Rupert Neve Designs has introduced the new RNDI active transformer direct interface (DI) and R6 six space 500 series rack, and both will be on display at the upcoming 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim (booth 6498).
The RNDI’s signature sound is the product of new custom Rupert Neve-designed transformers and class-A biased, discrete FET amplifiers. The carefully orchestrated union of these two elements is key to the RNDI’s unique response. Low end tonality is thick and powerful, with musical harmonics resonating from the output transformer, as well as frequency response several octaves above and below audibility. The high end is clear, present, and smooth, with a frequency response extending beyond 100 kHz.
“The RNDI was fine-tuned over a series of listening tests against the best of the most popular high-end DIs available,” says RND’s design team. “Every time we plugged back in to the RNDI, it just seemed to bring the instruments back to life. The lows felt richer, deeper and fuller, and the highs had outstanding clarity without any added harshness. Musically, the RNDI consistently stood out as the DI we wanted to play through.”
The low impedance, transformer balanced output excels at driving long cable runs, and performance is consistent regardless of the connected equipment. The high input headroom of +21.5 dBU is capable of handling professional, line level sources without a pad—and in speaker mode, the RNDI can handle the full output of a 1000-watt power amplifier (92 Vrms or 266 Vp-p). A 1/4-inch Thru jack is also included to send the input signal to a separate amplifier if reinforcement is desired.
Another notable aspect of the RNDI is its phase coherence at all frequencies, which fosters very good transient response and keeps sound well-balanced and natural. This is particularly important when blending the direct signal with a microphone capture of the same source.
The discrete FET amplifier in the RNDI is powered by 48-volt phantom power onthe XLR connection. A high degree of isolation is achieved through the passive transformer design, and the discrete FET circuitry provides a uniformly high impedance above 2 megohms. A ground lift switch is provided on the back to help fix any problematic grounding. It’s housed in a rugged steel chassis with an industrial-grade powder coating.
Meanwhile, the new R6 six space 500 series rack offers more than double the required current for a 6-space chassis, which prevents modules from failing due to lack of power while ensuring optimum sonic quality. To help monitor and troubleshoot problematic modules, the R6 is equipped with LED current metering to show how much power is being used. The internal power supply has been carefully designed with double-shielding to avoid significant magnetic induction in any of the channel positions.
The R6 is outfitted with 8 channels of balanced I/O options, including DB-25, XLR and TRS that may be used interchangeably, in any combination. This versatility is handy when taking the R6 to another environment or where there’s the need to convert DB-25, XLR or TRS connections to another format using the Thru functionality on channels 7-8.
The chassis is comprised of solid steel with bumpers to support the unit in both horizontal and vertical configurations, with a collapsable handle enhancing portability. Connectors and fittings are of high quality to ensure that the R6 will hold up to many years of use.
To help accommodate modules that are slightly out of spec, the R6 has variable-position screw holes to make the installation process go more smoothly. If empty slots remain, there are matching blank panels available to cover any vacancies. The 500 series link function can be enabled in pairs on the R6 using the link jumpers on channels 1-2, 3-4, or 5-6.
Both the new RNDI and R6 will be shipping in late January 2015. Retail price of the RNDI is $299 USD and retail price of the R6 is $599 USD.