Rupert Neve Designs 5025 Dual Shelford Microphone Preamplifier

Product Category
Preamps & Channel Strips
Rupert Neve Designs
Sweetwater Purchase Link
Detailed Information

For over half a century, classic Rupert Neve preamps such as the venerable 1073 have been indispensable tools for countless audio professionals, launching the Golden Age of Analog and leaving their inimitable sonic stamp on thousands of iconic recordings. Today, the Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford gives you two channels of the finest microphone preamplification on the planet, refined and updated for the modern recording studio. Housed in a sleek and rugged 1U chassis, the Dual Shelford, like all RND products, is precision engineered with mil-spec, discrete componentry to deliver decades of sonic excellence in demanding professional applications. There has never been a better time to snag two channels of legendary Rupert Neve preamplification for your studio. The Dual Shelford is a limited edition, so you’d better grab it while you can!

Storied sonic excellence

The Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford carries on the tradition of sonic excellence established by Mr. Neve during his company’s formative years in Little Shelford. The design brief for the Shelford Channel was not merely to re-create Rupert’s classic preamp designs, but to optimize them with modern, wide-bandwidth frequency response, outstanding amplifier performance at all gain settings, and ultra-low-noise operation — all while retaining the unmistakable sonics that have made the vintage Neve designs coveted by generations of top engineers and producers. The Dual Shelford renders sources in breathtaking, larger-than-life detail. Punchy, lustrous, and creamy smooth, it captures vocals and instruments with luminous warmth and bold midrange assertiveness that shines in any arrangement. Bottom line: the Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford is a must-have for making audacious statements with your music.

Finesse any source

Like its vintage progenitors, the Dual Shelford can handle — and finesse — virtually any source. With a robust 72dB of low-noise, Class A gain on tap, you can finally use your favorite passive ribbon mics on subdued sources; while the alluring analog textures of variable Silk saturation harmonically enhance your tracks for authoritative, hard-hitting mixes that blast right out of the speakers. Bolstering the Dual Shelford’s sonic authority are per-channel proprietary, state-of-the-art transformer-gain mic input stages and dual-tap transformer output stages with massive headroom, plus an internal universal power supply with double the operating voltage of vintage designs. RND’s custom transformer designs are painstakingly optimized and completely shielded in MuMetal casing. This punctilious attention to detail results in a preamplifier design that is ruler flat from below 10Hz to above 60kHz to deliver the purest tone possible as well as a very high degree of operational flexibility.

Exclusive transformer-gain mic input stage

Rupert Neve’s first new Class A, transformer-gain mic preamplifier in over 40 years made its debut in the Shelford Channel, two channels of which are now available in the Dual Shelford. Borrowing from Rupert’s coveted vintage preamp designs, each channel of this tour-de-force 2-channel mic preamp utilizes a direct-coupled transformer mic input in which the first 15dB of gain is provided by the custom step-up transformer itself. While most of the instantly recognizable harmonic richness characteristic of Rupert’s designs can be attributed to the implementation of custom output transformers and the adjacent Class A amplifiers in the circuit, the proprietary input transformer and its meticulous integration into its surrounding Class A input amplifiers play an important role in further enhancing the Dual Shelford’s sound. Thanks to its unique reactive impedance and its interaction with the connected mic, the input transformer imparts a nuanced, non-linear harmonic enrichment to the low frequencies and a distinctive sweetness to the highs, rounding out and topping off the more pronounced enhancement provided by the output transformer.

Dual-tap transformer outputs

The Dual Shelford’s output stage serves up the inimitable sound of Rupert Neve’s classic designs while providing far more tonal versatility. Complementing the Silk circuit are custom dual-output-level transformers with RND’s unique dual-output topology that provide both Main (+26dBu) and -6dB (+20dBu) outputs. The high-headroom Main output takes advantage of the Dual Shelford’s higher-voltage design, delivering a pristine sound without non-linear output-stage coloration at high levels. The low-headroom tap, on the other hand, lets you drive the full voltage range of the unit to accentuate this non-linear harmonic content — without clipping your converters, interface, or other downchain devices. This output lets you hit the transformer “sweet spot” and drive the preamp into classic transformer saturation, injecting life into performances in a way that other preamps or effects cannot.

Unparalleled Silk harmonic enhancement

The Dual Shelford is packing a secret weapon the classics never had: its output transformers feature the Silk Red/Blue and Texture controls from the Portico II series and the Shelford Channel that let you tailor the harmonic content and tonality of the output stage. By engaging these controls and sufficiently driving your output, you can dial in delectable 2nd- and 3rd-order harmonic distortion (that’s the good kind) and saturation of the output transformer, imbuing your tracks with juicy-rich thickness (think: 1073 on steroids) — with no danger of overloading the output stage. The Texture knob lets you set the amount of Silk enhancement you want, from transparent to almost 10 times the amount of sonic color available with Rupert’s vintage console modules. Disengage Silk, and your output is pristine and modern, while maintaining that assertive, transformer-juiced sonic signature. The Silk Red mode emphasizes harmonic content generated by the source’s high and middle frequencies, adding a glimmering sheen to the top end. You’ll find Silk Red perfect for vocals, pianos, strings, snare drums, and other acoustic sources. Silk Blue, conversely, works off the harmonics generated by the low and low-mid frequencies. This makes it great for beefing up signals such as bass, drums, male vocals, heavy electric guitars, and synthesizers.

The legend continues

Rupert Neve’s 80 Series consoles had a huge, punchy, and authoritative sound that defined the sound of ’70s rock. From London to New York to Los Angeles and beyond, top studios were installing Neve boards as fast as they could. By 1977, with the introduction of the NECAM automation system, 80 Series boards were the main component of the success formula for any recording studio with world-class aspirations. Today, Rupert Neve Designs continues to advance the state of the art with cutting-edge products that sound incredible and intelligently address the challenges of the digital age. With your Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford mic pre from Sweetwater, the legend continues.

Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford Microphone Preamplifier

  • 2 channels of definitive RND mic preamplification
  • RND Shelford circuitry delivers the soul of classic designs along with modern flexibility
  • Highly musical-sounding custom transformer-gain mic preamp
  • Precision-engineered discrete design, built for decades of demanding professional use
  • Up to 72dB of low-noise, Class A gain captures every source optimally
  • Sleek, studio- and tour-ready 1U rackmount chassis
  • Dual-output-level transformers deliver rich harmonic character without downchain clipping
  • Silk Red/Blue circuit with Texture control for precisely dialing in your desired amount of classic tone
  • 48V phantom power; polarity reverse
  • Worldwide power supply with double the voltage of the original 80 Series modules
  • Designed and crafted in the USA