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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #1
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Does anyone have a line on an old mono Nagra for hire?

Does anyone have a line on an old mono Nagra for hire?

I have to digitize 563 1/4 inch tapes for a job. These are mono tapes recorded on a reel to reel Nagra with NeoPilotone sync.

Here are the three models I am looking for:

Nagra III NP (That's Neo-Pilotone)

or Nagra IV L

or Nagra 4.2

Sorry about the O/T, but the job is in fact being finished in FCP once I can get all this sound digitized.

Please email harry323@mac.com

Best

Harry.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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its been a while, but are those 12 ish, 15, , 22 or 30 min reels ? that could be 200 hrs of material. I'd think you'd be wanting to have 2 or even 3 units running at once. I'd consider a cheap laptop / old tower + USB audio interface + audacity to load them. its going to be a long miserable job.

you will also need banna plug to XLR adapters for the audio out. I have 2 :)

any of those should do, but you will in for sticker shock on the price. 10 years ago you couldn't give them away... now they are hot for whatever reason and prices are completely crazy. I think you might be better with a 1 or 2 month rental... then again you can always sell them when you are done too.

also do all the tapes have pilot tone on them ? if they don't you can use a much much cheaper as in close to free 1/4" R2R to capture them with.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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Thank you for your kind reply.

I did in fact state that I am looking for a machine to hire. And, yes, it's 141 hours of mono sound and it's all mono Pilotone.

They will be digitized by FCP and/or ProTools.

I gather that you do not in fact have a contact who has one of these machines in good condition and up for rent?

HBD.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:39 PM   #4
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I know of multiple places with them, especially in LA.

Coffey Sound LA

Trew Audio nashville

Professional Sound Services NYC
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I have already tried Coffey, but they only have a beat up old Stereo Nagra which only works on D Cells and has no mains power supply. Plus the guy I spoke with didn't seem very motivated to rent it out.

But the other two companies sound like a good idea except that they are in NY and Nashville and I am in LA. But I thank you for the advice.

Best wishes,

Harry.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #6
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Hi Harry have you had a look on e-bay you can sometimes get a machine and it may be less than a long term hire.

This one in the UK is here:nagra iii reel to reel mono on eBay (end time 07-Aug-10 15:21:13 BST)
and another one here:http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nagra-3-power-...#ht_500wt_1154

There may be similar machines in the USA
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Old July 16th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Bromley-Davenport View Post
Thanks for the advice. I have already tried Coffey, but they only have a beat up old Stereo Nagra which only works on D Cells and has no mains power supply. Plus the guy I spoke with didn't seem very motivated to rent it out.

But the other two companies sound like a good idea except that they are in NY and Nashville and I am in LA. But I thank you for the advice.

Best wishes,

Harry.
Did you get my email message? Trew has a several Nagra for sale in their consignment area, including this one that sound like it's just what you're looking for ...
Quote:
Nagra 4.2 Mono Synchronous Recorder. Includes 2 mic preamps and comes in protective shipping case. Condition: Very Good. $2,800 CAD ITEM #3409
It's in the Toronto store but they ship and are trustworthy. They also have a 4.2 Stereo model listed for rental at $100/day. In light of the amount of material you have to deal with, it might be economical to buy and then sell it at the end of the project.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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Let me make the assumption that the tapes would be 15-20 or more years old by now... are the tapes shedding oxide and can in fact be played?
Many tapes of that age I have played shed oxide to a point of unusable. My suggestion is to play a tape on ANY machine and see what the heads are like after 15 minutes, and if the oxide sheds you might not even have to pursue the project.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 02:32 AM   #9
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If these tapes are (black or matt back) Ampex 456 or Scotch ?? then they definitely ARE shedding. Polyester backing (shiny back) they might be Ok.

Watch out if they're 1mil thick, they can stretch .. be careful of the play machines reel tension. 1.5mil you'll be Ok. Should say on the tape box.

You could try the baking process and depending on the budget and cost of doing it I'd certainly get pro help and let them do it. Set it up THEN show the client, some young Turks will not believe you.

And what happens if you kill 2 of the whole set how does that affect the project so I'd cost out the premium for some insurance on the job, I've done 24track 2" rolls, it's messy so good luck and good night.
Cheers.

Sticky-shed syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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Gentlemen,
Although the tapes were recorded 35 years ago, they have been stored in a temperature controlled vault and are in perfect condition with zero oxide shedding or stiction.

As I say in my original post, what I am looking for is an old Mono Nagra FOR HIRE. I don't want to buy one.

Thanks very much,

Harry
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #11
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Sticky-shed syndrome.

Some years back, I had some limited success with some old Sony 1/2" EIAJ video tapes that had gone off by running them through a soft pad soaked wet with methylated spirit, ( I think in the US it is called wood alcohol ) then winding back and forth a few times until the metho dried off.

With any tapes that clingwrap onto the heads, you need to stop trying to play them until you can restore them to their normal friction. Perservere with trying to play them and you risk stretching them. A Nagra has plenty of horsepower to stretch tapes that bind on the heads.

Once that has happened, any more than about plus or minus 2.5% speed error on the tape playback due to faulty recorder or in this case stretching, a Nagra SLO playback synchoniser will not hold lock.

I am guessing that you will not be going through a SLO but relying on the accuracy of the crystal control on the Nagra to maintain near-enough sync in playback to a sound card. Over the length of a tape, you might expect sync to drift.

Years ago, someone over here shot a test with a Nagra 4.2 and CP16R running wild and free and they yielded one frame of slip over a 400ft roll of film.

Please take notice of other more qualified folks here than I as I am not any sort of professional in this arena.

I still have a Nagra IV L but that is here in Western Australia and not where you are.

I would not recommend running your tapes through other old reel-to-reel consumer level recorders. Whilst they will play back, the pilot tone may break through into your audio on them. The capstans and pinchrollers on them will almost inevitably be faulty and may damage your tapes
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #12
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Allegro might have a line on who can rent them out.

AllegroSound * PROaudio Rentals and Sales *

Alternately - since you are not open to the purchase/resale approach, or spending the money on shipping - apparently you need a local hire (Which you did not specify in your original post) You might simply have more luck posting on CRAIGSLIST for your need in Los Angeles. I see them come and go up here in San Francisco - but that's more than six hours from you.

Good luck.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Bromley-Davenport View Post
Gentlemen,
Although the tapes were recorded 35 years ago, they have been stored in a temperature controlled vault and are in perfect condition with zero oxide shedding or stiction.

As I say in my original post, what I am looking for is an old Mono Nagra FOR HIRE. I don't want to buy one.

Thanks very much,

Harry
We understand you want to rent. But do the math. A Nagra 4.2 rents for $100 per day from Trew and they're pretty typical so that would probably be in the ballpark no matter where you find one. Let's say you can do 5 tapes per day (remember, with analog tape they have to be processed in real time). With 500+ tapes, that's about 100 working days. Given you'll want time off, that's 20 work weeks, 5 4-week periods. With long-term rental discounts of each week = 4xdaily rate and each 4 weeks = 3xweekly rate, that's a total rental cost of 5x3x4x100 or $6000. Net cost to rent, $6000. But purchase price in good condition used $2500, recovered cost when resold, $2000 (reduce price below going market for quick sale). Net cost to buy and resell $500. Which makes the most business sense, spending out of pocket $6000 or $500? Heck, even purchasing and junking it when done, purchasing still saves you $3500 off of what you'll pay to rent. If it's the initial up-front cost that's the issue, remember that most rental houses require payment in full of the rental fees and usually a deposit on the value of the equipment before they'll release the gear to you so as far as your intial cash outlay, there's no savings from rental at all. It's highly unlikely that a rental house will defer payment on their fee until you get paid for the project after it's done.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Thank you all very much for all the information and advice.

Please note, as previously stated twice, that the tapes are in first rate condition so no advice is needed on restoring them, thank you very much. Also, please note that this is for rental and not for purchase as previously stated more than once, so I don't need any advice about purchase or scheduling either.

We have located one suitable machine for rent in first class condition here in Los Angeles, but obviously want to find a couple more options.

Thanks very much for the rental ideas.

Harry.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #15
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Have you tried playing a tape on an ordinary full-track machine? IIRC, the NeoPilotTone was a differential signal that cancels itself when played on a full-track machine. Or do you need SYNC playback (not stated in your question)? Unless you need sync playback, it isn't clear that you need a Nagra to simply replay the tapes for capture onto a modern computer-based system.
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