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Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5042

Rupert Neve Designs is now shipping the Portico 5042 2-channel “true tape” emulation and line driver, the second in an expanding series of all-analog products.

The Portico 5042 is a 2-channel, 1RU half-rack unit that provides a remarkable simulation of true tape sound through the inclusion of genuine tape drive circuitry. When the Tape circuit is not engaged, the 5042 may be used as a full, transformer-coupled, high-performance line amplifier that includes a gain range of + and -12 dB.

The Portico 5042 Duo Tape Channel/Line Amp unit’s emulation circuit provides the nostalgic rounding and compression usually only achieved by the use of tape. This typically offsets the harshness often found in digital recordings. The Portico 5042 incorporates an actual tape drive circuit that feeds a tiny magnetic “head” which, in turn, is coupled to a correctly equalized replay amplifier. The only thing missing is the tape itself and the cost.

Record and Replay controls are counter-ganged to keep overall input-to-output level approximately constant; it only changes as it would in a real tape recorder, with changing drive levels to the circuit, eventually resulting in saturation.

The frequency response and distortion performance of the Portico 5042’s tape circuitry is tailored to that of a typical analogue tape recorder. And users should take note: The dynamic range of a classic tape recorder is a lot less than that of the high-performance Portico circuit in which it nests.

Transformer-coupled input and output stages, very short signal paths, minimal negative feedback and effectively single-sided amplifiers form the essential building blocks of the new Rupert Neve Designs Portico product range. The Portico 5042, in company with other Portico modules, uses a new Input Transformer that accepts high signal levels at very low distortion and an Output Transformer fed from a single-sided amplifier, completely precluding the possibility of crossover distortion.

Each of the unit’s two channels is equipped with Input Level control, Tape Saturation level control, a 7.5ips/15ips switch, and an independent Bypass switch that toggles between the Tape and Line Amplifier function, the Input Level Control remaining in circuit. An 8-LED meter displays Input or Drive Level to the Tape Circuit.

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