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AEA RPQ Stereo Ribbon Preamp  From AEA

Phantom Powered Ribbon Pre from AEA based off the highly succesful TRP, but now includes an incredibly smooth high-shelf EQ and Phantom Power for use with condenser and active ribbon microphones!


What We Think

The AEA RPQ is a game changer for anyone who wants to take their Ribbon micorphone collection “all the way” in terms of functionality. An AEA RPQ lives in the control room of Sound Pure Studio A, and has served as the baseline to a great many records where ribbons were used.

The smooth and round transients of a great ribbon microphone, whether it be a classic Coles 4038, or a more modern and masterful ribbon such as the AEA R84, Shure KSM313, or Royer R121, can create remarkable musicality in certain circumstances. The organic and natural smoothness of a ribbon can translate musicality across a wide range of sound sources – whether taming the scratch and aggressive nature of an electric guitar cabinet up close, or smoothing out the potential abrasiveness of a screaming trumpet, ribbons can be an outstanding choice. Unfortunately, few preamps in the world have every truly been designed to give ribbons the best-possible representation. That's where the AEA RPQ comes into play, and then goes further.

Ribbon microphones finally have a flattering preamp designed specifically for their use. But, the truth is that AEA did this, and actually did this quite well already, with the original AEA TRP:


Don't hesitate to check out the video on the first tab that shows how ribbons can be “brightened and heightened” with the use of this absolutely brilliant preamp design, from one of the most ribbon-minded geniuses in the entire industry, Wes Dooley, owner of AEA along with one of the greatest living audio engineers, Fred Forssell who has secretly and not-so-secretly been involved in the design and creation of some of the finest preamp designs in modern recording history.

If you'd like to discuss this preamp, ribbon microphones, or gear, in general, we'd love to tell you all about our experience!

Manufacturer's Description from AEA

The RPQ with Curve Shaping and P48 power puts all the controls for ribbon mics at your fingertips: 80 dB of clean quiet JFET gain, P48 phantom power for active studio ribbons such as AEA's A440, and LF trim and HF boost controls that are tuneable and defeatable so that you can tame proximity problems and/or add a little more to the top.


About Manufacturer

Wes Dooley's longtime passion for audio has infused his company, Audio Engineering Associates (AEA), with a well balanced blend of creativity and technical expertise for forty years. At the core of AEA is a genuine interest in the art and science of audio. From areas as diverse as forensic audio and microphone design, Wes' passion for audio has led him all over the world, from recording experiences in Europe, Africa, and New Zealand, to the courtrooms of Los Angeles as a forensic audio and video expert witness. Such experiences have led Wes to design products which help resolve problems commonly encountered by recording engineers. His portable recording tools including, multi-channel microphone arrays, MS stereo processors, stereo phase displays and very tall microphone stands, have all made on-site recording far more feasible. Despite his contributions to on-location recording, Wes is best known for his pursuit of excellence in ribbon microphone technology. After two decades of representing and servicing the BBC 4038 in the United States, he began to experiment with his own ribbon microphones. During the last decade Wes became aware of the increasing scarcity of R44's and other ribbon microphones. In 1998, responding to this need, Wes re-introduced the 44 much to the thrill of many in the recording industry. Les Paul told Wes that AEA's R44 is his favorite microphone and engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon, and Shawn Murphy routinely use AEA's R44. Even without such critical acclaim the numbers speak for themselves. Over half of the movies scored in Los Angeles have a 44 somewhere on the scoring stage. Building off of his successful reintroduction of the R44, in 2002 Wes designed and began producing an original ribbon mic, the AEA R84. His groundbreaking work with ribbon microphones helped him to secure the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Silver Medal Award in the fall of 2003. This award, established by the AES in 1971, in honor of audio pioneers Alexander Graham Bell, Emile Berliner, and Thomas A. Edison, is given in recognition of outstanding development or achievement in the field of audio engineering. Wes has also co-authored two AES Journal articles about stereo microphone techniques, chaired workshops on mic techniques and mixing strategies for compatible multiple releases for cinema, broadcast and home video, and has presented section meetings on stereo techniques and forensic audio. He is involved with AES standards work and currently serves on the SC-03-12 Working Group on Forensic Audio and SC-04-04 Working Group on Microphone Measurement and Characterization.


Electronics Specifications
  • 83 dB of gain
  • -130 EIN noise figure
  • -3 dB at 300 kH
  • No phantom power, 18,000 ohms input impedance
  • Green and Red LEDs indicates channel level
  • Balanced XLR +4, and Unbalanced ¼ inch -10 outputs
External Features
  • Switched Gain and Continuous Level Controls
  • Phase reverse and high-pass switches
  • Anodized gray and black matte finished aluminum
  • Laser engraved legends and single line schematic
  • External power supply for minimum noise
  • Half-rack wide, one rack unit high (8.5" x 8.5" x 1.7")
  • Weight: Two pounds, plus power supply is (1.5 lbs.)

Sound Clips