Rupert Neve Designs’ 5254 compressor marries vintage sound and modern control

The dual-channel compressor is a modern take on Rupert Neve’s early diode bridge designs.

Rupert Neve Designs 5254

Image: Rupert Neve Designs

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Rupert Neve Designs has announced the 5254, a two-channel dual diode bridge compressor based on vintage processors designed by Rupert Neve such as the Neve 2254.

Unlike its VCA counterparts – which are built for clarity – diode bridge compressors instead add rich harmonic detail and colour to a signal. While the pioneering diode bridge compressors are celebrated by engineers for their signature “punch and glue” – the company admits that they can be somewhat held back by “inflexible controls and fairly limited versatility.”

Enter the 5254, which Rupert Neve Designs promises will offer “the soul” of beloved vintage compressors with modern updates. These include advanced timing control, significantly reduced noise, fully stepped controls throughout, higher voltage power rails, internal parallel processing, and more.

With six selectable timing settings – in lieu of the earlier units’ fixed slow attack – the 5254 offers greater versatility in the studio. Fast and MF settings can be deployed to clamp down on transient-rich sources such as drums; Med and MS offer slower attacks and releases, and Slow and Auto provide a much smoother attack and release overall.

The 5254 also borrows from the circuit designs of Rupert Neve Design’s Shelford Channel – which the brand deems to be the “evolution” of classic Neve-designed modules such as the 1073, 1064, 1081 and 2254. The 5254 however, offers two channels, which can be run either in dual mono or stereo linked. Check out the demo below.

The Rupert Neve Designs 5254 begins shipping this month and is priced at $3,599.

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