Rupert Neve Designs 5211 2-channel Microphone Preamp

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

Elegantly simple and stunningly effective, the Rupert Neve Designs 5211 represents the natural evolution of what is arguably the most famous audio gear ever made: the Rupert Neve mic preamp. Packing two channels of that legendary tone, 72dB of gain, sweepable highpass filters for precise control, and the sonic authority of Mr. Neve’s dual-tap output transformers with variable Silk saturation, the 5211 provides an uncompromising, euphonic, and flexible front end for any signal path. Bottom line: the Rupert Neve Designs 5211 is everything you want in a mic preamp.

Versatile “best of both worlds” design

Unlike the Shelford Channel’s vintage-style topology that utilizes a mic input transformer, the 5211 utilizes a fully transformerless input stage that optimizes signal clarity direct from the microphone. Combined with the more intense saturation from its variable Silk circuit and custom output transformer’s lower-headroom tap, the 5211 can produce tones ranging from warm and fat to breathtakingly clear and detailed. Simply put: the Rupert Neve Designs 5211 delivers the best of vintage and modern.

Transformerless input stage optimizes signal clarity

The 5211’s balanced mic input employs a Transformer-like Amplifier (TLA) scheme to capture microphone signals as purely as possible. With the 48-volt phantom power switched off, this input performs as an ultra-high-quality line input with an impedance of 9k ohms. Each channel features 72dB of extremely low-noise, low-distortion gain controlled with a 6dB-stepped switch and a continuously variable ±6dB Trim. Switchable polarity reverse, 48-volt phantom power, and a swept 20Hz–250Hz highpass filter are available to further control the input, with a Silk control available for the outputs.

Custom output transformers with variable Silk saturation

Silk is a Rupert Neve Designs circuit that manipulates a signal’s harmonic content to create a sonic character inspired by Rupert Neve’s vintage console modules. A switchable, variable tonal option applied at the 5211’s output stage, Silk reduces negative feedback and saturates the output transformer, adding harmonic content while shifting the frequency spectrum to impart a sweet, musical texture to the input signal. The Texture knob controls the amount of the effect; when the level is pushed to the limits of its headroom, the effect is multiplied.

Rupert Neve Designs

Rupert Neve is an audio legend whose electronics designs defined the golden age of analog. Those of us at Sweetwater who have had the privilege of working on a vintage 8078 or its predecessors can attest to the fact that Neve’s 80 Series consoles were indeed the pinnacle of handwired analog mixing desks. Mr. Neve has remained at the forefront of audio-circuit innovation for over half a century, and his current company, 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.

Rupert Neve Designs 5211 2-channel Mic Preamp Features:

  • 72dB of gain — enough for passive ribbon mics on quiet sound sources
  • Fully transformerless input stage optimizes signal clarity
  • Custom output transformers with variable Silk saturation
  • Highpass filter, continuously variable from 20Hz to 250Hz
  • Provides 48-volt phantom power to microphones
  • Level meter displays -30dBu to +22dBu, with reference to the output
  • Reverses the polarity of the input signal
  • Rear-panel -6dB Line Out, a secondary split off the output transformer with lower headroom, lets you fully drive the output of the 5211 without clipping converters and other devices