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Author Topic: How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S  (Read 6289 times)

Offline beefman

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How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S
« on: March 22, 2007, 11:55:54 PM »
I've had a IV-S for quite some time but haven't used it much... never took it with me! Finally I decided to bring it as I have been out of town for several days and working out of a hotel room for many hours. So, my portable system consists of a Cambridge Soundworks Model 12, and the IV-S... sounds VERY good. In reacquainting myself, I saw up top of the machine a lovely switch that allows CCIR or NAB playback. Mind you, to do a 10.5" reel you'll need the ultra-rare QGB adapter but the machine itself will work quite nicely and they're absolutely bulletproof-durable.
Jeff Kane
Owner of many decks; in possession of few!

Offline ironbut

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Re: How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 09:11:17 PM »
I've lusted after a lV-S for years and have come close to pulling the trigger on one about a year ago. I've never used one though. Could you say a bit about what to look for in a used one. I'd heard that checking the battery compartment for corrosion is important. Any other hints?
steve koto
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Offline stellavox

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Re: How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2007, 07:26:44 AM »
Few years back, u47 and I compared two stock IV-S's he owned to my hot- rodded Stellavox SP7. We listened to a variety of master dubs he brought along.

Have to say we were both surprised by how bad the IV sounded.  Can't remember specifics but we both agreed to terminate the session after a few minutes. Mid fi.

To be fair to the IV, in a subsequent discussion with an owner in the LA area, he confirmed the problem and insisted that the electronics have to be energized for a significant period of time before listening.  He claims "days".  Haven't had an opportunity to relisten since.

Charles 

Offline beefman

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Re: How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 07:36:49 PM »
Keep in mind that when I say very good I mean I'm using it in a hotel room through a Cambridge Soundworks Model 12... so it's relative. Compared to a CD player... it's wonderful. Sadly, I never did a shootout in the big rig. I never honestly thought the Nagra COULD sound as good. Will be a while before I get the chance...

Charles, I think your friend is spot on, however. I left the deck on from the moment I unpacked and over the course of three days it opened up *very* nicely. I thought it was very good from the start though!

As for things to look for... I'm not an expert. I got lucky; my deck was in very good condition when I got it. Definitely corrosion in the battery compartment and signs of abuse E.G. drops, etc. You also want closeups of the tape path... look for dirt, wear, etc. These decks are used in some harsh conditions and that doesn't automatically mean they're bad, but they do get some rough duty. They're built like tanks though. If possible you DEFINITELY want to see the inside of the machine. They open up easily like a clamshell so it shouldn't be difficult to do. Also, services and repair are still readily available (part of the reason I bought a Nagra). Trew Audio in Nashville is one place that can fix 'em and is factory authorized.

I will also note that they're getting quite a bit cheaper.
Jeff Kane
Owner of many decks; in possession of few!

Offline U47

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Re: How'd I miss this? Another compatible machine - Nagra IV-S
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 09:44:38 PM »
sonics are all relative. I remember when my mentor had three decks set up- Ampex MR-70, reworked ReVox A-700 and a Nagra IV-S. The pecking order was very clear on playback- 1 MR-70 was by far the best, Nagra second and Revox a distant 3rd. I later purchased a Nagra T audio and Charlie was with me when we first played it. It was so beautiful to look at and the tape handling was spectacular. We would have cut off our left testicle to possess one of these decks, until we listened to one. Sonics were dreadful- worse than a Revox B-77. The IV-S was much nicer sounding. All one has to do is look at the schematics of these decks. The later Studer decks had great transports but left us flat. I actually prefer the B-77 or PR-99 Mark I to any of the later Studer 800 series. Way too many chips and crap in the circuit. Generally, the simpler the circuit, the better the sonics. Scully 280(germanium transistor) or Stellavox for solid scrape floats my boat. Just my 2 cents and YMMV.

the IV-S sure is a tasty bit of engineering and very sturdy and reliable to boot.

Rich Brown
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Technics 1500 with King/Cello playback electronics, Stellavox SP-7, Technics 1500/Ampex MR70, Tascam BR-20 .