AEA RPQ3 3rd Gen 2-Channel Microphone Preamplifier with EQ

AEA calls it a "ribbon" preamp, but it's great on any mic! Handmade in Pasadena, the 3rd gen RPQ offers +85 dB of effortless gain and an expanded EQ section.

The RPQ3 is the next evolution in AEA's trusted lineage of high-impedance, high-gain preamplifiers. Based on the circuit design of their celebrated RPQ2, the RPQ3 features a powerful combination of ultra-low noise, low-distortion op-amps, ultra-high 68KOhm input impedance, and 85dB of clean gain, all packaged in a durable full-rack chassis. The RPQ3 also includes an expanded EQ section with boost and cut controls for both low and high end as well as a low-end frequency sweep to identify and eliminate rumbles and resonances. At once open and transparent but equally responsive and dynamic, the RPQ3 is a versatile tool for the front end of any signal path.


- Two channels with 85dB of sweet, quiet, and mouthwatering JFET gain
- High-frequency CurveShaper EQ and low frequency proximity control
- 68k ohm high-impedance circuitry providing better overall transients, frequency response, and higher output sensitivity
- Post-Mic and Pre-EQ Inserts for convenient routing options
- Switchable phantom-power and polarity invert
- Made in the U.S.A.

The RPQ3 is a powerhouse that provides unparalleled high gain with low-noise. With 85db of JFET output, the RPQ3 gives you enough juice to record soft sources without ever having to worry about noise. The RPQ3 is the tool of choice for all microphones whenever a true and pristine signal path is desired. AEA's 3rd generation circuitry is the cleanest and most musical design they've done yet.

The sound and tonality of dynamic microphones like ribbons and moving-coils are directly affected by the impedance of a preamp. The higher the impedance, the better the sound. The RPQ3 boasts an extra high input impedance of 68K Ohms (phantom power off).

Preamps with an impedance of under 10k ohms will limit the lows, highs, and transients of your passive microphones. The RPQ3's high impedance will reveal your microphone's true nature- a thick low-end, open top-end, and articulate transient response that you will need to hear to believe. Both condensers and active microphones also benefit from the RPQ3's impedance.

Improved EQ Section
The RPQ3 expands on AEA's signature CurveShaper circuitry, offering boost and cut curves for both bands of the EQ allowing users to control their sound right at the start of the signal path. With easy-to-understand controls and sweepable frequency knobs, the expanded EQ section of the RPQ3 offers boost and cut options for both lows and highs. Even when boosting aggressively, the RPQ3 remains phase coherent and flatteringly natural. LF/HF LED indicators illuminate only when the EQ is engaged, eliminating confusion and simplifying workflow. The RPQ3 also has a +/- 10dB Gain Range for increased accuracy in boosting and cutting.

- LF Boost/Cut: sweepable frequency adjustment from 40Hz to 675Hz (3 dB point), with max cut or boost from -20dB to 20dB
- HF Boost/Cut: sweepable frequency adjustment from from 2.5kHz to 30kHz (3 dB point), with max cut or boost from -20dB to 20dB

Power Switching
The RPQ3 chassis features open-back access to the AC power switch, making voltage conversion between US standard 115V and 230V easy for set-up, anywhere in the world.
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-Max Gain at 1 kHz: 85 dB
-EIN (Max gain, 22 Hz to 22 KHz, unweighted):
- 40 Ohm source: -130 dBu (typical)
- 150 Ohm source: -128 dBu (typical)
-Frequency Response:
- 30 dB gain: (-0.6 dB 10 Hz, -3 dB 160 kHz)
- 85 dB gain: (-3 dB 10 Hz and 160 kHz)
-THD+N: 0.0018% (1kHz, 22 Hz-22 kHz @30 dB Gain +4 dBu output)
-XLR Output Max Level: +27 dBu into 600 Ohm load
-Input Impedance: 11.3 kOhm (with Phantom), 68 kOhm (no Phantom)
-Output Impedance: 50 Ohm
-Max Input Signal Level: +20 dBu (minimum gain)
-Stepped Gain Control: 12-position switch from +7 dB to +65 dB
-Output Trim: Continuously variable from 0 dB to +20 dB
-EQ Circuitry:
- First order shelving response
- 20 dB max boost/cut high range, 10 dB max boost/cut low range
- Low frequency sweep continuously variable 40 Hz to 675 Hz
- High frequency sweep continuously variable 2 kHz to 28 kHz
-Input and Output XLR Polarity: Pin 2 hot
-LED Signal Level Indicators:
- Green LED \0x2245 -20 dBu;
- Yellow LED = 0 dBu;
- Red LED \0x2245 +20 dBu (clipping +27 dBu)
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 7 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 8 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): AEA RPQ3

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:


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