Fidelice brings classic studio quality audio into the home
Despite many of his designs being long discontinued, audio gear made by British engineer Rupert Neve is still highly sought after in the recording industry. Now home Hi-Fi enthusiasts can tap into Neve's classic sound with the introduction of the Fidelice Precision range.
Rupert Neve is probably best known for making high end analog recording consoles like the Neve 8028 and 8078, which were featured in a 2013 documentary about the history of the LA recording studio where Nirvana recorded the Nevermind album and the purchase of the Neve consoles by Dave Grohl. But Neve has also been associated with Focusrite, Taylor Guitars and most recently founded Rupert Neve Designs.
It is this lattermost company that's responsible for the new Fidelice Precision range – initially comprising a headphone amplifier, a phono pre-amp and a DAC (digital-to-analog converter).
"We are extremely proud of what we've been able to accomplish with the Fidelice range of products, and it's exciting to be able to provide what has become the reference in world class studios to the audiophile and hi-fi communities," said the company's Josh Thomas. "This brings Rupert's designs full circle, as his first commercial endeavor was actually CQ Audio, a British Hi-Fi company."
The series flagship is the Precision Digital-to-Analog Converter, which is said to represent "a new standard in digital accuracy from the master of analog." The unit boasts a Class A circuit design, and the included headphone amp features a high gain switch for driving the most demanding audiophile cans through XLR balanced and Pentaconn balanced connections as well as a 0.25-inch unbalanced output.
Users can input music sources using coaxial or optical S/PDIF ports, USB, XLR (balanced) or RCA (unbalanced). In PCM mode, the DAC supports 24-bit/384 kHz resolution music files, while switching to DSD mode can handle DSD512 (22.4 MHz) files.
Home listeners looking to "elevate your turntable setup with the classic sound of Rupert Neve" are offered the Precision Phono Pre-Amplifier, which features low-noise JFET-based Class A amplifiers throughout the signal path for both Moving Coil and Moving Magnet stages. The latter stage benefits from selectable 110 pF or 220 pF capacitance for cartridge pairing flexibility, and the unit boasts a switchable 18 dB/octave rumble filter to remove low frequency artifacts from the signal.
Completing the initial power trio of the Fidelice range is the Precision Headphone Amplifier, a reference quality 24 V headphone amp with three sets of inputs calibrated for optimum level and impedance: a +4 dBu balanced line in; an unbalanced RCA and a 3.5 mm jack.
The Phono Pre-Amplifier and Headphone Amplifier are due to ship at the end of next month, with the flagship DAC will following in September. Pricing has not been revealed at this time.
Source: Rupert Neve Designs