AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Microphone Preamp
The AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Microphone Preamp provide two channels of high-output, high-impedance, and low-noise gain with a rich and natural sound that brings out the full potential of your microphones.
Specifically designed for ribbon microphones, the RPQ2 excels at drawing out the warmth and lush sound that ribbons are uniquely known for.
A Gain Powerhouse
The RPQ2 is a powerhouse that provides unparalleled high gain with low-noise. With 81db of JFET output, the RPQ2 gives you enough juice to record soft sources without ever having to worry about noise. The RPQ2 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired.
Less noise than outer space
With the RPQ2, you will never consider a source too quiet to record with a ribbon mic ever again. Passive ribbons with low output levels require preamps that supply a high level of output. If the preamp you use doesn’t have enough clean gain, the mic signal may seem too soft or noisy which may be apparent when recording quiet acoustic guitars or strings, especially at a distance or with long cable runs. The RPQ2 eliminates this concern.
The RPQ2’s CurveShaper™ EQ is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to control your ribbons right at the start of the signal path. Adjustable low and high-frequency controls allow you to tame proximity problems and provide high-frequency extension with slope control. The high-frequency filter boost enables you to add presence and air to your source –perfect for sources like ribbons and 2-busses that often benefit from some extra top-end. The low-frequency control easily removes bass build-up in a fast and unobtrusive way.
AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Microphone Preamp Features
- Two channels with 81dB of sweet and quiet JFET gain
- High-frequency CurveShaper™ EQ and low frequency proximity control
- 63k ohm high-impedance circuitry providing better overall transients, frequency response, and higher output sensitivity
- High-resolution, high-impedance front-panel 1/4" DIs
- Mic/Line mode with Post-Mic and Pre-EQ Inserts for convenient routing options
- Switchable phantom-power and polarity reverse
- Made in the U.S.A.
AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Microphone Preamp Includes
- IEC Power Cable
- Owners Manual
What We Think
The AEA RPQ2 is a fantastic upgrade to an already fantastic circuit! Most improvements come in regards to the user experience. New LEDs, chassis design, and knobs make recording with the RPQ2 even better than with the original RPQ. And the addition of the new DI circuit gives your instruments direct access to clean, powerful, and unfettered sound that you'd expect from AEA. But all of the classic benefits of the original remain intact.
The Curve Shaper EQ is a purpose made circuit which addresses both the natural characteristics of ribbon mics, and solving the engineer's common issues with them. The HF band is giant bell curve centered much higher than the range of human hearing. However, the slope dips back into the audible range and mirrors the natural roll-off of a fine ribbon microphone. By adjusting frequency and gain, it's possible to "negate" the effects of the roll-off and therefore bring the resulting sound up to a linear "0" across the higher frequencies. The LF on the other hand, is a -6dB Shelving EQ designed to "de-woofify" the lows and lower mids where ribbons can be very rich.
The original RPQ often evoked customer responses along the lines of, "I like the RPQ a whole lot more than I thought that I was going to;" and this was after I encouraged them to try it with condensers and dynamic mics, too. The RPQ2 adds to this with the new addition of the DI input.
We cannot stress enough the benefits of a purpose built ribbon microphone preamplifier, and AEA has led the way with the TRP, RPQ, RPQ500 and now the RPQ2 (and the similarly improved RPQ500). Sometimes you really won't benefit from a "heavy" sounding preamp, and what you really need is lots of clean gain. The RPQ2 truly delivers in that department. Owners and fans of the original RPQ will find a familiar, but new love in the new RPQ2.
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Used it with Royer SF-12 and absolutely love it. Was using a Great River which I like for different reasons; but the Aea is clear and uncolored with boatloads of gain. EQ section is a nice bonus