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Nagra 4 S and Nagra 4.2
Old 13th February 2012
  #151
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_havoc View Post
I know I must be at least funny asking elementary questions, but, alas, I need some advice. I started exporting music to the Nagra, using brand new 911 tape@15ips NM eq. The first thing I noticed after setting a sensible rec level that did not seem to wreck all the dynamics was the total lack of treble. I mean, I was prepared for SOME of it, but this one sounded like listening from behind a heavy velvet curtain - you get the point. I tried playing back the NM eq-ed recording with normal 15ips CCIR setting, and even so, the highs were missing. (7.5 did not work out either, the same missing treble but with a lot more hiss.)

Just as I started pondering about putting a tilt-style EQ before the DAC, another, rather more annoying problem surfaced. Upon playback, the music came back with a slapback echo - a beautyful one, I must admit, but I was not looking for a Space Echo

Could you provide me some points where to start looking for the mistake/error? Is it my fault or maybe the head or BIAS setting might be wrong, or could it be the EQ circuitry? THX!
Something ain't right. I have a properly maintained IV-S and it does not wreck any dynamics, that's for sure. And 15 ips should be plenty of high end. I use 7.5 on mine all the time and it's wonderful.

You need to get it checked out. What city are you in?
Old 13th February 2012
  #152
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Plush's Avatar
Your problem begins with you have not re-calibrated your machine to your tape type. Get thee to a technician who knows Nagra. When the machine is set up properly, the signal will come back sounding the same as the input signal.

At the same time, your tech can evaluate the condition of the heads on your machine, do a cleaning, brake replacement, lube job and check over. A Nagra is not made to sit around without being used.

Also check for out of round pinch roller.

All in all an under $500 check over. If new heads are needed add another $1500.
Old 16th February 2012
  #153
Gear interested
 

Thx, both of you. I'll get an engineer who knows how to set it properly. It will not be the easiest thing in Hungary, where I live, but not hopeless, either. Hope it's nothing serious.
Old 16th August 2016
  #154
Gear Maniac
Reviveing this thread because I have the chance to pick up a mono 4.2 in good condition. Posts before were a little unconlusive regarding the sound difference between the 4.2 and the 4-S when it comes to music recording. Is the frequency response worse on the 4.2? Shouldn't the mono one sound better even with the sync track on it or does it take up half of the tape?

My idea was to record left and right channels one after the other and then reassemble in the daw. Wondering if I could actually use the sync track somehow to do this?

Old 17th August 2016
  #155
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Plush's Avatar
No, you do not record one channel and then the other.
Where did you get this idea?

Don't buy the mono machine. It is beat and used up.

Buy a Nagra IV-S.
Old 17th August 2016
  #156
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celticrogues's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbot View Post
My idea was to record left and right channels one after the other and then reassemble in the daw.
Whoaaaa. Would love to hear how you plan to do that without a time machine

-Mike
Old 17th August 2016
  #157
Gear Maniac
erm.. I would ouput the left channel in mono from the daw and record it to the 4.2 for coloration, then capture it again. do the same with the right channel and put the two together in a daw hard panned... no timemachine needed. Actually I would do it with the Mid and Side channel so there are no mono phasing issues.
Old 17th August 2016
  #158
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, you do not record one channel and then the other.
Where did you get this idea?

Don't buy the mono machine. It is beat and used up.

Buy a Nagra IV-S.
I can't afford a IV-S, but there's a mono one locally, so that's the only option. What exactly do you mean with it's beat and used up?
Old 17th August 2016
  #159
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Matti's Avatar
If you are after tape saturation I would pass straight through the Nagra using the playback head and have no sync issues, get it?
-Other than difference between rec. and play heads wich is always same with the speed chosen.
Matti
Old 17th August 2016
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbot View Post
I can't afford a IV-S, but there's a mono one locally, so that's the only option. What exactly do you mean with it's beat and used up?

Is it a mono machine or a Neo pilot mono machine?
The sync neo pilot track runs in the centre and is push pull and when played on full track mono cancels out ingeniously.

Both are good machines but need to be in top condition, a IV-S is lovelier though, its stereo

You need to be able to do simple line up and understand the mechanics of these fine machines, they are unlike digital devices in every way.


Your idea of 're assembling ' is lunatic.
The art of recording is at the front end not the post
Old 31st May 2017
  #161
Gear Addict
Tape choices for Nagra IV-S

I've been wanting to put together a simple portable analog recording setup for some time, and have acquired a very nice Nagra IV-S with the NQS-LSP heads (what Plush would call the "music machine", I think! ). And also a lovely Revox C279 mixer in good working order.

Next step is to have the Nagra maintained and calibrated, so I've made contact with Remote (Trew) Audio to have this done. The question is which tape to have it calibrated for? I see on this thread that Plush has been recommending SM911 and RGM468, equivalent formulations of which are both available from Pyral. The Nagra specialist at Remote Audio advises that they have been using Quantegy 480 and RMG 468 for biasing, so if I want anything else, I'll have to send a tape with the machine.

The previous owner of my machine is a retired CBC engineer, who originally purchased my IV-S from a CBC radio station, where it was apparently a backup and thus lightly used. He says that the CBC were using it with 3M 226, BASF 900 and Quantegy 480, so who really knows what this machine is set up for. In his notes, he mentioned that the tape should be well-slitted for the transport with optimum head contact and low print-through. Means little to a digital guy like me, so a little advice from the real Nagrists here would be nice.

The application for this setup will be to record small scale acoustic Latin music.

I'm sitting here waiting to be beamed up into the light of all things Kudelski at 15IPS by you Nagra Masters...

Last edited by bwanajim; 1st June 2017 at 02:17 AM..
Old 1st June 2017
  #162
Here for the gear
 

bwanajim

If you are using the machine primarily for music, I would tend to go with the 468, with the SM911 as the second choice.

Wuantegy 480 was used primarily for dialogue recording, and doesn't have the headroom of 468 or 911.

The IV-S can be calibrated for any tape formulation, but may require changes of the components in the EQ circuit. Trew should be able to take care of this.
Old 1st June 2017
  #163
Gear Addict
Thanks for the feedback, Audioguy. Can you say why you'd prefer 468 over 911? In an earlier post, Plush seemed to say that 911 had less tape hiss and would be his first choice. On the other hand, the tape manufacturer do seem to recommend 468 for it, and I do see references in various discussions here to the effect that 468 offers a somewhat more plummy sound than 911.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audioguy View Post
bwanajim

If you are using the machine primarily for music, I would tend to go with the 468, with the SM911 as the second choice.

Wuantegy 480 was used primarily for dialogue recording, and doesn't have the headroom of 468 or 911.

The IV-S can be calibrated for any tape formulation, but may require changes of the components in the EQ circuit. Trew should be able to take care of this.
Old 1st June 2017
  #164
Lives for gear
 

Nagramaster applies 19cms/sec eq to tape @38 cms/sec
So the tape needs to set up for this eq lift
It is quite magical but you need 7" rolls really
Noise is not a Nagra issue and its difficult to distort with the limiter in, but its not anywhere on the digital scale of dynamic and requires listening off tape on site
Its not fire and forget Jim
Roger
Old 1st June 2017
  #165
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Plush's Avatar
Re: Nagra IV-S tape choice. For music I recommend RTM SM900 or RTM SM911.
The reason is that the Nagra is usually set up for
520nWb/m operation. At this calibration, the Nagra is blasting level to tape. This is a +9 level and you can depend on SM900 (a +9 tape) to handle it.
SM911 is a +6 tape and runs very well as well. SM468, an admired tape in the year 1981, has two drawbacks on the Nagra. Firstly it is more abrasive on the heads than the other formulations, and second it has poor print through characteristics in comparison to the other tape formulations. Quantegy is a spoken dialog tape no longer made.

I never used the limiter on the machine and learned to not modulate over +1 on the modulometer.

Nagra master is a fantastic way to work.
Old 1st June 2017
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Quantegy is a spoken dialog tape no longer made.
Quantegy 480 was mentioned, but out of curiosity have you ever used Quantegy 408? It's also no longer made but there seems to be enough available. I still have 30-40 unused reels. To me, it seemed to run smoother and sound better than 468.
Old 2nd June 2017
  #167
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Plush's Avatar
Hi, Leddy

Those Quantegy tapes were well known in dialog recording. Their good attribute was low print through. They were low bias tapes.

Better to move now to music tapes with high level handling capability.

That Quantegy tape is useable for casual use. Most would be over 10 years old now even as NOS.
Old 5th June 2017
  #168
Gear Addict
Thank you for your insight and advice, gentlemen. All taken on board.

I had a conversation with David Schwartz at Duplication Specialists (Recording the Masters Dealer) on this issue. He advised that the SM911 will yield a more transparent sound and indeed is designed for a higher operating level. The SM468 would yield a thicker, more vibey sound, and that SM468 was more tolerant when exceeding its level, which is 6db lower than SM911. His advice was that if you are striving for the quietest, most transparent result, then SM911. If you want a fat, round tape sound, go with SM468 at the cost of slightly more noise. His perspective seemed to be: If you're striving for transparency, why bother with tape at all? Just go with good quality digital. If you're going to go to the trouble of dealing with tape, go for tape sound.

He also indicated that the more abrasive nature of SM 468 could be beneficial for the Nagra's tape heads, though I am still not clear on why. Something about keeping them cleaner and improving tape to head contact, I think.

Have gone though the Revox C279 and everything seems to work properly. No more noise than expected, tone controls and all faders working without a hint of noise. Came in a nice Revox carrying case, too. New line input and output cables just came for the Nagra from a custom shop in the UK with the proper resistor in line.

Last edited by bwanajim; 5th June 2017 at 04:23 AM..
Old 5th June 2017
  #169
Gear Addict
 

Hi Jim, I definitely agree with 468 being more abrasive and I found the sound a bit more hashy or grainy. I used it on several machines when it was Agfa 468 and the head wear was noticeable but the tape wind is incredible, fast wind looked like play. Switched to Scotch 226 with much better results, more detailed smooth response and noticeably cleaner background.
Old 12th June 2017
  #170
Gear Head
I have the ability to buy a Nagra IV 4.2 for $800. Is this a good deal? It was primarily used as a echo/delay feedback machine so I'm a bit worried that it has not been kept up to spec, but it looks like it is in pristine condition. Also, I'd like to use it to record music, but there seem to be some posts in this thread saying that this is not a good idea?
Old 12th June 2017
  #171
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
4.2 is a mono full track machine.

If you need a mono recorder then $800 is a good price.

YOu may need to do some maintenance on it but getting the machine at a cheap price is worth it.

You cannot make a stereo recording with the 4.2.
Old 12th June 2017
  #172
Gear Head
hmmm, okay thanks! i guess i'd want to be recording in stereo....
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