Rupert Neve Designs517 500 Series Microphone Preamp + DI + Compressor


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Rupert Neve Designs 517 500 Series Microphone Preamp + DI + Compressor

The 517 is the first 500 series compressor from Rupert Neve Designs. Like the Portico 5017, on which it is based, the 517 features a transformer-coupled preamplifier, DI circuitry, and compressor. Additionally, the unit incorporates Vari-phase, Silk, and DI/mic blending functionality into its repertoire, all of which render it capable of exemplary sonic quality suitable for any performance or recording application. 

The 517’s compressor is an opto-coupler compressor based around a new LDR design and simplified to an individual threshold control. The compressor’s default ratio is 2:1, with a fixed attack and release. However, this can be customized by turning the threshold counter-clockwise until the desired level of compression is achieved. 

In addition to Rupert Neve’s signature Silk circuitry, which adds harmonics to the in-out signal for a more vintage warmth, the 517 also features a Vari-phase control, which incrementally adjusts the phase. This is especially useful when combining two signals emitted from an identical source. This control is also especially useful when used in tandem with the 517’s internal blend controls, affording users the ability to blend and align their signal in precise increments for subtly enhanced and undeniably vintage sound quality. 

Portico 517 Features

  • World-class, transformer-coupled preamp, compressor, and DI
  • Gain: 0 - 66dB in 6dB increments
  • Compressor: Single-knob opto-coupler compressor with 2:1 ratio
  • Blend: Determines balance of mic and DI inputs
  • Instrument gain: 0 - 30dB on instrument input
  • 48V phantom power
  • Silk: Adds nostalgic warmth and presence when engaged
  • Instrument input: Front-panel TRS input and passive-through for Hi-Z sources
  • Polarity reverse
  • Threshold: When signals exceed threshold level, gain is reduced at a controlled 2:1 ratio with fixed attack and release time constants


  • Frequency Response: Main Output, no load, –0.2dB @ 10Hz –3dB @ 160kHz
  • Noise measured at main output, unweighted, 22Hz - 22kHz, terminated 150 ohm: Gain at unity: better than –100dBu; gain at 66dB: better than –62dBu Equivalent
  • Input Noise: better than –128dBu, noise factor 1.5dB
  • Maximum output level from 20Hz to 40kHz: +23dBu
  • Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise: @ 1kHz, +20 dBu output: Main Output: Better than 0.001% @ 20Hz, +20 dBu output: Main Output: Better than 0.002% Silk
  • Engaged: Better than 0.2% Second harmonic
  • Crosstalk: Measured channel to channel: Better than –90dB @ 15kHz.
  • Phantom Power: +48 Volts DC +/- 1%
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Rupert Neve Designs 517 500 Series Microphone Preamp + DI + Compressor Reviews