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Nagra T-audio Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 19th January 2018
  #1
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Arseny's Avatar
Nagra T-audio

I‘ve seen here some opinions like „the best tape machine ever made“ and similar about the Nagra T-audio.

Now I am very curios why? The lowest noise? Ok, but this just can’t be the only reason. What about the sound? Does it sound as a tape at all? I mean, I am concerned if it is too transparent? Is it close to digital? In the todays world there must be a reason for using the tape concerning its costs and inconvinience. What qualities one can expect from that machine? If you have used one, how would you describe its sonic qualities?

I love the sound of my Studer A80. Would a Nagra T-audio be an improvement over the A80 for capturing a stereo mix coming from an analog console?
Old 20th January 2018
  #2
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I do consider the Nagra T-Audio to be one of the two top tape recorders in the world. The other one is the Stellavox SM-8.

I used the Nagra T-Audio for over 25 years and found it to be the finest sound one can find.

Some of the features and attributes that made the machine very special include:
(in no specific order)

1. Double capstan machine with ruby tape head contact sensor. The machine monitored the tape path and would adjust tape / head contact to always be proper.

2. TACAL anti-distortion circuitry. Machine calculated distortion and added back an exact anti-distortion signal to maximize signal quality.

3. High headroom electronics--machine still had very low distortion at +15.

4. Super accurate jog wheel and tape scissors. Find your edit point and then hit a button which moved the tape to the exact scissors cutting position.

5. Laboratory quality library wind.

6. Superb TACO M-1 meter bridge with VU and peak meters and monitor speakers.

7. Nagra Kudelski Service Department

8. Service and support in the USA was in Hollywood and NYC. USA operation headed up by Danny Grimes.

9. High dynamic range machine. With Dolby SR, signal-to-noise ratio exceeded 99dB-greater than DAT tape.

The Nagra T-Audio is no longer serviced or supported by either Audio Technology Switzerland, Nagravision, or Kudelski. No parts are made any more for the machine.

I loved my machine and used it to make many big records. Everyone lined up to be recorded by it. A unique machine and a unique time in the recording business.

(And yes- the Nagra T-Audio was a substantially better machine than the Studer A-80.)

I sold my machine to Google.
Old 20th January 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I do consider the Nagra T-Audio to be one of the two top tape recorders in the world...

I sold my machine to Google.
Awesome post Plush

Old 20th January 2018
  #4
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Arseny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I do consider the Nagra T-Audio to be one of the two top tape recorders in the world. The other one is the Stellavox SM-8.

I used the Nagra T-Audio for over 25 years and found it to be the finest sound one can find.

Some of the features and attributes that made the machine very special include:
(in no specific order)

1. Double capstan machine with ruby tape head contact sensor. The machine monitored the tape path and would adjust tape / head contact to always be proper.

2. TACAL anti-distortion circuitry. Machine calculated distortion and added back an exact anti-distortion signal to maximize signal quality.

3. High headroom electronics--machine still had very low distortion at +15.

4. Super accurate jog wheel and tape scissors. Find your edit point and then hit a button which moved the tape to the exact scissors cutting position.

5. Laboratory quality library wind.

6. Superb TACO M-1 meter bridge with VU and peak meters and monitor speakers.

7. Nagra Kudelski Service Department

8. Service and support in the USA was in Hollywood and NYC. USA operation headed up by Danny Grimes.

9. High dynamic range machine. With Dolby SR, signal-to-noise ratio exceeded 99dB-greater than DAT tape.

The Nagra T-Audio is no longer serviced or supported by either Audio Technology Switzerland, Nagravision, or Kudelski. No parts are made any more for the machine.

I loved my machine and used it to make many big records. Everyone lined up to be recorded by it. A unique machine and a unique time in the recording business.

(And yes- the Nagra T-Audio was a substantially better machine than the Studer A-80.)

I sold my machine to Google.
Thanks, Plush, for this great, great detailed respond.

Would Nagra T-Audio find a place in your current setup as well? Or you sold it because of some downsides like no more parts & support, and you found, let’s say, some more convinient replacement in the digital like Hedd or Burl ADC?

When you say “substantially better then A80”, you know what that means to me? I can’t sleep until I own one. Please tell more about the reasons you sold it, so I can sleep again. Thanks
Old 26th January 2018
  #5
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I have seen (not heard) one recently and I want it so bad.

In the heaven there will be no pain, no bills, no time pressure and no DAW. Only vintage tape machines and vintage consoles.
Old 28th January 2018
  #6
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@ Plush . Wasn't there also pilot tone on it to help eliminate wow and flutter due to slight instabilities in the transport? Or am I thinking of another deck?

-Ben
Old 29th January 2018
  #7
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No special tones on the tape for speed control. Instead a double capstan system maintained a phase locked zone over the record and playback heads. A very sophisticated system.

Separately, a tape tension sensor in the tape path, fed data to the dual capstans to maintain optimal tape-to-head contact.

By the way, I was just at the Nagra factory this week and they told me they do have someone who can work on T-Audio machines. So maintenance is available. My advice is to get it done ASAP if you are interested.
Old 30th January 2018
  #8
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
By the way, I was just at the Nagra factory this week and they told me they do have someone who can work on T-Audio machines. So maintenance is available.
Can you furnish contact information for the tech?
Old 30th January 2018
  #9
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I do not have the contact info. Please get in touch with the Audio Technology Switzerland office.
Old 30th January 2018
  #10
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She was standing there 2 weeks long. I used to watch her everyday for at least 5min. I asked people about her. And now she is gone. Gone forever. Nagra t-audio. For 6100 swiss francs. But my feelings are still strong. It will take time to forget.
Old 30th January 2018
  #11
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Plush's Avatar
So Sorry she decided to move on. A shame.

But keeping her in nice clothes, make up and with good lubrication would easily have cost another SFr 6100.
Old 30th January 2018
  #12
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I believe you, coz you knew her well (or maybe it was her twin sister?).... She never stopped talking about her sister that migrated to the USA, after the digital fundamentalists regime takeover. Never mind, their whole family led a luxurious life anyway. When you said "another 6k", I suddenly realized that such a lady wasn't for a peasant like me...

Actually I should be grateful that my A80 is still cooking me some paprikash twice a week.
Old 31st January 2018
  #13
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I do not have the contact info. Please get in touch with the Audio Technology Switzerland office.
I'll pass along the information.
Old 2nd February 2018
  #14
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Pleeeeasestop talking about teh Nagra T-Audio.

This is my most favourite analogue recorder of all time and the most drool machine ever.

If I had had the money back in the 1980's when I used to work for the Nagra distributor in the UK I would have bought one like a shot. But, at the time, the price was equivalent to about a year's wages for me.
Old 4th February 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Pleeeeasestop talking about teh Nagra T-Audio.

This is my most favourite analogue recorder of all time and the most drool machine ever.

If I had had the money back in the 1980's when I used to work for the Nagra distributor in the UK I would have bought one like a shot. But, at the time, the price was equivalent to about a year's wages for me.
Yes, the ultimate drool object.
But the funny thing is: yesterday locally found one for chf 6100, now on ebay 15’000
Old 5th February 2018
  #16
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Wonder if it'll sell
Old 7th February 2018
  #17
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I use the NagraT every day at 2xHD with a tube tape head. I just release Audiophile speaker set up album on HDtracks and it is no1 Top best seller. 90% of the track was transfer using the NagraT. I also got best sound at the last CES by Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound when I playback my last recording with the T. I have many analog transport but the T is more refine and open. I work also for Nagra and yes M.Bartels still do service on T and IV-S in Switzerland. We will also sale some perfect T and IV-S later this year. Check out Nagra HD and in about 3 mouths we will have analog shop section.
Old 7th February 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renefidelionagra View Post
Check out Nagra HD
Be VERY careful clicking this link - it is full of very drool-worthy stuff that will cost you lots of money.
Old 7th February 2018
  #19
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It's a legit Audio Technology Switzerland SA (Nagra audio brand) website (Yves Amaudruz for Audio Technology Switzerland, BTW also for axiomes.ch which I mentioned elsewhere, remember the coffee machines).
Old 8th February 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renefidelionagra View Post
I use the NagraT every day at 2xHD with a tube tape head. I just release Audiophile speaker set up album on HDtracks and it is no1 Top best seller. 90% of the track was transfer using the NagraT. I also got best sound at the last CES by Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound when I playback my last recording with the T. I have many analog transport but the T is more refine and open. I work also for Nagra and yes M.Bartels still do service on T and IV-S in Switzerland. We will also sale some perfect T and IV-S later this year. Check out Nagra HD and in about 3 mouths we will have analog shop section.


Hello!

Very good to know...congratulations
What's 2xHD? BTW, can you get Studer resurrected?
Old 8th February 2018
  #21
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2xHD.com is my label, analog master tape Recording and transfer in DSD 256 and 192/24 and sale on Highres web site. Studer I don t know that brand

Here some pictures of my last production with the NagraT setup:
Audiophile speaker set-up album
Old 8th February 2018
  #22
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Analogue Tape Recording?
Stephens
Nagra
Anything else is below these two companies when at their Zenith. Just my opinion, though one held by many I know and many I don't
Best of luck,
TLB
Old 8th February 2018
  #23
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renefidelionagra View Post
2xHD.com is my label, analog master tape Recording and transfer in DSD 256 and 192/24 and sale on Highres web site. Studer I don t know that brand

Here some pictures of my last production with the NagraT setup:
Audiophile speaker set-up album
As I mentioned to the Nagra people at the factory two weeks ago, don't use a time code machine for music. I see that your T-Audio is a timecode machine with narrow track width. Please change to 0.75mm track guard band head for music.

Other than that I look forward to meeting you some time. I am in the classical recording business for many decades and am a deep music recordist and scientist. House of Nagra since 1981. One of the Nagra guys, Matthieu, said I should meet you.
Old 8th February 2018
  #24
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Yes like I told you in the past I do use new 2.75 Stereo head not the 2.0mm two tracks head. I took that T because the machine was new and I did a Stereo version 2.75 with it. I did also some modification and custom with Doshi Vacuum tube playback electronics. I will be at Axpona and you.
Old 9th February 2018
  #25
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renefidelionagra View Post
2xHD.com is my label, analog master tape Recording and transfer in DSD 256 and 192/24 and sale on Highres web site. Studer I don t know that brand

Here some pictures of my last production with the NagraT setup:
Audiophile speaker set-up album
Cool Did you audition other tape repro head electronics in addition to the Doshi? What're you using for AD DSD256 transfer?
Old 9th February 2018
  #26
Here for the gear
I have also the Bootlehead tube repro and with good NOS tubes with some master it is a great choice. The A/D right now for the DSD256 is the Horus.
More picture here :2xHD Label
Old 9th February 2018
  #27
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Thanks, I just perused your w/s. Interesting choice of DAC...Nagra rather than Merging. Will you have real-time, 1:1, 1/4" (AAA), titles available?
Old 9th February 2018
  #28
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I am amazed these links were not blocked by the p0rn filter. Major Swiss audio p0rn right there. Need to add some brushed aluminium filters.

But I cannot understand or view these scrolling website pages where the backgrounds are rolling around.
Old 9th February 2018
  #29
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renefidelionagra View Post
Yes like I told you in the past I do use new 2.75 Stereo head not the 2.0mm two tracks head. I took that T because the machine was new and I did a Stereo version 2.75 with it. I did also some modification and custom with Doshi Vacuum tube playback electronics. I will be at Axpona and you.
Thank you. I made my comments based on the photographs of the T-Audio on your web site.

Sorry but I don't attend hi-fi shows. Would gladly meet you for lunch during your time in Chicago.
Old 9th February 2018
  #30
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoeller View Post


It's a legit Audio Technology Switzerland SA (Nagra audio brand) website (Yves Amaudruz for Audio Technology Switzerland, BTW also for axiomes.ch which I mentioned elsewhere, remember the coffee machines).
I know it is - but that Nagra stuff is sooo droolworthy and soooo expensive.
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