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Rupert Neve Designs 511 Microphone Preamp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 43 customer reviews
Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 511 Microphone Preamp?

Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 511 Microphone Preamp?

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  • from March 9, 2017

    Awesome sound

    This 511 sounds awesome it sounds so balance so musical you hear thing that you did not here before the silk is unreal , is like a present control only better.the feel of the controls and switches are great.in a couple words if you love the way audio sounds this thing is magical. I cannot say enough good about lt.if this neve suff sound this perfect it's the only thing to buy .to me it the best sound ever.that my passion audio ,electronic, music .thank you rupurt neve.thanks ben porter you guys pay attention to detail .

  • from Folsom, CA March 6, 2017

    511 & Ribbon Mic

    I got to see how it works with my ribbon "Beyerdynamic M160", and it works fine.
    I will buy another two 511's.

  • from Philadlephia October 30, 2016Music Background:
    producer/engineer

    So Nice I Bought It Twice

    This is my first high-end preamp purchase and wow was this a game changer. I didn't even understand the differences mic pre quality until I used a Focusrite ISA one. That opened me up to purchasing a good mic pre and this thing is light years better than the one's on my Saffire Pro 40. Ended up buying a second one 3 months later.

    Lots of clean gain and adjustable warmth via the silk knob. The adjustable high pass filter is so valuable too. It's great to take those unwanted low end frequencies out before recording to disk. I use them on vocals, synths, and I've gotten great results putting them on the mix bus.

  • from St. Louis Area October 3, 2016

    Neve 511 Mic Pre

    It's so nice to be able to have a piece of music production history at your fingertips...So far, i've tested the 511 with Bass guitar and voice and man this baby is smooth..... It's very understandable to use and it can give you, that, velvety presence .... A great Pre at a very good price.... Don't let the low price fool you either, this is quality stuff..... My thanks to Will Newbill for his help.... Mike

  • from California September 26, 2016

    Excellent!

    Love it! Really clean! A high pass filter should be included in every preamp...and I wish every one came with a DB meter as well. Very happy with this!

  • from August 8, 2016

    Neve 511

    I wasn't expecting these pres to sound this good considering the price.

    Built very good. The silk adds a nice change in tone.

    Thanks Sweetwater!

  • from Earth July 15, 2016Music Background:
    Always learning

    SUPERB.

    Great clarity. Great sound. This pre is excellent for the price. The "silk" features adds a nice bite to the high end of any vocal track or instrument. You can not go bad with this preamp.

  • from North Chicago May 9, 2016Music Background:
    Artist, Studio Owner, Engineer

    The Missing Link

    First, a shout out to my SE Jimmy Hart. He has put up with my boring stories and opinions etc for well over 2 years now, and still answers my calls. Impressive!

    Jimmy highly recommended the 511 as a start to my 500 series rack,. and I ended up pairing that with the Neve R6. So, I can't really tell you much more than has been said already; from more qualified individuals etc.. However, I do have 15 years of drudging through interface press, and a very good selection of semi-pro pres etc (ISA, Warm Audio, Studio Projects, Presonus etc..) and I can say that this pre is pretty impressive. On vocals I was able to quickly get a great musical sound with Silk set around 1/2 with a range of mics including a cheap AT 3035 and the Mojave MA-300. Good results.

    On Acoustic Guitar. I was able to get a good tight and balanced sound out of both large condenser and small diaphragm stereo pencil mics alike. From hear the list goes on and on, Electric Guitar sounds great, Drum overheads, snare and Bass Drum sound great etc.

    Bottom line is that this pre produces a sound that I have spent countless hours trying to create with plugins in the box. So, my advise is the same as Jimmy's....Start with the 511's and go from there. If you have spent as much time trying to polish recorded turds as I have, you'll definitely understand how special this pre can be on your first recording.

  • from Canada April 17, 2016

    Rupert Neve 511 is a most

    My first 500 serie preamp was the AMS Neve 1073, because Internet was flooded with great reviews about the preamp. When Rupert Neve made his first attend to make a 500 serie preamp, I wanted to compare to the 1073. I searched the web to find something but I could not. It took some time but I bought the 511 and made a video comparison on youtube between both. I'm now a 511 lover.

  • from NY March 3, 2016Music Background:
    Artist/Producer/Guitar player/ drummer / full time awesome person

    So here's my experience with the 511........

    I bought the Rupert Neve 511 mic Pre as a results of my sales engineer Patrick Schaeffer who is the man!!

    I'm currently recording a class A female singer with a thick vocal tone. Ive tracked her with a Heritage Audio DMA73 ( awesome preamp) but her voice needed to be EQd as it was just too thick.

    So I put her on the 511. Holy cow !!!! It's perfect. No eq needed. Might beef it up just a tiny hair but it's just so smoothe. I'm using a Mojave ma200 and UAD Apollo with Big Ben clocking.

    This pre amp is beautiful sonically and visually. I'm definitely buying a second one for a sick Rock record I'll be working on next.

  • from New York City September 6, 2015Music Background:
    Studio musician/engineer... 10+ yrs

    Just killer...

    Awesome pre is essential for DAW. This thing has tons of pristine headroom and is totally transparent. Couldnt be happier. I use it for vox mostly... Sounds incredible driving an SM7.

  • from July 2, 2015Music Background:
    professional recording engineer

    wonderful preamp

    I waited a while before reviewing this,

    the pre-amp is just beautiful, visually from a design point of view and sonically.

    I have been using it for over six months now, and bought another so have a pair, the level of detail and clarity is stunning even without silk and the HPF, it is very even across the frequency spectrum, right down to extreme subs, but it never sounds cloudy or muddy, there is always a hint of flattery and colour especially when you play around with the trim control and silk. The bass is huge, midrange very detailed and vivid and the tops are smooth as silk.

    I have used the preamp on acoustic guitars, percussion, electric guitars, and vocals and pretty much everything you throw at it sounds amazing, including ribbon mics with the silk on full on electric guitars...you will be in tone heaven, my music now sounds like a proper record, before it sounded sterile and thin, this pre is very warm and adds a sense of depth to the sound which is rare in any piece of gear.

    Truly neve magic!

  • from June 26, 2015

    It's amazing!

    It's simple, i loved!

  • from June 2, 2015

    I have been under a rock

    Just go on and get this preamp. people saying in the box sounds the same are deff. you will be blown away guaranteed. Difference between interface preamp and the 511 is night and Day. i will be getting more no doubt. the vocals, guitar and drums sound amazing and open.

  • from Boise, ID February 23, 2015Music Background:
    Recording and Live Sound Engineer

    Excellent, insanely usable pre

    Absolutely perfectly engineered piece of gear. Basic setting is a very full clean sounding pre that adds just enough color to give your tracks some personality. The adjustable "silk" circuit is where the magic in this unit. Particularly excellent for rock music, this provides an infinitely tweakable amount of thick color. Add to that the high pass filter, phantom, polarity and front panel meter this is a damn near perfect pre.

  • from Lafayette, CO February 4, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Touring Musician

    Love Love Love

    The 511 is the best value in the 500 series in my opinion. That said, there's absolutely no compromise in tone here. I know I love this flavor because I've owned the Portico Channel II, the 5012, and have tracked my vocals through Rupert Neve's latest designs exclusively. Brilliant stuff, love it on acoustic and electric instruments - it's clean and fast enough for snappy transients and with the silk engaged gets as thick as I need for electrics and vocals - plus this particular version of the pre has the adjustable silk. All around great buy and super confident to record all day long on this pre.

  • from Austin, TX December 26, 2014Music Background:
    10 years Recording Engineer/Producer/Guitar Player/Studio owner

    This thing is just amazing! This was my first 500 series piece a it has opened me up to getting many more! for the price you can not get a better Pre. I would have paid double for this thing it's so good. Get it Get it Get IT!

    I'll be buying more soon!

  • from Austin, TX December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Musician/Songwriter/Audio Engineer

    This thing gets it done.

    After upgrading my Digi002 to a Black Lion Audio signature mod, I got one of these babies and wow. The BLS mod does sound MUCH better than the stock Digi as a standalone, but it's night and day difference between this pre and the pres in the Digi. I am able to produce results that honestly sound as good or better than commercial tracks I compare against, and I'm recording in my house haha. I'm going to get at least one more 511 in the near future. The HPF is a great feature and works like a charm on vox and guitars, and the silk effect is nice, but you need to use it sparingly. 500 series stuff is awesome, and Mr. Neve is really contributing some top notch stuff to the 500 series world. And for the price? I can't recommend this thing enough. I hope to have at least 8-12 of these babies at some point.

  • from Newport, Rhode Island August 27, 2014Music Background:
    audio engineer, edm producer, song writer

    THE 'MIC PRE' OF MIC PRE'S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i have been dealing with sweetwater 10+ yrs. if you could see my account order history it is a studio worth of top of the line stuff i have purchased over the years. thanx to my sale engineer (jeff law) when i mentioned a modern mic pre he recommended the 511 mic pre. i use it in conjunction with a + and a and the output cable is a going into my audio interface. ok to make a long story short. this is my MAIN vocal set-up.

  • from Pensacola, FL August 19, 2014Music Background:
    19 Years Experience Audio Engineer, Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician

    The Preamp You've Always Dreamed About

    I would spend countless hours with plug ins trying to get that signature Neve sound, the sound you would have gotten from "Sound City" I decided that i would take a chance and spend some money on some 500 Series modules... I opted first for the Rupert Neve 511 preamp. I must say, i DO NOT regret it!

    The first day i got it, i set it up in my rack, and tracked hours of Acoustic guitar, vocals, and drums. Talk about warmed up, and punchy! This was the preamp of my dreams... the sound in my head. Stop thinking, and add it to your cart!

  • from Austin June 19, 2014Music Background:
    Drums and Recording

    Awesome Piece, Amazing Price

    Was excited when this was announced, shocked on the price and very happy with it in the lunchbox.

  • from Tampa, FL June 6, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Music Producer, Engineer, Musician, Songwriter

    Exceeded Expectations (And that's hard to do!)

    Let me start by saying I do a lot of reviews on this site and I believe this is the first perfect score I have given. I'll give some instrument specific feedback and leave a general wrap-up at the bottom (in case you want to skip ahead)

    On fingerstyle and strummed acoustic guitar, I was pleased with the sound, finding it cleans up a little nicer than my Vintech, with a bit more openness than my Midas. Silk adds a little more body and sweetness.

    On an acoustic playing picked arpeggios I was quite impressed with the sound - no EQ necessary, it nailed the sound. Silk seemed even more powerful here, smoothing out transients and adding some warmth and richness.

    On Bass, I was immediately impressed with a clean DI sound - warm and round but still with great definition and snap. absolutely beautiful. great low end. Then I put in the silk and WOW - unbelievable what this does for bass. It offers everything that I love from the classic Neve sound and then some.

    On drums, the sound was warm and smooth. Snare bite was tamed a little without being dulled. Silk again adds body and sweetens mids/highs. this would be great on kick, floor toms, hat, cymbals, overheads, room. For Snare I might opt for something with a bit more bite depending on the style I was after, but it would be a hands down winner for a jazz kit i think, and with a little EQ would be great with ANY style.

    On electric guitar I expected it to sound great with silk, and of course it did. more growl, more body, more sweetness. but what surprised me a bit was how good it sounded without silk. really really great sounding on amps.

    I haven't used on vocals yet but from everything i've done in my first week I expect it is going to be extremely good for the types of singers I work with generally - can't wait.

    Overall - excellent pre. It does not need silk to sound amazing, it really is a great pre - warm, smooth, and yet still has some air to it.

    illuminated buttons and meters, comfortable knobs make using this a breeze even in a hectic, fast paced situation. operation is pretty much fool proof.

    Variable high pass is a nice addition - easily dials out rumble or boom and other low end for corrective or even creative uses,

    Silk - really great. at low to moderate settings it delivers a classic sound and at high settings it will take things to new places. a little moderation is encouraged here - it may be tempting to run it hot but I recommend being a bit conservative with it until you've really learned how it impacts your mix. Also, I'd remind people that this is a great preamp even without the silk, so definitely A/B the sound.

    Great pre. Ridiculous value. American Made and designed by the one and only Mr. Rupert Neve. Whats not to like?

  • from United States December 13, 2013Music Background:
    Recording engineer since 2006, Guitar player

    Just amazing!!!

    This thing made a cheap mic sound like a 5 thousand dollar mic!! It's just amazing! Worth every penny!

  • from United States November 4, 2013Music Background:
    Tracking Engineer, Student, Songwriter

    Gorgeous sounding pre, in all respects

    For such a cheap price, I was blown away with the sound quality that this thing outputs. It's easily worth 3 times its price. It has everything a great all-round pre needs, plus it adds the Silk/Texture option to add a little magic to Vocals and drums. I love it, and I would be absolutely happy with having 32 channels of this pre alone, without using any other preamp except for maybe 2 channels of a heavy-vibe tube preamp for those special occasions.

  • from Chicago, IL October 17, 2013

    Thoroughly Impressed!

    Was in the market for a colored pre and, after a talk with my sales engineer IsReal Foster (x1683), the 511 was what he suggested among a few other options. The high quality sound of Neve + flexibility this unit gives vs. price point was what sold me. And let me tell you, like many other reviewers have said, this is a great piece of gear! Affordable, flexible (transparent to colored sound via Silk), and excellent overall sound quality. I highly recommend this pre. Great investment into your Lunchbox.

  • from San German, Puerto Rico September 13, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Eng, Producer, Grammy voting member

    And then came the 511.....

    This piece is very versatile. Tried it first with vocals. The HPF is very good at controlling any unwanted frecuency. However where the real shine is.....the silk and texture. Once you start dialing these two warmth and smooth overtones start to show. This is a very high value piece of gear considering that for less than $600 you get Neve sound. It is a game changer for Home Studios. Highly recommended. I bought 2......looking forward to try it in other applications.

  • from Nashville, TN September 4, 2013Music Background:
    mixing and recording engineer

    my go to vocal pre now

    this pre sounds so good I don't see myself buying another pre for a while. Vocals sound just right. I was surpised at the detail in the highs. And the low mids aren't muddy even with the silk cranked. It really has its own sound. I wouldn't call this pre clean or colored but it meets somewhere in the middle to me. I hate to neglect my other pres but they are sure to be jealous now.

  • from Miami, FL July 31, 2013Music Background:
    Singer & Music Producer.

    A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Series 500 gantry has aged and modern sound Mr. Neve genius. And are cheaper and better. Portico 511 is the best Pre-amp that I have tested. A sweet and big sound. A++++++++++++++++++.

  • from Philadelphia, PA USA June 17, 2013Music Background:
    Producer/Engineer

    Sweet!

    I've been using Rupert Neve designed gear since I started engineering 35 years ago. It has never let me down and the 511 is a great extension of Rupert's legacy! Affordable and clean with just the right amount of that Neve Mojo with the "Silk" control.

    It had been said that it's all in the transformers -- and fitting them into the 500 chassis form and at the reasonable price point is a winner all the way around!

  • from NY, NY USA June 5, 2013Music Background:
    Music Producer

    Put It In Your Lunchbox NOW!!

    I'm blown away at the sound quality I'm getting from this excellent 500 series mic pre! It's making my mics sound like they cost several thousand dollars. The clarity is awesome, and the Silk feature places that secret sauce that gives your sound that smooth warmness we love so much.
    It's a must have mic pre, that's why Sweetwater can't keep them in stock!!
    Get this unit in your lunchbox, you won't be disappointed.

  • from Philadelphia, PA May 28, 2013Music Background:
    Producer/Engineer

    Outstanding Mic Pre!!

    As I told my Sweetwater sales engineer -- "If you want this pre back, you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!"

    Outstanding on vocals using a Blackspade tube mic and acoustic guitars using an A-T Pro 37.

    Signal path also includes an Aphex Comp 500. A great match.

  • from Los Angeles, CA April 22, 2013Music Background:
    Record Producer, Songwriter and Arranger.

    Great Buy! Unbeatable deal!

    I own a pair of AMS 1073lb. Love it to death. They are beefy and there's a reason why the 73s have made history. But these 511s are amazing preamps. They are clean, transparent and if necessary, will deliver some coloration with the silk feature. HPF is a great feature as well. I don't have anything bad to say about this module. For $545, simply impossible to go wrong with it. I've used the AMEK 9098 for years and for some reason the 511 resembles that tone. Did I mention that I bought a pair? Oh yeah. I am very happy with these guys and will definitely consider buying more of the rupert neve modules. Perhaps a pair of the 543... Oh boy.
    These products are designed by the master and manufactured here in the US.
    I do not expect having any issues with it.
    Go ahead and grab one. You can scream at me if you don't like it. :)
    Cheers!

  • from United States April 11, 2013Music Background:
    Songwriter

    Excellent tone at killer price

    I hate all the good reviews from people justifying their purchases, but there's just absolutely nothing wrong with this pre...Excellent. Smooth, smooth highs with reminiscent (vintage) Neve lows. Mids are smooth as well and didn't stick out on Vox or guitars. The highs seem to be more open like my Helios and has more bottom than the Helios. The silk button and adjustable texture knob are interesting. It's subtle. I seemed to notice more top end distortion/harmonics (if that's what you call it)...it did seem to be more like some of the Neve reissues I've used with more of that focus and strident sound in the upper mids - I've called it the "laser beam" mids of a 1073 when pushed. (I never got that from vintage 1073's I've used or the Heritage unit). I tended to prefer Vox with it either turned off or turned up until about 50%. Ymmv. I swear it has the quietest noise floor of any pre I've used. I would be perfectly happy with a lunchbox full of these. I'm not using these for drums, so I can't speak to that, but I can't imagine a better pre that comes at this bargain. (I would imagine with the extra bottom on these on a drumset, they would sound marvelous.) I highly, highly recommend it. In fact, if anyone asks me what they would start with building a lunchbox, this would be my suggestion.

  • from Salinas, California March 23, 2016

    Love it!

    511 Just has a silky sheen that is quite addicting. The silk is nice, almost like a built in EQ. I seem to be easy on it since that's where it's pleasing to me. When I hit it to hard the upper mid highs are to much for me in a mix, but the mid lows it produces is just amazing. It's very selective and depends on taste. I've really stuck to these on overheads (no silk), I've found a sweet spot in my heart for these for that duty. Not to mention beautiful on vocals. For the price it's a must. Great buy. Thanks to Ian for the suggestion.

  • from NJ December 26, 2015Music Background:
    Writer, player, engineer, producer, owner.

    Silk...Hmmm so nice.

    Been using for sometime now only thing i want out of this preamp is a blue silk option to match the 5012 - one red, one blue. That would make a perfect lunch box set up on drums.

  • from Fairfax, VA February 8, 2014Music Background:
    Recording and Mix Engineer, Musician

    My first NICE preamp

    What a fantastic thing it is to be able to hear such dimension and clarity but with real vibe! As my first step into the world of "boutique" preamps, I am never looking back. Loving my pair of 511's. The knobs do feel a little flimsy but this sound at this price, I know where my priorities are.

  • from California April 12, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, engineer

    Kind of a wow moment

    I was testing this against several other pres and as I went through them when I listened to the 511 I actually said "wow". Smooth, full, and quiet. It that really puts out a flattering sound. Love the silk feature. The hpf also works very well. I'd say at this price point that this pre stands against higher priced units very well. And I have or have had several other higher end pre's to compare it to. I've also compared it to a couple of the lower priced pre's that have recently come on the market and personally think this is worth spending a couple of hundred dollars more on. Having no front DI is a small minus, but the xlr is configured to take a bass or guitar with a simple xlr to 1/4" cable. Tried it and it works well

  • from New Jersey November 10, 2016Music Background:
    Voice Over Artist

    Clean and Pristine

    Clean, Clear Pre. Instant improvement in quality. Makes a good mic great, and a great mic greater!!!!!!

  • from February 5, 2016

    Value!

    I got this for recording bass and guitar cab mainly. It sounds fantastic. Great value. I'll be getting another one very soon. The silk feature is very nice and it's usually on.

  • from Hartord, CT November 30, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer /Mix Engineer / Recording Artist

    Definitely worth the money.

    For the price of this pre amp, you cannot go wrong..

    It is very detailed.. sounds very clean.. and even has a nice little sound to it... it like a "smooth brightness" that isn't very apparent.. it just gives off kind of a nice feeling.. these are very subjective terms but i'm just trying to describe it.

    I've compared it to a neve 1073 and an avalon 737 sp..

    not direct A/bing but more like me listening to each on vocals..

    The 1073 is massive, with an undeniable emotion, lots of detail, sounds like a record,

    the avalon has a lot of nice vibe with it especially with the right microphone and performance..

    the 511 comes really close to the performance of the other two.. except it's kind of missing that "wow" factor.. I love my 511 i will never sell it and i'll always look at it as a useful tool.. Just don't expect it to be the last pre amp you ever need if you're trying to be one of the best recording engineers in the city..

    If you're on a budget, get this, and run with it cause it's amazing, it was made by Rupert Neve!! But , if you're addicted to high quality sound, expect to invest some more on some more high end pres down the road.. that's just my 2 cents...

    I've owned mine for about a year.

  • from Los Angeles, CA September 22, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Professional Musician

    Work-Horse Pre - Excellent Pre - What is and what it isn't

    The 511 is an excellent preamp. I was initially shopping for a Neve 1073 clone or something similar. During my search I threw the 511 into a shootout and during blind test repeatedly choose it as my favorite for vocals and drums. So when I started to build my lunch box of pres I opted to pickup a stereo pair of the 511s. I have a variety of pres to choose from now in my studio and I do extensive shootouts to discover which pres work best with which microphones and sources. I really enjoy the 511 on Vocals and find myself reaching for it more then my Avalon 737 although I still route it through the Avalon's EQ and compression.
    It doesn't have quite as much head room as some of the pres in my collection but its never seemed to be a problem. Its ultra quiet and the build quality and quality control with Rupert Neve Designs I would say is exceptional. I find the HPF very useful and the Silk feature adds something to this pre that sets it aside from anything else I've worked with. It adds a special character and color to the mid-range and high shelf that I would say is vintage-ish.
    Which brings me to my final point. This is not a 1073! Don't let anyone tell you this sounds anything like a Vintage neve 1073 or 1081. I went through alot of trouble to find a clone that sounded like the coveted 1073. Vintech, Heritage, Great River, Avedis and AMS. There are some that really are exact clones of the 1073 sound ie (Heritage, AMS) - But the 511 even with the Silk knob cranked sounds nothing like a vintage neve. I know I've shot it out side by side! Its a much more modern, controlled, transparent sound. Which is not always a bad thing! I have other pres I go to for that colored depth vintage sound. For the price of this unit its really a no brainier. It's an excellent addition to any Lunch Box pre collection.

  • from muscatine, IA January 22, 2014Music Background:
    Sound design , Musician , Recording engineer. Production

    Low Noise !

    The great deal about the 511 pre amp is that it is very versatile , depending on the settings, and the artist voice / preference. Another great feature is the low noise floor , and The silk feature is pretty neat if you want to add a touch of sheen to the mid / high end which is great for cutting through a mix ! equipped with a 6db gain step and a gain trim that allows you to dial in the perfect amount of gain needed.

  • from New York November 14, 2013Music Background:
    Record Producer

    Grainy, Harsh and Unusable

    I had high hopes for this with the name behind it and all, but cost always seems to dictate end-quality when it comes to pro audio. This is one of the cheaper 500 series preamps and it really does sound cheap. I thought I was getting a bargain, but it just sounds terrible on everything. I used it with several high end mics, going into top-line converters, so I know the pre is at fault. Don't bother with this--spend the extra cash for a Mono Gamma or a B1D. I returned mine and got the Mono Gamma--world of difference.

Reviews

  • Mitch Gallagher
    4-15-2013

    Watching the studio-gear paradigm progress has been interesting. Years ago, of course, everything was analog. Then the digital era hit, and many of us switched to completely in-the-box systems for the advantages they provided. But these days, many studios (including mine) are switching to a hybrid approach - using the best of both digital and analog. A big part of the growing popularity of the hybrid approach has been the rise of the API 500 Series format, which condenses pro studio gear into compact modules that can be loaded into a rackmount or portable chassis.

    Rupert Neve Designs recently released a family of modules, including two brand-new pieces that were first shown at the 2013 Winter NAMM show. I was able to load up all four into a chassis and take them for a spin. There are two preamps: the 517, which combines an RND preamp with an opto compressor and RND's signature Silk control, and the brand-new 511, which is a preamp with Silk and a variable highpass filter. The 517 actually has two paths, mic and DI, which can be blended. Both modules sound phenomenal, with a full but open tone. The Silk control allows you to shape the tone, adding a subtly smooth texture.

    The 543 is RND's mono VCA compressor. It offers full control over all parameters, plus a choice of RMS or peak detection, feed-forward or feedback operation, and the ability to sidechain with or without a highpass filter in the path. I found it to be transparent, with just a touch of added "polish" - the tracks I ran through it sounded subtly enhanced in that beautiful Neve fashion.

    Also brand-new is the 542. This tape emulator module can do great things to your audio, adding beef and rounding out harshness while adding desirable harmonic content. You get a saturation control, a blend control for mixing in the effect, and the choice of 15ips or 30ips tape-speed simulation - as well as the ability to add Silk to the signal. Here's my favorite setting: 30ips, fairly heavy saturation, the blend set to around 50%, and a good amount of the "blue" texture setting. It's analog heaven!

    Rupert Neve has really hit the mark with these modules. All the Portico sound is there, with plenty of control and powerful sound-shaping options, but in the compact, affordable 500 Series format. Outstanding!

Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 511 Microphone Preamp?

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