Audio Electronic Supply AE-3 Preamplifiers

4.77/5 (22 Reviews) MSRP : $599.00


Product Description

2 channel preamplifier. 3 RCA inputs, RCA output. Single-ended Class A Triode.


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 8, 2015

Bottom Line:   
I picked this up used for $350. I liked the way it sounded but thought it could be better. After reading the reviews and comments on here I replaced the coupling caps with Auricap XO series capacitors. WOW, what a major difference. The Kimber caps (nice caps) sounded slow and lethargic and much more 2D compared to the Auricaps. The soundstage has so much more depth to it and the sound is so much livelier. I even talked with the people at Cary. They were very friendly and helpful. It came with Tung-Sol tubes so I didn't find it necessary to roll them. This is a well (over) built little amp that has found a home in my system. The remote control is nice too. I would highly recommend anyone looking for a pre that doesn't want to take out a second mortgage to get one of these if you can find one.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by matt a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Very nice little pre. I use it with the aes superamp. Some say the combo is bright. I have not found that to be with my system. I dont see why you should spend more money on a pre, unless you want the best of the best, like cary slp98, conrad johnson art, and the likes.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mjcmt a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I agree with the last review 100%. I too have built, owned, and used the standard AE-3 tube preamp. It has the basic desireable sound of a tube preamp, but lack resolution and ultimate detail. I have always wanted the DJH signature version and when I saw one come up for sale I grabbed it without haggling the price because they don't stay around long.

The DJH version of the AE-3 are similar only in name and the tubes used. It is superior in every aspect and is true audiophile preamp. The difference is not subtle. I have compared this preamp to many more expensive and sought out preamps and the AE-3 DJH is simply better. I have taken this little preamp to stereo salons as well as audiophile's home systems and have shamed many a preamp with the DJH's sonic excellence.

This preamp is superb and worth considering, but don't wait too long if your buying used, as they don't hang around long.

I am currently using it with the Pass Labs Aleph 30 poweramp. It has excellent synergy with this 30/30 watt class A poweramp. The preamps 20db gain is a plus with lowish powered amps, too.
The only drawback is the limited 3 inputs and on output if you use it with 2 channel H/T.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by goldlizsts a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Pursuant to a casual friend's recommendation, I built my first AE-3, with pretty much all the upgrades. I had then been in the market for a preamp recently, like a Counterpoint 3000 (impressed with the sweet sound, but the cost to upgrade was not worth it I thought). He then added in the 6CA4 rectifier for me, to make it theoretically on par with the AE-3 DJH, Dennis J. Had's signature piece. I have thoroughly enjoyed the warm and great sound of my homemade AE-3 pseudo-DJH. I think it's a steal for the money, though it lacked a little in soundstage and transparency. Then, over the years I've used several other preamps. Last week, I saw this true DJH listed in Audiogon, fully equipment with the remote and tube upgrades. I was hesitating to get the same unit. But, in the end, I sunk down the $1K and brought the baby home, counting on the fact that I already knew what I had, it'd be great if it's a true upgrade. Boy, did my jaw drop when I first turned it on. It was a night-turning-to-day upgrade. It's much more dynamic, preserving the sweetness of my home-built. The soundstage improved tremendously, the bite, the pin-pointing position of the performer or instrument in the soundstage, the improved depth of the soundstage. I actually was debating if I should also consider the Cary SLP98P, since I still have vinyls. I did a little research, and decided that the SLP would be too velvety and laid back for me. What a gem. There is not a SLP98P DJH, so the AE-3 DJH must mean something special.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kek a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 6, 2002

Bottom Line:   
After many years of a ss preamp, I felt that my system was missing good upstream data.I changed out amps, speakers but something was choking out sonic bliss.

I knew that a tubed preamp would bring this happiness to me, but which one? I searched many reviews and posted many questions concerning different manufactures and Cary was always the front runner amoung the rest. During my quest I found that Dennis Had the owner of Cary had another company he started Audio Electronic Supply (AES)and the reviews on their preamps were outstanding.

I found a AE-3 factory assembled used on the internet for $400 used and was I blown away by the sound from this little charm, it made my whole system sound as if I just upgraded all the components. This AE-3 came with the standard caps and tubes, and upgrading to the oil caps and NOS tubes will only better the sound.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   on line




Reviews 1 - 5 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



Sanus:



CRIMSON: