!  That home-brew overdub technique was how I made my earliest sound pieces.  The secret?  A plastic spoon over the erase head!  Yes, you very much had to figure that the earlier passes were going to be dulled, but it did work in its miserable way!

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4 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

My vote is that the Nagra was setup by prop people, and the PSM had nothing to do with it. 

 

YES!  That home-brew overdub technique was how I made my earliest sound pieces.  The secret?  A plastic spoon over the erase head!  Yes, you very much had to figure that the earlier passes were going to be dulled, but it did work in its miserable way!

 

And you could get good at it and predict the outcome, and dub in the things you want more present at the end. Pretty cool sounding when done right!

 

 

Does anyone have access to NCIS s16e5? Two of my III’s were used in it, one as principal and one as stunt!

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Another Nagra Rarity 
The first Known, Nagra III Pilot model serial number 61 1245 on eBay now and has been for the last few weeks.
Looks like Germany’s Telefunken Nagra III units were the first to have the pilot models in early 1961. Not 1962 like all  known Nagra information states about the NP model.
So, I guess Hollywood recordists were not the first in history to use the NP Nagra Models. Why did Germany need a Pilot Model in 1961 before anyone else? 

I say early because according to my Nagra serial number database below - look where the highlighted model fits in. Its also the first Telefunken Nagra I have seen with a readable serial number and No its not a different set of serial numbers for the Telefunken Nagra’s, still consecutive numbers.  Nagra did not sell many Nagra III recorders per year in the early years.  Also note it still has the "B" reference not NP on the serial number plate.

 

The mysteries of the Nagra continue… 


phA8F7d.jpg

5JE9evK.jpg

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Another Telefunken on eBay, serial P 62 1725 N Pilot Model
But this one the serial number is in the correct year for the NP. As you can see highlighted it still fits in my database within the correct years for a Pilot, further proof serial numbers were the same consecutive numbering whether Telefunken or Nagra machines. The blue arrow shows the first known Pilot Nagra, branded Telefunken.
I could be wrong, but to date, no one has shown me a serial number out of sync with the years Nagra produced. 
 
That's a cool name, TELE FUN KEN I wish I knew the story behind them and Nagra. It's clear, the USA was not Nagra’s first customer base, even with the so-called Commissioned By JFK’s SN. The Nagra SN was first sold in Europe. The SNST many years later was the US model.

 
 

LUfALFD.jpg

 
 
BW3IpAg.jpg

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Good day Mr Bond, allow me to present my credentials. This is my Nagra III PHO 67 11469, in case you haven't seen this one before. I bought from the USA in 2011, and  it's running well, though the record head will need replacing soon. The other picture is a stash of Nagra III heads I saw for sale on Ebay recently. Which leads me to ask, is there any significant difference between the Nagra III heads with white epoxy and the heads with grey epoxy? As you can see from the picture, the white record heads have two blue flying leads, but the grey heads have blue and black which means they have a definite polarization. Is there some electrical difference here? I think the heads went from white to grey with the 1965 model, and I'm wondering if this coincided with the changes in the oscillator circuit; the later machines had a series of taps on the oscillator coil that allowed the bias current to be adjusted.

 

Thanks for this fascinating thread. I don't have much to add to the Nagra stories. I did a little film and TV sound work in the Eighties with the Nagra IV and IS, but the Nagra III is my favourite.  

nagra3pho67.jpg

nagraheadswhitegrey.jpg

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On 8/20/2019 at 12:59 AM, JBond said:

That's a cool name, TELE FUN KEN I wish I knew the story behind them and Nagra.

 

They supplied German broadcast companys with 1/4 inch studio tape recorders from the 40's until the 90's. Absolute standard, it was hard to find anything else. Maybe some Studers. 

 

Not about Nagra, but general info:

https://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com/history

 

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On 10/24/2019 at 4:14 AM, suebutcher said:

Good day Mr Bond, allow me to present my credentials. This is my Nagra III PHO 67 11469, in case you haven't seen this one before. I bought from the USA in 2011, and  it's running well, though the record head will need replacing soon. The other picture is a stash of Nagra III heads I saw for sale on Ebay recently. Which leads me to ask, is there any significant difference between the Nagra III heads with white epoxy and the heads with grey epoxy? As you can see from the picture, the white record heads have two blue flying leads, but the grey heads have blue and black which means they have a definite polarization. Is there some electrical difference here? I think the heads went from white to grey with the 1965 model, and I'm wondering if this coincided with the changes in the oscillator circuit; the later machines had a series of taps on the oscillator coil that allowed the bias current to be adjusted.

 

Thanks for this fascinating thread. I don't have much to add to the Nagra stories. I did a little film and TV sound work in the Eighties with the Nagra IV and IS, but the Nagra III is my favourite.  

 

Thank you, Suebutcher looks like you have a nice clean Nagra III there. As for the heads, other people may know for sure that I think will post the answer to your question.
 From your post you know much more then I do about oscillators bias current and stuff, way over my head. 
Before getting to the oscillators part of your post I would have said the heads were probably produced at different times and they just ran out of blue wire.:mellow:
But I'm glad you posted it because many people private message me questions and don't post them instead. When someone messages me its one on one and most times I don't know the answer. When you post it here on Jwsound you could be asking thousands of people for the answer. Instead of just me. 
Thanks for enjoying the thread. I enjoy people like you posting and adding questions and pictures to the thread. I hope someone can answer you soon so you can buy the right one.

 

 

 

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:59 AM, Mungo said:

 

They supplied German broadcast companys with 1/4 inch studio tape recorders from the 40's until the 90's. Absolute standard, it was hard to find anything else. Maybe some Studers. 

 

Not about Nagra, but general info:

https://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com/history

 

Thank you Mungo

I appreciate you posting that. 

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Sue Butcher: Regarding the colours of the Nagra III leads I have just checked on a set of schematics for the III, and it seems that the head with the black/blue leads are the "original" recording head. My drawing is from 1957, so I guess that it must be the first type/proto type combination. There is no indication that the head is polarized per se, but it might be that an overzealous engineer had felt that the phasing of the head could be important. On the photo of the eBay heads there also is a (white) head with red/red wires; that seems to be a playback head, but again with identical coloured leads. The "original" heads had red/blue leads.

 

Unfortunately I don´t have a later schematic of the III, it could be interesting to see the colour configuration there...

Nagra+III+schematic.pdf

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 7:38 AM, JBond said:

 

Thank you, Suebutcher looks like you have a nice clean Nagra III there. As for the heads, other people may know for sure that I think will post the answer to your question.

 

Thanks. I'd say this Nagra used on a desk indoors, there's head wear and scratches on the paint underneath, but little damage elsewhere. Since it's a PHO Pilot model, I'd guess it was in a transfer suite where location sync recordings were transferred to magnetic film for editing.

 

I took a chance and bought one of the record heads from the vendor as the price was good, and I got a "white" head with two blue leads. It's physically and electrically identical to the "grey" head in my machine (for technical people, DC resistance 2 ohm, inductance 3.6mH). Perhaps Kudelski changed to grey epoxy just so the other heads would visually match the new dark grey ferrite erase head?

 

16 hours ago, dela said:

Sue Butcher: Regarding the colours of the Nagra III leads I have just checked on a set of schematics for the III, and it seems that the head with the black/blue leads are the "original" recording head. My drawing is from 1957, so I guess that it must be the first type/proto type combination. There is no indication that the head is polarized per se, but it might be that an overzealous engineer had felt that the phasing of the head could be important. On the photo of the eBay heads there also is a (white) head with red/red wires; that seems to be a playback head, but again with identical coloured leads. The "original" heads had red/blue leads. Unfortunately I don´t have a later schematic of the III, it could be interesting to see the colour configuration there...

 

Hi Dela, are sure that's a 1957 diagram? It has the same bias circuit and head wiring colours as my 1967 recorder. With the level of pixellation in the document, the "57" in the date might actually be a "67". (Even though 12.2.67 was a Sunday!) 

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Good call, Suebutcher

Of Course its a later than 1962 schematic. 
It would not even mention the Neopilot Amplifier (PCH Nagras only)
4 years before it was invented if it was truly an original 1957 schematic.
Sometimes Nagra used the original date of the recorder in their schematics even after many updates or years. It means, from 1957.  Unless it truly states 1967 on Dela's copy. 


Dec 1957 is when the 1958 Nagra III became public to be manufactured and sold in 1958. There was no 1957 Nagra III. 

There were fewer than 105 Nagra III units produced in 1958.

 


 Dela, even though the information was not what you thought, It turns out it was the correct information she was looking for. I think you were very helpful.  Thanks for taking the time to dig it up and post it.  I looked at the schematic and missed it also, others probably did too.

 

 

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Check out this band from Russia. Chicago is not an easy band to cover. Sorry, I posted so many, I just could not choose only one there all good. Check them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now the Original remastered, the best it will ever be. I got to admit this group did a great job. The original is great but this group comes as close as anybody ever did or will. Touring the US this past year and again for next year. Good for them, I hope they do well even though they don't speak a word of English. Big compliment though for Chicago when another country,  Russia, appreciates Classic American music that much to put in the time it takes to be that good.

 

 

 

 

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Here is another cover band I know of to share with you.
The first video was nine years ago, the blonde girl on the viewers right is Tim Purcell’s (man sitting in the middle) daughter, the girls are 15 years old in the first video.  

They continued for another 5 or 6 years with many live covers of many different songs till the girls moved away for college. 


 After a couple of years, they just posted a reunion video 3 weeks ago from different locations as the band now lives in five different States.

I just point out these two live videos out of many so you can see the quality of their cover songs even from the very beginning. You can check out their other covers if you want,  you won't be disappointed. 

 

 So look at these two Crosby Stills and Nash's covers then listen to the original one last and compare.
They nailed these two songs like no one else ever did.
Turn up the volume.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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