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Portico 5042 Emulates Tape Sound for Digital Recordings

Portico 5042 Emulates Tape Sound for Digital Recordings


Rupert Neve Designs has launched the Portico 5042 Two-Channel “True Tape” Emulation and Line Driver, the second in an ever-expanding series of all-analog products designed to be used either individually or as one of the principal sound control elements of an integrated Portico system. The Portico 5042 is a two-channel, 1U half-rack unit that provides a simulation of true tape sound through the inclusion of genuine tape drive circuitry. When the Tape circuit is not engaged, the 5042 may be used as a full, transformer-coupled, high-performance line amplifier that includes a gain range of + and -12 dB.

The Portico 5042 Duo Tape Channel/Line Amp unit's emulation circuit provides the nostalgic rounding and compression usually only achieved by the use of tape. This typically offsets the harshness often found in digital recordings. The Portico 5042 incorporates an actual tape drive circuit that feeds a tiny magnetic “head” which, in turn, is coupled to a correctly equalized replay amplifier. The only thing missing is the tape itself and the cost.

“Record” and “Replay” controls are counter-ganged to keep overall input-to-output level approximately constant; it only changes as it would in a real tape recorder, with changing drive levels to the circuit, eventually resulting in saturation.

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The frequency response and distortion performance of the Portico 5042's tape circuitry is tailored to that of a typical analog tape recorder. And users should beware: The dynamic range of a classic tape recorder is a lot less than that of the high-performance Portico circuit in which it nests.

Transformer-coupled input and output stages, very short signal paths, minimal negative feedback and effectively single-sided amplifiers form the essential building blocks of the new Rupert Neve Designs Portico product range. The Portico 5042, in company with other Portico modules, uses a new Input Transformer that accepts high signal levels at very low distortion and an Output Transformer fed from a single-sided amplifier, completely precluding the possibility of crossover distortion.

Each of the unit's two channels is equipped with Input Level control, “Tape Saturation” level control, a 7.5 ips/15 ips switch, and an independent Bypass switch that toggles between the “TAPE” and “LINE AMPLIFIER” function, the Input Level Control remaining in circuit. An 8-LED meter displays Input or Drive Level to the Tape Circuit.

The Portico 5042 Duo Tape Channel/Line Amp is now shipping.

The second of an integrated series of Portico products, the 5042 Duo Tape Channel/Line Amp joins the 5012 Duo Mic Pre Module. Projected Portico Modules include the Portico 5032 Microphone/Line Preamp and Equalizer, the Portico 5043 Stereo Compressor/Limiter, and the Portico 5014 MS-Stereo Buss mix and Stereofield module. Further, all analog, assignment, mixing and monitoring equipment, together with an innovative DI, are planned for the months ahead.

For more information, visit their web site at

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David Mellor