Rupert Neve Designs 511 - 500 Series Mic Pre with Silk  From Neve

RND's flagship 500-series preamp featuring the renowned "silk" control for additional harmonic sheen to make your vocal pop, acoustic guitar shimmer, and overheads rich and smooth.

Rupert Neve Designs

$545.00

Retail:  $649.00

"Experience the Difference"

Try Before You Buy

Close
Try Before You Buy
Call us now to set up a free trial in your home or studio: 888-528-9703. Our specialists will help you select the best fit for your needs and hook up your free trial for the ultimate peace of mind. Experience the Sound Pure difference!
View all eligible products »

Sound Pure's 3-Year Warranty

Close
Our Free 3-Year Warranty!
In addition to the standard included manufacturer warranty, virtually all new products carry our exclusive, industry-leading, absolutely free, Sound Pure 3-Year Warranty, which includes PARTS & LABOR. This high-value perk is our way of providing the ultimate in added value to enhance the unique personal touch our small, dedicated team contributes to each purchase.
Learn more »

Lifetime Support

Close
Free Lifetime Technical Support!
Our small team of dedicated experts is here to help the original purchaser for the lifetime of the product. Why? Because we care about building real relationships with our customers for life and stand behind every product we sell.

Free Shipping

Close
This Product Ships Free!
Products ship from our well-located, climate- and humidity-controlled warehouse absolutely free (inside the continental USA). Low-cost international shipping options exist for most products.
Contact us for details »

No Sales Tax Outside North Carolina

In Stock!
Ships immediately after order processed!
Payments as low as $47/mo.

What We Think

Rupert Neve has been building some of our favorite preamps and consoles for 50 years at this point... I think it is safe to say he knows what he is doing!  Rupert Neve always felt his earlier designs didn't have the level of detail and clarity that he was truly chasing, and this was a product of the available materials and building processes of the time.  Fast forward to the last decade, and under Rupert Neve Designs (RND) he is finally getting the "Right" combination of detail, accuracy, tonal control and musicality he has always been chasing.

The 511 (like all RND preamps) aren't exactly 1073 clones, but are built upon the foundation that he laid with the original 1073 channel.  The idea behind the 511 was getting all of the control, detail and tonal variance of this bigger Portico II channel into a 500 series module.  They spent months playing with transformer combinations to get here, but what they have delivered is simply spectacular.

This preamp gets you clean with sterility, and color without oversaturation.  The fact that you have independent control over every aspect of the preamp allows you to dial in exactly what you are looking for.  Main gain in 6dB steps, your fine control at +/-6dB that sweeps.  Add in a truly sweepable HP filter for more control and we are really on track.  But the best part, the silk circuit, has so much to offer as you can not only engage and disengage the silk circuit, but you can then control the DRIVE of the silk outside of your gain settings.  

This allows so much flexibility, in a 500 series format, that is just not found with anything else.  OK, you are right, this isn't a 1073 clone.  It really isn't, but it is the latest chapter in the legacy of the Neve style preamps.  If you are looking for that one "do everything" preamp for your studio, this might be one of your best choices.  It won't do true "1073" color and vintage vibe, but it does paint with such a wide brush that you will be able to get nearly any sound you need for tracking.

Rupert Neve Designs 511 - 500 Series Mic Pre with Silk

  • Signal Chain
    • Rupert Neve Designs 511 - 500 Series Mic Pre with Silk

Manufacturer's Description from Neve

With a big, bold preamp and the flexibility of variable Silk/Texture, Rupert Neve designed the 511 to combine classic sonics with 500-series value. Incorporating the 517′s powerful preamp, the 5012′s universally useful sweepable high pass filter, and the transformer-saturating power of a variable silk circuit derived from our flagship Portico II Channel, the 511 is a Rupert Neve-designed micpre for the masses. 

Designed for 500 Series by Mr. Rupert Neve

Rupert Neve: “While creating functional 500 series modules is relatively simple, designing those modules to equal their non-500 series counterparts with the current, voltage and space restraints is quite challenging. In creating our own 500-Series Modules, we experimented with a number of different transformer and circuit designs to achieve the same presence and sweetness found in the Portico Series of modules. The result of these efforts is that outside of the slightly lowered headroom, our 500 series modules are nearly indistinguishable from standard Portico Series modules, and are perfectly suited for studios of the highest caliber.”

Input Section

Input signals may be derived from Mic or Line sources (make sure 48V is off for line sources!). The input has a 10K non-reactive input resistance that handles a full 22dBu signal without the need for a pad. The pre-amp is a TLA non-reactive design that precludes the loading of microphones with limited driving capability. A primary gain control provides 66dB of gain in 6dB increments for easy recall, with a +/- 6dB trim for fine adjustment. For condenser microphones and powered DIs, there is +48V phantom power. A transient-optimized HPF continuously covering the range from 20-250Hz is included to tame rumble and proximity effect.

Texture

One of the key developments in the 511 is the Red Silk / Texture control from the Portico II Channel. Building on the “Silk” mode found in the Portico Series mic pre-amplifiers, Texture is designed to adjust the actual amount of harmonic music content from the source material, in effect, providing wide range of tonal options for the preamplifier. Like the original Portico Silk, the Silk Red / Texture works by reducing negative feedback on the output transformer and adjusting the frequency response to more closely resemble Mr. Rupert Neve’s vintage designs. With the 511, the Texture control allows these techniques to be pushed further than previous designs, adding about 10 times the desirable THD of the original silk control at its maximum setting.

With that said, we have taken great care to ensure that the musical integrity of source material itself will not be compromised by these harmonic controls (these are not to be confused with controls from other manufactures that may “incinerate”, “demolish” or “destroy” source material), and we believe they can be confidently utilized to fit the personality of any song, instrument or engineer.

Low Noise, Low Distortion Operation

Much care was given in designing the 511 to produce as little noise and non-harmonic distortion as possible. Carefully implemented signal paths and Class A operation are a large part of the 511′s sweet, whisper quiet performance.

Why Transformers?

A complete discussion on transformers is out of place at this point, but it is helpful to review some of the essentials where it will be seen that a design needs to be viewed as a whole, not simply from the point of view of a single component.

The fine subtleties of circuit design relating to sonic performance are gradually becoming more clearly understood. For example, research has shown conclusively that frequencies above 20 kHz affect the way in which humans perceive sound quality. But, long before scientific evidence emerged a substantial body of musicians and engineers knew that equipment with apparently the same technical measurements could sound very different.

Incredibly small amounts of musically dissonant odd harmonics have a disastrous effect on the sound quality. Extraneous noise or interference that finds its way into a signal path seriously impairs performance of the whole chain.

Many control rooms make use of outboard gear that is not well protected from external signals. Poor grounding of such equipment can be a serious problem. “Electronically balanced” circuits much used in modern equipment, can give very good measurements on the test bench but they do not provide adequate rejection of the stray fields found in every working environment.

Input and output circuits must be freed from ground dependence so that only the “wanted” signal enters and leaves the processing path. Transformers are the ideal solution. The sweet and silky sound of my classic old favorite consoles was achieved with big transistors and large high quality transformers. Rupert Neve Designs Portico modules achieve similar quality today without the bulk or the cost.

In order that modules can work together as would be expected (i.e. in a proprietary console configuration) without producing hum, R.F. interference, or other interactions, the connecting interfaces, grounding, levels and impedances must receive careful attention. Each of our Portico and 500-Series modules is a complete integral signal processor that delivers its specified performance independently.

 

Features:

MIC GAIN - A 12-way precision rotary switch controls gain from 0 to 66 dB in 6 dB steps.

TRIM - Continuously variable +/-6 dB level control.

+48V - Engages phantom power on the microphone input, as supplied by the 500 series rack.

POLARITY - Push button inverts the polarity of the signal path, and illuminates when engaged.

HIGH PASS FILTER - The high pass filter is continuously variable from 20-250Hz and engaged by the HPF switch, which illuminates when engaged. It is a valuable aid in any signal chain, but particularly so in a microphone preamplifier. Signals below the selected frequency are attenuated at a rate of 12db / octave, getting rid of proximity effect, building rumble, air handling, motor hum, etc.

SILK / TEXTURE - Pushing the Silk button engages the red Silk circuit, which reduces the negative feedback on the output transformer, adding harmonic content as the texture is increased. Red Silk accentuates the saturation in the mid and high frequencies, similar to that of the red silk mode on the Portico II Channel. By manipulating the Texture control, the amount of Silk can be changed from essentially absent, to roughly 10 times the amount of coloration / distortion found in Silk from the original Portico Series. With Silk / Texture engaged, the distortion characteristic and harmonic content of the unit are very reminiscent of many of Rupert’s class-A vintage designs.

LEVEL METER - An Eight-segment LED bar-graph meter displays output level (pre-Silk). The color range proceeds from green for lower level signals, yellow for intermediate signals, and red for high levels. When the 511 is clipped, the highest red LED will hold longer depending on how far above the clip threshold the signal was.

Rupert Neve Designs

About Manufacturer

Rupert Neve Designs, Inc. is nestled in the picturesque Texas Hill Country. Our small team of dedicated engineers have designed a new range of Professional Audio Gear and systems based on both proven classic design concepts and modern innovations. This new range of gear is based on custom designed transformer and single sided amplification

Specifications

Noise: Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 22Hz-22kHz, source impedance 150 Ohms balanced. Noise performance can vary depending on the 500 series and / or interference from stray magnetic fields.
 
Unity Gain                      Better than -103dBV
With Gain @ +66dB         Better than -60dBV
Equivalent Input Noise          -125dB
Frequency Response
Main output, no load Main Output +/- 0.1dBu from 10Hz to 31.5kHz -2.6dB @ 120kHz
 
Maximum Output Level +23dBu
 
Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise @ 1kHz, +20dBu output level, no load. Better than 0.0025% @ 20Hz, +20dBu output level, no load. 0.025% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic) 
Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise with SILK engaged TEXTURE @ min
@ 100Hz, +20dBu input level, no load 0.015%, mostly 3rd harmonic (typical)
 
TEXTURE @ max   
@ 100Hz, +20dBu input level, no load    2%, mostly 2rd harmonic (typical)
 
Gain Unity up to +66dB in 6dB steps. Trim continuously adjustable from -6dB to +6dB. 
Phantom Power Supplied by the 500 series rack power supply. Switch selectable on faceplate. 
High Pass Filter Continuously variable swept frequency from 20Hz to 250Hz. 
Slope: 12dB/Octave 
Power Requirements @ +/-16VDC 100mA