A Whole New Vintage.
The Shelford Channel is built around Rupert Neve’s first new transformer-gain, class-A microphone preamplifier in over 40 years, a “best-of-the-classics” inductor EQ section, a tone-packed diode bridge compressor, the power of variable Silk saturation, a new dual-tap transformer output stage, and twice the operating voltage of vintage designs.
“It’s like a time machine...you can look back and see what a 1073 actually sounded like when it was new.”
— MITCH DANE / JARS OF CLAY
Over fifty years in the making, the Shelford Channel is the definitive evolution of the original technologies in Rupert’s classic console modules like the 1073, 1064 & 2254, thoughtfully advanced and refined for the 21st century studio.
The Input Stage and Transformer Gain Mic Pre
Like Rupert’s designs from his time in Little Shelford , the Shelford Channel’s preamplifier uses a directly-coupled transformer input with gain provided by the custom transformer itself – a first in over 40 years for Rupert Neve. This new custom-designed input transformer, along with its careful integration with the surrounding class-A circuitry, is critical to the Channel’s bold and instantly recognizable character.
Conveniently, the Direct Input uses the same topology as the best-selling RNDI Active Transformer Direct Interface, providing astonishing clarity for high-Z instrument signals, with unparalleled low-frequency response and an incredibly smooth high end.
WHAT IS Silk?
The Silk & Texture circuit on the Shelford Channel allows you to fine-tune the amount (and type) of harmonic content in the output stage. This means your signal can be adjusted from quite transparent to settings that produce nearly 10x the amount of sonic color as Rupert’s vintage modules – and in two very unique modes. No matter what sound you’re looking for, Silk can help get you there.
When you apply SILK RED, you’re enhancing harmonic content generated by the highs and high mids of your source. This adds a sparkly sheen to the top end, and is often ideal for sources including vocals, snare, strings, pianos, and other acoustic instruments
With SILK BLUE, you’re enhancing harmonics generated by the lows and low mids of your source. This tends to “beef up” a signal from the bottom up, making it a great choice for drums, bass guitars, heavy electric guitars, male vocals, and synthesizers.
The Dual Tap Transformer Output
Complementing the Silk circuit is the custom-designed output transformer, which uses Rupert Neve Designs’ unique dual-tap output topology. This offers both full-headroom (+26dBu) and -6dB outputs, allowing the engineer to drive the unit fully into classic transformer saturation without clipping converters and other devices later in the chain.
The high headroom tap is designed capture a more pristine sound at high levels, avoiding non-linear coloration of the output stage and taking full advantage of the Shelford’s higher voltage design. The low headroom tap however is optimized to allow an engineer to drive the full voltage range of the Channel – adding dynamic tone with these same non-linear “colorations” – without clipping most professional interfaces. On drums, vocals, guitars and other instruments, this output lets you easily hit the transformer’s “sweet-spot” of non-linear harmonic content, which can bring a recorded performance to life in a way that other effects can’t.
The “Best-Of” EQ
The Shelford Channel’s 3-band, custom-tapped inductor EQ was inspired by our favorite elements of Rupert’s vintage EQ designs. The low frequency band is designed to produce a creamy, resonant bass response similar to a vintage 1064 – but unlike the vintage modules, the LF band on the Shelford Channel can be used as either a shelf or a peak filter, adding punch, dimension, and control to your low end.
The midrange band is based on that of the 1073, ideal for sweetening vocals and instruments while bringing them forward in a mix, and its proportional “Q” response makes it well-suited for minimizing problematic frequencies. The high frequency band is a hybrid vintage / modern design, blending inductor circuitry with capacitor-based topologies to achieve vintage tones with enhanced control, with the shelf / peak corner switchable between 8K or 16K.
“You're going to need two of these. One will not be enough.”
– VANCE POWELL / JACK WHITE, CHRIS STAPLETON
The Diode Bridge Compressor
Like the Inductor EQ and Transformer Gain microphone preamp, the Diode Bridge Compressor in the Shelford Channel is based on the same topologies found in Rupert’s vintage designs – but refined & adapted for the modern engineer.
What is diode bridge compression? Where the VCA compressor found in the Master Buss Processor provides unmatched clarity, the weighty, harmonically rich tonality of diode bridge compression can be essential in pushing key sources like vocals, electric guitars, bass and drums to the forefront of a mix.
By understanding the limitations of vintage units like the legendary 2254, painstaking effort was taken to reproduce the unique tone of these classics while improving the noise floor & accuracy, expanding inflexible time constants, adding full wave sidechain detection for improved dynamic response, and widening the range of threshold and ratio controls.
Delivering the powerful sound of these iconic designs with enhanced flexibility for the modern age, the Shelford’s diode bridge compressor is a dynamic tool equipped to make a statement on virtually any mix or track.
“I am blown away by the Shelford Channel. Everything about it is amazing, and it is clear that no detail was overlooked. Whether it’s my bass, my drum mics, or a vocal, it is one of those pieces of gear that will get used on a daily basis and stand the test of time.”
Drake, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Rihanna
+21.5 dBu from 150 Hz to 22 kHz
+8 dBu 20 Hz to 22 kHz
Un-weighted, 22 Hz-22 kHz, source impedance 150 Ohm balanced.
Main Out @ unity gain -100.9 dBu
-6 dB Out @ unity gain -106.6 dBu
+30 dB gain (Main Out) -91.37 dBu
+66 dB Gain (Main Out) -64.1 dBu
Equivalent Input Noise -121.37 dBu
+/-0.25 dB from 17 Hz to 45 kHz
8 dBu @ 20 Hz to 120 kHz
NOISE (MAIN OUTPUT)
-100 dBu (22 Hz to 22 kHz)
MAXIMUM INPUT LEVEL
+30.5 dBu 20 Hz to 30 kHz
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION AND NOISE
@ 1 kHz, +20 dBu output level, no load: Better than 0.002%
@ 20 Hz, +20 dBu output level, no load: 0.05% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic)
NOISE (MAIN OUTPUT)
Un-weighted, 22 Hz - 22 kHz, source impedance 40 Ohm balanced, no load.
+/- 0.25 dBu from less than 10 Hz to 110 kHz
-0.32 dB @ 120 kHz
MAXIMUM OUTPUT LEVEL
+26 dBu @ 16 Hz to 20 kHz
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION AND NOISE WITH SILK ENGAGED
MIN TEXTURE @ 100 Hz, +20 dBu input level, no load: 0.0131%, mostly 3rd harmonic (typical)
MAX TEXTURE @ 100 Hz, +20 dBu input level, no load: 1.66%, mostly 2rd harmonic (typical)
MIN TEXTURE @ 100Hz, +20 dBu input level, no load: 0.0079%, mostly 3rd harmonic (typical)
MAX TEXTURE @ 100Hz, +20 dBu input level, no load: 0.941%, mostly 2rd harmonic (typical)
HIGH PASS FILTER
Continuously variable swept frequency from 20 Hz to 250 Hz.
Slope: 12 dB/Octave
Un-weighted, 22 Hz-22 kHz: -92 dBu
Illuminates GREEN when input stage signal level reaches -20 dBu
Illuminates RED when input stage signal level reaches -23 dBu
DIODE BRIDGE COMPRESSOR
NOISE (BW 22 Hz – 22 kHz)
0 dB Makeup Gain: -84.5 dBu
+20 dB Makeup Gain: -64.2 dBu
Measurements taken represent full range achievable between 1.5:1 Ratio and 8:1 Ratio setting.
0 dBu I/P 1kHz Burst Tone used for all recorded measurements.
Fast (TC1): Attack 180µS — 1.8mS // Release 100mS – 150mS
MedFast (TC2): Attack 750µS – 5.25mS // Release 160mS – 250mS
Med (TC3): 2.7mS – 18mS // Release 350mS – 525mS
MedSlow (TC4): 4.6mS – 38mS // Release 600mS – 1 S
Slow (TC5): 11mS – 72.5mS // Release 800mS – 1.25 S
Auto (TC6): 5.75mS – 35.5mS // Release T1 400mS – 850mS, T2 TBD
“Fast” Mode Multiplier: Modifies aforementioned TC’s by 70% of original value
19” (48.3 cm) x 10.5” (26.7 cm) x 1.75” (4.4 cm)
24” (61 cm) x 13” (33 cm) x 4” (10.2 cm)
12.25 lbs. (5.5 kg)
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