Nagra devices

Look what I just got!
Both seem to be operational (using batteries), but I have no expertise with these whatsoever. I am curious to experiment with them, but not sure what to do next…

  • would you recommend getting power supplies? Where?
  • are there places that service these? Is that expensive? Worth doing?
  • etc. etc.
    I guess I want to pick your brains a bit if you have a Nagra, or used them before, see if you could share some insights/wisdom.

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People have turned them into delays…


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T5kaqAu-Kg

I have one, but don’t use it much because it needs some repairs/love and finding qualified repair people is difficult (also I am lazy). Nagra made a power supply, which mostly seems to be a step down transformer (at least that’s what mine does - it doesn’t seem to need much juice), no idea if someone makes an alternative supply, but I doubt it.

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I had the pleasure of opening one of these and having a poke around inside one of these recently.

They’re quite obviously fantastic machines. Great quality throughout.

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No personal experience, but you want to talk to user hainbach on the MW forum. Stefan is a super nice guy and knows his Nagra stuff. Tell him I sent you if you don’t know him already.

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This is relevant to my interests. Don’t own one … yet! Following this thread for ideas.

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Wow, they look fantastic! I’m pretty sure @marcus_fischer will be able to tell you something about them :slight_smile:

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Thank you for all the replies!

I am feeling lucky to suddenly have these amazing pieces.

I guess my first point of order is to find the power supplies to run them with and thoroughly test the current state these are in.

Anyone has some suggestions on where to buy a power supply for a vintage Nagra recorder?

Ebay?

Mine looks like this, but not sure if you’ll need a North American version or not or whether it’s switching:

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Hello everyone!! This is my first post in this wonderful place!! I love it here

Congratulations on you Nagra purchase, I just got a Nagra IV-L, haven’t had much time with it yet but have bought rechargeables, power supply and leads here:

http://mikesfilmsound.com

All the best,

George

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i have had a nagra III for over a decade now. a beautiful machine that works as well as it did in 1957. One minor issue that can arise is that of old belts getting funky. start an ebay alert for your model and check periodically for parts or accessories. also one thing that can get going on them is leaky caps over time, so having a bit of experience of replacing bits can be useful. and/or finding a pal who is good at fixing gear or having a great local tech. i say local as id do my best to not travel/ship it a lot. things can get knocked out of whack a bit more than you may realize at the beginning. also get a degausser and find the manual/schematic and keep them handy. one last thing! always be sure what youre plugging into it wont hurt the electronics. phantom power or some sort of weird active banana jacks in the in/outs…

good thing you have two as well! wish i had two! :smiley:

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I’m curious where Nagra users are getting tape? I have a long-term loan of a 4.2 and haven’t done enough with it. I asked a friend a while ago and he said often buys used tape on Ebay but that sounded to me like lots of cause for dirty heads. If you do buy new stock, would appreciate recommendations for brand, etc. Thanks!

Bringing this post back to ask: What’s a fair price for a Nagra III?

price for a Nagra III depends on condition…
check eBay for what they sell for
(ie finished auctions, not what people think they want for them)

re tape
Last time I bought tape I got 10x Quantegy 408 Mastering 1/4" Tape
from quantegy.com but site is gone… so eBay is likely only option…
bear in mind you will want to have your Nagra lined up for a specific tape type

ps useful link:
Guide to the Nagra 4.2 and Production Sound Recording PDF
http://www.videoeditsystems.com/358_CTVA/NagraGuide2003.pdf

Excellent tape for Nagras:

https://www.recordingthemasters.com/

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Another nice portable tape recorder is the Uher report series. The ones with Monitor in name have three heads so you can monitor while you record. Plus you’ve got four speeds to choose from which is great for tone control and half-speed playback. Beautiful machines as well!

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There’s https://atrtape.com as well, which might be easier to order in the US

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Thank you all. I’m looking for a reel-to-reel in order to begin adventures in tape looping. The Nagra III seems to be the deck that folks gravitate toward, so that’s why I asked. Perhaps this is the wrong thread to ask (but I’ll beg forgiveness since it’s been dormant so long), but what are some good, reliable machines to keep an eye out for? Should I buy from a place that refurbishes these things ($$$)? Or go the route of servicing one myself? I’m fairly technically handy, but have no experience with these little dudes.

@mattlowery: I think the III or the 4.2 will be great. There are tons of 4.2s out in the wild as it was the standard video/film audio tracking tool for several decades. For servicing in the US I have used Trew Audio and been very happy with the results. Chances are good whatever you buy will work fine though, these are built for abuse.

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Excellent information, thank you!

Let me know how it goes, I really love my Nagras and also love seeing what other people do.