Jump to content

Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell


JBond

Recommended Posts

I remember that it was a common (?) mod to change the mic input on a Nagra III to make it female.  I believe mine was that way and whether I did the mod myself or had the techs at Record Plant do it is, well let's say, foggy.

 

D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 9/8/2022 at 3:49 PM, Jim Feeley said:

I watched the first few minutes. (...)

 

On 9/8/2022 at 6:51 PM, dela said:

I absolutely love his enthusiasm! You really feel his love for it (which I can easily relate to).

 

Yeah, I got most of the way through his SN 'spy collection' too, but realise why I (can) spend very little of my time watching internet stuff. But it looks like there's probably a lot of interesting objects and equipment shown and talked about up there.

 

If you're watching us watching you, Adam, that's a very nice looking 1973 IV-S you have, and if you cleaned and polished it to make it so you did a fabulous job. '73 is pretty early (I think the first were '71?)

 

And I believe from memory that the Nagra smuggled in to record on Diva was the smaller mono Nagra E ?

 

C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres tres precis!

 

Jez

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Yeah, I got most of the way through his SN 'spy collection' too, but realise why I (can) spend very little of my time watching internet stuff. But it looks like there's probably a lot of interesting objects and equipment shown and talked about up there.

 

I may watch the rest this weekend or something. I just had to get rolling Thurs.

 

I have some friends who've worked with Savage (Mythbusters was largely made near me) and have mostly nice things to say about the guy. And he's one of the regular interviewers for City Arts & Lectures, which is fun live and now on about 100 US public-radio stations. He's pretty good. So his YT videos are probably pretty good, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In that Adam Savage video, 
I really like the way he acts when talking about Nagra items - the enthusiasm and excitement, with the wide-open eyes in complete awe of the Nagra.  He acts out what we all are feeling about Nagra but we just can't express it as well.  At least that is how I see it. I can definitely relate to his enthusiasm like Dela and others.  That's how I feel, and I believe the many people reading these forums feel that way about Nagra because they searched Nagra to find the forums.
I am a subscriber to his channel and saw the video before it was posted here on Jwsound. 
  
Although if you watch Adam Savage regularly, he has that same enthusiasm about everything - a bent piece of aluminum he's been drilling holes through for an R2 D2 Star Wars thing, an adjustable bench for his portable bandsaw, or whatever he's doing.  He just has that kind of personality and spirit.  I like him, like millions of others do.

 

I'll tell you right now, very few people have that Adam Savage excitement when I show my Nagra collection to them or have any emotion at all.  Over the last 35 years, I have collected a lot of different things in that room.  It's my own private little museum so there is a lot of different stuff to view.  When we get around to the recorders in the back of the room, I say, and over here is my recorder collection.  I open up the cabinet doors, recorders all lit up and sparkling under the lights, and you would not believe the lack of interest after the initial WOW at the first site. Once they comprehend what they are looking at, the interest quickly fades for most when it comes to friends, family, new friends, etc., unless they are collectors or someone already interested in recorders.  I'll pick up an SN and bring it up to them and say look at this, look how all the screw heads are polished.  It's like a piece of jewelry.  When the reply is ehh that's when I know not to go any further, 
That's when I close the doors and say over here is an 1890s watchmaker's bench ... I just move on. Although I did have one guy who kept saying "look, the hairs on my arms are all standing up."  He was so excited. 

 

People are more interested in my 1920 Dentist's office display than tape recorders. Even the thought of sitting in the dentist's chair and drilling is better than looking at recorders for them, well, up until the point I say hop up let me take a look. No takers on that one.

 

I know most people aren't interested in recorders.  It doesn't bother me, just like I would not be interested in someone's beer can collection or matchbook collection.  It's a fact of life.

 

 That's why I started posting on Jeff's site to show people who can relate to Nagra and who enjoy that kind of stuff. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JBond said:

That's why I started posting on Jeff's site to show people who can relate to Nagra and who enjoy that kind of stuff. 

 

Hey when I found myself in the USA, I would really love to have a visit at your recorders collection, but please don't take me anywhere near that dentist room !! 😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more recognition for Jwsound

 

As my Nagra Story, The Mystery of the Nagra SN Serie Noire, gets read by others around the world, I noticed the other day that an online virtual museum from the Netherlands called Crypto Museum made some surprising changes to its Nagra SN History description.

Crypto is one of, if not the largest, trusted source on the internet for this type of equipment. Crypto has substantially modified its previous Nagra SN history description to include new details found only on Jwsound - Nagra Stories. 

 

Crypto also listed Jwsound forums and JBond in the credits as clickable blue links directed to this site Jwsound.

 

I don't have to tell you Soundmen how it feels to see credits for your work. Not that this compares to your movie credits but you get what I'm saying. I have no affiliation and never communicated ever with anyone from Crypto, just visited their site many times over the years. So this was a surprise for me.  

 

Of course, prominent websites such as Crypto Museum would update their site as different information comes forward and give recognition to the author.  Thank you for that.  That is what makes Crypto such a reputable and knowledgeable website. It also means others are visiting Jwsound.

 

I have also noticed slight changes with Nagra's latest information on the SN since my story. The most notable was adding the SN manufacture date. The date of the SN was always 1960 (prototype developed) which is true but left one to assume the SN has been around since 1960. It was not. This is why everyone speculated for decades.  Everyone merrily wrote the same stories until some JBond guy on Jwsound started raising questions around 2016.

 

Today, Nagra makes it clear the SN was manufactured from 1970 to 2003 but to be fair Nagra now lists their whole Nagra line of recorders past and present, Manufactured dates. So maybe thats just a coincidence. They also removed more of but not all the statements about JFK, but I think not for reasons JFK didn't ask for it. If you read the story you may agree. 

 

 

I point this out because it would never be noticed by anyone if I didn't. I know, I know, nobody cares about this. 

Well, I cared, and it just aggravated me to see these stories get written and told over and over again. I've been collecting covert recorders for at least 20 years. How could a covert recorder exists for 11 years, (11 years! )  and no one has ever seen it, not even the people who would have used it. 

 

So, At Last, Vindicated, Hopefully, No more new stories/statements like this from 2016

 

From 1960, unbeknownst to the man in the street, the Nagra SN (for ‘série noire,' or ‘black series,' make of that what you will!) went on sale to selected customers. It would be another eleven years before the device became available to the general public.” 

Although it sounded good, there was no truth to it. 

 

Nagra left little clues over the years about that 1960 prototype on old web pages, magazines, and even interviews in Mr. Kudelski's own words. Someone just had to be interested enough to gather the information and put it all together, also with the help of the people listed in the credits at the end of my story.

 

I'm glad to see this new understanding of the History of the Nagra SN is starting to be told.  

Any future attempts to tell that old version will just prove the writer knows absolutely nothing about what they are writing about and, like everyone before them, just copied other's mystifying phrases and shadowy variations without doing any research of their own. 

 

I suppose one could say the Nagra SN history has now been corrected or at least another version has been told. 

My version of the Nagra SN does not diminish the fact that the Nagra SN, call it whatever you like. Black Series, Serie Noire, or just plain "Small Nagra" (as Nagra employees called it) will forever be the coolest, smallest, most sought-after precision Reel to Reel recorder of its time and that ever existed. 

Made in Switzerland by the famous Stefan Kudelski. Thank You, Sir, RIP.

 

Credit: From the Crypto Museum website.

https://www.cryptomuseum.com/covert/rec/nagra/sn/index.htm

image.jpeg

Removing the protective ring
blank.gif
Fixating the reel
blank.gif
Guiding the tape over the tension arm
blank.gif
Guiding the tape along the heads
blank.gif
Guiding the tape between the capstan and the pressure roller
blank.gif
Guiding the tape onto the take-up reel
blank.gif
Winding the tape onto the take-up reel
blank.gif
 

 

Credit: From the Crypto Museum website.

 

References
  1. Nagra - Audio Technology Switzerland, The Nagra SN
    Nagra website. Retrieved March 2012.

  2. Nagra - Audio Technology Switzerland, The Nagra SNST-R (special version)
    Nagra website. Retrieved March 2012.

  3. Nagra, Production overview and quantities
    Internal Nagra document. Date unknown, est. 2000.

  4. Günter Hütter, Overview of models and specifications
    Personaly correspondence, May 2018.

  5. Nagra Audio, Personal correspondence
    January 2019.

  6. JBond (username), Nagra Stories Sound-men won't ever tell
    JWSound Group forum, 29 January 2015.

  7. JBond (username), The Mystery of the Nagra 'Serie Noir'
    JWSound Group forum, 5 August 2016, updated February 2018.

  8. Wikipedia, John F. Kennedy
    Visited 1 May 2021.
 Credit:  Nagra Audioimage.jpeg
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been blessed all these years to have JBond as a core member of our online community, representing the history of the Nagra recorder that was so much a part of most all of our lives. The wealth of information available here is immeasurable  ---  we all owe a debt of gratitude for your tireless efforts. We hail you and your commitment and dedication (and all the hard work that goers into your posts).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

 

 
Ok, so you're home relaxing, kicking back reading Jwsound Nagra Stories, and all of a sudden the phone rings.  Who the H… is…?  It's your neighbor - she says, can you please come over and help me get my tractor running?  I'm getting desperate and don't know what to do.
So you drop what you're doing and rush right over, you get there, all out of breath, and this is what you find. 

 

 

tgirl48.jpg 

 

Would you wake her, I'm here…and help get her tractor started? 
Stand there, and quietly wait until she wakes up?
Or
Of course, you would go back home and finish reading  JBond's Nagra Stories on Jwsound ... again!
 

 

Quick index to select posts, click the blue links below

 
42   Jeff’s movie list                                                                    307   Nixon Resigns  Picture                                    
364   CIA the Second Recorder                                                455   Nagra II  Video                              
146   Meet Jeff (Youtube)                                                          319 New The Nagra JBR  updated  Feb 2018      
373 New The Nagra Story, updated  Feb 2018                    478   The Third Covert recorder   
151   My Nagra VPR-5                                                                 325   My Nagra Source                                               
400   The Nagra SN  (Copy )                                                       479   The 1966 Covert recording
220   A different kind of Soundman                                        333   A Special Gift                                                   
404    There’s only One, Nagra I                                                480   The Fourth Recorder
225   What I found out about the Nagra I                              335   The Nagra DH Difference                               
405  Great Nagra Collection  “Vienna Collection                   482   Finally Fifth and Final Recorde
232   Conversation with Stefan Kudelski                                337   The Yellow Recorder                                         
422   An appropriate answer                                                      430   What happened to - Serie Noir?
252   The First Nagra III                                                                347   CIA issued Recorder                                       
425   Early Nagra SN serial #’s                                                    363   Dating & "New" Reverse Record
268   The Sony and the Telefunken                                           790   GREAT Nagra III Collection by BGAULLIER     
952   Earliest Known Nagra III  by PiO                                          576   The Nagra IS Differences  by DELA 
 #27  Senator Mike Michaels interview                                    681  1st 1959 Nagra III  by Antonine 
922   Jwsound gets Attention from Nagra Audio                   154  Marilyn and the 1960 Nagra III Video                
962   The Gold SN - Test                                                                466  Video -  Movie Sound Effects   
282   1969 Zuiko 1st Microcassette video                   906  New The Nagra SN Series - from Prototype to Production 1960 -1971 to 1999        
 

 

JBond's Rewind Series….  

                              

The Nagra I that was sold to two people

The Nagra I sale update 5 months later by SRS148 

JBond’s First reaction seeing Haskell Wexler Credits 

Old, rare Nagra Service Photos bring back memories for the Soundmen 

Nixon Resigns cigarettes led to BIG troubles in production.

Can you believe I sold that Nagra D because It took up too much room in my case?

 

 

The reason I always repost the Nagra Stories Directory.

 

I remember when I first started making that Directory /index, someone said, what do you need an index for?

 I already read it; why would I want to see it again? Correct, but what about the people that have never seen it before?  

 

I wanted to make it easy for myself and others to find certain posts quickly without having to read through a myriad of pages searching for something that was posted in a moment of time but now can't seem to find it. Maybe, on page 35 or was it 46? Maybe 25?    

 

Today the thread is 52 pages long with over 1,300 posts and getting close to 370,000 views. More and more people are starting to find Jwsound Nagra Stories for the first time. I repost the index or link to it once or twice a year for those that are just finding out about Jwsound Nagra Stories. People find Jwsound Nagra Stories mostly from just searching Nagra on the internet. 

 

 I know, I have the index on the front page, but when someone clicks a link on the internet, it does not always bring you to the front page of a thread. The Directory is not just about myself as some may think when I keep reposting it.

 

In that Directory, there are clickable links to find many different people who have posted on Nagra Stories. Like Vienna, who one day found himself on Jwsound and showed us his Great Recorder collection with some recorders we never saw before. Another link for BGAULLIER who showed up one day out of the blue with his large Nagra III collection. He logged and documented all the different details of the Nagra III from year to year from day one. Seriously, only on Nagra Stories would you find this type of content.

The new members that found their way to Jwsound each have links in the directory. They are Antonine, BGAULLIER, PIO, and VIENNA .

I have a link to a 1960 Nagra III video of Marilyn Monroe Chanel # 5 perfume sent to me by Stefan Kudelski's daughter. I have a link where I promote a very good and enlightening video about Jeff where you feel like you now know him after viewing. A link to a video of Senator Mike Michaels shown in a very good light after an unfortunate ending on Jwsound. A link to Stefan Kudelski's interview, a link to Jeff's fantastic movie list, where he documented not only the movies but also the recorders he used for each movie. It details the adjustments made with his sound equipment during his long career in the film-sound industry - excellent information. I asked him for it. It's in my collection.  I also have a link to Dela's collection.

 

By the way, Dela has posted some of the best commentaries and the best content sharing his knowledge and his collection. I have watched Dela help so many people over the years; he is always eager to help. Without Dela, I would say I would have given up many years ago. So thank you, Dela. Phillip and Jeff also added a lot to keep the thread going and exciting. These are the people, along with many others, who took the time to make a post, and those posts are the only reason this thread kept growing over the years. 

 

These are the people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. If not for them, Nagra Stories would not exist today.

 

WHY?

Do you know where threads go if no one posts to them?

I'm not sure myself, but I think, I heard, they go to the deep dark bottom of the muck where nobody ever, ever, goes - AND- maybe even get kicked off of that position beyond muck.  

 

The only way Nagra Stories continues to grow is to attract more people to Jwsound "outside" of Jwsound members and make them feel comfortable enough so they will share their information, their collections, and their thoughts. 

 

My content has been told already. It is old news for Jwsound members. Attracting new people to the site is how it grows from here. I know members are sick of seeing that index posted, but believe me, members are not the reason it is reposted regularly. It benefits all of us to improve the thread with new content. Besides, it's one more post that keeps me off the mucky bottom. I post stupid stuff like my last directory post, trying to be funny to bring people here to Jwsound. Hopefully, some people get my sense of Seinfeld's humor.  

 

I do want to expand that index and add many more links. 

Like this one, 

 A Rare Nagra 1 sold on eBay for 1k paid,- 

The seller never shipped, said he dropped it.

Seller refunded Buyer 

The seller took it all apart and relisted it.

The seller resold it for 20K to someone else. 

 

Now a Quiz- What page is that Nagra 1 story on? Quick!!

You have 15 minutes to find it, 

 

Anyway, I came up with this new saying that I'm thinking of using going forward that explains the purpose of the thread and fits with the 

Nagra Analog Tape Recorder Operation. 

Record (history),  

Rewind (go back in time)

Play (share stories, view pictures, etc.) 

Rewind (tell again)

 

Yup, it's all about advertising if we want more content, stories, collections, and knowledge from other like-minded people.

That's what I'm trying to do. If anyone has a better idea, I would love to hear it. 

 

Meanwhile, 

"Jwsound Nagra Stories, where Analog life lasts longer the more you Rewind, Rehash and Replay." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JBond's Nagra section is one of the best things JWSOUND site has to offer. I appreciate the incredible indexing you have done, what a lot of work! I do hear from so many people that one of the things they really like about JWSOUND is that it is a great archive. I wish the forum structure had better search routines and indexing functions but sadly it does not. I continue to explore other more modern platforms but haven't yet discovered anything that would significantly improve the site (and I worry that we might lose a lot of stuff doing any sort of conversion or migration to a different platform). Also, the basic model for social media as we all know is Facebook, Tip Tok, Instagram, etc., and all of these are miserable in terms of searching for historical posts  --  they are all about immediate and flashy posts that capture the limited attention span of most people these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Mr. Bond, for all your posts, pix and references.  I know that talk about a 1/4" tape machine that has been out of common pro use for decades now may seem pretty beside the point to many younger professionals working today, but us oldsters appreciate all you've done here.  For soundies of a certain age, getting a Nagra of one's own was a major barrier to entry into the production sound field, and finally having one was a big achievement for many of us.  That machine then became our #1 tool and boon companion on the adventures production sound work took us on, in my case all over the world.  We don't give that up easily, even though we may only look at our Nagras these days and don't record on them any more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  

JBond's Rewind Series...

 

 

On 5/20/2018 at 12:01 PM, Philip Perkins said:

Pretty stuff.  It's odd to be discussing DAT in this thread, as I don't believe there will ever be a "J Bond" for DAT recorders--if there was he or she would have a collection of ugly non-functional junk!   Collecting old kitchen blenders would be a more rewarding hobby!    If there were DATs around in 1984 I would have been all over them, but I'm pretty sure they weren't available anywhere then.  Portable digital audio recording at that time meant Sony F1-type interfaces recording onto VHS or Betamax decks.  Like Jeff I began see grey-market DATs in '88 or so.  At the 1988 New Music America Festival the house recordist for the New World Symphony was using a VERY expensive non-standard Sony portable DAT machine that I can't recall the name of--that was avail about a year or so before the D10 and the Aiwa "Strasser".  After that time DAT was adopted pretty quickly in the non-movie sound world, it took some time to convince motion picture post to change (as Jeff will attest).  And whether or not that all was really a good idea is a topic for another thread....   

 

 

Remember this, Philip?
I took it down shorty after posting in 2018, but saved it.  It's your post that took me forever to find and quote.
 
 
 
 
Funny you should mention kitchen blenders Philip.
I was going to show my ugly broken DAT collection, but you're right, blenders are more rewarding and they work.
I have over 303 blenders in my collection. I have big blenders, and small blenders; some even have the last thing that was blended in them.  Those are the most collectible. 
 
There's this very rare prototype blender I have been trying to find.  If the history is true,
they say it was used for blending drinks for JFK.  If it was used by JFK, how come it wasn’t sold anywhere?  They only made one?  Make of that what you will, but I think it's just a myth.  I’m still gathering facts about this story. 
 
I’ll be posting more rare Blenders and many high-speed blending stories soon.
 
I’m also looking for Soundman Stories with Blender use.  I'll be posting plenty of blender stories and pictures of over 300 blenders from 4 different angles in the upcoming weeks and months. 
 
Remember, every blender is a mixture of electronics, metal, and glass on the outside.  It's what you make of it on the inside. Truly, a wonderfully useful item, but the look is what got me started. Most of all, it can blend anything. 
 
I have a lead on the blender that Lindsey Graham used to destroy his cell phone after Trump gave out his cell phone number, boy that would be great to own someday it's the Holy grail!
Thanks Philip,
BTW I don't have a DAT collection, and never owned a DAT recorder.
 
 
  
  image.jpeg
R J Blender-man
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only tractors I lust after these days are the Lambourginis.

 

8 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

Also, the basic model for social media as we all know is Facebook, Tip Tok, Instagram, etc., and all of these are miserable in terms of searching for historical posts

 

Miserable in every other respect too Jeff! Long live JWS as it is and unfortunate RAMPS fell to google.

 

6 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Thanks, Mr. Bond, for all your posts, pix and references.  I know that talk about a 1/4" tape machine that has been out of common pro use for decades now may seem pretty beside the point to many younger professionals working today, but us oldsters appreciate all you've done here.  For soundies of a certain age, getting a Nagra of one's own was a major barrier to entry into the production sound field, and finally having one was a big achievement for many of us.  That machine then became our #1 tool and boon companion on the adventures production sound work took us on, in my case all over the world.  We don't give that up easily, even though we may only look at our Nagras these days and don't record on them any more.

 

For me (and I am post not production but nevertheless) it was a Rycote I craved as a teenager and even later as a dubbing mixer as I had no real professional need for the expense. Now I have several - and 3 beautiful Nagras: two of which, he IV-S and IV-SJ are still ready to serve particular effects recording duties.

 

Jez

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, JBond said:

Can I get a confirmation from people who use the Microsoft system so I can confirm this Apple hyperlink  I'm using works for everyone?  Or whatever computer you are using let me know if this link doesn't work for you. 
Thank You 
Old, rare Nagra Service Photos bring back memories for the Soundmen

 

It worked for me on my iphone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a sound man, but as a dp for many years I have been fortunate to work with some of the best. Recently a friend offered up his Nagra, and I jumped at the opportunity to add it to my collection. When it arrived I was surprised at its condition, it looks like its rarely been used in its 60 years. 

 

Thanks for the addition, im glad I found the group...lots of great info in this thread alone.

IMG_9557.JPG

IMG_9544.JPG

IMG_9545.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, that's nice,  It's hard to find 1964 Nagra III's in that condition, Or any Nagra III in that condition.
Great photos, And great History!!!
I really like that first beauty shot with the headphones and showing the tag, Cool. 
 Welcome to JWSOUND and JBond's Nagra Stories feel free to post again. 

 

 

 

 

 

image.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...