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NAMM 2015: Rupert Neve Designs RNDI (Video)

Active Transformer Direct Interface

The RNDI utilizes a custom Rupert Neve-designed transformer and a class-A biased discrete FET amplifier to elegantly balance an instrument signal - whether straight from a bass guitar or a screaming 1000W amp - with sonics extending beyond 100kHz, superb phase coherence, and the famous Rupert Neve tone heard across 50+ years of classic records.

The RNDI: Active Transformer Direct Interface
Frustrated with a lack of performance from available DIs, Mr. Rupert Neve set out to design a new direct interface that conveys the undiminished tone and vitality of the source instrument while balancing and isolating the original signal.

The resulting RNDI promises a powerful and vibrant direct sound capable of reproducing the full harmonic depth of basses, guitars, keyboards, and acoustic instruments in true Rupert Neve fashion.

“The RNDI was fine-tuned over a series of listening tests against the best of the most popular high-end DIs available,” said 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 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. We at SOS haven't yet tried the RNDI, but its makers claim the 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 low impedance, transformer balanced output excels at driving long cable runs, and performance is immensely consistent regardless of the connected equipment. The high input headroom of +21.5dBU 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 (92Vrms or 266Vp-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. This should provide excellent transient response, and keeps the sound well-balanced and natural. This is especially vital when blending the direct signal with a microphone capture of the same source.

The discrete FET amplifier in the RNDI is powered by industry-standard 48V phantom power onthe XLR connection. Superior 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. The rugged steel chassis features an industrial-grade powder coating, and is built to withstand the severe stresses of life on the road.

The RNDI will be available late January 2015 with a retail price of $299 USD. If you’re looking for portable, powerful, larger-than-life tone for your instrument signals, the RNDI is the first standalone DI fit for the Rupert Neve name.

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