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Old 27th February 2011, 08:49 AM   #1
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Default Cary/AES - AE3 Linestage Help Needed !

Hello everyone ! I recently purchased a AE-3 line-stage preamp for a reasonable price. After E-mailing Cary several times and getting no reply, I'm very much in need of a schematic and/or assembly manual. The amp seems to have great potentional but I would like to know a little more about it before modding ect... The parts used are a mix of new and old also hoping to check them as they don't appear to be factory issued. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated ! Thank's
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Old 28th February 2011, 05:25 AM   #2
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Default Additional information about the AE-3

The Super Preamp is a control center for your high-end stereo system. The Super Peramp is used in conjunction with a basic power amplifier. An ideal match is the companion Super Amp stereo power amplifier.
The new Super Pre Amp is a vacuum tube based line stage with 20dB of gain. The class of operation is Class A triode featuring a pair of 6SN7 tubes. The Super Preamp is a single-ended, R-C coupled, Class A, triode, voltage amplifier coupled to a low impedance, single stage buffer.
The Super Preamp has three line level input jacks on the rear apron. From the jack, the signal is routed to a silver plated selector switch on the front panel. The wiring used is all Teflon® coated silver twisted pairs. After the switch, the signal is routed to a dual 100K potentiometer. This is the volume control. Once the audio signal level is set by the volume control, it is directly coupled to one of the grids in the dual section triode 6SN7 tube.
The power supply is very special in the Super Preamp. The power transformer is wax impregnated in a steel enclosure on the top side of the chassis. The power transformer used is rated at 400% continuous commercial duty cycle for this preamp application. The B+ supply is a center tap full wave DC supply feeding a Pi network supply with filter choke smoothing. The filaments of the two 6SN7 gain tubes are regulated DC for a quiet, hum-free operation. The filter caps used in the Super Preamp are film and foil and aluminum electrolytic. All resistors are 1% metal film. This was copy & pasted for the org web page via: way-back ect... Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by thor61; 28th February 2011 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 28th February 2011, 06:10 AM   #3
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Default Pics !

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Old 12th March 2011, 09:13 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Cary's Reply !

For what it's worth ! Cary had finally gotten back to me, they were very nice and offered to sell me a service manual. It should arrive any day now and hope to restore this pre-amp to org or better !
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Old 13th March 2011, 01:36 AM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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It looks to me like some of the original parts have been upgraded, and nothing in there looks particularly old. It appears that the original interstage coupling capacitors have been replaced with Hovlands which would be significantly better than what was originally installed. Not sure what the output caps are and whether or not they are original. Probably that Solen is located in the final section of the B+ supply and is probably also a significant improvement over the electrolytic I believe it replaced. (Not that this particular cap couldn't be replaced with something still better.)

The parts Cary furnished with these kits were nothing special quality wise so I would not be in any rush to return it to stock condition, these mods such as they are appear fairly well considered.

I would assume there is something you don't like about the sound of this line stage that prompted the investigation? Or like me just curiosity?

It is essentially a solid if uninteresting design surrounded (in my opinion) as all their products of that era were by some rather serious marketing hyperbole, and that's putting it very kindly.. Still a cool score to play around with if you got it at a decent price.
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Last edited by kevinkr; 13th March 2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 14th March 2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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Default Cary Mods

Kevinkr, Actually I really like the sound, but hoping to improve things some ! Here is a link to another post stating what I hope to do ect... #4053 from topic > Lightspeed Attenuator a new passive preamp
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Old 14th March 2011, 01:08 PM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Looked at the message you linked to, sounds like a reasonable course of action to me.
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