Rupert Neve Designs 5254 Dual Diode Bridge Compressor

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Rupert Neve Designs 5254 Dual Diode Bridge Compressor

2-channel Diode-Bridge Compressor with Stepped Controls, Sidechain Highpass Filter and Inserts, Onboard Parallel Processing, and Stereo Linking

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Punch Up Your Tracks with Legendary Diode Bridge Compression

Fat, punchy, and versatile, Rupert Neve Designs’ 5254 Diode Bridge Compressor is based on the topologies found in the legendary vintage Neve 2254 80 Series console module, updated and optimized for the modern studio. Whether you’re tracking, mixing, or mastering, you’ll be amazed and delighted by what the 5254 does for your music. Equipped with RND custom transformers and Class A output amplifiers, this two-channel dynamics powerhouse captures the soul of the classic 2254 to deliver the attitude-packed, in-your-face sound that has pumped up countless hit records, but with modern precision and flexibility (including full sidechain, parallel processing, and stereo link functionality) that make it ideal on any source, whether individual tracks, stems, or stereo masters. As a master bus compressor, Rupert Neve Designs’ 5254 infuses your mixes with glue and punch, crystallizing them into professional, radio-ready product that blasts right out of the speakers.

Classic diode bridge, updated for the modern studio

Rupert Neve’s vintage diode bridge compressors (most notably the 2254) provided inspiration for the design of the 5254. A half century later, with modern engineering insight into the limitations of the original 2254 topology, meticulous effort was employed to reproduce the unique sound of the 2254 while improving the noise floor, expanding the rigid time constants, adding full-wave (as opposed to the vintage units’ half-wave) sidechain detection for enhanced dynamic response, broadening the range of the threshold and ratio controls, and increasing the headroom of the diode bridge itself. Delivering the powerful sound of these classic designs with enhanced flexibility for the modern studio, the 5254 is a must-have tool for making audacious statements with your music.

Timing is everything

The 5254’s unified Timing control comprises six selectable settings, carefully chosen for different applications — a significant upgrade from the fixed attack of the vintage 2254. The Fast and MF settings excel at clamping down on transient-heavy signals like drums, plucked strings, and crisply enunciated vocals. The Med and MS settings, on the other hand, feature somewhat slower attack and release times and a slightly longer recovery to allow more transients through. Finally, the Slow and Auto modes are both significantly slower, for when smooth level control is the directive.

The perfect Blend

Engineers have long valued the weighty, harmonically rich tonality of diode bridge compression as an effective way to push important tracks such as lead vocals, electric guitars, bass, and drums to the front of a mix. Considering the inherent coloration of the 5254’s diode bridge topology, the unit’s onboard parallel compression knob is tremendously useful. The Blend control lets you instantly mix smaller amounts of heavy compression with your dry, unaffected signal for a best-of-both-worlds sound that maintains natural transients and dynamic range while providing blendable, larger-than-life thickness, weight, punch, and color.

Sidechain inserts for creative ducking

Every dynamics processor has a sidechain circuit that examines the signal and determines how much it will reduce gain — but not every unit provides access to its sidechain. In compressors without a separate sidechain input, your main input signal is, essentially, compressing itself. With compressors like the 5254, you can insert external processing on the sidechain — or introduce a different signal that determines the compression action on the main signal. It’s an incredibly useful feature that lets you, for instance, automatically duck a track to make space for another (very popular for that EDM mix pumping effect). Combined with its per-channel sidechain HP filters, the 5254’s sidechain inserts give you an impressive amount of versatility.

Sidechain highpass filter

The HPF knob, continuously adjustable from 20Hz to 250Hz, allows you to insert a 12dB/octave highpass filter in the compressor sidechain. With the S/C HPF button engaged, the compressor will be considerably less responsive to information below the frequency you have dialed in. For example, as applied to a drum kit with the frequency set to 150Hz, the low end of the bass drum will have less effect on compression action than a snare drum or cymbals, since a significant amount of the bass drum’s dynamic energy is below 150Hz.

Rupert Neve Designs 5254 Dual Diode Bridge Compressor Features:

  • 2 channels of classic diode bridge topology, updated for the modern studio
  • Delivers the punchy, larger-than-life sound heard on countless hit records
  • Advanced timing controls let you customize compression envelope shape for a wide range of responses
  • Custom RND transformers and Class A line amplifiers deliver vintage warmth with improved headroom
  • 31-step rotary switches with detented steps for precise channel matching and settings recall
  • Onboard Blend control for instant parallel compression
  • Full-wave sidechain detection for enhanced accuracy
  • Sidechain highpass filters and rear-panel inserts
  • Precision VU meters, selectable for Output or Gain Reduction
  • Stereo Linking gives you the option of running your compressors in dual-mono or in stereo
  • Rugged 1U rackmount chassis with internal universal power supply
  • Impeccable RND build quality, crafted in USA

STL Pro Audio is extremely proud to be the exclusive NZ agent for Rupert Neve Designs.

Rupert Neve Designs