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February Giveaway

Rupert Neve Designs 517 Microphone Preamp & Compressor Reviews

4.5 stars based on 3 customer reviews
Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 517 Microphone Preamp & Compressor?

Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 517 Microphone Preamp & Compressor?

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  • from JAM Studios, San German, Puerto Rico December 13, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Eng. Guitarrist, Producer, Grammy voting member

    Nice preamp........like fixed compressor

    I combined it with an API 550A.........nice sweet sound. Tried it with vocals and a Neumann 193, bass thru the DI, guitar cab........smooth controlled sound. Very musical and clean. I see lots of potential for this preamp.

  • from ankara, Turkey June 9, 2011Music Background:
    Producer

    Great MicPre/Comp

    517 is a real big step up for me after TL Audio. Incredible sound, incredible compressor (in spite of the fixed ratio and fixed attack&release times).

  • from NY June 3, 2011Music Background:
    Musician/Engineer/Mixer.

    A. Not an A+

    This is a good preamp. I worked on a 5088 for about a year, tracked lots of guitar and bass... some drums... some vocals. These pres really shine on guitar and bass. Nice, big, round bass. They are quite forgiving on heavy distortion guitar and smooth on clean guitar. Drums sound good, too. This is just a great pre... it is not even close to a 1073 or 81.... but it is just an entirely different beast. With the addition of the vari-phase and compressor, this is a tough one to beat. Get 2 and you will not be disappointed.

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!

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