Keywords: amp/preamp asylum: review: audio electronic supply ae-3 preamplifier (tube) by bullethead, looking, for, a, new, amp, or, preamp?, if, you're, after, tubes,, post, over, here,
Description: Audio Asylum - Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: Audio Electronic Supply AE-3 Preamplifier (Tube) by bullethead - Looking for a new Amp or Preamp? If you're after tubes, post over here .
So I decided to take the plunge into the world of Tubes. After conversations with members of the Audio Asylum I was directed towards Audio Electronic Supply. A company owned by Cary Electronics that supplies affordable tube equipment for the budding audiophile. Keeping in mind my budget was around $800 for a tube based preamp, I went with the AES AE-3 Tube preamp to connect to a Dussun v6i amplifier. After months of listening I decided to write a quick review on my thoughts of the preamplifier and how well it connects to a solid state amplifier such as the Dussun v6i.
Sounds: The AES AE-3 uses standard 6SN7 tubes. There are plenty of them around being produced new and also there are tons of 6SN7 NOS (New old Stock) laying around on e-bay and the internet. I decided to go with a neutral sounding tube called Electro Harmonix for my experiments and also for my day to day system. The sound is quick and detailed. The airy qualities and the what I would call "attack" that is the quickness of the music was astonishing. I haven't heard a tube based system in such an environment before.
I use a Dussun v6i amplifier (really an integrated amp that does 150wpc into 8ohms but with the preamp bypassed), a SlimDevices Squeezebox v3, a Musical Fidelity A3 cd player all connected to a Bel Canto DAC2. The system is driven by pure digital sources. AudioQuest interconnects and Gutwire powercords are used for the system connections. Adding in the AES AE-3 immediately brought a sense of as I say "quickness" which I haven't heard from the solid state realm which I was used to.
Playing various experimental. Jazz. and Doom metal tracks I have come to the conclusion that this preamp adds to the body and soul of the music like no solid state preamp or solid state integrated amplifier can accomplish from my experience. The smoothness and delicate nature of the recordings came through without a sense of struggle.