542 - 500 Series Tape Emulator
The ultimate "color box". As a 500-series follow-up to the Portico 5042, the 542 delivers the same thick, musical simulation of tape while drastically enhancing creative control via a number of new features. In addition to the the "true tape" circuitry – great for bringing out 3rd-order harmonics – the 542 incorporates a soft-clip circuit that tames the harshest sources and enhances 2nd-order harmonics, a variable and versatile Silk/Texture circuit for three transformer tones in one, and a wet/dry control to blend in the perfect amount of saturation.
Unlike digital emulations, the “True Tape” drive circuit works by feeding a custom-designed transformer acting as a “record head”, which in turn is coupled to a correctly equalized replay amplifier. As the voltage rises on the “record head”, saturation increases, and a soft clip circuit engages at higher levels to round off peak transients. The sound of the tape circuit can be further modified with selectable 15 / 30 IPS modes and a pre/post-tape blend control. In addition to the tape circuit, the 542 also has the variable Silk & Texture circuitry found in the Portico II series of modules, which allows the engineer to fine-tune the harmonic ratio and tonality on the output transformer. Line Amp Specifications (Measurements with tape circuit disengaged) Noise: Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 20Hz-22kHz, Input Terminated 40 Ohms. Unity Gain Better than -100dBu Frequency Response Measured at +10dBu, trim at unity. Main Output +/- 0.25dB from 5Hz to 60Khz -2dB @ 120KHz Maximum Output Level 23.25dBu Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise: @ 1kHz, +20dBu output level Better than 0.0025% @ 20Hz, +20dBu output level 0.07% Typical (2nd and 3rd harmonic) Tape FX Specifications Noise: Measured at Main Output, un-weighted, 20Hz-22kHz, Input Terminated 40 Ohms. Saturation @ minimum Better than -100dBu Saturation @ maximum Better than -100dBu Frequency Response: 15 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu -3dBu @ 28kHz Saturation @ minimum 0dBu @ 10Hz +5dBu Peak @ 60Hz Saturation @ maximum -3dBu @ 20kHz -3dBu @ 12.5Hz +2.4dBu Peak @ 60Hz 30 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu -3dBu @ 120kHz Saturation @ minimum -3dBu @ 10Hz +3.15dBu Peak @ 125Hz Saturation @ maximum -3dBu @ 100kHz -3dBu @ 12.5Hz +1.3dBu Peak @ 110Hz Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise Refer to sweeps on page10 15 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu 0.4% @ 3kHz to 1% @ 175Hz typical Saturation @ minimum Greater than 1% below 175Hz typical Saturation @ maximum 1% at 6kHz typical 0.3% @ 1kHz to 3% @ 50Hz typical 30 IPS, Input @ -0 dBu 1% at 1kHz typical Saturation @ minimum 0.6% @ 400Hz 5% @ 20Hz typical Saturation @ maximum 1.5% @ 20kHz to 0.4% @ 1kHz typical 0.4% @ 1kHz to 2 %@ 50Hz typical Power requirements: Supplied by 500 series rack with 110-125 mA @ +/- 16V DC
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