The AEA RPQ500 preamp and EQ provides high-quality, high-gain, low-noise preamplification with a rich and musical sound that complements the natural tonality of your microphones.

Where To Buy

RPQ500 Preamp Overview

  • One channel with 81dB of sweet and quiet JFET gain
  • High-frequency CurveShaper™ EQ and low frequency proximity control
  • Mic and line inputs for mixdown EQ versatility
  • Switchable phantom power, polarity, line/mic
  • NoLoad™ 10k Ohm high-impedance circuitry providing better overall transients, frequency response, and higher output sensitivity
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Enhance your ribbons

The AEA RPQ500 Ribbon Preamp and EQ provides one channel of high-output, high-impedance, and low-noise gain with a rich and natural sound that brings out the full potential of your microphones.

Specifically designed for ribbon microphones, the RPQ500 excels at drawing out the warmth and lush sound that ribbons are uniquely known for.

powerhouse in a 500 format

The RPQ500 is a powerhouse that provides unparalleled high gain with low-noise. With 81db of JFET output, the RPQ500 gives you enough juice to record soft sources without ever having to worry about noise.

It's oh so quiet

With the RPQ500, you will never consider a source too quiet to record with a ribbon mic ever again. Passive ribbons with low output levels require preamps that supply a high level of output. If the preamp you use doesn’t have enough clean gain, the mic signal may seem too soft or noisy which may be apparent when recording quiet acoustic guitars or strings, especially at a distance or with long cable runs. The RPQ500 eliminates this concern.

Ribbon Mics

CurveShaper™ EQ

The RPQ500’s CurveShaper™ EQ is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to control your ribbons right at the start of the signal path. Adjustable low and high-frequency controls allow you to tame proximity problems and provide high-frequency extension with slope control.

The high-frequency filter boost enables you to add presence and air to your source –perfect for sources like ribbons and 2-busses that often benefit from some extra top-end. The low-frequency control easily removes bass build-up in a fast and unobtrusive way.

Learn more about the RPQ500

The RPQ500 module, designed after the successful RPQ preamp, provides the same high-gain, high-impedance signal path that has earned AEA preamps their great reputation, but in a 500 series package.

See More RPQ500 Videos

High Impedance Makes a Huge Difference

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 RPQ500 boasts an extra high input impedance of 10K Ohms.

Preamps with an impedance of under 10k ohms will limit the lows, highs, and transients of your passive microphones. The RPQ500’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 will also benefit from the RPQ500’s impedance.

Your Sound At Your Fingertips

The RPQ500 is a workhorse tool for your 500 rack. Many mixing and mastering engineers turn to the RPQ500 purely for its EQ functionality.

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.

Exceptional Preamps

Passive microphones, coupled with AEA’s range of ribbon-specific preamps, are the key choice for discerning recordists who want total control over their signal path.

AEA offers the RPQ2, RPQ500 and TRP2 microphone preamps, all of which provide unmatched clean levels of gain, and a high impedance. All AEA Ribbon Preamps all share the same topology and sound. The differences between each unit come down to extra features and form factor.


Jake Aron / Grizzly Bear, Jamie Lidell, Solange

“The RPQ500 has left me reaching for a ribbon over a dynamic mic every time I record guitars.”

Justin Pizzoferrato / Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.

“The RPQ500 lets my ribbon microphones be themselves without too much unwanted color and noise”

Brad Haehnel / Pixar, Life of Pi

“The R88 has become an indispensable tool in my mic collection… it is always somewhere in my orchestral brass setups.”

The RPQ500 lets my ribbon microphones be themselves without too much-unwanted color and noise.

Justin Pizzoferrato (Pixies, Thurston Moore, Dinosaur Jr.)

Tape Op

“The mics open up, CurveShaper adds air without harshness, and the detail is amazing. No surprise - Wes and company have managed to define the 500-series ribbon mic preamp that also brings out the best of any mic.”

– Chris Koltay read the full review

Recording Mag

“It’s easy to pass by a mic pre like this if you don't own or do much with ribbon mics, but the RPQ 500 is so much more than a one-trick or one-mic pony... it will change your expectations about what you can do with even the lowest-output mics.”

– Paul Vnuk Jr. read the full review

Sound on Sound

“If you have an API 500-series rack and a collection of passive ribbon mics you'd like to get the best from, an AEA RPQ500 is close to being a no-brainer purchase... it's still a worthy purchase as a great mic-line preamp and a quality high-boost EQ in its own right.”

– Matt Houghton read the full review
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Active Vs Passive Ribbons: What’s the Difference?
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How Impedance Can Change The Sound of Your Ribbon Microphone
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Your Ribbon Mic Deserves A Ribbon Preamp. Here’s Why.