Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ

3-band inductor EQ designed by Rupert Neve for the 500 series, featuring the best of Neve’s classic EQ bands



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SKU: RUP551 Categories: , Tags , Brand:


The Rupert Neve designs 551 Inductor EQ, the first equalizer designed specifically for the 500 series format by Rupert Neve himself, is a “best-of” 3-band EQ from classic Neve modules  

The Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ answers two long-standing requests of many of the most prestigious and well-storied engineers and producers, who vowed to hold their breath until they turned blue, or Rupert Neve not only released modern versions of his classic equalizers, but also in the 500-series format. As such, in a supreme effort to restore dignity and sonic excellence to the recording industry, Mr. Neve himself, designed the 500-series 551 Inductor EQ. It features three of RND’s favorite bands of EQ inspired by Mr. Neve’s most prized vintage designs. The 551 design also includes custom-wound inductors, transformers, and class-A gain blocks—all the secret ingredients to flavor your tracks with Neve’s thick, syrupy-sweet sonic sauce. 

Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ in one take:

  • Custom-wound inductors based on RND’s favorite bands from Mr. Neve’s classic EQ modules
  • The first 500-Series EQ designed by Rupert Neve
  • Selectable low-frequency shelf or peak (±15dB)
  • High Peak switch narrows the bandwidth (increase the Q) of mid band filter
  • Selectable (±15dB) shelf or peak selectable at 8kHz or 16kHz
  • 12 dB/octave high pass filter with a fixed 80Hz frequency
  • Transformer I/O featuring Rupert Neve’s custom transformers, designed especially for the 500-Series format

INSIDE THE BOX— Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ

A “best-of” Neve EQ

The 3-band, custom-tapped inductor EQ on the 551 was inspired by RND’s favorite portions of Rupert’s vintage EQ designs. The low frequency band is designed to produce a creamy, resonant bass response – however, unlike the vintage modules that inspired it, the LF band on the 551 can be used as either a shelf or a peak filter, adding punch, dimension, and control to your low end. The 551’s inductor midrange band is 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 topology to achieve vintage tones with enhanced control. The High Pass filter is a 12dB/octave design with a fixed 80Hz frequency, and can be used in tandem with the low frequency EQ to add low-end presence without clouding the source material.

Just like Mr. Neve’s most prized classic designs, each EQ section uses low-feedback, class-A discrete electronics to prevent low-level artifacts and harshness from detracting from the tonal shaping. However, this new circuit is a decidedly modern design with updated techniques and components that were simply not available 35 years ago, and should not be considered a “clone”.

Both the high and low band can be switched from shelf to peak curves and offer 15 dB of boost or cut. The high band can be switched from 8kHz to 16kHz, and the low band can be selected at 35Hz, 60Hz, 100Hz or 220Hz. The inductor-based Mid Band offers 6 center frequencies; 200Hz, 350Hz, 700Hz, 1.5kHz, 3kHz and 6kHz. The Mid Band also has a “Mid Hi Q” switch to narrow the bandwidth (increase the Q) of the filter.

Why Inductors?

So, what are inductors? They’re wires wound around a coil that provide a form of frequency-dependent resistance. When they saturate, they bring out beautifully musical harmonics that give your tracks the smooth, polished sound that made Neve’s consoles and equipment so desirable for over fifty years. While it is possible to create a functioning EQ using off-the-shelf inductors, the attention to detail in controlling variables such as the winding and core materials in relation to the surrounding circuitry allows the 551 EQ to capture the vitality of Rupert’s older designs. While capacitor-based designs, such as the 5033, are often preferable for surgically sculpting tracks, the inductor EQ found in the 551 is capable of adding punch, vibrancy, and personality to the music that goes far beyond general frequency modification.

Designing for the 500 Series

Rupert Neve: “While creating functional 500-Series modules is relatively simple, designing those modules to equal their non-500 series counterparts with the current, voltage and space restraints is quite challenging. In creating our own 500-Series modules, we experimented with a number of different transformer and circuit designs to achieve the same presence and sweetness found in the Portico Series of modules. The result of these efforts is that outside of the slightly lowered headroom, our 500-Series modules are nearly indistinguishable from standard Portico Series modules, and are perfectly suited for studios of the highest-caliber.”

With single-sided circuitry and transformer-balanced inputs and outputs, the 551 is capable of enhancing the sonic quality of many signal sources, especially those of digital origin. The sonic signature is one of extreme purity, and the image is consistent with that of Rupert Neve’s original designs of 35-40 years ago. This is an EQ with a truly vintage soul.

Power and audio connectivity is supplied through any 500-Series compatible rack.

OUTSIDE THE BOX—Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ 

The front panel of the 551, finished in the classic Shelford blue used on vintage Neve consoles, has a high-frequency shelf/peak button with ±15dB continuous gain knob and 8k/16k selector button; power button; EQ In button; Mid Parametric center frequency selector with ±15dB continuous gain knob; LF peak button; Low-frequency selector knob with ±15dB continuous gain knob; and high-pass filter button.

The Rupert Neve Designs 551 gives you vintage Neve EQ in an affordable and convenient 500-series module—kids, start your collection today! For more information, call or chat online with your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant today.


 Rupert Neve Designs 551 Inductor EQ specifications

Equalizer Bypassed


Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 22Hz-22kHz, source impedance 40 Ohms
Better than -102dBV

Frequency Response

Main output, no load
+/- 0.1dBu from
20Hz to 31.5kHz
-1dB @ 120kHz

Maximum Output Level


Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise

@ 1kHz, +20dBu output level, no load.
Better than 0.0025%

@ 20Hz, +20dBu output level, no load.
0.13% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic)

High Pass Filter:

-2.7dB @ 80Hz

Slope: 12dB/Octave

 Equalizer Engaged


Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 22Hz-22kHz, source impedance 40 Ohms balanced.
Better than -94dBV

Frequency Response

Main output, no load
+/- 0.25dBu from 20Hz to 45kHz
-2dB @ 120kHz

Maximum Output Level


Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise

@ 1kHz, +20dBu output level, no load.
Better than 0.009%

@ 20Hz, +20dBu output level, no load.
0.13% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic)

Power Requirements

120mA on +16VDC
110ma on -16VDC

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