Rupert Neve Designs 517 DI Preamp Compressor with Variphase 500 Series Module
517 from Rupert Neve is a 500 Series module based on the company’s Portico 5017 Mobile Pre, and provides a transformer-coupled microphone preamp, opto-coupler compressor and DI input. As with the original, the unit includes Vari-Phase, Silk processing, and DI/microphone blending capabilities. The microphone preamp includes 66dB of gain and also incorporates a polarity-reverse switch and phantom power. The separate instrument amplifier includes 30dB of gain, a ground-lift switch, variable phase, and an instrument Thru connection.
As a single-channel device for instruments, the 517 can be used to phase align, combine and compress direct and amplified signals by using the Hi-Z input for an instrument’s direct signal, and the microphone preamp for the speaker cabinet signal. A Blend control can mix the direct and amplified signals to achieve the desired tonal blend between the sources, and the Vari-Phase is used to minimize or extenuate phase cancellations between the two signals. This technique could also be used to create a single, mixed output of a guitar and vocals. The opto-coupler compressor is based around a LDR (Light Dependent Resister) design that has been simplified to a single threshold control with auto make up gain. The compressor is set to a fixed 2:1 ratio with fixed attack and release. To set the compressor, dial the threshold control down until the desired amount of compression is achieved. An LED light indicates when the compressor is active.
- Single-channel, transformer-coupled microphone preamp, compressor and DI circuitry housed in a 500 Series module
- 66dB of microphone preamp gain
- 30dB of instrument gain via balanced or unbalanced Hi-Z input
- Silk feature provides an option to enhance sound quality with a vintage “feel” by reducing negative feedback and adjusting the frequency spectrum to provide a “sweet” and musical performance
- Opto-coupler compressor with a single threshold level control – when signals exceed the “threshold” level, the gain is reduced at a controlled 2:1 ratio, with fixed attack and release time constants
- Blend control can be used to balance the microphone signal and the instrument input to deliver a single combined output
- Vari-Phase control can adjust phase incrementally, useful any time two signals derived from the same source are combined
- Switchable phantom power and polarity reverse
- Indicators denote signal presence and clipping on both the DI and microphone signals, as well as compressor activation