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The Rupert Neve Designs Shelford 5052 - Microphone Preamplifier and Inductor EQ is part of Rupert Neve's Shelford series of modules designed to be rack mounted in a 500 series "lunchbox" rack and used for studio recording. The unit combines elements of the iconic Neve 1073 with a vertically-oriented mic pre, a high pass filter, and a 3-band inductor based equalizer. The device goes further with the incorporation of some of Neve's more recent innovations such as the variable silk texture control from the Portico II series as well as simultaneous pre- and post-tape operation.
The preamplifier uses a discrete class-A ±24V topology with custom-wound square-core transformers and inductors to deliver the classic Neve sound with modern performance. The preamp section includes selectable +48V phantom power for operation with condenser microphones, a polarity reverse switch, and a sweepable 20 to 250 Hz high pass filter. For changing the tonality of the sound, the pre section also includes the Portico II Silk Red/Blue and Texture controls that allow you overdrive the output of the unit with up to 5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) to add weight and warmth to the signal with 2nd and 3rd order harmonicas.
The transformer-coupled output of the unit can be fed into a tape machine or DAW directly while still allowing you to use the EQ and Silk/Texture controls within a dedicated analog mix path. You can also use the output to insert a separate compressor between the pre and the EQ or allow the 5052 to work with two separate sources.
The EQ section of the unit combines design elements of the Neve 1064 for rich resonant bass with the option of also using the LF band as a shelf or peak filter. The mid-range EQ is inspired by the Neve 1073 for sweetening vocals and bringing lead instruments forward into the mix. The mid band features a proportional "Q" response that can be used for minimizing problematic frequencies. The HF band of the EQ combines the inductor circuitry of the 1073 with capacitor-based topologies from more modern designs. Each section of the EQ uses low-feedback class-A discrete electronics to prevent unwanted harshness or artifacts from influencing your mix.
Power is supplied to the unit on ±24V rails from an external DC power supply using a 4-pin connection. This can be provided by either the RND 5-way brick power supply or the RND 24-way 2U rack-mount power supply. For I/O the unit includes three XLR-3F connections for Mic In, Line In, and EQ In. For outputs it includes two XLR-3M connections for Mic Out and Main Out. The "half-rack" unit can be mounted in a Rupert Neve Designs 2-way vertical unit, 4-way vertical unit, an existing 9-way rack, or the RND 5088 penthouse.
Provides 12-way precision rotary control over gain from 0 to 66 dB in 6 dB steps
Reduces the negative feedback on the output transformer and add harmonic content as texture control is increased up to 4-5% THD
Accentuates the saturation in the mid and high frequencies
Accentuates low frequencies
Provides the classic sound of Rupert Neve's 5051 EQ with modern performance
Enables variable 12/db Octave sweep from 20 to 250 Hz
Provides ±15 dB shelf or peak filtering with selectable frequencies of 35, 60, 100, and 220 Hz
Provides ±15 dB on six selectable center frequencies with Q control: 200, 350, 700, 1500, 3000, and 6000 Hz.
Offers ±15 dB shelf or peak filtering with selectable target of 8,000 to 16,000 Hz
Provides continuously variable ±6 dB level
Engages phantom power on microphone input
Inverts the polarity of the signal path 180°
HIgh Pass Filter
Attenuates signals below the 20 to 250 Hz continuously variable target frequency at 12 dB/octave, which is especially useful for removing proximity effect, building rumble, air handling, and other background sounds from microphone recordings
Displays pre-silk output level in eight-segment LED bar-graph
In the Box
Rupert Neve Designs 5052 - Microphone Preamplifier and Inductor EQ
Mic Pre at Unity Gain: Better than -102 dBV Main Out at Unity Gain: Better than -103 dBV With Gain at +66 dB: Bettern than -60 dBV Equivalent Input Noise: Better than -126 dB Gain: Unity up to +66 dB in 6 dB steps followed by a ±6 dB trim
Total Harmonic Distortion/Noise
Mic Pre: At 1,000 Hz, +20 dBu Output Level, No Load: Better than 0.002% At 20,000 Hz, +20 dBu Output Level, No Load: 0.25% typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic)