Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & Compressor

Rupert Neve

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Product Code: 9999-08819
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The Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & Compressor gives you all the functions and features of the 5017, in the compact 500 series format. Perfect for home studios, mobile engineers, and live performance.

The 517 Portico is jam packed! It's mic preamp is based on the TEC Award-winning Portico 5017 and provides up to 66dB of gain, polarity-reverse and phantom power switches. It also features a "Silk" circuit for a more vintage vibe! The separate DI input includes 30dB of gain, a ground lift, variable phase, and an instrument Thru connection! The Thru output will allow you to have a second instrument signal that can go to something like a guitar amplifier. More about this in the "Blended Use" section below!

Blended Use
Used as a single channel device for guitars and bass, the 517 can be used to phase align, combine and compress direct and amplified signals. To achieve this, use the DI for the instrument’s direct signal and the mic preamp for the speaker cabinet signal. The blend control is used for mixing direct and amplified signals to achieve the desired tonal blend between the two sources, and the variphase is used to minimize or extenuate phase cancellations between the two signals. To compress the blended signal, the internal compressor jumper must be set to the blend path (this is the default setting). This technique could also be used to create a single, mixed output of a guitar and vocals!

The Compressor
Based around a new LDR (light dependent resister) design, the 517’s opto-coupler compressor has been simplified to a single threshold control with auto make up gain. By default, the compressor is set to a fixed 2:1 ratio with fixed attack and release. To set the compressor, simply dial the threshold control down until the desired amount of compression is achieved. An LED light indicates when the compressor is active.

In addition to the standard polarity reverse, the 517’s vari-phase control may be used to adjust phase incrementally. This control is useful any time two signals derived from the same source are combined. For instance, even with careful placement, the combination of close miced drums and overheads, can often yield hollow-sounding results. By using the variable phase adjust, the direct signal can be phase rotated until the signals are naturally aligned.

This technique is also extremely useful when combined with the internal blend control on instruments. A bassist or guitarist using both direct and mic’d signals can blend the two into a single output, using the variable phase to reach an optimal alignment. By adjusting the phase in the 517, the musician or engineer can find the absolute best mic position without regard to the phase relation to the direct signal.

Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & Compressor Features

  • Silk: Much could be written about this feature, suffice to say, that it gives a subtle option to enhance sound quality in the direction of vintage modules. The silk button reduces negative feedback and adjusts the frequency spectrum to provide a very sweet and musical performance. We suggest you try it and make your own judgment.
  • Mic Gain: Mic gain is from 0dB to 66dB. Overall gain to restore the apparent program level
  • DI Gain: DI Gain is from 0dB to 30dB
  • DI input: Balanced or unbalanced Hi-Z input for instruments
  • Phantom Power: Provides 48v phantom power to microphones. Controlled by the 48V switch.
  • Polarity Reverse: Reverses the polarity of the mic input
  • Threshold: When signals exceed the "threshold" level, the gain is reduced at a controlled 2:1 ratio, with fixed attack and release time constants.
  • Indicators: Indicators on the 517 denote signal presence and clipping on both DI and mic signals, as well as compressor activation.

Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & Compressor Includes

  • Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & COmpressor Module
  • Manufacturer Warranty

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What We Think


The Rupert Neve 517 Portico 500-Series Preamp, DI & Compressor is the same powerhouse you get in the standalone counerpart (the Rupert Neve 5017), but in a compact 500-Series format. The pre is smooth yet clean. The DI is natural yet punchy. The compressor is smooth and does not pump or squash. And, who doesn't love the Rupert Neve Designs Silk Texture? Having the ability to DI an instrument, send the Thru put to an amp, mic that amp into the 517, compress the signal for balanced dynamics, then phase align everything to be perfect, and top it all off with that RND Silk, that is a very cool thing to do. Now fit that all in a 500 series module that is perfect for home studios, mobile engineers, and live performance, and the 517 get cooler. The 5017 on a five string bass while recording a sludgy doom metal band made me fall in love with the fidelity and analog vibe of the Rupert Neve Designs line. Getting all the same in a 500 series module is impressive.

Ryan Ferris, Pro Audio Sales

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