Rupert Neve Designs MBC Review: A Master Buss Converter and Limiter! (2022)

Rupert Neve Designs MBC Dual-path A/D Converter & Limiter

Rupert Neve Designs MBC Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
  • 24 Bit / 192 kHz converter
  • Analog limiter section with class A line amplifier stage up to 20 dB
  • Controllable threshold and release
  • Analog inputs: 2x XLR

Rupert Neve Designs MBC Review

Whether or not you’re tracking, printing mixes, or mastering, the Master Buss Converter is a revelation within the quality and performance of A-D conversion expertise. The analog drive circuitry permits the MBC’s converter to be fed by both a class-A transformerless path for max transparency or by customized interstage audio transformers with variable Silk for all kinds of tonal enhancements. Coupled with an astonishingly musical limiter, the MBC is at all times the best choice to seize your analog signals with breathtakingly three-dimensional accuracy.

From the bottom up, the MBC was designed for reference efficiency no matter style or desired sonic character, and the key to this lies within the high quality and adaptability of the analog drive circuitry. It doesn’t matter what sonic character you’re in search of, the MBC can present it at the push of a button.

The precision­ managed internal clock’s minimal jitter and phase noise enable the converters to capture the whole efficiency of your music with an awesome degree of accuracy – merely put, the MBC creates an uncanny digital replica of your analog signals.

To connect with your interface or digital console, the MBC is supplied with AES, S/PDIF, and TOSLINK outputs capable of simultaneous output to a number of destinations. The word clock output permits the MBC to behave as the high-end master clock in your whole setup, and the word clock enter permits external sync to a separate master clock if desired. To seamlessly combine the MBC right into a multichannel conversion environment, 4 standard ranges from -14dBFS to -20dBFS could be chosen to precisely match your other converters.

A pair of 22-segment meters present extraordinarily precise level metering of the input to the converter stage, using a brand new design that represents high-resolution LED metering. For monitoring the limiter’s gain reduction, there are 8-segment gain reduction meters designed to show transient reductions with an outstanding degree of accuracy. The extent meters could be additional personalized with a 1-second or 3-second peak hold option.

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Rupert Neve Designs MBC Front Panel

The 1U MBC has two TLA (Transformer-Like Amplifiers) line stage XLR analog input channels known as A and B, every with their very own separate cluster of controls and metering amenities. Every channel has a 22-segment LED meter that exhibits the analog input stage going into the AKM AK5397EQ A/D converter chip.

The meters measure from -60dBFS to 0dBFS and we discovered their vast dynamic range useful to alert us to low-level stereo bus noise and hum that we may not truly hear at regular monitoring levels.

Simply beneath the principle meters are individual eight-LED gain reduction meters with a spread of 14 to 0.5dB when the limiter is activated. The rear panel has a pair of small switches for setting the meter’s maintenance time (1 or 3 seconds), and a recessed trim pot on the front panel adjusts the total brightness of the meters.

All front panel management pots are 31-detent models made by both Alps and Noble, and we favored the texture of these, perfect for simply matching settings by feeling and/or counting the detents.

Every channel has a single, continuous-frequency management knob for the limiter’s side-chain high-pass filter – a 20Hz to 250Hz, 12dB/octave Bessel filter. On the straight-up 12-noon place, it’s -3dB at 125Hz. This proved to be a really efficient filter for full mixes and an enormous part of the sound of the MBC.

When an HPF is inserted within the limiter’s side-chain, low-frequency peaks are much less likely to set off undesirable gain reductions, which is extra necessary than ever with today’s low-frequency-heavy Pop music. An S/C HPF on/off push button lights up to point out when the HPF is inserted.

All push buttons on the MBC have LED-lit facilities when activated, and all switches toggle sealed Panasonic miniature relays contained in the unit. No audio signals are going straight via switch contacts that may grow to be dirty and intermittent over time.

The Gain controls goes from 0dB to +20dB in 0.75dB in steps. You should use Gain to extend the input signal (if wanted) till it reaches the chosen setting of the limiter’s Threshold management. It additionally sets the extent going into the transformer/Silk circuitry (if activated) that feeds the A/D converter. Gain could be regarded as make-up gain and is simply in play when the limiter is active. If the Gain knob is elevated and/or the input signal itself exceeds the Threshold setting, limiting will begin at a set 10:1 ratio.

The Threshold control covers from -14dBFS (full CCW), straight up at 12-noon is -6dBFS, and the 3 o’clock position is 0dBFs. Full clockwise known as OVER is an intelligent approach to preserve Gain management and the limiter in the circuit however with no limiting. We at all times begin with Threshold at full CW.

The Limiter makes use of a pair of THAT Corp 2181A VCA chips and finishes with the Release time management that’s adjustable from 50ms to 1 second. Attack time is fixed at 0.5ms and each of the limiter’s Gain and Threshold settings are depending on the ADC Calibration chosen in what we will name the Middle Part of the MBC.

Rupert Neve Designs MBC

The Middle Section

The middle third of the MBC’s front panel is broken up into two elements. On the left side is a stack of LEDs to point to the selected sample rate, be it 44.1, 48, 88.2 96, 176.4, or 192-kHz. The MBC builds on the converter design throughout the Rupert Neve Designs RMP-D8 8-Channel Dante Mic Pre.

The MBC can act as a master word clock or will synchronize to incoming clock indicators with a pair of Word Clock In/Out BNC coaxial connectors on the rear panel. As soon as the sync is obtained with an incoming word clock signal, a green LED lights up and a buffered clock signal is shipped back out the word clock output BNC.

Subsequent on the panel is a pushbutton to toggle via the MBC’s decisions of assorted analog-to-digital converter digital reference calibration requirements or ADC Calibration. They’re: -14dBFS, -16dBFS, -18dBFS, and -20dBFS and are referenced to +4dBu analog stage or 1.228 volts (RMS).

Additionally within the Middle section is the Limiter In/Out, L/R link buttons, the transformer in/out button, and Silk transformer saturation mode toggle swap. Right here you’ve three decisions on the sound of the 2 Rupert Neve Designs personal customized inter-stage transformers. Red Silk saturates within the high mid-range and high frequencies, Blue Silk warms up the low frequencies or selects the Off place for the transformers only.

The texture is rotary management that sets the quantity of Silk when activated – the Silk impact is added to each Channels A and B collectively and is highly dependent on hot, incoming analog ranges. Below you will be able to find an image of the rear panel of the unit.

Rupert Neve Designs MBC Rear Panel
Rupert Neve Designs MBC Brief Features:

  • Analogue line inputs: 2x balanced XLR/TRS combo
  • Digital outputs: AES3 (XLR), S/PDIF (Optical and Coax)
  • Word clock: BNC In (75Ω terminated) and Out
  • Frequency Response (20Hz to 70kHz): ± 0.025% dB (transformerless path) or ± 0.1dB (transformer path)
  • Noise (10Hz to 22kHz): -108dBFS (transformerless path) or -114dBFS (transformer path)
  • Sample Rates: 44.kHz to 192kHz at 24 bit
  • ADC Calibration (for +4dBu analogue): -14dBFS, -16dBFS, -18dBFS and -20dBFS
  • Limiter Sidechain Filter: 12dB/oct Sallen-Key high-pass, 20Hz to 250Hz
  • Limiter Time Constants: 500µS fixed attack, 50mS to 1S release
  • Weight (shipping): 4.5kg


Why You Need the Rupert Neve Designs MBC

Whether or not you’re tracking, printing mixes, or mastering, the Master Buss Converter is a revelation within the high quality and performance of A-D conversion expertise.

The analog drive circuitry permits the MBC’s converter to be fed by both a class-A transformerless path for optimum transparency or by customized interstage audio transformers with variable Silk for all kinds of tonal enhancements.

Coupled with an astonishingly musical limiter, the MBC is at all times the only option to capture your analog signals with breathtakingly three-dimensional accuracy.

9.4Expert Score
Rupert Neve Designs MBC Review

Whether or not you’re tracking, printing mixes, or mastering, the Master Buss Converter is a revelation within the quality and performance of A-D conversion expertise.

Handling
9
Features
9.5
Sound
9.5
Quality
9
Positives
  • Great Peak Limiting
  • Configurable A/D Alignment
  • Amazing Metering
  • Switchable Transformers
Negatives
  • No Direct Computing Connection
  • Not a Budget Unit

Conclusion

Time to upgrade your converters with a bit of a twist in the whole process? Then this is the unit for you. If you are a serious engineer, the price will not be a problem for you since it gives something to the sound that no other unit can give.

In case you are having any questions in regards to this unit, please let us know in the comment section below or reach out to Rupert Neve’s website for more answers!

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