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RPQ vs RPQ 500 Ribbon Microphones
Old 15th February 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

RPQ vs RPQ 500

Has anyone A/B'd the original RPQ with the RPQ 500 pre? Trying to decide which to get;

Would it be fair to say that the original RPQ has a cleaner input path for ribbons as it is on a separate input to the P48 input - whereas on the RPQ500 it's all on one input?

I am very familiar with the sound of the TRP, so I know the RPQ will be great for my needs - just trying to figure out which way to go!

Cheers
Iain
Old 16th February 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

any thoughts?
Old 22nd March 2012
  #3
Hi Iain,

If you're going for the absolute minimal, purist signal path then the full-rack RPQ has a slight edge over the RPQ500 due to the DC-coupled input for passive microphones. Other than that, we were not able to detect any differences in sound comparing the AC-coupled input with the RPQ500. There is a lot of talk and myths about power supplies in the API 500 format. However, we are very happy with the performance of the RPQ500. The full-rack RPQ has an internal PSU with 17V rails. The API racks run on 16V, so there is only a marginal difference that translates to a minimally lower headroom (like 0.5 dB).

On the other hand, the RPQ500 has a line-input mode and a different output control that can act like a fader rather than a trim as on the RPQ.
Check out this video to find out more:
AEA RPQ 500 Ribbon Microphone Preamp Overview - Sweetwater Sound - YouTube

Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Cheers,
Julian
Old 24th March 2012
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Spindrift's Avatar
 

Thanks Julian, I'm going to try an RPQ500 on my 77DX.

Keith
Old 24th March 2012
  #5
Kudos, Julian.David,

Therein lies my only issue with the 500 series. The lower voltage is the issue. You can't have everything, I reckon.
Old 24th March 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
Kudos, Julian.David,

Therein lies my only issue with the 500 series. The lower voltage is the issue. You can't have everything, I reckon.
I hear you. Like I said though, there is no audible difference between the two from our perspective here at AEA. When you get into tube preamps and such, it is a whole different story.

Julian
Old 8th February 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian.david View Post
Hi Iain,

If you're going for the absolute minimal, purist signal path then the full-rack RPQ has a slight edge over the RPQ500 due to the DC-coupled input for passive microphones. Other than that, we were not able to detect any differences in sound comparing the AC-coupled input with the RPQ500. There is a lot of talk and myths about power supplies in the API 500 format. However, we are very happy with the performance of the RPQ500. The full-rack RPQ has an internal PSU with 17V rails. The API racks run on 16V, so there is only a marginal difference that translates to a minimally lower headroom (like 0.5 dB).

On the other hand, the RPQ500 has a line-input mode and a different output control that can act like a fader rather than a trim as on the RPQ.
Check out this video to find out more:
AEA RPQ 500 Ribbon Microphone Preamp Overview - Sweetwater Sound - YouTube

Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Cheers,
Julian
Just picked up an RPQ 500 to drive an R-84 and absolutely love it. Going to order another Monday to have a pair for my other R-84. Excited to try this pre on all my mics but I can't seem to pry it off my ribbon right now I'm expecting to hear wonderful things out of my 67 through it.
Old 8th February 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
syra's Avatar
The RPQ500 has a higher noise floor compared to the RPQ rack. The TRP has the least of them all.
Old 1st September 2014
  #9
I just got an R88 a few months ago and LOVE it. I'm looking to add an RPQ soon and am also weighing the pros/cons of the 500 version. I imagine I would record the signal dry and then go back into the RPQ afterwards to tweak with the filters. I'm wondering, in practice how would it work going back into the mic input of the RPQ rack version, say from an Apogee Symphony for example? Would I be adding at least 13dbs right off the bat (at the lowest setting and going out the balanced out)? Would you go into the AC coupled input with the phantom power switched off in that instance?
Old 13th September 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustusarnone View Post
I just got an R88 a few months ago and LOVE it. I'm looking to add an RPQ soon and am also weighing the pros/cons of the 500 version. I imagine I would record the signal dry and then go back into the RPQ afterwards to tweak with the filters. I'm wondering, in practice how would it work going back into the mic input of the RPQ rack version, say from an Apogee Symphony for example? Would I be adding at least 13dbs right off the bat (at the lowest setting and going out the balanced out)? Would you go into the AC coupled input with the phantom power switched off in that instance?
Hi friend,

I think the best would be to avoid the additional DAAD conversion, but since you want, i think you should use the line inputs and tweak with the filters...
Old 9th October 2014
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustusarnone View Post
I just got an R88 a few months ago and LOVE it. I'm looking to add an RPQ soon and am also weighing the pros/cons of the 500 version. I imagine I would record the signal dry and then go back into the RPQ afterwards to tweak with the filters. I'm wondering, in practice how would it work going back into the mic input of the RPQ rack version, say from an Apogee Symphony for example? Would I be adding at least 13dbs right off the bat (at the lowest setting and going out the balanced out)? Would you go into the AC coupled input with the phantom power switched off in that instance?
The reason why we added the line mode on the RPQ500 was because we wanted to have a convenient gain structure for exactly what you are describing. Just switch the RPQ500 to line mode and you're good. On the full-rack RPQ it's a bit trickier, because the gain structure isn't really designed for that. So yes, the unit would initially apply some gain that you would have to compensate for with the output control to achieve unity gain. Not really ideally, but since we're talking about a low-noise, transparent preamp, it's not a deal-breaker either. But if you're planning on doing this all the time, my vote would be for the RPQ500.
Old 9th October 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
I use the RPQ 500 in line mode for filters and eq all the time even with other amplifiers. It's worth the price just for this application. A truly fine piece of gear.
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