Nagra IV-L Analog Portable Reel to Reel Audio Tape Recorder

People have been asking me about the collection of Nagra portable analog audio tape recorders that I showed off in previous posts, and I have finally gotten time to look through them. In the collection are two Nagra IV-L, one Nagra III, and one Nagra 4.2. This week, I focused on the two IV-L units. For those who may not be familiar with the Nagra family of audio recording devices, they are ¼” reel to reel magnetic tape recorders that became the international standard in the filmmaking business for recording synchronous sound. Introduced in 1951, Nagra tape recorders were embraced by the industry because of their rugged construction, precision design and engineering, ease of use, and portability. For decades, a Nagra tape recorder was ubiquitous on any film production shooting sync sound. I can claim no expertise in servicing audio equipment, but I have used many a Nagra on various film projects I have worked on. When I began inspecting these machines, I used these parameters: That they recorded on both microphone input one and two; they recorded at all speeds that the machine was capable of running; that the “modulometer”, the pilot flag, and the speed and power indicator flags were all working; that it played back through the headphone jack as well as the internal speaker; that the rewind function worked; and generally that it did everything I remembered using on set. Both Nagra IV-L units show gentle wear and tear from regular use, but both machines did everything I asked them to do. These machines are amazingly well made, built with the precision of a fine watch, and are still a pleasure to use. Available now: