Rupert Neve Designs 542 500 Series Tape Emulator

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Rupert Neve Designs 542 500 Series Tape Emulator

Brand New
  • $849.00
In store now
$74.96/mo with 12-month Financing

Description & Specs

In addition to the 100% analog tape emulation circuitry – great for bringing out 3rd-order harmonics – the 542 incorporates a soft-clip circuit that tames the harshest sources and enhances 2nd-order harmonics, variable Silk Red & Blue for an infinite variety of transformer tones, and a blend control to dial in in the perfect amount of saturation.

Transformers Imitating Tape
Unlike digital emulations, the “True Tape” drive circuit works by feeding a custom-designed interstage transformer acting as a “record head”, which in turn is coupled to a correctly-equalized replay amplifier. As the voltage rises on the “record head”, saturation increases, and a soft clip circuit engages at higher levels to round off peak transients. The sound of the tape circuit can be further modified with selectable 15 / 30 IPS modes and a pre/post-tape blend control.

What is Silk?
In addition to the tape circuit, the continuously variable Texture control with Silk Red and Silk Blue modes provides a whole other level of control over the harmonic density and tonality of your tracks & mixes. The Silk Red mode accentuates transformer saturation in the high and high-mid frequencies to amplify the vibrant midrange harmonics associated with Rupert’s vintage equipment, while Silk Blue accentuates saturation of the lows and low-mids to add thickness and weight to any source – especially useful for “thin-sounding” tracks or mixes. Unlike EQ, these Silk & Texture controls saturate the output transformers, and add highly musical harmonics to the source material according to the amount of Texture applied.

Drive the 542 hard, choose your Silk flavor, and crank the Texture knob for a rich, saturated, vintage vibe – or disengage Silk entirely for a more purist, hi-fi tape effect. The choice is yours.

  • Measurements with tape circuit disengaged. Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 20 Hz - 22 kHz, Input Terminated 40 Ohm.
  • Unity Gain: Better than -100 dBV

  • Measured at +10 dBu, trim at unity.
  • Main Output: +/- 0.25 dB from 5 Hz to 60 kHz, -2 dB @ 120 kHz

23.25 dBu

  • @ 1 kHz, +20 dBu output level: Better than 0.002%
  • @ 20 Hz, +20 dBu output level: 0.07% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic)


  • Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 20 Hz - 22 kHz, Input Terminated 40 Ohm.
  • Saturation @ minimum: Better than -100 dBu 
  • Saturation @ maximum: Better than -100 dBu


  • 15 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu: -3 dBu @ 28 kHz 
  • Saturation @ minimum: 0 dBu @ 10 Hz 
  • +5 dBu Peak @ 60 Hz Saturation @ maximum: -3 dBu @ 20 kHz 
  • -3 dBu @ 12.5 Hz 
  • +2.4 dBu Peak @ 60 Hz

  • 30 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu: -3 dBu @ 120 kHz 
  • Saturation @ minimum: -3 dBu @ 10 Hz, +3.15 dBu Peak @ 125 Hz 
  • Saturation @ maximum: -3 dBu @ 100 kHz 
  • -3 dBu @ 12.5 Hz 
  • +1.3 dBu Peak @ 110 Hz


15 IPS
  • Input @ -0 dBu: 0.4% @ 3 kHz to 1% @ 175 Hz typical Saturation @ minimum: Greater than 1% below 175 Hz typical 
  • Saturation @ maximum: 1% at 6 kHz typical, 0.3% @ 1 kHz to 3% @ 50 Hz typical

30 IPS
  • Input @ -0 dBu: 1% at 1 kHz typical 
  • Saturation @ minimum: 0.6% @ 400 Hz to 5% @ 20 Hz typical 
  • Saturation @ maximum: 1.5% @ 20 kHz to 0.4% @ 1 kHz typical, 0.4% @ 1 kHz to 2% @ 50 Hz typical

Supplied by 500 series rack with 110-125 mA @ +/- 16V DC

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