Modern Nagra 4.2 and IV-S Reel-to-Reel Portable Tape Recorders
By James Grahame
Nagra's reel-to-reel tape recorders have an amazing reputation in the broadcast and film industries. While many modern productions now use their digital equipment, there is a headstrong band of analog purists who insist that vintage Nagra gear is unbeatable. Whatever the truth, these machines certainly are beautiful. The one pictured about is a monaural Nagra 4.2 1/4-inch portable which can be synchronized with motion picture cameras.
The Nagra site reports "This recorder has three speeds: 38, 19 and 9.5 cm/s (15, 7 ½, 3 ¾ ips), NAB or CCIR standard. Two mic. inputs, switchable to dynamic, T or P (48V) condenser. One voltage or current line input. One direct mixer input, 4.4V or 1.55V balanced line output, depending on the transformer installed."
They also produce the Nagra IV-S high-fidelity stereo recorder, which can capture two stereo tracks and time code simultaneously on 1/4-inch tape. Yes, I know digital is all the rage these days, but it's nice to see that Nagra-Kudelski remembers their roots. And if you have a hankering for something smaller, check out their incredibly cool miniature Nagra SN spy recorder. Nagras frequently appear on eBay, but expect to pay thousands for a mint-condition unit.
Nagra Professional Audio Recorders (Nagra-Kudelski Group)