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Portico 5012 Vs. API R20?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by csi, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. csi

    csi Active Member


    I currently own the Portico 5012 dual mic pre - I do like it a lot but am considering selling it to buy the API R20 Dual mic pre. With the API I like the idea of having 2 additional high quality DI's plus the reviews on the API seem pretty solid. Just curious if any of you have compared the two or have any thoughts on this?

  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Haven't used the R20, have used a 5012 in a local studio to do a VO project. You are comparing apples to oranges. The 5012 is a discrete, all-transformer-coupled work of art. The R20 (from Arsenal Audio BY API...kinda like Epiphone by Gibson) is a compromise in design. It uses the THAT mic pre chip (not discrete), they don't claim any transformers in the audio path (unlike their REAL API brotheren), and it's simply not as good as a REAL API. I'm sure that the R20 is a fine piece, however the Portico is the real thing, certainly on the same level as a REAL API.
    Pop for a decent DI box and don't look back...
  3. csi

    csi Active Member

    Good point. Do have a nice DI currently but you know...thought it might be time for a little change. I agree not time to change, thanks.
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    I just read this info about your Portico 5012:

    "When the Phantom voltage is switched off, the Microphone input serves as a very high quality line input with an impedance of 10,000 ohms."

    (read the link posted bellow under 5016 for more info)

    Did you not look at getting a Portico 5016 instead of the 5012?

    Looks like the 5016 is really a versatile box! At that price you could get two of them for a few hundred more instead of the one 5012.
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    At the top of the page you listed
    " The Rupert Neve 5016-H Portico Mic Preamp/DI is going through some design changes at the moment and will not be available for a few months. Check back with us for updates on the availability of what is sure to be another fantastic product from Rupert Neve Designs." Front End Audio
    Why are they redesigning? It makes me wonder, usually problems with the existing units. Also no date of future release, available in a few months from when?
  6. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Face it... you're getting G.A.S..... just ADD it to the inventory... problem solved! :)
  7. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    I get terrible ground loop issues using the DI's THRU on the 5016. Any amp I hook up to gives the dreaded 50/60Hz hum. It's virtually unusable for me. I've tried everything on the same circuit (star ground) various combinations of things on different circuits. Nothing illeviates it.

    I generally have to use a splitter routing one signal to the DI and one to the amp. Having said that, these issues could be due to circumstances regarding my home's power supply. If I ever find out there was an issue was THRUs (pre-revision), I'll be knocking on doors...lol :roll:

    Another odd thing that happened to me was that the 5016, when switched on and plugged in in one room, made an amp buzz in another room. None of the gear was linked. There was a mic from the 5016 near the door of the room the amp was in but that's as close as they were. The buzz (which occured on two different amps) ceased whenever the 5016 was switched off. Weird.

    Having said that, the Portico preamps and DI sound great.

  8. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    lostindundee and jg49, thanks for your comments.

    I too am looking into the Portico 5016 with wonder, it looks very appealing to me for a preamp/DI. Unfortunately the news does not look so promising.

    After reading your comment jg I called Front end audio to get the scoop on the future of the Portico 5016, here is the email I received the other day:

    "Hello Bret,

    Thank you for inquiring about the Rupert Neve 5016-H Portico Mic Preamp and DI. I’m afraid there is not much information available on the design changes that this product is going through. We have been informed that the manufacturer has had several other more pressing matters to address and that the re-design of this piece of gear has been pushed back for a while, possibly even indefinitely. At this time, it is not known whether or not this particular model will actually continue to be manufactured in the future.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have or if you wish to discuss other options for a quality mic preamp. I am more than happy to assist you!

    Best regards,

    Dave Alewine
    Live Sound Specialist
    Front End Audio"

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