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Nagra LB or Seven? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 29th March 2014
  #1
Gear Head
 

Nagra LB or Seven?

Perhaps no one has yet had a chance to demo the Seven, but I thought I'd post just in case.

I'm looking for a high quality 2ch recorder for acoustic music and nature recording. I'll be running DPA 4060 as omni AB and Schoeps in MS.

I've read that the Seven replaces the LB and has the same quality preamps as the VI. I've also read that the LB is a music machine, so perhaps I should try to track down one of those?

Other questions/concerns: I'm a bit apprehensive about the touch screen. I think it will be very easy, but worry that it might be fickle.

Also, I'd like to use the unit as a high quality playback machine for my recordings and pre-recorded music. I assume with either of these machines that I'll be able to load an SD or CF with .wav files and play it through my monitors. This is perhaps a bit indulgent, but I don't have a stereo per-se and would love the Nagra to double as a playback device.
Old 29th March 2014
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltarm View Post
Perhaps no one has yet had a chance to demo the Seven, but I thought I'd post just in case.

I'm looking for a high quality 2ch recorder for acoustic music and nature recording. I'll be running DPA 4060 as omni AB and Schoeps in MS.

I've read that the Seven replaces the LB and has the same quality preamps as the VI. I've also read that the LB is a music machine, so perhaps I should try to track down one of those?

Other questions/concerns: I'm a bit apprehensive about the touch screen. I think it will be very easy, but worry that it might be fickle.

Also, I'd like to use the unit as a high quality playback machine for my recordings and pre-recorded music. I assume with either of these machines that I'll be able to load an SD or CF with .wav files and play it through my monitors. This is perhaps a bit indulgent, but I don't have a stereo per-se and would love the Nagra to double as a playback device.
I would go for the Seven - the LB was not designed as a music machine, it was designed as a reporter's recorder. which is why is has the built-in editing functions (but no good for music as it's for the compress files and low quality wav files) and had the ability so send recordings back to base.

The Seven has higher quality pre-amps and, for a 2-channel machine at that budget level, I would go for the Seven.

A 2-channel AETA 4MinX starts at £3k (which is about £1k more expensive than the cheapest version of the Seven, but only £250 more than the top version) - but you can upgrade the 4MinX to up to 8-channels, so it may be worth thinking about if you may consider more tracks later.

But if you want 2-track and stay 2-track, I would get the Seven.
Old 29th March 2014
  #3
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matucha's Avatar
LB is damn good sounding Preamp and AD and DA . It's in the neutral, yet not sterile camp of pres. I like esp. how it interprets midrange and the detail, esp. with higher sample rates is just beautiful. If Seven is even better...
Old 30th March 2014
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks so much for the replies. I'm not certain the Seven has even arrived stateside, or anywhere for that matter. Can anyone recommend a good Nagra dealer in the US? I see their dealer listings, but don't know if all Nagra dealers are created equal. If someone has had good experience with one of them, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

I've really liked the samples I've heard of the LB. Neutral but not sterile seems accurate to me. I find the 702 to be sterile, by which I mean to complement the unit. But there's something in the LB and VI (and 788t) samples I've heard that I'm not hearing from the 702.
Old 30th March 2014
  #5
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Hoping that the Nagra 7 is the choice for stereo recording too.
B&H lists it at $3300 Nagra Stereo Digital Recorder 24/192 W/AES42 NAGRA SEVEN B&H
Old 31st March 2014
  #6
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Plush's Avatar
Always purchase the latest thinking from Nagra. Latest circuitry, a/d and d/a converters, interface, AES 42, wi-fi etc.
Very modern with Nagra sound.

Buy it today.
Old 31st March 2014
  #7
Gear Head
 

Ok, I just pulled the trigger. I can report back with some bits of information that I found helpful in making my decision.

Power: The Seven ships with a battery box for AAs. Like the LB, the it can take the optional Li-ion battery pack, but it is very expensive and doesn't seem to offer a ton of extra power -- power that would translate into significant more use-time.

Pres: They're apparently very close to the VI and may offer advantages over the VI, given that path is clearer because the limiters and filters are digital.

A/D converters: they are the same as those in the VI.

Compression Format: WAV for now, more, perhaps, in future updates.

Manufacturing Location: Designed, built and tested in Nagra's factory in Romanel-sur-Lausanne.

One of the things that many here should like is the pricing structure of the Seven: you pay for what you want. I picked up the basic version and was very happy not to have to cover the cost of timecode, ISDN, et. al., just to gain access to Nagra's audio features.
Old 31st March 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltarm View Post
Ok, I just pulled the trigger. I can report back with some bits of information that I found helpful in making my decision.

Power: The Seven ships with a battery box for AAs. Like the LB, the it can take the optional Li-ion battery pack, but it is very expensive and doesn't seem to offer a ton of extra power -- power that would translate into significant more use-time.

Pres: They're apparently very close to the VI and may offer advantages over the VI, given that path is clearer because the limiters and filters are digital.

A/D converters: they are the same as those in the VI.

Compression Format: WAV for now, more, perhaps, in future updates.

Manufacturing Location: Designed, built and tested in Nagra's factory in Romanel-sur-Lausanne.

One of the things that many here should like is the pricing structure of the Seven: you pay for what you want. I picked up the basic version and was very happy not to have to cover the cost of timecode, ISDN, et. al., just to gain access to Nagra's audio features.
Very helpful. How much did you pay?
Old 1st April 2014
  #9
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I got it at the regular, list price. I asked if there was any possibility in a discount, but apparently Nagras aren't typically reduced.
Old 1st April 2014
  #10
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matucha's Avatar
About the battery pack. After getting Sanyo Enelop for Nagra I'm quite satisfied with the performance. Regular NiMHs started to discharge on their own too much after a while.
Old 4th April 2014
  #11
AB3
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Are you certain of this? I believe is it put together in China and perhaps tested, etc. in Switzerland. Can someone provide definitive information on this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by weltarm View Post



Manufacturing Location: Designed, built and tested in Nagra's factory in Romanel-sur-Lausanne.

.
Old 4th April 2014
  #12
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John Willett's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Are you certain of this? I believe is it put together in China and perhaps tested, etc. in Switzerland. Can someone provide definitive information on this?
Well, the LB was certainly put together in China and tested, etc. in Switzerland - and I am pretty sure the Nagra VI was, as well.

Nagra *do* keep a very close eye on things so everything is fully up to Nagra's very high standards.
Old 4th April 2014
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
Are you certain of this? I believe is it put together in China and perhaps tested, etc. in Switzerland. Can someone provide definitive information on this?

Well, certain in this respect: the information comes from John Owens and the machine says "Made in Switzerland" on the side. In the past, Nagra has been forthcoming in letting me know which of their machines are made in China. I believe I asked about the SD a few years ago.

This "certainty" only goes so far, of course. Surely some (most?) of the components are made in China. How much is actually made in the Nagra factory and how much of it is assembled there is unknown -- at least to me.

With that said, I've only begun working with the machine. I've made a few recordings around the house -- sound design wannabe stuff mostly. I hope to get out and make a proper nature recording this weekend. So far, though, I'm very happy with what I'm hearing.

While I'm waiting to run the machine through its paces as an acquisition device, I've been testing it for playback -- mostly listening to music as I take care of some work. (Note: I'm an amateur recordist, and I have way more to learn from you guys than you from me.) Back to playback: the machine sounds terrific. I listen to a lot of timbre-based music, stuff which really comes alive in the details, and I'm hearing more of these recordings than I did with my other means of playback. When the Nagra isn't being used for recording, it's going to be my main stereo, hooked up to my monitors.

Some miscellaneous notes: The touch screen works very well. It's responsive and intuitive. The quality of the display doesn't match an iphone/ipad. I think it has similar ppi but it appears less crisp and the colors aren't as nice. To be honest, I don't care at all about this, but I thought I'd mention it. For me, the screen works wonderfully as an interface. It's really nice to tap through and turn MS monitoring on/off, switch to phantom, select folders, etc. Compared to the Sound Devices interface, the Nagra here is a win for me, and that's saying a lot as the SD menu was quite nice.

Speaking of the SD, I think it's fair to say that the build quality is better in the 7 series recorders. This is not meant to take anything away from the Nagra, which is a well constructed machine that is solid and pleasant to hold. With that said, I remain in awe of SD's construction. I'm happy to speak about the minor ways the Nagra doesn't match the SD in build quality, but it feels a little trivial. And despite the differences, the touch interface, along with the basic knobs, make the Nagra the nicer machine to work with.

This is just a preliminary, unorganized, un-expert report. I'm happy to speak more, especially when I get a real chance to make some recordings. Again, I do field recordings in my spare time. I'm serious about sound, but I have a lot to learn still and cannot speak in the informed ways that many on this board can.

But for now I can report with certainty that I'm very, very pleased with this machine.
Old 4th April 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltarm View Post
I've been testing it for playback -- it's going to be my main stereo, hooked up to my monitors.
Great way to playback hi-rez recordings. How do you control volume when hooked up to your monitors?
Old 5th April 2014
  #15
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Don't spead rumors without really knowing what is what. Why guess?

To say that any of the premium Nagras are made in China is absolute heresy.
They are made in Switzerland. What a piece of crap to say otherwise.

The hand held recorders are made in China.
Old 5th April 2014
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Don't spead rumors without really knowing what is what. Why guess?

To say that any of the premium Nagras are made in China is absolute heresy.
They are made in Switzerland. What a piece of crap to say otherwise.

The hand held recorders are made in China.
Very true.

For my part, I was merely speculating that some components, parts and pieces of the device might be sourced from China. This was informed to the extent that I understand that so many circuits today are built in China and sent out for assembly all over. For example, I was thinking that the touch screen would be something manufactured in Asia/China.

But you're right. I have no idea for certain and should have been more careful with some of the statements in my above posts. I never at all meant to take anything away from this machine -- truly. I'm enjoying it so much.

What I do know is what John Owens told me that it is "100% Swiss made." Perhaps then Nagra are building these from scratch. In any case, whatever they're doing that allows them by law to put "Made in Switzerland" on the machine is commendable and did play a small part in my decision to purchase the device. While I have nothing against things made in China, it's nice to see manufacturing in other places, especially those places close to where the products are designed.
Old 5th April 2014
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by surflounge View Post
Great way to playback hi-rez recordings. How do you control volume when hooked up to your monitors?
The Nagra allows you adjust the playback volume of the line out through a few touches within the menu.
Old 5th April 2014
  #18
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Don't spead rumors without really knowing what is what. Why guess?

To say that any of the premium Nagras are made in China is absolute heresy.
They are made in Switzerland. What a piece of crap to say otherwise.

The hand held recorders are made in China.
The LB was definitely made in China, as told to me by John Owens.

I did not have a problem with this, as everything was finalised in Switzerland and it all was fully within Nagra's high standards.

Nagra has to have a price to be competitive; but, as long as everything is full Nagra quality (which it is), I don't see a problem.
Old 5th April 2014
  #19
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The Nagras I'm buying are made in Switzerland. Otherwise, what's the point of paying the Swiss? They are asking for a Swiss price.

I will confirm with Owens.
Old 5th April 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
The Nagras I'm buying are made in Switzerland. Otherwise, what's the point of paying the Swiss? They are asking for a Swiss price.

I will confirm with Owens.
People are willing to pay Apple price for Chinese made phones. Why not recording gear?
Old 5th April 2014
  #21
nkf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polytope View Post
People are willing to pay Apple price for Chinese made phones. Why not recording gear?
Some people like Plush have Sino-Phobia …
Old 7th April 2014
  #22
Gear Head
Here, made in Switzrland:

NAB 2013 - Nagra on Vimeo
Old 7th April 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREITOJOS View Post
Here, made in Switzrland:

NAB 2013 - Nagra on Vimeo
This is the same guy who said the VII was the only recorder capable of accepting analog and digital inputs at the same time. This is not true at all as numerous folks have pointed out. Is he tech or marketing?

"> From: [email protected]
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: RE: Returned from Nagraaudio - PRO contact page
> Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:49:57 +0000
>
> Dear Sir,
>
> The NAGRA Seven is the only recorder that can use the digital and analog inputs at the same time.
>
> I hope this answers your question,
>
> Kindest regards,
> John OWENS"
Old 7th April 2014
  #24
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Is he tech or marketing?
Both - he started out in the Service Department at Hayden Labs servicing Nagra recorders.

He knows his stuff.

However, he may not know all the intricacies of other recorders, so it's easy to make the mistake of saying the N-seven is the only recorder that can mix analogue and digital.

I assume he meant "mix" as the Nagra VI can use analogue and digital at the same time.

But the AETA 4MinX can certainly use and mix analogue and digital at the same time.

But I'll forgive him for that.
Old 8th April 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
> The NAGRA Seven is the only <stereo> recorder that can use the digital and analog inputs at the same time.
Maybe JO intended to include the qualifying < > word in his statement - would make more sense. How does this affect the previous responses.

Definitely more useful than the Nagra V or the LB which was an either/or situation.
Old 8th April 2014
  #26
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I have no business in a Nagra thread. You have enough of your own problems as it is.
Old 8th April 2014
  #27
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
Maybe JO intended to include the qualifying < > word in his statement - would make more sense. How does this affect the previous responses.

Definitely more useful than the Nagra V or the LB which was an either/or situation.
Yes, I think so because the question was:

"It seems to me that in the input matrix I can select simultâneous analogue and AES 31 digital stereo and mix the two in the Nagra Seven."

The answer was about a stereo recorder ony two tracks.
Old 16th December 2016
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Not sure if this will help, but I have include a link below (hoping that its not removed by Gearslutz) which is a recording made using my Nagra LB and AKG 414 XLS stereo pair. It was recorded at 96Ksps 24 bit but is reduced here to CD quality. I'm sorry but I don't have any samples from a seven, perhaps someone else does.

https://archive.org/details/011MassInCOp86Credo

Gary
Old 17th December 2016
  #29
Gear Addict
 

The last post is over two and a half years old
Old 17th December 2016
  #30
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Yep

Yes, I noticed that after posting but thought it worth leaving up just in case anyone was still interested
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