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Blast9 19th March 2007 09:51 PM

Mini-report on Rupert Neve's mini-presentation re new desk(Wiki!)
Hi folks.... Just to add to Jules' up-coming podcast with the man himself!

The desk

After Jules left, Rupert did a quick presentation outlining his design philosophy surrounding the new desk ("not a console"!):

Synopsis (Wiki!) ---

No Eq,

Extremely high-quality, wide-bandwidth signal path.

All "single-sided" topology (single-ended?)

Therefore no push-pull crossover distortion, or more accurately "switching artifacts"

Just pure "valve amp-like" tonality.

Wide drynamic range due to 10db more output than a convential output, stepped down by a special transformer to "normal" level for recorders.

Summing section --- Extremely wide dynamic range ---- noise floor around -118 db

Input and output transformers --- Extremely linear due to the circuit topology.

Nyquist and harmonics:

The extremely high harmonics between 20khz-100khz have to be present to give the full euphonic experience. These are present at very low levels, but are absolutely crucial.

His fave design apart from Portico:

The desks designed for George Martin in the late 70s --- one went to Air Montserrat.


Thanks Studio Sonic for the beer and pretzels! ---- Sonic distribute/manufacture SE mics, and distribute Apogee and RND stuff.

lpkyer 19th March 2007 09:56 PM

If no EQ...then price will be more likely affordable?

Blast9 19th March 2007 10:00 PM

Are you sure? abduction


Blast9 19th March 2007 10:58 PM

PS ---

I got to play with the 2-bus L/R processor module (----?)

Very interesting!

Tranny input >>> tranny output.

Very transparent with great features;

front or back processor --- In-yer-face vocals/middle information with the ambience apparently completely removed, or the reverb in the track more-or-less isolated, as if you're hearing a track played back from a distant room.

Stereo width processor: You can greatly enhance the side info, and as there is a phase invert button on each cannel, you can cancel the middle completely, leaving just the side info.

2 x +/-15 db shelf Eqs for hi and lo fequencies

Variable mono/stereo pot.

SnakeCained 20th March 2007 10:17 AM

How much will such a beast cost? Highly curious!

Jam 20th March 2007 11:44 AM

1 Attachment(s)


Mount Cyanide 20th March 2007 11:52 AM

Certainly a 'desk.'
Or a table.
As much as I might respect being futureproof (with the 5088's respect to reliance on DAW plug-in eq and outboard eq), I can't get excited about a board that has no EQ. That is the whole point of a board to me!!! Not this whole summing fad. Put the channels up and start twisting the hell out of freqs. That's exciting.

Blast9 20th March 2007 02:11 PM

Sorry --- just correcting a detail or 2


I got to play with the 2-bus L/R processor module (----?)
Its called the 5014 stereo field editor


Difference Channel EQ

The difference channel includes a semi-parametric EQ with frequencies ranging from 120Hz to 2.4KHz and two selectable Qs that only affect material panned out of center. This can be very useful for eliminating room resonance or adding sparkle to ambient material.
--- Very cool!

Check out all the features here

JoshRND 20th March 2007 03:48 PM

Just to clarify, the 5088 can be configured with EQ, Dynamics and Pre on every channel if desired or required. You are not however locked into 16 channels plus of circuitry that you would not require or use however.

We should have more info up on our website by the end of the week which should clarify configuration options and features.

We are all very excited and proud of this new product!



Blast9 20th March 2007 05:17 PM

Thanks for chiming in Josh --- Yes, this is essentially why Rupert made the distinction between a console (loads of extraneous features and extra ---- sometimes unwanted --- circuitry , and this desk) (or was it "mixer"?).

Also --- no integrated circuits

drBill 20th March 2007 08:40 PM

No EQ??? As much as I respect Rupert, what genius talked him into that?? That's the ONE reason I'd go to a console or desk or whatever you want to call it rather than outboard pre's and ITB mixing. Oh well......I'm sure the name will sell a bunch of them.

JoshRND 20th March 2007 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by drBill (Post 1189477)
No EQ??? As much as I respect Rupert, what genius talked him into that?? That's the ONE reason I'd go to a console or desk or whatever you want to call it rather than outboard pre's and ITB mixing. Oh well......I'm sure the name will sell a bunch of them.

Please read my post above.

One more time with feeling......everybody repeat with me.......

"You can have EQ on every channel!"

You can fit the 5088 with either 3 or 5 band Eqs on every channel as well as dynamics and preamps.

And it's our belief that the quality (discrete op amps, custom transformers on every input and output, and 10dB more dynamic range than any of his previous designs etc..) will sell this product, not just the name.

We're proofing the web pages on the 5088 now, and it should be live in the next day or so. This should hopefully clarify things.



Agli 20th March 2007 10:31 PM

I think it's brilliant, congratulations. boing

ssaudio 20th March 2007 10:58 PM

From Sound on Sound:

Rupert Neve is, of course, best known for his analogue consoles and it is fantastic that even at 81 years of age he is still contributing to the art of the analogue console. The new 5088, currently in pre-production, essentially sums up his life's work of maximising the technical and aesthetic capability of analogue audio circuitry. The first production console is expected to be delivered in May this year, and will go to Sonic Distribution's new demo studio in the UK.
The smallest desk configuration has 16 input channels, feeding eight groups and a stereo master, and the basic console is designed as a line-level-only device, with 'buss' and 'tape' inputs on each channel. There is no EQ or dynamics processing at all, but there are eight aux sends per channel, and every channel also has a direct output.
Additional 16-channel input sections can be added to increase the console capacity, and it is claimed that there is no upper limit to the potential channel count! The basic 16:8:2 console is expected to cost around $30,000, with a 32-channel desk costing about $43,000. In addition to the optional input expanders, there are also optional meter bridges, with moving coil VU or LED bar-graph meters. For those who require mic inputs or signal processing, a penthouse can be attached to accommodate any of the Portico modules (in vertical format). The console channel spacing is designed specifically to make this arrangement practical. Optional 'Flying Fader II' fader automation can also be included if required.
The desk — the first Rupert Neve has designed from scratch since the Focusrite consoles — has several interesting features. Perhaps the most significant on a technical level is that the 5088 has 10dB more headroom than any previous design, while maintaining the very wide bandwidth with which Rupert Neve's consoles have become associated. Every input and output on the desk is transformer coupled, and the entire circuitry is all discrete single-sided class-A.
From an operational perspective, the 5088 is very straightforward. Large illuminated solo and cut buttons sit above the fader scribble strip, along with
a bypassable stereo pan control. Above this the eight aux sends are grouped for control in pairs, with slightly differing facilities. Aux pairs 1/2 and 3/4 can each be used as independent mono sends or as a stereo pair, and if used as stereo can have an independent pan control or follow the channel pan. Pre-fade and mute buttons are included.
Aux pair 5/6 is fixed post fade and can also be used as two mono or one stereo feed, but with an independent stereo pan — it can't follow the channel pan at all. However, the outputs can be sent to the channel group routing, if required, which effectively doubles the number of potential aux sends available from the desk. The final pair, 7/8, can be switched
pre-fade, but are always separate mono sends — there is no stereo option at all.
Above the channel aux controls are nine push buttons used to select routing to the main stereo and/or eight groups. Finally, three more buttons select the buss or tape inputs and polarity inversion, and a large rotary control adjusts the gain trim over a ±10dB range.
On the master section of the desk, the eight groups are arranged across four channel-module widths, with pairs of faders in each section. Buttons are provided for solo and cut, as well as stereo pan and group insert bypasses. Above these controls are the eight aux master send level controls with cut buttons, and then four stereo effects returns, each with full routing to groups and main output, with solo and cut buttons. The main stereo output also has a switchable insert point.
The monitoring section features a pair of VU meters which can be switched between the master stereo buss, the monitor selection and the solo buss. The solo monitoring can be switched between AFL/PFL and solo-in-place modes, and there is an alignment oscillator facility and switching for up to three pairs of monitoring speakers. Talkback can be routed to the first three six auxes in pairs, as well as the main output, and there is a stereo insert. Finally, the monitoring selector includes the stereo buss, aux 1/2 and three external sources. Provision is also made for sending the selected external source to aux 1/2 and to sum the monitoring to mono. A huge volume control is provided, along with a large, illuminated Dim button.
The basic 5088 console is clearly primarily intended for analogue summing, remixing and mastering applications in the stereo market, allowing studios and producers to integrate their own outboard effects and signal processors, rather than forcing them to use whatever is built into the console. However, the ability to include the Portico modules, as mentioned earlier, does allow a fully specified 'traditional' console to be constructed, and gives the ability for users to create a custom-designed and -equipped remixing console, with more elaborate EQ, tape simulators, MS processing and more.

De chromium cob 20th March 2007 11:09 PM


Originally Posted by Blast9 (Post 1187378)
His fave design apart from Portico:

The desks designed for George Martin in the late 70s --- one went to Air Montserrat.

Which is as we speak being refurbished by Ken McKim and will be installed in place of the SSL9000J at Allaire Studios. I hope I get the opportunity to mix on that sucker at some point!

jindrich 20th March 2007 11:37 PM

Portico 5088 is the new 80xx series Neve!
Is the width of the Portico modules the same as of the good old Neves?:

The 5088 seems as the perfect platform to build kind of a BRAND NEW 8068 series Neve console. Let's see, a 16 channel 5088 fitted with 16 brent averill 1073s would go for $70,000, if it's fitted with new 1073 from AMS-Neve, $86,000.

a 32ch version with 24 brent Averill 1073s would go for $90,000. That's close to what an SSL AWS900 costs, only that the SSL has TotalRecall and moving faders.

What's the price of the new Flying Fader II system?

Can anybody grant me 100k?

There you have it, the Old and the New Neve finally meet together. What a smart move Mr Rupert!

Blast9 20th March 2007 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by jindrich (Post 1189868)

I think he's being serious wworried heh

drBill 21st March 2007 05:25 AM

Sorry, missed the EQ part, but......

$70k for a 16 channel "desk"? Wow! Over $90k for 32 channels still without EQ on every channel? And no automation and no recall? And this with the newer Neve modules coming to mixed reviews. I'm a console slut, there's no doubt. Owned over 9 of them in the last 15 years, but I wouldn't even consider it in this economic climate.

It's going to be a tough sell I believe. I wish you luck, but with excellent well maintained "pre-owned" consoles of 32-48 channels barely fetching $10k, and API / NEVE superconsoles for well under $100k and still not selling....... It's a tough market for large format consoles these days. Nice to see someone giving it a go though.

JoshRND 21st March 2007 01:58 PM

That pricing is far from correct, Dr. Bill I sent you a PM.



jindrich 21st March 2007 03:09 PM

I was just thinking out loud.

Yes, current times are tough for recording studios. This days you can mix an album in any living room with a PT HD rig. The only thing DAWs, computers and outboard can't offer you is good tracking facilites.
This niche market could be covered offering a great sounding room with an awesome sounding board for tracking purposes mostly. Hence the idea of combining the vibe of the good old 1073/84 modules with the pristine sound of the Portico 5088.

Presto: sort of the second coming of the Monserrat console!

Options for around $100k (the 'DoubleNeve' console :-) :

-A 32 ch Portico 5088 plus 24x 1073 modules
-A 32 ch Portico 5088 plus 16x 1073 modules and 16x Portico 5032 (pre+eq) modules

A further Tracking+Mixing console, provided 32 input ch were enough, would be:

-32 ch Portico 5088 mixer
-16x 1073 modules
-8x Portico 5032 (pre+eq) modules
-8x Portico 5033 (full parametric EQ) modules
-8x Portico 5042 (dual comp) modules

This would give you a 32ch (+4 st) input console with 24 pres, 32 eqs and 16 compressors. Just add a Flying Fader II automation for the 32 faders and you could have one of the best sounding consoles ever made, brand new, for considerably less than what this kind of boards used to go for, say, around $150k ( $40k for the 5088, $40k for the 16x1073s, $40k for the 24xPorticos, $25k for the FlyingFaderII, $5k for VUs and what not..)

Still a lot of money, you could score a nice used J or K for that amount, although the electrical and maintenance bill would be different with each one.
Again, just thinking out loud.

Josh, can you confirm whether the 10xx modules would also fit?

JoshRND 22nd March 2007 01:42 PM

The 5088 Pages went live last night:

Hope this helps to frame things up. There is also a brochure that we are about to have printed that I can email a pdf of, but is too large to post here.

10XX modules would not fit directly in our frame, as they are different heights, however they could easily be incorporated. PM me for details.


Josh Thomas