AEA RPQ2 - 2-ch Ribbon Mic Preamp

2-channel FET Preamp, Optimized for Ribbon Microphones, with 81dB of Gain, Highpass Filter, CurveShaper Circuit, Front-panel DI Inputs, Rear-panel Inserts, and Mic/Line Switching
AEA RPQ2 - 2-ch Ribbon Mic Preamp image 1
AEA RPQ2 - 2-ch Ribbon Mic Preamp image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $166.00 MSRP: $1,665.00
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AEA RPQ2 - 2-ch Ribbon Mic Preamp
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Ideal Preamp for Your Ribbon Mics

AEA has updated their acclaimed RPQ 2-channel microphone preamp with front-panel DI inputs, rear-panel inserts, and a secondary balanced output. Just like the original, the RPQ2 supplies copious gain for low-output microphones such as AEA's superb ribbon mics. The RPQ2's high headroom, 81dB of clean gain, and ultra-quiet performance make it a great choice for any mic in your locker. AEA's proprietary CurveShaper circuit helps you get the best high-frequency performance possible, while the onboard highpass filter gives you control over proximity effect. With its high-grade JFET circuitry, wide dynamic range, and road-tough construction, the AEA RPQ2 is quite an impressive mic preamp.

AEA RPQ2 2-channel Ribbon Microphone Preamp at a Glance:
  • Plenty of clean gain and headroom
  • Ideal for controlling proximity effect
  • Add presence and air to your ribbon mics
  • Works great as a studio processor in line mode
Plenty of clean gain and headroom

The AEA RPQ2 ribbon preamp with CurveShaper provides two channels of high-quality, high-gain, low-noise microphone preamplification, with phantom power for your mics that require it. Particularly well-suited for use with ribbon microphones, it delivers the speed, precision, quietness, and headroom needed for today's high-resolution recordings. The JFET circuit design generates up to 81dB of clean and quiet gain, with extended bandwidth from below 1Hz to beyond 200kHz, for dynamic range and transient response that complements all your microphones.

Ideal for controlling proximity effect

The AEA RPQ2 gives you the tools to control your ribbons. Ribbon mics are capable of delivering robust lows and can have a significant bass proximity effect. Such strong low-frequency content can mask clarity and intelligibility, so the RPQ2's tunable highpass filter was engineered to tame low-frequency energy to appropriate levels.

Add presence and air to your ribbon mics

Sweetwater engineers know that high-frequency roll-off is a frequent fact of life with ribbon microphones, distant mic placement, or an overly dry acoustical environment. The RPQ2's CurveShaper circuit compensates for this, letting you extend and sweeten the high end by adding a little extra presence and air to your signal.

Works great as a studio processor in line mode

After hearing that several users were implementing their RPQ preamps into the signal chain during mixdown (those EQ controls certainly are amazing), AEA added a very handy line-level input mode. This functionality lets you switch the RPQ2 to line level and use the preamp's EQ controls for signal processing during mixdowns and even mastering.

AEA RPQ2 2-channel Ribbon Microphone Preamp Features:
  • Plenty of headroom and gain
  • Perfect preamp for ribbon microphones
  • Front-panel 1/4" DI inputs for plug-and-play convenience
  • Rear-panel post-mic, pre-EQ inserts make adding effects easy
    • Allow each channel's preamp and EQ sections to be used independently
  • Switchable phantom power, polarity, and mic/line mode, each with LED indicators
  • High-impedance circuitry brings out your mic's full clarity
  • CurveShaper EQ adds presence and air to your signal
  • Highpass filter lets you control proximity effect
  • Use it as a post-processing tool in line mode for running mixes and masters through
  • 1U steel and aluminum chassis with built-in power supply
The AEA RPQ2 works wonders with your ribbon mics!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State JFET preamp
Number of Channels 2
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Low freq cut, curved eq (2.5kHz-30kHz)
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR (mic/line), 2 x 1/4" (DI instrument)
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR
Channel Inserts 1/4" TRS pre-EQ
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Depth 9"
Width 19"
Weight 4 lbs. 5 oz.
Manufacturer Part Number RPQ2

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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Stellar Mic Preamp

I am proud to say that I own serial number #10 of this great ribbon preamp. Earlier this year I purchased two AEA N22 ribbon mics for the purpose of recording acoustic instruments and vocals (piano, guitar, and vocals). The phantom power on the mics helped create enough gain to make a decent recording with an interface preamp, but I knew that an optimized ribbon mic preamp would help make those microphones deliver what they are really capable of. The combination of the RPQ2 and the N22 ribbon mics exceeded my expectations and then some! The AEA RPQ2 is an excellent stereo preamp for many different sources. In the limited time I've had it, I've tried different mics and DI instruments. Everything has sounded clean and enhanced with a nice warmth to it. Presence without the brittle brightness - check. Warmth and clarity - check. My AEA N22 ribbons absolutely came to life! Ribbon mics certainly help take the digital sheen off of recordings. Sibilant harshness is a real obstacle to creating quality digital recordings. Tubes are a great way to warm recordings up, but not the only way. Tube preamps also have characteristics that are not always the best choice for certain recording applications in my humble opinion. High quality FET preamps have their own mojo, but most home/project studios do not have a rack full of Neves, API, or any of the other big names. AEA, at this price point, has really created an excellent product that stands on its own when compared to the established brand names in preamp/channel strip gear. This preamp helps make that happen with a lot of clean/quiet gain that remains musical without sounding clinically sterile. I love the EQ on this preamp! It really helps create a nice top end air with the few recordings I've done thus far. The AEA Nuvo series mics (N8 & N22) were designed to be brighter and easier to work with as a result of phantom power and their respective baseline EQ settings (Nice boost at the top with a roll off to knock down harshness plus less rumble in the low frequencies so as to help mitigate the proximity effect.) I think they achieved what they were after, but the combination of a good preamp and those mics are essential for reaching their sonic potential. My acoustic guitar recorded through this signal path sounds amazingly similar to how my ears hear it live. Ribbons mics rock! Stereo microphones set up on an upright piano...Stellar! Vocals...Nice alternative to condenser mics. I have a Mojave MA300 that I love, but I am really drawn to the uncolored sound of the N22 ribbon mics. The combination of the ribbons and the Preamp/EQ from AEA really have helped me create that 3 dimensional sound I was after. The RPQ2 from AEA is a real winner. I'm looking forward to adding more ribbon mics to the mic locker in the future. I now have an excellent recording front end preamp to quickly dial in a great sound before the audio ever gets "in the box". As with all my gear purchases - Sweetwater handled everything with clockwork precision. High-quality gear packaged well and delivered on time. Thank you!
Music background: Musician (Piano, Guitar, Vocals) Project Studio Composer/Producer

Clean and clear with amazing amounts of gain and the perfect filters.

Brian was great in getting me setup with this preamp. It helps to bring my ribbons to life with tons of gain to spare. Other preamps offered a decent amount of gain, but there is a clarity here that the others lacked. The filters are perfect for cutting out low end rumble or adding air at 30k or spoken clarity around 2.5k, exactly where I need it most of the time. I've used the preamp with 414s and found that the preamp helps bring new life into those, despite them already being bright and powerful mics. I have yet to use the 1/4" inputs, but love having the option on board!
Music background: Urban Sound Studio - Logic Pro X instructor
See also: AEA, AEA Preamps