At this year’s AES conference in New York City, Rupert Neve Designs is announcing the release of the two new modules for the groundbreaking and multi-award winning 5088 console: The 5051 Inductor EQ / Compressor module and the 5088 Stereo Module.
The new Stereo Module for the 5088 uses the same high-voltage, transformer-coupled topology found throughout the 5088, and allows both twice the density, and considerable cost savings when compared with mono modules. The Stereo Module is outfitted with a single 100mm fader, individual left/right pans, individual trims, 6 auxes and a stereo width control. When Aux to Groups on Aux 5/6 is activated, the stereo channel signal can be routed with an independent mix level to any of the 8 groups.
The 5051 combines a classic three band EQ based on Rupert’s vintage designs with the power and flexibility of the Portico Series compressor. Utilizing a discrete, class-A signal path and high performance input and output transformers, the 5051 delivers the performance and musicality expected from a Rupert Neve Design.
The EQ design on the 5051 certainly invokes sonic similarities with some of Rupert’s classic EQs. The 5051 uses a custom tapped inductor with selected capacitors to form the mid range equalizer band and the shelf curves are based on Rupert’s vintage modules, using very similar frequency choices as well. Each EQ section also uses low feedback class-A discrete to prevent low level artifacts and harshness from detracting from the tonal shaping. The EQ however, is a modern design with advantages offered by techniques that were not possible 35 years ago along with improvements in electronic components currently available, and should not be considered a clone. Let’s just say it has heritage.
Both the High and Low Band can be switched from Shelf to Peak curves and offer 15 dB of boost or cut. The High can be switched from 8 kHz to 16 kHz and the Low Band selected at 35 Hz, 60 Hz, 100 Hz or 220 Hz. The inductor based Mid Band offers 6 center frequencies; 200 Hz, 350 Hz, 700 Hz, 1.5 kHz, 3 kHz and 6 kHz. The Mid Band also has a High Peak switch to narrow the bandwidth or increase the Q of the filter. The 5051 includes an 18 dB/octave High Pass Filter with two corner frequencies on a lit button that toggles through "OFF, 60 Hz then 120 Hz indicated by a blue or red LED respectively.
Additionally, the EQ can be switched Pre or Post the compressor. Normally the EQ precedes the compressor but the order can be selected so that the EQ follows after the Compressor. The 5051 also has two XLR balanced inputs that can be switched from the front panel. This allows the user, for example, to have a mic preamplifier and line input from a DAW to be pre-patched and easily selectable.
The 5051 Compressor also features a discrete class A signal path proven used in the Portico Series. The Threshold has a range of -30 dBu to +10 dBu. The Ratio can be set from 1.1:1 to 40:1. The Attack has a range of 5mS to 75mS and the Release allows from 100mS to 2.5 S to be set. Final Gain can be set from -6 dB to +20 dB.
The Compressor allows the user to select either a modern Feed-Forward topology or the traditional Feed-Back style of compression. Each has advantages depending on the source and desired sound. The 5051 includes a 250Hz high pass filter that can be switched into the compressor side-chain to reduce the chance that loud low frequency material inadvertently affects the gain reduction. There is also a LINK switch and associated 1/4" phone jacks on the back panel so that 2 (or multiple) 5051’s can be properly used for stereo where gain changes happen together. Speaking of the back panel, there is also a pair of 1/4" phone jacks to patch in your own EQ into the side-chain for de-essing and finessing. The 5051 has two fast acting accurate LED bar-graph meters to indicate Gain Reduction and Output Level.
It should be pointed out that the 5051, at this time, is intended exclusively for 5088 consoles. The 5051 uses a shared central power supply designed to feed up to 25 5051’s. This both reduces heat build up within modules and reduces the costs associated with DC-DC converters in every module.