The RNT: Rupert Neve’s first and only tube microphone.
Designed in collaboration with Mr. Rupert Neve himself, and incorporating elements from his large-format console designs, the RNT is an elegantly different concept in tube microphones.
Mr. Rupert Neve & Mr. Siwei Zou in Texas, October 2014.
Designed specifically for the RNT, this brand new capsule is custom-manufactured and hand-tuned by our mic technicians in the dedicated capsule room at the sE factory.
With super-high sensitivity and truly massive sound pressure handling capabilities, no source is too loud (or too quiet) for the RNT.
THE TUBE CIRCUIT
After the capsule, the signal hits the first amplification stage in the RNT, based around a hand-selected low-noise 12AU7 tube located just behind the vents on the rear of the mic.
Why a tube?
Though Mr. Neve is best-known for his discrete, class-A designs, his very first consoles were actually tube-based, and he agreed that a tube circuit was right for the RNT:
“A tube has a lot of qualities which are very desirable, and it has a particular quality of sound to it. If you get the size of the diaphragm of the microphone right, and you get the frequency response and the directional properties, and all the myriad of other qualities right, it is symbiotic with the tube’s performance.”
– Mr. Rupert Neve –
THE FLOOR BOX
After the tube circuit in the microphone body, the signal continues on to the outboard high-voltage power supply.
On this floor box, the microphone’s polar pattern is selectable via a 9-position rotary switch that moves from omnidirectional to cardioid to figure-8, with three extra steps in between each. This allows maximum versatility for any recording situation.
The high-pass filter can also be switched in to 40Hz or 80Hz to help tame any unwanted low frequencies if necessary.
But it’s much more than just a power supply.
Within the floor box are custom discrete class-A op-amps developed by the team at Rupert Neve Designs, which act as a buffer between the mic and the preamplifier.
These are the very same op-amps found in the flagship Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analogue mixing console.
The Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analogue mixing console, with the same custom op-amps as the RNT.
The gain of the RNT’s floor box amplification circuit can be set at 0dB, -12dB (for very loud sources), or +12dB, and provides a staggering amount of headroom.
These op-amps are completely flat from 1Hz all the way to 30kHz, and only vary by 2dB all the way to 100kHz. This provides a superbly natural sonic character, in line with Rupert’s most revered classic equipment produced over his 50+ years as a designer.