- Two channels with 81dB of sweet and quiet JFET gain
- NoLoad™ 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 alternative and convenient routing options
The AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Preamp provides two channels of high-quality, high-gain, low-noise preamplification with a rich and musical sound that complements the natural tonality of your microphone. Specifically designed for ribbon microphones, the RPQ2 excels at drawing out the warmth and lush sound that ribbons are uniquely known for. With 81dB of gain, JFET circuitry, and an input impedance of 63K Ohms, the RPQ2 delivers the precision, quietness, and headroom needed for today's high-resolution recordings.
The RPQ2 is AEA’s second iteration of the high-performance RPQ preamp with the addition of some new and useful features. It is now possible to plug your instrument directly into the RPQ2’s high impedance circuit with its front-panel direct inputs. The RPQ2 also includes a Mic/Line switch for balanced line inputs and outputs, as well as inserts for patching compressors or other effects between the preamp and CurveShaper™ EQ section. The RPQ2's CurveShaper™ EQ gives you the tools to control your ribbons right at the start of the signal path. Switchable and tunable low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) controls allow you to tame proximity problems and provide high-frequency extension and slope control.
Engineers have discovered that the RPQ2 is a perfect fit with condensers and moving coil microphones. By virtue of its sonic qualities and versatility, the AEA RPQ2 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired. Detailed and accurate, the AEA RPQ2 is a high-quality, high-gain choice for all microphones.
Two Peas in a Pod: Musical Preamp, Sweet EQ
The CurveShaper’s™ high-frequency filter boost enables you to add a little extra “presence” or “air” to your source. The circuit functions in a similar manner to a conventional parametric shelving boost, but with a significant difference: the slope varies as both the CurveShaper™ and HF Gain controls are adjusted. This unique bell curve was designed with the intention to compensating for the high-frequency roll-off that is inherent to most ribbon microphones. But beyond ribbon mics, the smooth HF filter is remarkably well suited for brightening up condenser microphones used at a distance, restore presence in overly “dry” acoustical environments, or even as a clean and transparent air-band boost on the 2-bus.
The CurveShaper’s™ low-frequency control easily removes boxiness and boominess in a fast and unobtrusive way. Ribbon microphones are capable of delivering strong subwoofer lows, and can have a significant bass proximity effect. Such strong low-frequency content can mask high-frequency intelligibility, so the tunable LF filter was engineered to tame low-frequency energy to appropriate levels. Its -20dB shelving curve is ideally suited to reduce excessive proximity effect, opening up new possibilities to use ribbons in close-up applications.
Your Sound At Your Fingertips
With mixing consoles disappearing from control rooms, dedicated preamps can take on the role of providing a high-quality front end, giving you intuitive control to make critical decisions during tracking rather than “fixing it in the mix”. It’s no wonder why many mixing and mastering engineers turn to the RPQ2 purely for its post-processing EQ and routing functionality.
The RPQ2 provides a secondary line level balanced output for sending an additional line signal to a separate recording device or mixer. In Line Mode, the preamp and EQ section become two independent units with separate inputs and outputs. This allows you to insert compressors or other effects between the preamp and CurveShaper™ EQ section.
The Impedance Matching Myth
Passive microphones like ribbons and moving-coil transducers interact with the input impedance of the preamp. If the impedance of the preamp is too low, the microphone will have to work harder to send a signal down the line. Additionally, the bandwidth (particularly in the low end) will be limited.
For best voltage transfer, the impedance of the preamp should be at least five times the microphone’s output impedance. Many microphones have a nominal impedance of about 200 Ohms, leading to the assumption that a preamp impedance of 1.0 to 1.5K Ohms should be fine. However, passive microphones and ribbons, in particular, have an output impedance that rises towards low frequencies and can easily get as high as 1000 Ohms at resonance, resulting in a 6dB loss at this frequency with a low impedance preamp. A preamp impedance of significantly more than the commonly seen 1.0 to 1.5K Ohms is beneficial for all passive ribbons and moving-coil microphones.
Jake Aron, Grizzly Bear, Jamie Lidell, Chairlift
"The RPQ2 opens my ribbons up in a really interesting way. I was really surprised to hear how awesome things were sounding up top and way low with mics I thought I really knew well. I can capture space more easily and get sub quickly, from mics I would have written off before!"
Gus Borner, Phil Collins, Juanes, Ricky Martin
"I tried [the RPQ2] with an N8 on acoustic guitar. Presence in the 1-2k range due to the new output impedance on the new RPQ2 is great. New LED’s on the filters are awesome. DI sounded good on acoustic guitar. I like the feel of the new knobs. Overall I think it’s a great Mark 2 on a great pre to start with."
James Saéz, Social Distortion, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marcus Miller, Porno For Pyros, Better Call Saul
"AEA's RPQ2 gives me the high gain, high impedance tool that I need to open up the sound of my favorite ribbon mic's with the added bonus of low noise and easy tonal control. Whether recording large string sections for television or intimate vocals for a record, my ribbon mic's have never sounded better! "
Alex Chaloff, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brad Mehldau, Director & Engineer of The AEA Sessions
"The RPQ2 takes my AEA microphones to the next level. There’s gain for days and it’s insanely quiet. "
Ben Tolliday, Lord Huron, Alanis Morissette, APM: Marketplace
"The RPQ2 is my new go-to preamp for clean and true capture of acoustic instruments, and voiceover recordings. It excels with any low output ribbon or dynamic microphone, and the addition of DI, plus separate line output make it a perfect tool for splitting output signals and reamping."
Specifications and Curves
Gain at 1kHz: 81dB
Noise figure, rms A-weighted: <2dB
Noise figure, rms unweighted: <3dB, 20 kHz LPF bandwidth
EIN: <-130 dBu A-weighted, 150 Ohm resistive source
Frequency response: -3dB <1Hz and >100 kHz
THD: <0.02% at 1 kHz
Input impedance: Hi-Z Input Impedance >5M Ohms
Balanced Microphone Input Impedance: 63K Ohms (10K Ohms with Phantom-Power engaged)
Balanced Line Input Impedance: 18K Ohms
Input Gain control: Twelve-position switch provides from +13dB to +62dB of gain
Switched LF Shelving filter: -3dB break-frequency tunable from 22 Hz to 515 Hz; maximum reduction -20dB
Switched CurveShape EQ: +3dB break-frequency tunable from 2.1 kHz to 26 kHz; HF gain adjustable from +0dB to +20dB
Color LEDs: Green, Yellow, Red
XLR output maximum level into 600Ω load: +28 dBu, balanced; 0 dBu = 0.7746 V rms
XLR connectors polarity: Pin-1 is ground, pin-2 is high, pin-3 is low
LED signal level indicators: The green LED snaps on at -20 dBu to indicate the presence of signal; the yellow LED snaps on at 0 dBu; the red LED snaps on at +24 dBu to warn of approaching signal overload.
Dimensions: Size: Full-rack measured with knobs and switches: 19” w, 9” d, 1.75” h (48.5 cm x 23 cm x 4.45 cm)
Weight: 4lb 5oz (~2 kg)
The AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Preamp provides two channels of high-quality, high-gain, low-noise preamplification that complements the natural tonality of your microphone. Specifically designed for ribbon microphones, the RPQ2 excels at drawing out the warmth and lush sound that ribbons are uniquely known for. With 81dB of gain, JFET circuitry, and a super high input impedance of 63K Ohms, the RPQ2 delivers the precision, quietness, and headroom needed for today's high-resolution recordings. Learn more about the AEA RPQ2 at http://www.ribbonmics.com/preamps/rpq2 Have a 500 series rack? Check out the AEA RPQ500: https://youtu.be/tRJoe2Wpoek
AEA RPQ2: High...The AEA RPQ2 Ribbon Preamp provides two channels of high-quali...
One year parts and labor, shipping not included.
Three year extended warranty if the product is registered.