Frequently Asked Questions

General

Due to the consumable nature of many of our products all purchases are considered final at point of sale and we do not offer change of mind returns. We do however offer warranties and technical support to back all our products and are happy to help guide you towards the best products and tools for your machine to ensure you are happy with your purchase.
All our kits are warranted for 2 years from date of purchase on the basis of component replacement. In the unlikely event that you have a problem or are not happy with any aspect please contact us and give us a chance to remedy the situation. All media, consumables and semiconductors are non returnable for obvious reasons.
In the very unlikely event that a component is missing or damaged within your order please contact us using the contact form on our website and we will endeavour to rectify the issue as soon as possible.
We try to incorporate most of the “confusing” or difficult aspects one needs to look out for in our upgrade kits instructional notes which we call “Service Sheets”. We also refer you to the official factory service manuals most of which are in the public domain courtesy of Studer / Revox. We won't always know the answers but will certainly try our best to help. Our philosophy is that in reality there are few problems - only solutions waiting to be communicated or discovered! Here at Nagravox we are just as enthusiastic and passionate about vintage audio as you are, and it is from this common spirit that we are happy to share our knowledge and experience with you as a customer.
We offer support and advice to customers of our full service kits only. As an after sales service, we are happy to answer any questions or difficulties you have in your repair or upgrade. There is a limit to this of course! - we do have many customers and only so much time in the day so please be reasonable and consider our workshop service if you are way out of your depth or need a professional job done. If you are interested in learning more about vintage audio restoration please sign up to our mailing list as we will soon be offering a subscription comprehensive support service with detailed how-to videos and live streaming troubleshooting sessions.

Shipping

For domestic orders we offer Australia Post standard with tracking and signature. For International orders we offer Australia post registered with tracking or DHL courier service which is the fastest and most secure method for those living in countries with security concerns. There are currently some countries where we cannot reliably ensure a safe method of delivery or that may pose risks to our copyright and intellectual property infringements. These countries have no shipping options available on our store but individuals are welcome to get in contact with us and we can do our best to accommodate on a case by case basis.
Orders are insured to a standard value of $100. If you require a more comprehensive insurance option this can be accommodated for additional fees. In our experience we seldom have issues with shipping items and issues which are covered by insurance.
 Destination Service Delivery Estimate
Australia Australia Post 2-5 days
New Zealand

Australia Post Registered

DHL

5-10 days

3-5 days

Asia

Australia Post Registered

DHL

5-10 days

3-5 days

UK & EU

Australia Post Registered

DHL

5-14 days

3-5 days

Other Europe

Australia Post Registered

DHL

7-28 days

3-5 days

North America

Australia Post Registered

DHL

7-20 days

3-5 days

South America/Central America

Australia Post Registered

DHL

20-45 days

3-5 days

Rest of the World

Australia Post Registered

DHL

20-45 days

3-5 days

In the highly unlikely event that your order arrives damaged from the post please contact us as soon as possible with appropriate evidence and we will endeavour to provide a solution in a timely manner.

Products

Nagravox kits are exactly what we use as a service organisation in our workshop and are formulated to target the most likely worn or age degraded parts. We make our experience of years and hundreds of machines overhauled and repaired available to you when you choose to use one of our kits. I don’t believe in replacing everything – just those items that will likely be giving or will give you trouble.
Deluxe Motor Kit This is the absolute minimalist kit and supplies the most likely capacitors that have degraded - motor capacitors and suppression capacitors.

Basic Kit This adds the large power supply capacitors to the above.

Electronic capacitor and trimmer Kit This adds all the other polar capacitors in the tape transport, PSU and audio modules and systems. All tantalum and electrolytic capacitors are replaced. Open type trimmers are replaced with closed modern cermet trimmers.

Motor Overhaul Kit This includes all replaceable bearings, circlips for 2 reel motors and the special lubricant for the capstan motor. A general lubricant for levers, bushes and linkages is included.

Full Mechanical Kit In addition to the motor overhaul kit above are a special drag agent lubricant to service the tape tension dampers and parts to replace brake linings, tape guide roller bearings, tape counter belt/s (if applicable) and the pinch roller.

Full Monty This is a fully optioned kit and what we would typically fit to a machine that comes into our workshop for a full overhaul / restoration. It includes the above Electronic capacitor and trimmer kit, Full mechanical kit and spare bulbs, securing hardware, new RCA sockets, generic spare transistors kit etc.
For all kits, full instructions for each board are included with pictures before and after detailing exactly which components go where and a host of useful tips, checks and basic calibration. These are called our service sheets and they are updated regularly to incorporate things we and our customers learn installing, troubleshooting and new ideas. We are still the only supplier of kits that has taken the time and effort to produce such detailed instruction manuals on how to install our kits, what to look out for and how to maintain existing calibration. Some of these exceed 100 pages and share our collective knowledge and experience over many years and many hundreds of restorations.
Our kits contain specially sourced, new, freshly manufactured components from reliable manufacturers whom we have been dealing with for many years. We unequivocally do not sell NOS (new old stock) or 2nd hand items! Only the highest quality components custom made for Nagravox from quality suppliers in Europe, Japan and Taiwan.
We are more than happy to advise you on the best products specific to your project - please contact us using our web form.
Service sheets are only supplied on request to customers of our service kits and sent via online downloads linked through email.
Manuals for a wide range of machines can be found easily through a simple google search and downloaded for free. Many Studer and Revox manuals are currently in the public domain. If you have trouble finding something in particular we are happy to point you in the right direction.
We have many of these and incorporate most recommended updates or mods within our kits and service instruction sheets. So, you get the benefit of them.

Nagravox Test and Calibration kits comprise a number of resources:

  • Playback Tape – ugly differently blue in colour so you don’t make a mistake and record over it. Lots of test tones, commentary, critical tones that are long enough,  professional coloured and clear leader at the beginning / end and some music to hear what it should sound like.  
  • Record  Setup Tape
  • A set of detailed instructions, explanations and diagrams for your particular model machine.
  • An expose of equipment needed and guidance on how they are used for a specific machine.
  • Useful tables and conversions so you can set up your machine at differing levels
Our precision high grade motor capacitors are specially made to our specifications for us for Revox and Studer tape decks. There are NOT generic white washing machine / fan capacitors which have wide specification tolerances. Don’t be fooled into buying white plastic generic washing machine or fan capacitors - they are mass produced to wide specification tolerances, inaccurate and - frankly good for fans and washing machines BUT not precision tape recorders.
Our suppressor capacitors far exceed the original specifications and are X2 rated to 275VAC. Don’t accept anything less! Some vendors try selling cheaper DC rated capacitors which are not correct and wont last. Did you know an AC rated X2 capacitor at 275VAC have an equivalent DC rating exceeding 800 VDC. Cheaper inferior 400VDC and 600VDC capacitors just won't do the job because they are not AC continuously rated and you will be sorry. In defence of the original Rifa and other makes of suppressor capacitors fitted by Studer / Revox to most of their machines which has often been referred to as “little smokers” (an internet coined term I really loathe!). These at the time were the best available. They have done what they were supposed to do – suppress surges and spikes due to inductive / capacitive switching – and are simply old and passed their normal age and service duty period. They have never been bad capacitors. Just like the parrot in Monty Python – “they have gone to meet their maker” and have done a sterling job for decades. Its simply time to replace them. Did you know? - capacitors degrade when they have been stored for a long time. The expected design life of electrolytic, suppressor and motor capacitor does not extend beyond 20 years and they degrade quickly whether under working or storage conditions when they are older than this.

Advice

The WWW is a wonderful medium but treat the advice on forums with caution and skepticism – there are a lot of know it all’s out there that talk a lot of nonsense from a perspective of naivety. Some advice and discussion is good but most is absolute rubbish! Some of these individuals just like to see themselves in print. Also don’t be gullible in believing what a lot of these fools sprout on about faults, weak areas, design faults etc. It’s always very easy to say it’s a design fault or weak aspect of a machine if you can’t fix it properly yourself! The supposedly “terrible” green gooey pinch rollers, smoker capacitors and bypassing Revox / Studer electronics are perfect examples. There is a very good reason for parts to go faulty or out of spec – simply many are well past their normal service life. Sadly this naivety also applies to how to set up a machine and particularly eBay where all manner of dubious ‘test tapes’ can be acquired. Ebay is a wonderful forum for picking up old machines and parts – good and bad. Unfortunately there is also a hype of doing the deal or sell for the sake of selling which is often a little inconsistent with a true enthusiast’s credo and raison d’etre.
You will need some experience in electronic soldering and using a basic multimeter. Understanding electronics is not absolutely necessary and you will learn a lot as you go along. You will need patience and an ethic of wanting to do the job properly. Please download our primer “Can you do it? – Info for intrepid vintage electronics restorers” which gives more detail on what you can expect.
Don’t worry, many of our customers were in the same boat! We have helped teach people from all walks of life to restore their machines. Soldering is a skill that can easily be mastered with an awareness of how and pitfalls. See our various download resources “Can you do it? – Info for intrepid vintage electronics restorers” which gives more detail on what you can expect.

For most of our electronic kits you will need:

  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Desoldering tool or good solder sucker
  • Switch contact cleaner WITHOUT lubricant
  • Screwdrivers, nose pliers, side cutters
  • Multi meter

For mechanical kits you will need:

  • 5mm - 13mm metric sockets and spanners
  • small  inner and outer circlip pliers
  • 1200 wet and dry sandpaper
  • Fine abrasive cloth
  • Paper towel
  • Q tips or ear buds without any moisturiser or cream

For calibration kits:

  • AC AF millivoltmeter – analogue type NOT digital
  • AF Signal generator digital or analogue
  • Oscilloscope – 10 – 30 Mhz. Digital type are recommended as they have measuring functions and are usually dual channel.
Definitely and I highly recommend you do eventually because then you will get the best performance taking into account really good modern tape formulations available.
Yes! We recommend replacing ALL tantalum and electrolytic capacitors. Replacing just one or two capacitors on machines that are now 25 - 40 years old is silly. Replace ALL the likely troublesome capacitors. Old high voltage capacitors associated with the motors and tape drive will be near the end of their useful life - electrically and often even visually. Some capacitors may test fine on a low voltage modern tester. However capacitors usually need to be tested after they have operated for at least 10 hours (after being discharged and stored for many years) at working voltage and then tested under actual working voltage conditions. Modern testers can't do this. For such relatively low cost components it's prudent to just replace the lot.
Don't believe anyone who tells you that a different higher capacitance is better! This is an absolute falsehood! Our motor capacitors are the exact Revox capacitance values not "approximately close". Amateur Ebay vendors have in the last few years started copying us and offer copy cat kits many with inferior white washing machine capacitors and dubious non X2 rated suppression capacitors. Also PLEASE never use old motor caps! Our motor capacitors ensure the capstan and reel motors develop the correct starting and running torque necessary for smooth tape transport under a variety of tape tensions. If you have wow and flutter or sluggish FFWD or RWD then your motor capacitors could be the problem.
We try to design kits on the basis of what is most likely to be degraded without going over the top. We don't usually supply audio path related non polarised paper, mica, poly or SAL polar capacitors simply because in our experience these are very stable, always fine and within spec.
We generally don't supply any transistors or IC's other than in the Full Monty kits and specific factory recommended upgrade modifications because seldom are semiconductors a problem! If they were – we would supply them in our kits! Don’t be fooled by some ebay vendors that include a token number of transistors in their kits. However, we do make a separate hobbyist transistor and diode kit suitable for A77, B77, PR99 and other Revox and Studer machines for the 60’s and 70’s. It is included in the FULL MONTY A77, B77 and PR99 kits. If you restore a few projects then they are a "good" thing to have in your parts bin just in case. If you need to replace diodes, transistors or IC’s, we have stock of all of them in our workshop and can certainly supply them if needed. We can also do modern low noise high gain equivalents for the BC series transistors, which on paper look fantastic – but honestly, I can’t hear the difference. Why? Because again these are usually fine. Very seldom are semiconductors a problem! However we do have a separate transistor and diode kit suitable for A77, B77, PR99 and other Revox and Studer machines for the 60’s and 70’s. If you want to replace transistors, we can certainly supply (if you want authenticity) original spec or (if you are a sonic purist) modern very low noise high gain equivalents we have tested extensively. Just let me know when you order a kit and we can include them at a nominal cost. We also carry most transistors and IC’s that are fitted to Revox and Studer machines.
MRL have been around for many many years and been involved with all the former manufacturers. They were the industry standard but unfortunately only give you a bare minimum of tones and time without explanation. Most ebay vendors just want to make a quick buck using their tape machines and pitch their prices to make MRL look expensive. It's just not so simple and in the end you get what you pay for!

Many people don’t realise that a simple test tape is only but a small part of a calibration setup exercise that involves a lot more than a few tones on a tape. It won’t miraculously calibrate your machine for you. There is a lot more to it and test and measurement instruments are needed along with a specific methodology for each particular tape machine and model as everyone is different. Not just the playback chain needs calibration but also the input and record chains both of which MUST be done if you want to setup your machine correctly.

Nagravox has developed a setup and calibration kit rather than a simplistic test tape. The rationale is to provide an appropriate set of tools and instructions to calibrate and setup a specific model Revox or Studer machine.

A short generic reel of tape recorded by an enthusiast to try and make some money from his tape machine on ebay is frankly not going to help you much to achieve all three aspects using modern tape formulations, relevant steps and peculiarities of a particular model taking into account later factory amendments not in factory manuals. Unfortunately neither will the industry standard for playback calibration tapes by MRL (whom I have a lot of respect for). A playback tape is just 1 cornerstone and will only allow you to set up roughly 1/3rd of your machine.

Troubleshooting

DON’T PANIC! This is typical and not something to be too concerned over. Usually one or more suppression capacitors have gone and are easily replaced without subsequent consequences. The act of a suppressor capacitor going does not mean permanent damage has been done. However, be warned that if you continue to try to use your machine, sensitive electronics such as IC’s, transistors and other components are not protected and you will likely do damage.
The expected design life of electrolytic, suppressor and motor capacitor does not extend beyond 20 years and they degrade whether they are in storage or under working conditions. Electrolytic capacitors are like a battery with a gel used as the electrolyte. This dries up in time or is degraded with temperature and sometimes it even leaks out.
We supply a spreadsheet calculator which will help you to preserve your existing calibration. It takes a little longer but works fine. You will need a simple multimeter.