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HomepageMic Preamps500 Series Preamps › AEA RPQ500

The AEA RPQ500 provides ultra-clean, high-gain signal. The AEA RPQ500 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired.

The Versatile Mic Pre in the 500 series format
The RPQ500 module, designed after the successful RPQ preamp, provides the same ultra-clean, high-gain signal path that has earned AEA preamps their great reputation, but in a 500 series package. JFET circuit topology provides all the dynamics, subwoofer bass, and fast transients that your microphones can record. The NoLoad™ input impedance above 10 k means the RPQ won't load down a mic and change its sound. Low Energy Storage™ circuit design instantly recovers from overloads for superior dynamic performance. The original RPQ with CurveShaper™ was designed to fully capture every nuance of ribbon microphones: vintage or modern, passive or phantom powered. Engineers have discovered that the RPQ also complements their moving coil, tube and solid-state mics. By virtue of its sonic qualities and versatility, the VPR Alliance approved AEA RPQ500 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired.

Your Sound At Your Fingertips
With mixing consoles disappearing from control rooms, dedicated preamps can take on the role of providing a high-quality front end giving you intuitive control to make critical decisions during tracking rather than "fixing it in the mix".

The RPQ's CurveShaper EQ gives you the tools to control your ribbons right at the start of the signal path. Switchable and tunable low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) controls allow you to tame proximity problems and provide HF extension and slope control. The high-frequency CurveShaper excels at adding a touch of air or presence, and the low-frequency control removes boxiness and boominess in a fast and unobtrusive way. Ribbon mics are capable of delivering strong subwoofer lows, and can have a significant bass proximity effect. Such strong low-frequency content can mask high-frequency intelligibility, so the tunable LF filter was engineered to tame low-frequency energy to appropriate levels. Its -20 dB shelving curve is ideally suited to reduce excessive proximity effect opening up new possibilities to use ribbon mics in close-up applications.

The HF filter enables you to extend the high end by adding a little extra presence or "air" to a recording. Its unique bell curve compensates for the high-frequency roll-off that is inherent to most ribbon microphones. But beyond ribbon mics, the smooth HF filter is remarkably well suited for brightening up condenser mics used at a distance or even as a clean and transparent high-frequency boost on the 2-bus to freshen up a mix.

The Swiss army knife 500 series module
The RPQ500 has been enhanced with additional features, turning it into a workhorse tool for your API 500 compatible rack. The Line/Mic switch bypasses the microphone gain stage and allows the EQ to be used for tracking with other preamps or during mixdown. Add the output level control, and the RPQ500 becomes a high-quality processing tool that can be used for mixing and mastering when combined with summing racks and mixers such as the Purple Audio Moiyn or the Roll Music Folcrom.
One channel with 81 dB of sweet and quiet JFET gain for all mics
High frequency CurveShaper™ EQ and low frequency proximity control
Mic and line inputs for mixdown EQ versatility
Switchable phantom power, polarity, line/mic, and EQ inserts

External Features:
Laser engraved front panel markings
Grayhill series 71 stepped gain switch
Gain at 1kHz: 81 dB of gain at 1kHz, balanced-in to balanced-out in Microphone Input Mode
Noise figure, rms A-weighted: < 2 dB
Noise figure, rms unweighted: < 3 dB, 20 kHz LPF bandwidth
EIN: < -130 dBu A-weighted, 150 Ohm resistive source
Frequency response: -3dB < 1Hz and > 100 kHz
THD: < 0.02% at 1 kHz
Input impedance: 10 kOhm
Balanced Microphone Input Impedance: 33 kOhm
Input Gain control: twelve-position switch provides from +7 dB to +56 dB of gain for the preamplifier circuit, as measured between the input and the before the output line driver.
Switched LF Shelving filter: -3 dB break-frequency tunable from 18 Hz to 360 Hz; maximum reduction -20 dB
Switched CurveShape EQ: +3dB break-frequency tunable from 2.1 kHz to 26 kHz; HF gain adjustable from +0 dB to +18 dB; the slope of the HF filter varies interactively and directly with the CurveShaper™ frequency and gain settings
XLR output maximum level into 600 load: +28 dBu, balanced; 0 dBu = 0.7746 V rms
XLR connectors polarity: pin-1 is ground, pin-2 is high, pin-3 is low
LED signal level indicators: green snaps on at -6 dBu, red snaps on at +23 dBu, and yellow varies in brightness with level from -3 dBu to +20 dBu.

Zinc-plated steel chassis with 0.125" anodized aluminum front panel (measured without knobs and switches):
1.488" w, 6.033" d, 5.247" h (3.78 cm x 15.32 cm x 13.32 cm)
14.5 oz (411 g)
Matt Steohanson
March 6, 2016
Perfect pair for ribbons
I run AEA's R-88 through these and love the low noise floor and amazing detail I can dial in with the HF EQ knob. These are set up perfectly for ribbons and in the 500 format, they are always with me. I use them at shows with huge cable runs with zero issues and always pristine sound. Low filter is awesome for removing excess rumble. Great build quality and sound, amazing value!
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Additional information
For more information about the RPQ500, please visit the website of AEA
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