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The horizontal Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5042 2-Channel Tape Emulator is designed to bring the sound and harmonic content of tape to your digital recordings. It features a transformer-coupled line amplifier that feeds an actual tape drive circuit coupled to a replay amplifier EQ'd to emulate magnetic tape.
Each of the 5042's 2 channels has a pre-tape circuit trim knob along with adjustable saturation, allowing you to dial in the amount of the effect desired. The IPS button allows you to select between 7 and 15 IPS, emulating commonly used inches per second tape speed settings.
Meter: An eight-segment LED bar-graph meter is fitted for each channel, calibrated with two scales selected by the adjacent Push Button switch
Tape Level: Indicates the signal level being fed to the Tape circuit, or magnetic Induction level
Trim: Provides + or - 12 dB adjustment of gain to compensate for incoming signal levels prior to feeding the TAPE circuit
Engage Tape: Inserts the "tape" circuit when pressed (illuminated). The meter push button switch then selects the meter to display Input Level or Tape Level. When Input Level is selected the meter displays the balanced signal level at the input of the Portico 5042. When Tape Level is selected the meter shows the signal level sent to the simulated "Tape Head" (Equivalent to the record level on a real tape recorder)
Line Up: The incoming signal level should be set by adjusting the Trim control so that the first LED starts to light (0 dB). When the meter selector is set to Tape Level there is no meter reading unless the Engage Tape push button is pressed
7.5 IPS to 15 IPS: Selects the emphasis/de-emphasis, Record/Replay Tape characteristic
Saturation: Controls the signal level or magnetization being sent to the magnetic "tape head". At the same time the gain of the replay amplifier is reduced. As the Saturation level increases, the replay gain is reduced so that the overall In/Out signal level remains more or less constant. In a real tape recorder, you would adjust the Record and Replay gain controls separately. In the Portico 5042 the Record and Replay gain controls are coupled so that the overall In/Out signal level only varies as the "tape" saturation level changes. But as you approach the maximum Saturation setting, the overall signal level will drop due to the effect of extreme saturation
In the Box
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5042 2-Channel Tape Emulator (Horizontal)
Gain Trim at Unity, Saturation at Minimum: +25 dBu Gain trim at Unity, Saturation at Maximum: +6 dBu
Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 400 Hz to 22 kHz, input terminated 40 Ω, Balanced: With Gain at Unity, Saturation control at Minimum: Better than -70 dBu With Gain at Unity, Saturation control at Maximum: Better than -90 dBu
Tape engaged, 7.5 IPS: -3 dB @ 16 kHz Tape engaged, 15 IPS: -3 dB @ 20 kHz
Low frequency response varies with input gain and saturation settings
THD + N
Tape Engaged: Approximately 1-2% 2nd and 3rd Harmonic below 1 kHz
Measured Channel-to-Channel, Maximum Saturation: Better than 80 dB @ 16 kHz
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5042 2-Channel Tape Emulator (Horizontal) Review