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Nagra VI being updated soon? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 13th February 2018
Lives for gear
Plush's Avatar
Please don't take my writing literally. I put tape recorder in quotation marks for a reason. We are misunderstanding each other because of subtleties of the English language.

I use the term "tape recorder" to mean any kind of recorder.

So, never a new tape based recorder.

My expectation is for Nagra to release a new multi-track recorder. Hopefully it will be modular so the customer can add 8 channel increments up to 24 tracks. This box would connect directly to a hard drive.

A Nagra JoeCo type box.

Or another business choice dictated by cheap customers and CHI-COMM products.
Old 13th February 2018
Lives for gear

Thanks for the clarification. English is only my 3rd language.

When referring to recorders I mostly mean either tape recorders, HDD recorders or solid-state memory recorders (either internal memory, SSD or removable memory cards/modules, excluding CF Microdrive (which are no longer used, I still have some original IBM as well as Hitachi, up to 6 GB and they still work but I no longer use them since ages).

That said, it would be a nice curiosity to see a reissue of a legendary SN but sadly costs would be likely to high to ever try it. Indeed if a new tape recorder would ever be issued, which I don't totally exclude, I'd clearly see it as very expensive audiophile product.

Maybe you could start a topic to discuss the specs of the "ideal" non-tape digital field recorder.

Technically a modular solid-state recorder would be possible, for example with stacked modules made of machined aluminium assembled with tie rods (variable width).
While some mentioned the required expertise, I'd expect that a team made of the best GS forum experts would be able to design a recorder which could compete well with the Nagra VI (if budget, time, lab, computer assisted tools, etc would be available).

One point which increases costs is certainly related to sorting some critical components, for the best performance maybe a relatively high percentage would have to be rejected as statistically there's some variance and only min. and max. specs are guaranteed. There's no warranty when it comes to typical specs, if some spec is only listed with a typical value you may need to test each item individually.

As said, I still expect a Nagra VI successor within maybe the next 6 to12 months or so. Some new handheld recorders are not excluded but to be honest I never checked the specs in detail, such devices are probably not that complex to develop. My main point was that from a strictly personal POV I was very disappointed to see some Nagra products made in China, it's like if Rolex would sell some watches made in China (though, as said, some "sales boxes" (packaging) of very expensive Swiss watches are made in China but I don't mention any brand).
Old 13th February 2018
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Plush View Post
(...) My expectation is for Nagra to release a new multi-track recorder. Hopefully it will be modular so the customer can add 8 channel increments up to 24 tracks. This box would connect directly to a hard drive. (...)
Are you referring to a portable device or for desktop/rack use?

As there haven't been impressive battery performance increases within the last couple of years larger number of channels will require some serious batteries (maybe something like the NP-1 slide-in style). The Nagra VI is already amazingly well power-optimized considering both its very high performance and design age.

Instead of some external HDD, why not using some sort of passive rugged slide-in metal cartridge where you can mount any SSD of your choice (see Video Devices' concept though they don't use the regular 2.5" HDD/SSD form factor)?
In addition there could still be some internal SSD(s).

Overall I'd just be careful with USB as it's not very reliable for tough field use (even if using rugged connector systems, USB as such is not well designed and/or not well handled, at least compared to Ethernet and fieldbuses though the latter are too slow).

I even wonder if magnetically coupled (linear) faders would not be more convenient than rotary buttons, especially with some means to lock controls without disturbing their setting.

I don't expect some desktop or 19" rack module Nagra recorder, there are many products available. Trying to do what others can already do very well is not adviseable for a company which strength is about niche products.
Maybe I'm wrong but if so that would mean that ATS wants to enter new markets.
Old 13th February 2018
Lives for gear

Just checked the manuals quickly, the Nagra VI draws approximately 10 watts and a fully loaded Merging Hapi, for example, draws 30 watts. That is 6 channels vs 16 channels (and more) and with all the empty space in the battery pack for the VI, as well as the empty space inside the VI, it seems batteries wouldn't be much of a limitation. This is very rough of course and comparing apples to oranges somewhat given the different capabilities of these units but power is, as was stated, pretty well optimized in the VI.
Old 14th February 2018
Lives for gear

For mains powered audio equipment energetic optimization is not much a priority (Sound Devices 970: 60 W (24 VDC power)).

I quickly checked some downloadable manufacturer documents, maximum power:
Nagra VI: 10 W (as mentioned above by Swing)
Zoom F8: 12 W
Sound Devices 702T, 788T: 12 W (?)

Sound Devices 688, etc.: Couldn't find power requirements (max. value).
Sound Devices MixPre-...: didn't check as those are more basic recorders so direct comparisons wouldn't be representative.

Various manufacturers only mention maximal power as requirement when supplying external DC and mention some more or less realistic battery durations but comparisons are impossible as the specified durations correspond to one or more typical settings but do not reflect the worst case power requirement.
Ideally the required power in W should be indicated for various common set ups (number of used channels, sampling rates, phantom power (at max. current), etc.).

Considering the typical number of channels I don't expect singificantly lower power requirements for a modern design, maybe the processing power can be increased (also for example running all channels at 192 kHz 24-bit). Also a very good sunlight readable backlight requires quite some power by design. Of course the user can set the intensity (maybe manually and also with some automatic management according to ambient luminosity) but there are no miracles. A poorly lit display draws less power and power requirement specs will look better on the paper.

See also David Rick's interesting reply here:
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