5088

High Voltage & Discrete Mixer

    Overview

    When 90 volts course through discrete op-amp cards, custom transformers & meticulously crafted, Class A circuitry designed by the most trusted name in audio, the difference is immediately apparent.

    Different from the Inside-Out

    The circuit topology of the 5088 is unprecedented. With custom transformers coupling every single input and output (including the inserts), the sweet musical performance and bulletproof isolation expected from a Rupert Neve design are assured: there is not a single compromised signal path in the entire console. For signal amplification and control, all new, high voltage, discrete op-amp cards have been developed specifically for the 5088 that eliminate crossover distortion while offering extended headroom, dynamic range, and frequency response.

    Unrivaled Pedigree

    The 5088 is a culmination of Mr. Rupert Neve’s vast analogue circuitry knowledge. As his first fully discrete mixing design in over 30 years, the 5088 incorporates and improves upon many of the same concepts, such as the single-sided, fully discrete amplification and complete transformer isolation that made his original designs so revered – except unlike many of those aging classics, maintenance is no longer a full time job.

    The best performing Neve ever…quite an extraordinary beast.
    George Shilling

    Sound Without Compromise

    To stay current in the recording business you must be able to continuously adapt your environment to the needs at hand. Because the 5088 is completely modular, channel strips and Portico processing modules like EQ, microphone preamplification and dynamics can be added or removed to meet constantly changing demands and eliminate the massive redundancies of consoles from yesteryear. If you don’t need it, your console doesn’t need it either.

    The Input Channel

    Beyond its exceptional sound quality, the 5088 channel strip is designed to effectively handle multiple normalled sources, creating master, group and aux mixes with great efficiency. With 8 auxes, 8 “Groups”, “Solo”, “Mute”, “Send Follows Pan”, “Aux to Group”, a transformer coupled direct out and optional motorized fader automation on each channel, even the most complex mixes are within reach.

    The Stereo Input Channel

    In lieu of mono input channels with selectable Line 1 / Line 2 Inputs, Stereo Input Channels can be fitted to increase the channel count without having to add an expansion chassis. The Stereo Module has all of the group sends, six auxes, stereo width control, and individual trims and pans for each channel.

    The Group Channel

    With 4 pairs of FX returns and aux master controls, alongside high-quality 100mm faders, direct outs and transformer-coupled inserts for each of the 8 mix groups, the group master section provides the medium to control 4 stereo stem mixes while tying together an entire array of channel strips. If necessary, the insert returns and stereo FX returns can be used as an additional 16 inputs for summing.

    The Monitor Master

    The monitor master section has 6 source selections, 3 transformer-coupled speaker outputs, talkback, oscillator controls, 2 VU meters, stereo inserts, stereo level and control room master level. As with the the channel and group modules, anodized aluminum knobs provide the solid feel and response needed for precise adjustments.

    SwiftMix™ Automation

    Built around state-of-the-art motorized faders and DAW control over ethernet, SwiftMix combines the accuracy and convenience of digital automation with the unrivaled analogue sound of the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console.

    Architecture

    Pure, flexible, elegant, and powerful, the 5088 represents a significant advance in the performance and philosophy of audio processing.

    Larry Crane (TapeOp)

    Nine years later I am still in awe of this console. It makes mixing easier, and beats mixing in the box by a mile. Having a “name brand” and high quality analog board has helped me get work, cemented my reputation as a mixer, and probably changed the course of my career. I still think it is the best analog console currently made.
    Larry Crane (TapeOp)

    The 5088 is an expandable 16-channel line mixer that provides 8 group busses, 8 auxiliary sends, 4 stereo effects returns and a stereo output buss. That basic functionality of input and output routing, meters and faders provides a solid foundation on which you can build an analogue console to satisfy your own particular requirements, adding, for example, microphone preamplifiers, equalization and dynamics processing from the Portico line of modules – or even more input channels – to suit your facility’s needs.

    High voltage, discrete op-amp cards

    The all-new, fully discrete analogue architecture in the 5088 represents a culmination of Rupert’s vast analogue circuitry knowledge. Custom, high voltage and discrete op-amp cards have been designed especially for the 5088 that eliminate crossover distortion entirely. The new op amp cards offer extended headroom, dynamic range, and frequency response while generating exceptionally low noise and distortion.

    “The real power of the 5088 lies hidden within the discrete, single-sided circuit topology and transformer-coupled inputs and outputs that produce 10dB greater dynamic range than any of my previous designs. The dynamic range is actually extended downwards to encompass the extremely small, often out-of-band signals – usually ignored – that go to complete our listening perspective, making sounds warmer, sweeter and fuller, apparently affecting the low and mid frequencies.

    The significance of this enormous dynamic range and the frequency response that extends comfortably towards 100kHz lies in the ability of the 5088 to source, retain and mix the microscopically tiny signals that are essential to retention and enhancement of the full soundscape.”

    Transform your sound

    As a staunch advocate of transformer-based designs, Rupert has included custom-designed transformers on every single input and output of the 5088, electrically isolating the console with a true floating ground while also imparting the sweet sound quality of his classic, sought-after designs.

    “Transformers are the reason why my original Consoles are still re-used, re-cycled and re-configured so successfully. From the earliest days all my designs, both inputs and outputs, were transformer-coupled. An audio transformer cannot be entirely successful without including the electronic circuit in the design because it works as an integrated package.

    The value of a transformer, correctly used, lies in the total galvanic isolation it provides, giving freedom from ground loops and RF interference. Even microscopic levels of interfering signals cause loss of musicality and introduce unpredictable harshness and loss of definition.

    Of course, transformers that are not correctly configured for a particular application can introduce astonishing results! Audio transformer design is almost as much an art as a science…which may be why many circuit designers avoid them.”


    “Transformers are the reason why my original Consoles are still re-used, re-cycled and re-configured so successfully. From the earliest days all my designs, both inputs and outputs, were transformer-coupled. An audio transformer cannot be entirely successful without including the electronic circuit in the design because it works as an integrated package.

    The value of a transformer, correctly used, lies in the total galvanic isolation it provides, giving freedom from ground loops and RF interference. Even microscopic levels of interfering signals cause loss of musicality and introduce unpredictable harshness and loss of definition.

    Of course, transformers that are not correctly configured for a particular application can introduce astonishing results! Audio transformer design is almost as much an art as a science…which may be why many circuit designers avoid them.”

    Completely Modular Design

    The modular channel architecture of the 5088 means dependability, expandability, and flexibility. The system’s modularity ensures easy maintenance and repair. It also allows custom configurations to be created with a larger input channel count, as well as the addition of Portico signal processing modules.

    As your studio grows, your 5088 can also grow with the addition of more input channels. If the focus of your work changes over time or your audio systems evolve, you can adapt to meet the new challenges by reconfiguring the console accordingly.

    The 5088 is a fundamentally different console philosophy, very carefully thought-out so that you don’t have to waste money paying for functionality that you will never use. Instead of adding bells and whistles, Rupert and his team have focused on designing the most efficient, direct, and sweetest-sounding audio paths through a console that integrates seamlessly with any outboard gear in the world.

    Configurations

    The 5088 is available with channel counts in multiples of 16 (i.e. 16, 32, 48, and beyond) as well as in a special 8 Channel Frame.

    As of 2014, the 5088 is available in standard (light blue) and Shelford (dark grey blue) finishes.

    Expansion Chassis

    To increase the number of input channels, it is possible to add 5088-16 channel expansion chassis to the standard configuration. These additional chassis share the same form factor and lock into the sides of the master 5088 frame. Multiple expansion chassis may be added depending on what is required. Internal, group, solo, aux and master busses are linked through ribbon cables.

    Penthouse Frame

    To increase the feature set in each channel strip a penthouse frame may be adjoined to a 5088 regardless of the number of input channels.

    The standard 16-channel master section penthouse has 25 slots for vertically configured Portico modules. Depending on a studio’s needs, any combination of Mic Pre/EQs, Mic Pre/Compressors, Five Band EQs, Stereo Compressors, True Tape FX, and other modules can be added to the penthouse. For example, a studio doing exclusively mix work could configure a penthouse with 5-Band EQs on each input channel and then have a mixture of stereo compressors, Tape FX and more in the remaining slots. This approach allows you to avoid the large costs and redundancies found in the consoles of yesteryear.

    A studio that needs mic pre/compression/EQ on every input channel could integrate apenthouse with mic pre/eqs and dual mono / stereo compressors above the monitor/ group section, whereas a studio that has an existing large collection of high quality outboard equipment and doesn’t need the additional functionality can forgo the additional modules and penthouses entirely in favor of a line-only desk.

    The Meterbridge

    As an option, any 5088 configuration may be outfitted with a VU meterbridge at an additional cost. The meterbridge features finely calibrated and extremely precise meters for all input and group channels. The meter bridge can be secured to either the top of a standard 5088 frame or the top of a penthouse rack.

    Automation

    Rupert Neve Designs’ own SwiftMix™ can be included in any 5088 configuration to add moving fader automation and DAW control functionality.

    Videos
    Reviews

    “Nine years later I am still in awe of this console. It makes mixing easier, and beats mixing in the box by a mile. Having a “name brand” and high quality analog board has helped me get work, cemented my reputation as a mixer, and probably changed the course of my career. I still think it is the best analog console currently made.”

    “The first thing I noticed was that I could throw the faders up and hear everything right away; I didn’t even have to spend time getting the mix together. The amount of murk that disappeared with the 5088 was remarkable. Everybody noticed it immediately.”

    “The best performing Neve ever…quite an extraordinary beast.”

    “The board is wonderful. It’s modern sounding and yet looks back to the vintage past without any of the flaws that the vintage consoles had…soncially, It was immediately an eye opener. We just moved two cables over to the center section of the 5088 and monitored Pro Tools and, with a number of people that I trust in the room, everybody’s jaws dropped.”

    “”We are so happy – the sound is gorgeous.” ”

    “The RND 5088 is distinguished by its neutrality and high headroom, both of which are critical in our jazz and classical applications..We selected the RND after carefully auditioning desks in Los Angeles; the great sound and solid feel of the console was critical in our decision.”

    “I used to have to work so hard to get a mix to sound half as good as it does with me just putting it through the 5088 without doing a thing to it… I can really hit the 5088’s mix bus – it takes it, and it likes it! What this all means for me in practical terms is that I can now focus more energy on being creative.””

    “”We debated going down the road of ‘old Neve’, but we needed something that we knew we could rely on. The concept of recording live…I need switches to work silently, I need pots to work without making noise.” Also? “It sounds great.””

    “It does the job nicely. As soon as I run my mixes through it, it’s quite a big hit. Most of the time they hear it as making everything sound more musical.”

    “The sound is unlike anything I’ve ever heard… ”

    “I was really considering two other consoles, but they sent me a couple [Shelford] modules to listen to, and the comparison wasn’t even fair – the Shelford modules had so much tone and depth, and the Silk feature is just amazing.I haven’t used a tube preamp since last February. I pretty much retired all my tube preamps, and I had quite a collection.”

    “I’m a fan of hitting gear hard, I like drive and saturation, rounding off peaks and finding sweet spots. I can’t believe how much this desk can take, level-wise. I can have all the VUs pinned and it sounds effortless, it holds together and still sounds open and clear. It’s solid as a rock. My mixes are now bigger and louder than before but also more open sounding, more ‘alive’, the summing is just better.”

    “ With the 5088 being literally maintenance-free, we can spend our extra time improving other aspects of our operation. Our 5088 with the Shelford modules makes it extremely fast to get good sounds on tracking sessions and fits our control room and general vibe better….the texture-function is fantastic, but really the main thing is that you can forget technical details and focus on the music. And it both sounds and looks stunning! ”

    “ The studio contains all top-quality equipment in a professionally appointed, acoustically balanced space, and reflects the current trends in pragmatic and economically feasible studio design. The 5088 fits in perfectly with that aesthetic.”

    “the sound is perfect! This is what I was looking for.”

    “We have an amazing collection of microphones, and when I run the microphones into the Neve it completely opens them up – it makes the microphones sound the way they should.”

    “The 5088 has an insane amount of headroom for summing. Even with complex, layered and heavily compressed music maxing out the stereo bus, it retains its openness. Also, the EQ’s of the 5052’s are amazing”

    “The Class A circuit design allows for excellent sound quality even in the quietest movements. Even though the board is extremely transparent, the ability to add harmonic distortion via the ‘Silk’ button provides us with an opportunity to add color and character to our recordings.”

    “The headroom on this console is unmatched…the 90V power rails make it near impossible to overdrive. The best part is that if you do manage to push it hard enough, the overdrive is very nice and musical.”

    User List

    Partial User List

    513 Analog Recording | Tempe, AZ, USA
    Adam Audio | Toronto, Canada
    Alice’ Restaurant | New York, NY, USA
    Angus Maclean | Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Anton Johnson
    Apex Audio | Belgium
    Brett Orrison, The Austin Recording Service | Austin, TX, USA
    Anton Johnson
    AV Plus | Dubai
    Babajim Istanbul Studios | Turkey
    Big One Music
    Blue Man Group, LoHo Studio | New York, NY, USA
    Big Blue Meenie | Hoboken, NJ, USA
    Big Blue North | Utica, NY, USA
    Bob Mithoff | LA, CA
    Bolo Digital | Denton, TX, USA
    Blue Rock Studios | Wimberley, TX, USA
    Chris Lopez
    Circle House Studios | Miami, FL, USA
    Coast Recorders | San Francisco, CA, USA
    Coldwater Studios | Los Angeles, CA, USA
    University of Colorado | Denver, CO, USA
    Colour Haze Studio | Germany
    Counterpoint Studios | Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    DarkSky Media | Melbourne, Australia
    Dick & Rogers | Vancouver, Canada
    Doctor Wu’s | Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Drexel University | Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Dweezil Zappa / Utility Muffin Research Kitchen | Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Full Sail University | Winter Park, FL, USA
    Geejam Studios | Port Antonio, Jamaica
    Gorbals Sound | Glasgow, Scotland
    Gravity Studios
    University of Hawaii | Honolulu, HI, USA
    Hear Studios | Camden, ME, USA
    Heavenly Sound | China 
    University of Iowa | Iowa City, Iowa, USA
    ISPA
    Jackpot Studios | Portland, OR, USA
    Jaap Hamburger | Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Jeremy Jones | Seattle, WA, USA
    Jimmy Buffett | USA
    Kuhl Musik | Toronto, Canada
    Lola Music Studios | Los Angeles, California
    Malabar Music | Oslo, Norway
    Monenschpfeffer | Bochum, Germany
    MOXE | Nashville, TN, USA
    Munchin Music | Germany
    Musicians Institute | Los Angeles, CA, USA
    NYU Clive Davis Institute | New York, NY, USA
    NNK Studio | Moscow, Russia
    No Shame Labs | New York, NY, USA
    Oberlin College & Conservatory | Oberlin, OH, USA
    Ocean Sound Recordings | Giske, Norway
    Ohio University | Athens, OH, USA
    Paul Dinletir 
    Pedernales | Austin, TX, USA
    Peter Buffett
    Peter Kruder | Austria
    Primo Music, Mario Quintero | San Diego, CA, USA
    Pro Audio LA | Los Angeles, CA, USA – LOS ANGELES SHOWROOM
    Retrophonics Recording Studios | St. Augustine, FL, USA
    Rob Fusari | New York, NY, USA
    Roulette | Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Sandlane Recording Facilities | Rijen, NL
    Santa Barbara Sound Design | Santa Barbara, CA, USA
    Scott Dargan | Washington DC, USA
    Sean Foote
    Shanghai Conservatory of Music | Shanghai, China
    Sherpa Studios | St. Louis, MO, USA
    Sono Records | Czech Republic
    Sound Spa Productions | New Jersey, USA
    Studio 2010 | Tokyo, Japan
    Stuart Martin Audio | Leesburg, VA USA
    Studio White Noise | Orlando, FL, USA
    Sydney Tan | Singapore
    Tenda da Reposa | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Third Man Records | Nashville, TN, USA
    VDS | Kyiv, Ukraine
    Usher (home studio) | Atlanta, GA, USA
    Yellow Box Studios | Singapore

    Let us know if you would like to be added.

    Tech Specs

    Audio Connections

    The 5088 is available with channel counts in multiples of 16 (i.e. 16, 32, 48, and beyond) as well as in a special 8 Channel Frame

    Channel Strip Modules (16+ total):
    2 x XLR-F, 1 x XLR-M, 1 x TRS

    Group Channel Modules (4 total):
    3 x TRS, 2 x XLR-M

    Master Monitor (1 Total):
    6 x XLR-F, 9 x XLR M, 5 x TRS

    Dimensions

    8 Channel Master
    Width: 76 cm
    Depth: 74.4 cm 
    Height: 27.2 cm

    8 Channel Master with Penthouse and Meterbridge
    Width: 76 cm, 29.9 inches
    Depth: 105 cm, 41.33 inches
    Height: 58.2 cm, 22.9 inches

    16 Channel Master
    Width: 116.8 cm, 45.9 inches
    Depth: 74.4 cm, 29.3 inches 
    Height: 27.2 cm, 10.7 inches 
    weight: 235 lbs, 106.5 KG

    16 Channel Master with Penthouse and Meterbridge
    Width: 116.8 cm, 45.9 inches
    Depth: 105 cm, 41.33 inches
    Height: 58.2 cm, 22.9 inches
    weight (loaded): 485 lbs, 219 KG (approx.)

    16 Channel Expansion Sections (multiple may be added)
    Width: 73 cm, 28.7 inches
    Depth: 74.4 cm, 29.3 inches 
    Height: 27.2 cm, 10.7 inches

    16 Channel Expansion Sections with Penthouse and Meterbridge (multiple may be added)
    Width: 73 cm, 28.7 inches
    Depth: 105 cm, 41.33 inches
    Height: 58.2 cm, 22.9 inches

    32 Channel with Penthouse and Meterbridge
    Width: 189.8 cm, 74.7 inches 
    Depth: 105 cm, 41.33 inches
    Height: 58.2 cm, 22.9 inches
    weight (loaded): 785 lbs, 356 KG (approx.)

    48 Channel with Penthouse and Meterbridge
    Width: 262.8 cm, 103.5 inches 
    Depth: 105 cm, 41.33 inches
    Height: 58.2 cm, 22.9 inches
    weight (loaded): 1085 lbs, 492 KG (approx.)Power Consumption16 channel master: 825 watts
    16 Channel Expander: 575 watts
    Portico Modules: about 10 watts each