Monday, October 04, 2004
Nagra Audio makes this flash audio recording device, the Ares-PII. You look like a doctor. But that mike at the tip is truly excellent. But then, at 1828 Euro, it should be for the price. I am annoyed that the extras make the price much higher - another 49 Euro for the power supply and charger, another 140 Euro for a leather case to keep it in, another 285 Euro for the electret microphone that fits in the top as shown....oh and 205 Euro for the PC software (there are much better editors like Cool EDit). That's 2507 Euro on the road!
Nagra Audio says the solid-sate ARES-PII is primarily designed for journalists. It uses PCMCIA memory cards, recording linear PCM Mono / Stereo audio. Optional MPEG compression allows for a long recording time on a reusable and reliable medium.
The machine works on 5 AA cells or rechargeable batteries, to provide you with more than 6 hours of operation. A 12 pin DIN connector serves as the microphone and stereo line input.
The recorders work with Nagra mono (NP-MICE Order # 70 19655 000) or stereo (NP-MICES Order # 70 19656 000) electret microphones as well as standard dynamic microphones. +48V Phantom powering can also be provided for standard condenser microphones.
The ARES-PII offers instant start-up, one button recording, take directory, large back-lighted LCD display, powerful Vortex filter, automatic level control, level indication with bar-graph and leds. It also incorporates a dedicated line output connector, and an internal loudspeaker. It does NOT have a buffer to allow you to store audio in RAM and therefore put the device on standby during press conferences.
The ARES-PII also offers a USB port. The PCMCIA card will appear as an external disk drive when connected to a PC of MAC using a USB cable. Alternatively the PCMCIA card can be removed and installed directly into a PC / MAC for rapid file transfers from a standard PCMCIA slot, although this rather bulky slot is being replaced by USB 2 or Firewire on most modern laptops.
Nagra and Nagra Audio are different companies. Nagra is a Swiss company that is in radioactive waste disposal. My verdict; Great device, for those for whom money is clearly no object.