As the manufacturer charged with carrying on the legacy of the late, great Rupert Neve, Rupert Neve Designs considers its Shelford Channel unit as the final say in reincarnating the definite Neve console modules – the 1073 mic preamp, 1064 mic pre & 3-band EQ, and the 2254 compressor/limiter – for modern studios. The people wanted it, so RND delivered: the Dual Shelford Mic Pre a limited edition two-channel version of the flagship preamplifier. So that’s two Rupert Neve Designs Shelford mic preamps in a single rack unit with an internal power supply. If you are salivating at the thought, don’t day dream for too long, because only 300 of these will be manufactured and sold…
Rupert Neve Designs Dual Shelford Mic Pre
Part of the magic within the Dual Shelford Pre is the use of a custom step-up transformer on the microphone input which provides the first 15 dB of gain. It’s a specially-designed transformer integrated into the surrounding class-A circuitry as to impart a bold, mid-focused tone. The technical reasoning for this, says RND, stems from the reactive impedance characteristic of the input transformer and how it interacts with the connected microphone. The result is subtle, non-linear harmonic enhancement of the low frequencies and that characteristic Neve ‘pixie dust’ in the highs.
Necromancing original schematics is one thing, but building them up is another. In this regard, team RND says it carefully optimized the transformer designs and added complete MuMetal shielding to the input transformer. As a result, the preamp is deemed ‘flat’ from below 10Hz to above 60kHz. If you’re after some colouration, the Silk & Texture circuit on the Dual Shelford Mic Pre lets you adjust the amount (and type) of harmonic saturation in the output stage. In other words, the signal can be rendered anywhere between ‘quite transparent’ to ‘nearly 10x the color of Rupert’s vintage modules’. That sounds like pure Neve enthusiast bliss!
Next, the custom-designed output transformers use dual output topology to offer both Main (+26 dBu) and -6dB (+20 dBu) outputs. Thus, the preamps can tap into classic transformer saturation without clipping converters and other devices in the chain. With the provided headroom, one can hit the transformer’s “sweet spot” of nonlinear saturation to really make things sound expensive!
Dual Shelford Mic Pre – Price and availability
The Dual Shelford Mic Pre is now shipping worldwide in limited quantities, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,999 USD. Production will be limited to just 300 units, available from the Rupert Neve Designs shop and the manufacturer’s dealers.