Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5033 (Horizontal) by stardustmedia
Before I ordered them, I wasn't sure what kind of EQ-sound I will get. Yes, yes, demo before buy...
So my two 5033 arrived and when I ran the first time some synth sounds thru it, I was amazed how silky and soft it sounds. Even if you boost with 12dB it still sounds good. The EQ doesn't collapse. Because it sounds so softly I also tried it on hihats, amazing. Interestingly enough I wasn't satisfied with the results on lead vocals. I found out, that I like more dirt and grit on them heh That's clearly a matter of taste and music style you produce. The same for basses. I also don't use it on the drum buss because no knob is detented, so I find it hard to match both 5033 for a stereo signal.
You get 3 full parametric bands each with a bypass, plus 2 shelving bands where one bypass turns off both. Plus there is a master bypass. With the input trim you can push the trafos and get some more sound. All the frequencies are continuously variable, which makes the EQ very flexible, but for stereo operation pretty hard to use. It's a pitty the boost-cut-know is not detented at zero.
The minus and the reason for a 7 at bang for buck is the missing separate bypass for the LF and HF, the external PSU, no detent at 0 and the missing power switch on the front (I just like it better this way). There is just one for both. It's not a killer, but for this kind of money, it'd have been the optimum.
The built quality is excellent, the knobs feel very good and the buttons are easily reachable. I love the look and its colors. Because it's fully packed, I can't read all labels when looking from the side. But you get 2 channels in 1 RU, that's the price for it I guess heh The manual is simple and easy to read, but it just explains what the feature do. No fun, no background information, etc. just a manual.
Summary: 3400$ for a stereo EQ is good money, but you get an amazing sound, although it's hard to use it on stereo sources. If you're looking for a smooth soft sounding EQ, go get it. If you're looking for more dirt, get something else.