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Microphone Month 5

AEA RPQ Ribbon Pre Review

This is the perfect microphone preamp for any ribbon aficionado, a must-have to be sure.

In the field test I conducted with the RPQ, I used a Royer SF-24 ribbon microphone running through both of the RPQ’s channels. I was blown away by the high-end fidelity and the pristine air that came through the RPQ’s high frequency filter. The Grayhill 71 stepped gain switch allows for the perfect amount of gain, and the high- and low-frequency filters have a stunning effect on the sound. They allow gobs of tonal options, and a flexibility you just can’t get from a lot of pres. Did I mention that this is one of the only pres that is made for ribbon mics? This is the perfect microphone preamp for any ribbon aficionado, a must-have to be sure.

When I first hooked up the RPQ, I couldn’t believe how effective the low frequency filter was. Right off the bat I had as much gain as I needed without any low-end woof getting in the way. What I thought would be a low-fidelity session turned into a dream session with much more sonic character than I thought was possible, especially since we were recording with a Zoom H4N. I was blown away at how close the RPQ translated the Royer SF-24 to EXACTLY what I was hearing in the room naturally.

Within 20 seconds of hearing the RPQ, I fell head over heels in love with its sensible controls, stereo inputs, and gorgeous EQ section. The RPQ is so clean that when I buy one of my own (and trust me, I will!), I can’t see myself doing sessions without it. Take the blankets off your ribbon mics, and enjoy the richness that this preamp delivers. Outstanding clarity at an affordable price in a stereo 48v phantom powered ribbon preamp? Sign me up!

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