Rupert Neve RNDI Active Transformer Direct Interface
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, delivering a powerful and vibrant direct sound capable of reproducing the full harmonic depth of basses, guitars, acoustic instruments, and professional line level sources.
With portable, powerful, larger-than-life tone for your instrument and amplifier signals, the RNDI is truly the first standalone DI worthy of the Rupert Neve name.
After coming into existence during an experimentation with new transformer designs, the RNDI was fine-tuned over a series of listening tests against the the most popular high-end DIs available. It was in these tests where the RNDI always seemed to add another dimension to the sound and bring the instruments to life. The lows felt richer, deeper and fuller, and the highs had outstanding clarity without any added harshness.
Active + Passive: The Best of Both Worlds
The RNDI’s signature sound is the product both 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.
The custom transformers provide superior passive isolation while adding musical harmonics and dimension to the sound. The low impedance, transformer-balanced output excels at driving long cable runs, and performance is immensely consistent regardless of the connected equipment. This is very important for both live and studio environments where the unamplified signal may travel almost 100ft before hitting an amplifier. In other designs, these high-capacitance lines cause major reductions in high frequencies – not so with the RNDI.
THE CLASS-A, DISCRETE FET AMPLIFIERS
The class-A & discrete FET amplifier in the RNDI is powered by 48V phantom, and creates a very high impedance input of 2M Ohms that ensures consistent performance with a wide variety of instruments. The class-A design ensures that zero crossover distortion is added to the signal, which can add upper-order odd harmonics that are musically dissonant in nature. With the RNDI, the overwhelming majority of harmonic content is 2nd order (octave) with some 3rd order present (fifth above octave). These musically relevant harmonics, present in subtle amounts, actually add to the richness of the original signal. And the discrete aspect of the RNDI design means there are no ICs or digital components that can have negative effects on the tone.
Massive Headroom + Speaker Mode
In instrument mode, the RNDI’s high input headroom of +21.5dBU is capable of handling not only instruments, but professional, line level sources like interfaces and drum machines – without a pad. This allows the RNDI to serve as a way to “re-preamp” any previously recorded track using your interface and a desired pre-amp. To do this, simply connect a channel output of the interface to the input of the RNDI and connect the RNDI’s output to the preamp and engage 48V. By “re-preamping” you can apply the tone of another preamp to the source and more accurately automate or control the drive level on the preamp.
In speaker mode, the RNDI can handle the screaming output of a 1000-watt solid-state power amplifier (92 Vrms or 266Vp-p) to capture the full tone of the instrument, preamplifier, EQ, inserts, and the amplifier’s output stages before it hits the speakers. This technique allows the engineer to avoid any bleed in a live environment and any unwanted tone added by the speaker cabinet or microphone.
When used with modern amp / speaker emulation plug-ins or hardware (like a Kemper® or Fractal® unit), this technique allows the engineer to take advantage of both the flexibility of digital modeling and the superior non-linear response of an actual analog amplifier.