AEA Ribbon Pre

2-channel Mic Preamp for Ribbon Mics, Tube Condensers, and Moving-coil Mics
AEA Ribbon Pre image 1
AEA Ribbon Pre image 1
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Available Tomorrow (June 26)
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Two Channels of Clean Gain for Your Ribbon Mics

AEA's Ribbon Pre was designed from the ground up for low-output ribbon mics and dynamic microphones. And with its generous gain stage and ultra-low noise, engineers at Sweetwater have found the Ribbon Pre to be an outstanding microphone preamplifier with any mic that doesn't require phantom power. Many ribbon and dynamic microphones require more gain than high-output mics, and with a sub-standard mic preamp, you'd be turning up noise as well. AEA's Ribbon Pre captures the full, vibrant resolution of your low-output microphones without adding noise to your mix.

Optimized for ribbons, dynamics, and other low-output mics

The AEA Ribbon Pre offers an impressive 83dB of gain, enough to bring your lowest-output mics up to proper recording levels. It's also an exceptional preamp for tube condenser microphones that have their own power supply. The minimal signal path and external power supply bring down the noise floor to an almost imperceptible level. Your ribbons and dynamic mics will sound loud, clean, and open, with fuller bass response and greater sense of depth.

AEA Ribbon Pre 2-channel Microphone Preamplifier Features:
  • 2-channel preamp with 83dB of gain for ribbons, dynamics, and other low-output microphones
  • Perfect for classical recordings, drum overheads, and other stereo applications
  • Extremely flat and wide frequency response delivers accurate, high-fidelity recordings
  • No phantom power for the lowest possible noise floor
  • Ideal for getting the best performance out of any low-output microphone
  • External power supply for minimal noise
Hear your ribbon mics like you've never heard them before with the AEA Ribbon Pre.

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type FET
Number of Channels 2
Frequency Response 6Hz-300kHz (-3dB)
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4"
Rack Spaces Half
Height 1.75"
Depth 8.5"
Width 8.5"
Weight 2 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number TRP

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Write your review

A must of for ribbon microphones

Having already purchased an R44CE from AEA earlier this year, I was confident this preamp would be a trustworthy studio mate. I had been running my R44 through an early model BAE 1272, and while it was an interesting combo, the noise floor of that preamp, paired with the dark character of the Neve circuit just didn't work with my singing style - soft, lower register, male vocals. After researching and considering dozens of preamps on the market between $500-$1500, I came to the conclusion, as did my engineer, that the AEA TRP would give me the clean, pure boost I needed out of my ribbon. Straight out of the box, I plugged my R44 into the TRP, upriver from a Universal Audio Apollo. After 15 minutes of testing varying gain levels on the input, output, and Apollo preamps, I was shocked at how little noise I was getting. Rejoice! My R44 is ready for action. Thanks for another stellar product AEA.


I tried using a Beyerdynamic M160 thru a Neve 1073 (real deal) preamp on a subtle finger-picking acoustic guitar track, and the 'floor noise' rendered the track almost unusable. I quickly went back to the AEA, and the floor noise is now almost 100% obsolete. Such a simple, but effective preamp for more clean gain! Seriously thinking of adding another 2 channels to my studio in the future. Just had to write and share my updated experience. So impressed with the AEA pre, I'm considering an AEA R84 or R88 for the mic locker, as this preamp has really opened up some possibilities.
Music background: Performer, Studio Owner, Local Producer

Great preamp and portable as well.

I do event recording work, frequently for video. This preamp works superbly with the field recorders I use to provide the most natural sound I've been able to get out of my Royer. Live sound can be demanding, and the headroom on this is amazing.
Music background: Recording engineer, video production

Great Pre

Used this last night on my brand new Beyerdynamic M160 and M130 mics for an acoustic guitar tracking session in M/S configuration, and I definitely made the right choice. I was immediately smiling after hearing the first test run with the M160 and M130 - very natural sound with great dynamics and warmth with the M160, just a beautiful sound. I knew right away this was the acoustic sound for my client's project. After the guitarist really got into some strumming, the low end came alive - too much, really. You will probably end up using the hi-pass filter often. The gain is big and clear, and the layout is easy to work. Simple is good. This mic pre was everything I'd read in reviews, and I feel will perfectly compliment my Beyerdynamic M160 & M130 mics. Can't wait to try it with other mics. Just wish it came with rack ears.
Music background: Studio Owner, Local Producer, Performer

AEA TRP Ribbon Pre

I recently acquired an AEA R84, prior to which i owned one of the import ribbons which i thought was nice, albeit a bit 'woofy". It was an active ribbon and the R84 is not. While I could get a good signal from my Prism MXA-MM4 I had to turn it much much higher than with condensers and this (I felt) was probably not the best practice)... so saving up for a ribbon pre was my next 'goal'. I looKed at several other options, some more $, some less and decided upon the AEA TRP for 2 reasons: 1) I figured as AEA made it and they made ribbon mics... therefore it would be well matched and 2) Tim Harrington at Sweetwater had never steered me wrong. This is a GREAT addition... I can't believe how the ribbon mic literally pops out of the mix. Plenty more headroom than I need, great clarity, no noise, and there is tonal variations depending upon how you set it. My one nit... no power switch! (at least I haven't found i) and plugging unplugging is a a bit of an incconvenience (hence the 4.5 instead of a 5) and rack ears would ne nice!
Music background: engineer/musician

Sweetwater Advice

Simon Picazo

AEA mics with a Ribbon Pre are honest enough to be scary! But if you're an artist who can handle the truth and want to improve the quality of your tracks, give this a try. Wes Dooley and his engineers have imparted into every AEA product their respect for the sounds that musicians have worked years to craft. In AEA you get a microphone and preamp combination that will actually give you back exactly what you feed into it.

Forrest Powell

Good night! 83dB of gain is quite a lot, and yet this 2-channel ribbon preamp is totally clean. The noise is totally negligible; total harmonic is .005% at 1KHz. It is as quick in response as I have heard to date, but please don't just think this can only be used with ribbon microphones! Tube mics can profit greatly paired up with TRP!
See also: AEA, AEA Preamps