Retro Instruments OP-6 Portable Amplifier

All-tube 1-channel Mic Preamp with 48V Phantom Power, Phase Switching, Instrument Input, 25dB Pad, Switchable Impedance, and Over 80dB of Gain
Write review Item ID: RetroOP6
Retro Instruments OP-6 Portable Amplifier image 1
Retro Instruments OP-6 Portable Amplifier image 1
$3,675.00
Sweetwater Savings: $775.00 MSRP: $4,450.00
Special Order
Special-ordered from Retro Instruments and usually arrives to you within 1-2 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Retro Instruments OP-6 Portable Amplifier
Special Order

The Secret to Euphoric Ribbon Mic Tone

Taking the famed RCA OP-6 to an entirely new level, the Retro OP-6 portable amplifier gives you the near-endless headroom and thick, euphoric aural glow of the original, along with 48V phantom power, phase switching, a 25dB attenuator pad, and a host of other modern features. Packed with over 80dB of gain, the OP-6 is ideal for low-output ribbon microphones and/or recording quiet sources. In fact, at Sweetwater we've discovered that once you hear a ribbon mic through the OP-6, you'll never want to use anything else. A versatile general-purpose studio preamp (and a killer portable vocal pre), the Retro OP-6 portable amplifier is an essential addition to any studio's preamp collection.

Retro OP-6 Portable Amplifier at a Glance:
  • The RCA OP-6 - the "Holy Grail" tube pre for ribbon mics
  • Modern feature set takes legendary tone to a whole new level
  • Retro Instruments - a brief history
The RCA OP-6 - the "Holy Grail" tube pre for ribbon mics

Used on some of the greatest recordings of the past, the RCA OP-6 has been a behind-the-scenes "Holy Grail" tube pre for ribbon microphones since the 1950s. Why is that? One listen and you'll get it. The euphorically thick, rich tone that the OP-6 lends to ribbon mics (or any microphone, for that matter) is nothing short of astonishing. With near-endless headroom and gain, the OP-6 can take a wimpy low-output signal and imbue it with an extremely warm, detailed character that must be heard to be believed. Unfortunately, original RCA OP-6s are difficult to find, especially in workable condition. Luckily, Retro Instruments has brought this phenomenal mic pre back to life - and then some!

Modern feature set takes legendary tone to a whole new level

Although the original RCA OP-6's tone is nothing short of legendary, its feature set is rather primitive by today's standards. That's why Retro Instruments beefed up this renowned microphone preamp when they created the Retro OP-6. In addition to improved noise performance, you get XLR connectors, a 1/4" high impedance instrument input, 48V phantom power, phase switching, a 25dB attenuator pad, output level control, and a VU meter ranging switch that doubles as a quick "tube checker." On top of that, you also get three choices of input impedance to match any microphone from vintage low-impedance ribbons to modern condensers and dynamics. Classic legendary tone combined with modern features - a match made in tonal heaven!

Retro Instruments - a brief history

Founded by Phil Moore in 2006, Retro Instruments set out to reintroduce classic-quality tube audio products to the professional recording industry. Starting with their re-creation of the legendary Gates Sta-Level, Retro has reimagined and released several classic pieces of gear that have since become sonic secret weapons in award-winning studios around the world.

Retro OP-6 Portable Amplifier Features:
  • Stepped gain control makes precise adjustments easy
  • Switchable mic impedance (37/150/600) to match any microphone
  • Over 80dB of gain provides near-endless headroom
  • Phase switch to invert polarity
  • 48V phantom power for your condensor mics
  • Instrument input for DI-ing guitars and basses
  • 25dB pad for taming loud sources
  • High-quality VU meter doubles as a "tube checker"
  • Output attenuator control provides proper gain-staging
  • Improved noise performance gives you classic tone without the hiss
  • Faceplate is true to original the OP-6's design
  • Durable hammer tone case finish
Take your ribbon mics from drab to fab with the Retro OP-6 portable amplifier!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR
Manufacturer Part Number Retro OP-6

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See also: Retro Instruments, Retro Instruments Preamps