1970 Nagra SNN
Back to gallerySpecifications

The SN family of recorders has been regarded by many as Nagra's finest achievement in miniature engineering. Its unique appearance has become instantly recognizable as an icon of Swiss precision.

The Nagra SN miniature analog recorder was created specifically to satisfy the stringent requirements of recording during the 1970s. As its reputation of superb sonic performance and unrivalled mechanical reliability grew, the Nagra SN became the machine of choice for many security agencies around the world and was even featured in numerous motion pictures.

In Nagra's own words:

..."All electronic circuits are highly sophisticated and includes a voltage converter with variable ratio, and an automatic level control. A special miniature-omni directional capacitor microphone can be used and it is also possible to work with a conventional dynamic microphone. A small meter indicates the compression rate of the automatic level control or the battery voltage. Headphones can also serve as an output monitor (confidence playback).

The tape-deck is milled from a solid piece of metal and the case and lid are of drawn light metal alloy.

The NAGRA SN recorder, in spite of its small size, produces exceptionally high quality recordings. It is much appreciated by reporters, who can record broadcast quality tapes and, at the same time, be more mobile. The SN solves film-makers' synchronous sound recording problems: it can easily be concealed during filming and strict synchronization is guaranteed.

For scientific research, the SN can also record data while on board a propelled craft. Reels of narrow 1/8" (3.81 mm) tape are used, and tape drive is by a slaved capstan motor. Rewind is manual but rapid thanks to an overdrive system, using a small folding crank handle..."

There were two versions of the recorder:
NAGRA SNN: 3¾ and 1 ips (9.5 and 4.75 cm/s)
NAGRA SNS: 1 and 15/16 ips (4.75 and 2.38 cm/s)

Recent (May 2004) eBay prices for the stereo version (excellent condition) are consistantly around US $ 2,500.00.

Additional images for this recorder are featured on the CD-ROM.

Specifications at a glance
Price when new
Tape speeds
3¾ and 1 ips 1 & 15/16 ips
Microphone input, source impedance
>/= 200 ohms 3 to 80 A 1.7 to 45 A
Frequency response, line input
60Hz - 15kHz 2dB 80Hz - 6kHz 3dB
Playback equalization
50 s and 3180 s 240 s and 50 s
Signal to noise ratio at nominal level
>62 dB >52 dB
3rd harmonic distortion at 400 Hz (nom. level)
1% 1.5%
Erase efficiency
70 dB 70 dB
Wow and flutter, weighted RMS value
0.1% 0.2%
Recording time with 18 tape (each track)
26 min 1 hr 40 min
Recording time with 12.5 tape (each track)
38 min 2 hr 30 min
1 DC Commutator
Rewind times
60 seconds (hand wind)
Line input, fixed level
160 mV for nominal recording level, imp
Playback output at nominal level and 1 kHz
630 mV
Internal power supply
two 1.5V batteries or rechargeable cells; average battery life > 5 1/2 hours
Consumption during recording
125 mA
Operating temperature
between -40 and +158F
5¾ x 4 x 1" (146 x 102 x 25.5mm)
1.3 lb (545g)
back to top