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Author Topic: Nagra SD vs Sony D100  (Read 803 times)

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Offline Regel1974

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Nagra SD vs Sony D100
« on: December 28, 2017, 08:13:51 AM »
Which one would you guys choose as purely all-in-one solution for soundscapes, small music ensembles, SFX and occasional VO?
I normally use Sound Devices with external microphones and a proper voice-over set in my studio, but this could be something I'd carry all the time with me.
Someone has Nagra SD with their best Green mic set for sale at about 500 eur. I could buy a new Sony D100 for a bit more than that. The problem is that there isn't too many samples recorded with Nagra as with Sony, so I can't make any choice based on listening of both.
The other worry is that used field recording gear could have a history of being battered and seriously abused...

Any ideas??

Offline Kamen

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Re: Nagra SD vs Sony D100
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 09:09:58 PM »
Not an easy decision to make. Both recorders fall into the same category - relatively up-market, specialized tools, that do one thing and do it really well.
I've only had experience of the D100, and I can hardly speak highly enough of it - it is a superb field recorder.
So I guess it's your own recording practice that will determine which one's best for you. Do you need your recorder to be pocketable (or, maybe, easy to conceal)? Do you mostly record with binaural mics, and like to keep your recorder in your pocket? Do you generally use external mics (omnis, cards, etc.)? Then the Nagra seems to be the wiser choice.
On the other hand,are the recorder's weight and size irrelevant for you, as long as you can hold it in one hand? Do you absolutely need to use the internal mics and nothing else? Are resolutions up 192 kBs essential for your work? Then go for the D100, it excells at these things.

Finally, money matters. A Nagra SD with a green mic for 500? That settles the discussion for me. Get the Nagra, period.

Best,

K.

Offline Regel1974

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Re: Nagra SD vs Sony D100
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 10:46:11 AM »
Yes. The pocketability is important and Nagra wins in this regard being smaller than Sony. It's not all though...
Normally, during a field recording trip I would use Sound Devices MixPre6 and some of my bigger microphones protected by various Rycote windshields and blimps. I use AT BP4025 mic, stereo pair of DPA 4060, Oktavas or Sennheiser mikes. Every now and then I come across some interesting sounds, ethnic or street artists etc... I would like to be able to collect those sounds using the best possible pocket-fitting recorder. At the moment I use Olympus LS100 which is actually a pretty good and well built piece of gear.
 
I live in London, where getting hold of Nagra and Sony shouldn't be a problem, however I am away for few weeks in Poland, where I can't find any Nagra to have a couple of hours test drive. I would actually test it side by side with D100 and LS100.

I've heard quite a lot of contradictory opinions about Nagra SD. "Great", "At this price - buy it", but also: "Very hissy preamps", "Not all stuff produced by the legendary Nagra is that good", "You'll be paying for Nagra to massage your ego" etc. I admit, some people might actually be slightly biased by the brand here, but some have first hand experience and vouch for it based on knowing how it sounds.

I am attaching a link to the short recording done by Dutch chap who's actually selling it. It's the very recorder I might buy. As you can see in spectral view attached I think he used it with HP filter. I asked him to record a new one in 96khz and without filters, but it would be nice to hear your opinion anyway.
https://we.tl/LHC6nijNtI

« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 05:40:42 PM by Regel1974 »

Offline Kamen

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Re: Nagra SD vs Sony D100
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 07:53:20 PM »
Hi, Regel,
Sorry for the delay.
As far as a run-and-gun recorder, I find my D100 a bit too large to carry around all the time - I normally have a Sony PCM-M10 in my pocket (and a pair of Luhd binaurals hanging around my neck), or my trusty Olympus LS-11. I would also find the LS-100 too large, but if you don't, then great - you'll also find the D100 very comfortable in use.
Noe, the recording sample. The seller has wisely left enough silences in-between - and I fail to hear any self/noise above what you might expect from the D100. (Is that the Nagra "green mic").
I do miss some low-end (the D100 is great at that), and I agree that there must be a highpass involved. Otherwise, we would have heard some pops (at times, he's speaking too close to the mic), and rumble (the Nagra is not in a shockmount, but I reckon on a table which gets banged on a couple of occasions).
The D100 would have given a slightly brighter top-end, and, if no highpass is involved, more low-end, but, judging from this sample, noise floors are very similar.
Where you will find a major difference with the D100 iw in soundstage. With its mics set to the pseudo-ORTF position, the D100 presents a fantastic, wide soundstage - the set of mics for the Nagra SD seem to offer essentially mono sound. So that makes the Nagra great as a "sound notebook", and great for dialogue or sound effects, but not good for, say, a mid-sized orchestra, a dawn chorus, etc.
(Then again, for such a recording, you are likely to use your "big iron" - the MixPre6, your DPAs, etc. So it's all a trade-off, really.)
And, without a Nagra SD at hand, and no experience with it (handling, user interface, battery life, etc.), so I think someone with more experience should chime in.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Offline noahbickart

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Re: Nagra SD vs Sony D100
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 08:20:07 PM »
The only thing nagra about the SD is the badge.
Recording:
Capsules: Schoeps mk41v (x2), mk4v (x2), mk22 (x2), mk3 (x2), mk21 & mk8
Cables: 2x nbob KCY, 1 pair nbob actives, Darktrain 2 and 4 channel KCY extensions:
Preamps:    Naiant Littlebox, Naiant IPA, Naiant PFA, Sound Devices Mixpre6
Recorders: Sound Devices Mixpre6, Sony PCM m10
Home Playback: Mytek DSD 192> Adcom SLC 505> Marantz Ma500 (x2)> Eminent Tech LFT-16; Musical Fidelity xCan v2> Hifiman HE-400
Office Playback: Grace m903> AKG k701

 

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