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AEA RPQ500 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 9 customer reviews
  • from Jackson, MO September 16, 2016Music Background:
    I've done stuff


    Best preamp I've ever heard. Period. Not just on ribbons...wish I had 5 more of these. Curve shaper is awesome...low filter is handy handy handy. Love it

  • from Grand Junction, CO May 16, 2015Music Background:
    recording engineer, musician

    Makes my 77-D sing like a baby with talent

    When I picked up a vintage RCA 77-D I knew I needed to fill that last slot in my 500 rack with something special. AEA knows ribbon mics, so I did some research and went with the RPQ500. It provides the oomph I needed. Don't really need to use my Cloudlifter with it to get sufficient gain with low noise. The high shelf is really a good tool to have for those dusky sources. Build quality is excellent, really glad I went with this one.

  • from Westbury, NY September 9, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    The ONLY pre for vintage ribbons

    I have some older ribbon mics that sounded pretty bad through my API and Neve pres, even some tube pres. The gain just wasn't there and its not because the pre's lack the amount of gain needed, the impedance just wasn't correct for the mic. Vintage Reslo mics sound full and open with this. RCA mics sound COMPLETELY different through this than anything else and in a REALLY REALLY good way! Fans of the SM7b from Shure will never use another pre with that mic after listening to it running through this. A MUST have for any one running any of the aforementioned mics.

  • from Ann Arbor, MI July 13, 2014Music Background:
    Producer, recording engineer, Ph.D. student

    But it

    One of the best preamps I have ever used. Recently did a shootout between my Empirical Labs Mike-E, Five Fish Audio MX-5, and Aphex 1100 preamps and -- despite being less colored -- that AEA held its own or surpased the others. It allows condenser mics to shine and has a number of bonus featuers and of course sounds fantastic with ribbon mics. But really it sounds fantastic with all mics. Currently my favorite vocal preamp.

  • from Roslindale, MA February 26, 2014Music Background:
    musician and engineer


    amazing little preamp. very clean and great build. i bought a pair of these for some stereo recording/live performances. haven't used them in that fashion yet, but intend to soon. nonetheless, they are exceptional preamps. having the LF filter and HF booster w/ curve shaper is also invaluable. i recorded some bass lines using a g&l asat bass, radial jdi into this preamp and it was a stunning full bodied sound.

  • from bethesda, md October 4, 2013Music Background:
    producer and engineer

    also want to add...

    I recently tracked some acoustic guitar with this preamp and my Manley Ref C mic and the sound was insanely amazing. Really the best acoustic guitar sound i have ever gotten. I compressed lightly on the way in through a CL1B and it was beautiful. This is really my standard acoustic guitar signal chain from here on out. Being able to reduce a bit of low end was incredibly helpful and i really did not have to do much else after tracking.

  • from bethesda, md September 24, 2013Music Background:
    producer and engineer

    Amazing preamp for any mic.

    I bought a pair of these after reading a bunch of positive reviews. I wanted a pre that would match well with my R84 mic, but i also wanted a pre that would be transparent and complement my Great River and A Designs P1 pres. Well, i got exactly what i was looking for!

    These pres really do justice to ribbons like nothing i have ever used before. There is low noise gain out the waz. The low and high end EQ features are perfect for reducing proximity effect and adding highs. Just amazing for any ribbon mic.

    What really surprised me is how awesome they are for dynamics and condensers. I shot these pres out with Millennias and they sounded pretty much identical. Super clean and pristine. This is a very nice option to have when already having colored pres.

    Overall i am incredibly happy with these pres and will probably keep them forever for my ribbon mics and clean pre options.

  • from Gansevoort, NY March 12, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Ribbon mic bliss!

    I picked this up to use with a Royer 101 ribbon mic. All the pres I had either didn't provide enough gain or the transformers were breaking up before I could get a good tone.
    Slipped this into the rack, and now I have Gain galore!!!
    The HF and LF options are great for tweaking the tone.
    Couldn't be happier with this preamp.
    Can't wait to start trying it on Dynamic and Condenser mics next!

  • from Oklahoma City, OKLAHOMA January 30, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Music Producer, et. al.


    First off big thanks to Ed. Now I had been using the Great River MP-2NV Pre for my R84 ribbon mics mainly for vocals and acoustic guitar. Well I popped two of these pre's (which are extremely reasonable in price almost too low) with eq and I have once again stepped up in my evolution of music production my vocals sound so clear and tranparent. I can almost scream but no clipping the ribbon mic needs a ribbon pre don't use anything else. Also no hiss noise when turning the gain up I just don't have enough to say about how great this mic pre is and you can also get it in a rack version. Just don't be an idiot like me and not insert the some 500 series eq's haf way in

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