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  #1  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:48 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Why Nagra Gear Is So Expensive ?

I came across this listing on craigslist for a Nagra reel to reel studio deck and was just wondering why they are expensive? I know they are well built, I got that part. but besides that is it because studios are still buying them for recording or they are collectibles and hard to find?

The seller had listed it previously for $11k and now he dropped the price to $9.5k. If you are a member here please let us know a little bit about this machine.

I just checked, he is listing it on ebay and he got bids up $6000.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nagra-T-Audi...oAAOSwEWtZtUNP

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Last edited by latreche34; 09-13-2017 at 11:55 AM.
  #2  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:19 PM
larsdela larsdela is offline
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I am not a completely objective responder here, as I am very much bitten by the Nagra bug; I find them completely irresistible both because of their sound quality and for their mechanical construction. The phrase most often used about them is that they are "built like a tank". More precisely a tank built by a collective of swiss watchmakers...

The Nagra T is the pinnacle of that, and it looks, feels and operates more like a piece of lab equipment than a tape recorder. It is an analog recorder, but the complete tape path is digitally controlled, giving it a marvellous silky smooth tape handling. It actually seems that the T Audio was often used for playing back tapes from flight recorders ("Black boxes") because of its very delicate handling of degraded tape material.

It was a spin-off product of the TI, which was an instrumentation recorder. The T Audio was mainly aimed at the film post production industry, as it was the only 1/4" recorder that could playback and resolve the pilot signal, that the portable Nagras recorded to control synchronisation with film cameras. It wasn't meant as a competitor for the Studer recorders, which where more aimed at music production and radio broadcast, where lip sync wasn't an issue. The latest model was the TA-TC, which could read and record SMPTE timecode directly on tape, making it really usable in video production, when the pilot synching was replaced by SMPTE TC. As far as I know, the TA-TC is the only reel-to-reel recorder capable of that..

The Nagra T is not a really "rare" machine, but on the other hand it was not made in large numbers, being a niche product. The high price for the T is probably due to both the sound quality (making it usable for recording pros and as a base for modifications) and its collectability. And, of course, of the amazing build quality.The Nagra recorders (both portable and Nagra T) was not built to a certain price point, it was purely made to have the highest sound quality and the longest lifetime. The portable recorders were designed to be in heavy use for 10 years without major service, and that probably goes for the T also.

One thing to look out for is that the Nagra T is quite difficult to service, and spare parts are hard to find. So if you want a Nagra T for using it, it is important to check it thoroughly before buying it. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a T with defective drive control hardware...

The pricing of the used Nagras generally are high, but I think that often the very expensive machines are either not being sold or sold with a large discount. Especially the mono recorders (f.ex. the 4.2) are often way overpriced, although it is a great machine. The IV-S (which is Kudelskis only portable analog stereo recorder) is quite expensive these days, again because it is both usable for music and collectible. The only drawback is hat it can only use 7" reels, making it badly suited for home use. Except if you get a QGB large reel adapter, which cost about the same as a good Studer...

Are they worth he money? To me they certainly are...
  #3  
Old 09-14-2017, 02:58 AM
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Skywavebe Skywavebe is offline
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Heck look at the thing in the listing- that is no basic unit and it has Time code. These are still being used in Hollywood for recording on site. They were not made by the 100,000 units and they are specialized. It is like buying a space shuttle or SR71- there are only so many left and they are not everyday things.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2017, 09:18 AM
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Kent T Kent T is offline
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The Nagra T was intended for cinema sound editing and re-recording duty. And also bear in mind that this was a very expensive, very limited production machine, general recording studio work is not what Nagra catered to, location recording and film sound is Nagra's main specialties. And instrumentation and survelliance work as side specialties. Nagras are very specialist market machines. Yes. much like buying a space shuttle or a SR 71.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:48 AM
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Ghitulescu Ghitulescu is online now
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The market niche Nagra specialised was the cinema studios, with an off business for reporters.

Because of their specialisation, their built quality, and their features, Nagras have been sold in the high segment. With a bit less of characteristics, the Uhers were way way far far more cheaper (and yes, even the consumer machines might have synch tracks and stuff).

A SR71 is probably not the right comparison, as a consumer can use the Nagra, but not fly the SR71. I would say a Sony PCM-7040 would be a good comparizon, for it had the same features and fate (see below).

Whether the price is ok, that's an individual choice. For me it's not - what Nagra can do and did in the studios, can be done by far with cheaper toys, that's why they have been dumped massively in the '90ies favouring DATs then solidstate.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:01 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
The market niche Nagra specialised was the cinema studios, with an off business for reporters.

Because of their specialisation, their built quality, and their features, Nagras have been sold in the high segment. With a bit less of characteristics, the Uhers were way way far far more cheaper (and yes, even the consumer machines might have synch tracks and stuff).

A SR71 is probably not the right comparison, as a consumer can use the Nagra, but not fly the SR71. I would say a Sony PCM-7040 would be a good comparizon, for it had the same features and fate (see below).

Whether the price is ok, that's an individual choice. For me it's not - what Nagra can do and did in the studios, can be done by far with cheaper toys, that's why they have been dumped massively in the '90ies favouring DATs then solidstate.
I was just questioning the price I'm not in need for any reel to reel recorder, Yes a DAT or a PCM adapter coupled with a VHS recorder can achieve far better results, If I have a recording studio I may have a different opinion though.
  #7  
Old 09-15-2017, 05:15 AM
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Ghitulescu Ghitulescu is online now
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I was not talking about recording studios, but film studios, with portable nagras for on-location recording and stationary nagras for editing.

I am not sure whether nagras went into music studios as workhorses, a place taken by others, but definitely they had a place in testing labs.
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