Menu Icons

AEA RPQ2 Stereo Mic Preamp  From AEA

Taking the loved RPQ to the next level, AEA's RPQ2 features the ability to accept both mic and line levels, an even higher impedance value, DI inputs, slick new visual facelift and more! The ultimate low-noise preamp optimized for ribbons just got that much better!

AEA

$1,499.00

"Experience the Difference"

Try Before You Buy

Close
Try Before You Buy
Call us now to set up a free trial in your home or studio: 888-528-9703. Our specialists will help you select the best fit for your needs and hook up your free trial for the ultimate peace of mind. Experience the Sound Pure difference!
View all eligible products »

Sound Pure's 3-Year Warranty

Close
Our Free 3-Year Warranty!
In addition to the standard included manufacturer warranty, virtually all new products carry our exclusive, industry-leading, absolutely free, Sound Pure 3-Year Warranty, which includes PARTS & LABOR. This high-value perk is our way of providing the ultimate in added value to enhance the unique personal touch our small, dedicated team contributes to each purchase.
Learn more »

Lifetime Support

Close
Free Lifetime Technical Support!
Our small team of dedicated experts is here to help the original purchaser for the lifetime of the product. Why? Because we care about building real relationships with our customers for life and stand behind every product we sell.

Free Shipping

Close
This Product Ships Free!
Products ship from our well-located, climate- and humidity-controlled warehouse absolutely free (inside the continental USA). Low-cost international shipping options exist for most products.
Contact us for details »

No Sales Tax Outside North Carolina

In Stock!
Ships immediately after order processed!
Payments as low as $34/mo.

What We Think

The original RPQ was one of our favorite preamps, so we got incredibly excited when we first heard wind of a new version in the works. And the result, well, "does not disappoint" doesn't say enough...

To start, the 19" RPQ2 now can accept line level signals, an option the previous version does not. This fantastic addition now gives engineers access to the wildly smooth "Curve Bender" high-frequency shelf during mix down as the perfect tool for opening up entire mixes or adding additional "air" to a vocal or instrument track. DI inputs now offered on the front panel offer low-noise performance to your basses/synths, and the even higher input impedance (63K!!!) ensures the most responsive performance possible out of your ribbon mic collection.

Whether it's helping you get the best performance out of your ribbons, opening up your mix using it's "Curve Shaper" EQ, or achieving exceptionally low-noise performance with your condensers, the RPQ2 is a stunning EQ every engineer needs to be aware of. Give us a call today to talk about our favorite applications and mic combinations with the RPQ2!

Manufacturer's Description from AEA

The Versatile Mic Pre2

  • 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 the 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.

AEA

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.

Specifications

 
  • 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.
  • 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)

Related Videos