Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Shelford Mixing Console - 16 Channel with Penthouse and Meter Bridge (2023)

Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Shelford analog mixing console featuring 16-Channel Analog mixer with Line, Tape and Buss Inputs 8 Busses, 8 Aux Sends, and 4 Stereo FX Returns. Includes Penthouse, Meter Bridge and 16 x 5015 Mic Pre/EQ modules. Shelford Blue

The Rupert Neve Designs 5088 is an expandable 16-channel line mixer that provides 8 group busses, 8 auxiliary sends, 4 stereo effects returns and a stereo output buss. That basic functionality of input and output routing, meters and faders provides a solid foundation on which you can build an analogue console to satisfy your own particular requirements, adding, for example, microphone preamplifiers, equalization and dynamics processing from the Portico line of modules – or even more input channels – to suit your facility’s needs.

Rupert Neve 5088 Features:

  • 16 Channel line mixer with Line, Tape and Buss Inputs
  • 8 Busses, 8 Aux Sends, 4 Stereo FX Returns
  • Includes Penthouse, Meterbridge and 16 x 5052 Shelford Mic Pre/EQ modules
  • Can be configured with any combination of Shelford Series modules

The Input Channel

Beyond its exceptional sound quality, the 5088 channel strip is designed to effectively handle multiple normalled sources, creating master, group and aux mixes with great efficiency. With 8 auxes, 8 “Groups”, “Solo”, “Mute”, “Send Follows Pan”, “Aux to Group”, a transformer coupled direct out and optional motorized fader automation on each channel, even the most complex mixes are within reach.

The Stereo Input Channel

In lieu of mono input channels with selectable Line 1 / Line 2 Inputs, Stereo Input Channels can be fitted to increase the channel count without having to add an expansion chassis. The Stereo Module has all of the group sends, six auxes, stereo width control, and individual trims and pans for each channel.

The Group Channel

With 4 pairs of FX returns and aux master controls, along side 100mm faders, direct outs and transformer coupled inserts for each of the 8 mix groups, the group master section provides the medium to control 4 stereo stem mixes while tying together an entire array of channel strips. If necessary, the insert returns and stereo FX returns can be used as an additional 16 inputs for summing.

(Video) The 5088 Configuration Guide

The Monitor Master

The monitor master section has 6 source selections, 3 transformer coupled speaker outputs, talk back, oscillator controls, 2 VU meters, stereo inserts, stereo level and control room master level. Like the channel and group modules, anodized aluminum knobs provide the solid feel and response needed for precise adjustments

High voltage, discrete op-amp cards

The all-new, fully discrete analogue architecture in the 5088 represents a culmination of Rupert’s vast analogue circuitry knowledge. Custom, high voltage and discrete op-amp cards have been designed especially for the 5088 that eliminate crossover distortion entirely. The new op amp cards offer extended headroom, dynamic range, and frequency response while generating exceptionally low noise and distortion.

“The real power of the 5088 lies hidden within the discrete, single-sided circuit topology and transformer-coupled inputs and outputs that produce 10dB greater dynamic range than any of my previous designs. The dynamic range is actually extended downwards to encompass the extremely small, often out-of-band signals – usually ignored – that go to complete our listening perspective, making sounds warmer, sweeter and fuller, apparently affecting the low and mid frequencies.

The significance of this enormous dynamic range and the frequency response that extends comfortably towards 100kHz lies in the ability of the 5088 to source, retain and mix the microscopically tiny signals that are essential to retention and enhancement of the full soundscape.”

Transform your sound

As a staunch advocate of transformer-based designs, Rupert has included custom-designed transformers on every single input and output of the 5088, electrically isolating the console with a true floating ground while also imparting the sweet sound quality of his classic, sought-after designs.

“Transformers are the reason why my original Consoles are still re-used, re-cycled and re-configured so successfully. From the earliest days all my designs, both inputs and outputs, were transformer-coupled. An audio transformer cannot be entirely successful without including the electronic circuit in the design because it works as an integrated package.

The value of a transformer, correctly used, lies in the total galvanic isolation it provides, giving freedom from ground loops and RF interference. Even microscopic levels of interfering signals cause loss of musicality and introduce unpredictable harshness and loss of definition.

(Video) Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Recording Console Overview w/ Joshua Thomas

Of course, transformers that are not correctly configured for a particular application can introduce astonishing results! Audio transformer design is almost as much an art as a science…which may be why many circuit designers avoid them.”

Completely Modular Design

The modular channel architecture of the 5088 means dependability, expandability, and flexibility. The system’s modularity ensures easy maintenance and repair. It also allows custom configurations to be created with a larger input channel count, as well as the addition of Portico signal processing modules.

As your studio grows, your 5088 can also grow with the addition of more input channels. If the focus of your work changes over time or your audio systems evolve, you can adapt to meet the new challenges by reconfiguring the console accordingly.

The 5088 is a fundamentally different console philosophy, very carefully thought-out so that you don’t have to waste money paying for functionality that you will never use. Instead of adding bells and whistles, Rupert and his team have focused on designing the most efficient, direct, and sweetest-sounding audio paths through a console that integrates seamlessly with any outboard gear in the world.

Expansion Chassis

To increase the number of input channels, it is possible to add 5088-16 channel expansion chassis to the standard configuration. These additional chassis share the same form factor and lock into the sides of the master 5088 frame. Multiple expansion chassis may be added depending on what is required. Internal, group, solo, aux and master busses are linked through ribbon cables.

Penthouse Frame

To increase the feature set in each channel strip, one or two penthouse frames may be adjoined to a 5088 regardless of the number of input channels.

The standard 16-channel master section penthouse has 25 slots for vertically configured Portico modules. Depending on a studio’s needs, any combination of Mic Pre/EQs, Mic Pre/Compressors, Five Band EQs, Stereo Compressors, True Tape FX, and other modules can be added to the penthouse. For example, a studio doing exclusively mix work could configure a penthouse with 5-Band EQs on each input channel and then have a mixture of stereo compressors, Tape FX and more in the remaining slots. If you don’t need mic preamps, you don’t have to buy them.

(Video) Rupert Neve 5088 Is A Classy Console With Its Monitoring Options Open

A studio that needs mic pre/compression/EQ on every input channel could integrate a double penthouse with mic pre/compressors and five band EQ’s, whereas a studio that has an existing large collection of high quality outboard equipment and doesn’t need the additional functionality can forgo the additional modules and penthouses entirely in favor of a line-only desk.

Buss System

Once connected through a patchbay, the bussing systems in the Portico modules can be used to enhance workflow by creating normaled connections and multiple signals.

The Meterbridge

As an option, any 5088 configuration may be outfitted with a VU meterbridge at an additional cost. The meterbridge features finely calibrated and extremely precise meters for all input and group channels. The meter bridge can be secured to either the top of a standard 5088 frame or the top of a penthouse rack.


Martin Sound’s Flying Faders or Tonelux’s Shadow Mix can be included in any 5088 configuration to add moving fader automation and DAW control functionality.

5088 Configurations

The 5088 is available with channel counts in multiples of 16 (i.e. 16, 32, 48, and beyond) as well as in a special 8-channel format.

Master Only

In this configuration, the 5088 has no preamplification or effects. Outboard modules connected through a patchbay are used to feed the recording device and process the audio in the mix path.

Master + Penthouse (inline)

In this configuration Portico Series modules used as mic inputs drive the recording device directly. The recording device is normalled to the 5088 channel strip modules which feed the stereo, aux and group busses.

Master + Penthouse (Split)

In this configuration, one side of the 5088 is used with 5015 or 5032 preamplifier modules routed to corresponding 5088 channel inputs, which in turn feed the recording device through direct outputs. The recording device is normalled to Portico 5033 five band equalizers, which feed other bank of input modules assigned to the stereo, aux and group busses.

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ManufacturerRupert Neve Designs
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