Three bands of EQ inspired by Rupert Neve’s most prized vintage designs. Class A gain blocks. Custom-wound inductors and transformers. The Rupert Neve Designs 551 brings the thick lows, powerful midrange and sweet highs of Rupert’s classic inductor EQs to the compact 500 Series format for the very first time.
So, what are inductors? They’re wires wound around a coil that provide a form of frequency-dependant resistance. When they saturate, they bring out beautifully musical harmonics that give your tracks the smooth, polished sound that has made Rupert’s consoles and equipment so desirable for over fifty years. This is an EQ with a truly vintage soul.
Functions & Specs:
EQ IN: Engages all bands of EQ except HPF
HF [LEVEL]: Adjusts +/-15dB at selected high frequency
8K / 16K: switch out = 8 kHz HF center/corner frequency switch in = 16 kHz HF center/corner frequency
HF PEAK: switch out = shelf mode, 6dB/octave switch in = peak/bell mode
MID FREQ: 200Hz, 350Hz, 700Hz, 1.5kHz, 3kHz, 6kHz
MID [LEVEL]: +/-15dB at selected mid frequency
MF HI Q: switch out = wide Q (~2) switch in = narrow Q (~3.5)
LOW FREQ: 35Hz, 60Hz, 100Hz, 220Hz
LO PEAK: switch out = shelf mode, 6dB/octave switch in = peak/bell mode
LF [LEVEL]: +/-15dB at selected low frequency
HPF: switch out = high-pass filter bypassed switch in = 12dB/octave @ 80Hz
Beefy & smooth mojo - great for tracking anything or for some flavor after the fact.
By Richard D on August 29, 2022
Fantastic EQ. Responsive, musical, with frequency points at the perfect spots. I use it both when tracking (with a light hand) or during mixing where it can paint with broad strokes or fine points, with a variable Q, notching, etc. it might be one of the best outboard EQs you can get in the market today.
By Nic S on July 7, 2022
Really amazing EQ!
By Marc M on October 4, 2021
Really musical and effective eq. Everything sounds better through these, I purchased a pair. Now I need to get the diode compressors and preamp to complete a pair of channelstrips.
By AWH on October 26, 2020
So far I am very impressed by this EQ. It has a lot of vintage vibe, and immediately adds a pleasing color to the audio that is passed through it. My first Neve EQ, after some Pultec style units, and I have to say it is a completely different animal. Bass tracks sound more focused and punchy, vocals sit in the mix with little effort, I’m gonna need more of these, it is making me strive for better sounds from the start of a project.
By Graham S on April 30, 2020
Powerful, beautiful eq. Even running a signal through at unity does something special to the sound.
By Philip R on March 23, 2020
Sounds like a 1073 with more butter in the low mids.
By John B on January 22, 2020
Beautiful sounding piece of kit. Dead quiet. Musical. Powerful. A fantastic bargain. I’m buying more of these as soon as I can sell some others I have been using. Destined to be a studio classic.
By Glenn M on December 9, 2019
Great sounding eq 👍
By John Z on December 18, 2018
I've never been a huge fan of the EQ section on classic Neve modules like the 1073, 1066, 1084 but this more modernized design from Rupert is amazing. They smoothed out some of the nasty phase shift that could make the vintage Neve EQ's sound a little harsh. Super flexible and a great compliment to my API 550A's. Love them on drums especially.
By Mickey on May 5, 2017
This is a sweet sounding eq. It doesn't have the aggressive characteristics that some inductor eq's have. At first, it seems that the frequency choices are limited, but, with switchable shelving, narrow bandwidth switching in the midrange and the 80hz rolloff, you can do a lot. I own API, Avedis, Kush and Chandler hardware eq. While I like them all, I find myself wanting to go the 551 more as time goes on. I plan to buy another one when I can.
The letters EQ have become such a mainstay in the studio that we often don't think about where the abbreviation came from. It's essentially shorthand for "equalization" and "equalizer." It’s also helpful to think of them as symbols for "Enhancing Quality," as equalizers have certainly had a hand in improving audio over the years.
Throughout this Buyer's Guide, we will be approaching the subject of equalizers and learning more about their history and impact on the modern-day studio. Additionally, we will be covering the different types of equalizers, what makes them unique and the controls featured on most EQs. Continue reading →
The 500 Series format consists of a whole slew of different signal processing modules in a compact rack unit. Mic preamps, equalizers, compressors, DI boxes, filters, effects... You name it, you can find it in a 500 Series version from a wide variety of manufacturers.Most of those manufacturers participate in the VPR Alliance, established to set standards for the format to ensure that the end user can rely on consistent specifications with regard to voltage, current draw, size, etc. along with proper compatibility with existing modules. The essence of this idea is to make it simple for the user to mix and match modules from different makers, thus allowing for the broadest range of implementation for their products. Continue reading →
Gordon Bahary is a multi-platinum producer, engineer, composer and artist, best known for his work with Herbie Hancock, Raven Symone, Ramsey Lewis, Twilight 22 and the incomparable Stevie Wonder. Earlier this year, Gordon opened Electric Kingdom, a studio he built from the ground up with the help of Vintage King Audio Consultant Navon Weisberg.
Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Gordon about his new studio, including his Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, what outboard gear he’s been using, and what it’s like working in the studio of his dreams. Continue on below for our full conversation. Continue reading →
Whether you’re looking to build your first 500 Series rack or add some new modules to your collection, Rupert Neve Designs is making it easier than ever. Now through March, you can upgrade your studio with four new 500 Series bundles, combining the popular R6 and R10 chassis with some of the brand’s best-selling 500 Series modules. Continue reading →
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