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Nagra Lithium Battery Power Pack

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Nagra would say that if you try to manufacture one you would go crazy. A DEVICE DOES NOT COST THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. If that guy  is so smart he should start manufacturing those batteries himself, he will make millions.

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It all boils down to manufacturing/sales volumes. I don't think Nagra makes millions of those battery packs. When the volumes increase, it becomes cheaper to manufacture things. Sanyo probably makes millions of those battery cells in highly automated process, if you would want to assemble one battery cell by hand from raw materials it would be entirely different story.

 

If the guy would want to make a copy of the entire battery pack himself it would cost him thousands. Manufacturing one piece of that plastic housing would be probably most expensive part. He would need to make a mold for it and then ask someone to make one-off the box. Also manufacturing one piece of each PCB (without components) would also cost at least half of a new battery pack.

 

Plus of course the time it takes him to draw the plastic housing in a 3D CAD to have CAM files for the mold. And designing the PCBs.

 

For example when I was making the DSC1 DAC prototypes, one run for the boards in local PCB house consists of: 500€ for the films and then 100€ per board includes the board, solder stop mask (standard green being cheapest), silk screen print on one side and drip tin plus automatic flying-probe testing.

 

Plus you can calculate around 100€ manual labor needed to put the battery pack together.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Fifteen minute video to disassemble something that is supposed to be made cheap, not quite an achievement.

 

Getting something from Nagra at less than a thousand is already a bargain 😉

Foremost what matters with Nagra is not what is inside, but what goes outside ...the sound.

Just try it and listen and enjoy...

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This isn't a dac board though, but a simple battery pack/charger circuit.  Probably don't even need custom design and can order premade/OEM off the shelf in this case.  A 3d printer could handle fab of a single case fairly cheap right in your own basement without doing molds.

 

The big giant block of foam makes my brain hurt as an engineer.  2 pounds of crap in a 50lb bag, just wasted space.

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Not really spewing any BS, sorry.  Trust me, i've gone through so many product development cycles in my life i could not even give you an accurate count.


We aren't talking broad concepts here.  Sure dacs and amps cost a fortune to make, and you will hit major obstacles that are expensive to get around.  This is a simple battery charger, with an off the shelf cell assembly going for $500 dollars.   With half of the space inside of the unit serving no purpose at all except to hold a nice pretty pink block of foam.  If they designed a custom circuit to drive it, they probably did not need to do so, they can easily source one. 

 

Overall does not look like a smart design.  It may be what it cost to make, then they gotta mark it up....But it does not make it worth it at all to a consumer.  Cost does not equal value.   This appears to me as a marketing move to make the unit appear higher quality just by price point.  It happens, I've worked for companies that have made that pricing decision.

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what is special about this Nagra unit?

 

there are tons of Li batteries for power tools that cost nowhere near $1,000 - and they come in a variety of voltages also 


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Nothing special it's the base battery pack for Nagra VI, 8-channel digital professional recorder.
Quite nice piece of kit, I mean the recorder of course, as battery pack I would rather take the high capacity version that replace pink foam by more battery. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 7:36 PM, BrokeLinuxPhile said:

Not really spewing any BS, sorry.  Trust me, i've gone through so many product development cycles in my life i could not even give you an accurate count.


We aren't talking broad concepts here.  Sure dacs and amps cost a fortune to make, and you will hit major obstacles that are expensive to get around.  This is a simple battery charger, with an off the shelf cell assembly going for $500 dollars.   With half of the space inside of the unit serving no purpose at all except to hold a nice pretty pink block of foam.  If they designed a custom circuit to drive it, they probably did not need to do so, they can easily source one. 

 

Overall does not look like a smart design.  It may be what it cost to make, then they gotta mark it up....But it does not make it worth it at all to a consumer.  Cost does not equal value.   This appears to me as a marketing move to make the unit appear higher quality just by price point.  It happens, I've worked for companies that have made that pricing decision.

 

Me too, from small custom hand-made special electronics for a special purpose, to smartphones at Nokia.

 

If you want a piece of custom made electronics, it can easily cost 100k€ for a unit. While you can get much more complex basic mobile phone for 50€, but which is mass produced in millions of units.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I'm agreeing with you.  Dev costs can get nuts.  Whether it was worth it at the end of the day is a separate matter though, right?

 

What i'm seeing here though is weird in terms of design decisions.  Like why hide the fact that you are using an off the shelf battery pack by using an additional layer of shrink wrap?  Added cost with no benefit.  Big block of foam that appears to do nothing?  Added cost, no benefit.  Have to make the enclosure bigger, and hence thicker to maintain strength adding cost with no benefit.

 

Just strange decisions there.  I've heard product managers openly say in meetings if we charge too little people think low quality.  It does happen.

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2 hours ago, Miska said:

 

Maybe power tool manufacturers sell couple of more of power tool units than Nagra sells recorders?

 

 

Obviously.  But my points are: [1] Nagra could? have used a commonly available battery pack; [2] Users can substitute on their own.

 

I suspect this is like the Pentagon buying costly toilet seats.   They seem that way simply because of the way R&D costs are allocated.  OTOH, Nagra may feel that their 'pro' users don't care much.

 

OTOOH, I suggest buyers beware buying cheap aftermarket batteries.  I have seen people try that DSLRs and mirrorless cameras (which more quickly drain batteries).  The results are usually unhappy re longevity & sudden failures.  An amateur might lose sentimental & never to be repeated photo ops; a pro can have their rep. destroyed.

 

 


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

Obviously.  But my points are: [1] Nagra could? have used a commonly available battery pack; [2] Users can substitute on their own.

 

I wonder how it would look like to have a Bosch drill battery attached into high-end professional audio recorder... :D

 

And power tools have the charging device as a separate device where you attach the battery, usually not built-in. Not that it costs much.

 

OTOH, iFi is selling quite reasonably priced battery powered audio devices. But then the battery is integrated inside the device and not user-replaceable at all.

 

But overall, some hundred EUR/USD/GBP for battery pack for a professional recorder is IMO not something that will make notable impact in the end. One probably lasts couple of years of professional use, so not a big issue. Spending half a day trying to get a cheaper one costs more than the original battery pack.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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3 hours ago, BrokeLinuxPhile said:

What i'm seeing here though is weird in terms of design decisions.  Like why hide the fact that you are using an off the shelf battery pack by using an additional layer of shrink wrap?  Added cost with no benefit.  Big block of foam that appears to do nothing?  Added cost, no benefit.  Have to make the enclosure bigger, and hence thicker to maintain strength adding cost with no benefit.

 

I don't see anything strange. The foam keeps the battery pack in place. Rest of the space is neat housing and charging electronics. The video already stated that there's a bigger battery unit where the foam is replaced by another battery back.

 

How about cars. You buy the physically exact same car in various engine powers. Only difference are software parameters in the ECU. That's why I selected my car, I saved 3500 EUR for physically exactly same car, and for 500 EUR I can get ECU parameters tuned for higher power than the 3500 EUR more expensive model. And there are much bigger differences in other car brands.

 

You could also dissect iPhone or any Android phone and conclude that price of components is like at most 20% of the selling price. For audiophile gear typical BOM is around 10%. Good luck making one yourself.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, barrows said:

Additionally, to most of the sensible comments above RE economies of scale, Nagra produces its products in Switzerland, where the cost of doing business is quite high.

 

Where does one suppose Ryobi or Makita power tool battery packs are made...

 

For those who do not develop, produce, and sell unique, quality products, it is very easy to be critical.  For those who do have experience in these areas, it is very easy to understand the costs/pricing.

 

There is one interesting development for smaller companies though: that plastic case could be 3D printed, at a fairly low cost (if the company could amortize the cost of a good 3D printer over time and many products) in small quantities (injection molds are expensive).  3D printing makes sense when the number of units is too low for the mold costs to be acceptable, and the company can afford the initial expense of the 3D printer.  Of course there is still the CAD time, and set up costs.

Out of curiosity, how durable is printed plastic? This is a field recorder, and you can bet Nagra used good plastic as it needs to be durable. As you likely know, there is a difference.


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63

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4 minutes ago, 4est said:

Out of curiosity, how durable is printed plastic? This is a field recorder, and you can bet Nagra used good plastic as it needs to be durable. As you likely know, there is a difference.

 

I personally would use ABS for such housing. Very durable...


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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14 minutes ago, Miska said:

I wonder how it would look like to have a Bosch drill battery attached into high-end professional audio recorder... :D

 

Obviously, they could source the same battery and rebrand it.

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8 minutes ago, 4est said:

Out of curiosity, how durable is printed plastic? This is a field recorder, and you can bet Nagra used good plastic as it needs to be durable. As you likely know, there is a difference.

Nowadays ABS plastic can easily be 3D printed and is very strong.  I work with a company which produces the most advanced splitboard bindings in the world, and the owner/engineer has a 3D printer which we use for a few parts and prototyping (most finished building parts are CNC machined from 7075).  I have even heard of 3D printing which uses carbon fiber reinforced plastics, so I doubt that strength would be an issue with the right set-up.  The only limitation would be the initial cost-since Nagra machines most of its chassis work out of aluminum, they might not have enough need of plastic casings or other parts to justify the cost. 


ROON: DSD 256-Signature Rendu optical--Buffalo PRO (ESS 9038) or DSC-2--Ncore 400 Stereo-Focus Audio FS888-JL E-112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, Nordost Frey XLR & speaker, DIY AC cables-Synergistic Blue & Hi Fi Tuning Supreme Cu Fuses, Dark Matter system clarifiers.    Design/Build Consultant with Sonore

 

                                                                                                  SONORE computer audio

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1 minute ago, Miska said:

 

I personally would use ABS for such housing. Very durable...

Yes, with micro fibers. IIRC it was the bottom of the unit. But can you print with that? Just curious. I keep hearing people suggest printing items, but I have often wondered how durable they might be.


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63

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28 minutes ago, 4est said:

Yes, with micro fibers. IIRC it was the bottom of the unit. But can you print with that? Just curious. I keep hearing people suggest printing items, but I have often wondered how durable they might be.

 

Friend of mine prints his own phone covers and it actually seems to work pretty well. So not too bad afterall. But I really know nothing about the 3D printing materials.


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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