Up for sale due to medical issues that require immediate funds... A beautiful Cary/AES Super amp in excellent condition. This amp received the Sound Stage "Reviewers Choice 2000" award. I will post the specs and review quoted from the manual below, but before that I should tell you a few things about this particular unit.
It is not the same as typical production units as this one is serial number 8....made while still in the initial experimentation period for the amplifier and because of that has some upgrades that the later production units do not come with.
Initially the units came with 6CG7 voltage tubes,,,,dual triodes wired in parallel. This unit uses 6BQ5s in place of them....a modification which later became the standard for the unit. Also, in place of poly pro caps in most of the units now made this unit utilizes audio 1 paper in oil caps for all of the coupling and bypass caps....another major improvement, but more costly to use in standard production units.
I spent several days speaking with a Cary technician about the changes in this unit as compared to the standard production units. It came wired in pentode mode rather than triode and puts out about 50% more power than other units of it's type. The B+ voltage is also about 40 volts higher than standard units as well...also producing a bit more power, but still running a rather low high voltage which gives the output tube an incredibly long life. As with other Super amps this one does have the "auto bias" which allows the use of EL-34s, 6L6s, 6550s and KT-88s. Currently it is running Svetlana 6550s with EH 6BQ5s and a pair of nos Amperex ECC88s for a smoother sound. The power supply uses one very large input cap and then is split through two separate chokes and finally uses 4 Solen poly pro caps for filtering which make for an extremely fast recovering power supply and help to provide the excellent sound that it produces. It has a vast sound stage....both deep and wide with exceptional tonal quality. It also does have a bias control on the rear for setting bias for different types and brands of tubes.
All in all this particular unit stands above most other AES Super Amps and is definitely one for a collector as well as having rich excellent sound.
On the downside.... there is one small spot of missing paint on the rear corner of one output transformer. It is about 1/8th inch in diameter, but can easily be eliminated with either a marker or flat black paint. It is not visible from the front and barely visible from the rear. For that reason alone I am rating this as an 8 instead of a 9. It has not been an issue with me at all otherwise I would have touched it up, but it was too small to even bother with. It must, however, be mentioned.
Here is the text quoted from Cary about the amp. Ignore the triode....this is ultra linear, but could easily be converted to triode if desired. I prefer it this way since it produces much better and more controlled bottom end in it's current configuration.
"Announcing the new, exciting, Audio Electronic Supply amplifier. We call it the Super Amp. The new Super Amp started life as the AE-25 stereo amplifier offered for the last few months. Dennis Had of Cary Audio got his hands on the little AE-25 and put in some new Cary technology. The result is the new AE-25 Super Amp. The first public showing and listening session of the Super Amp occurred on January 23, 2000, in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Charlotte Audiophile Society meeting. The raves and thumbs up approval was overwhelming. Within its power range, the AE-25 Super Amp displays the operating characteristics of a true "high-end" amplifier. Careful design, parts selection and proper circuit topologies contribute to incredible reliability and enjoyment.
For the technically minded, a review of the circuit is in order. The new Super Amp operates in a class A mode. The output stage KT-88 tubes are self biased (auto bias) with a separate 390 ohm non inductive 5 watt resistor and 330 MFD capacitor combination on each tube. This bias network also has a 2 MFD film and foil capacitor bypass. Utilizing this bias network will permit the user to try many different types of output tubes if desired. Some of the choices may range from EL-34's, 6550's to 6L6's. One might even wish to listen with 6V6's. All these output tubes will present their own sonic signature. There is no bias adjustment required when listening with these different types of audio tubes in the Super Amp.
The output power is 25 watts in the ultra-linear mode with KT-88 tubes. With a simple wire change at the tube sockets of the output tubes, you may wish to strap the KT-88's in the triode mode. This will give you 15 watts of triode power each channel. In the triode mode you will have the sweetest sound from the Super Amp.
The output transformers on the Super Amp are the most important component in the amplifier and have been specifically designed by Cary Audio for use in the AE-25 Super Amp. We have taken an approach in the output transformer design, not dissimilar to the single-ended amplifiers we design and produce. The primary and secondary windings on portions of the output transformer are wound in a bi-filer process with the two inductors interleaving sixteen times. The bi-filer wind (two conductors wound at the same time) will yield the closest balance and coupling of any design currently utilized in vacuum tube output transformers. The E/I laminents used are silicone impregnated hipersil steel contributing to the extremely low loss of the Super Amp output transformer. The above process is similar to the single-ended air-gap design found on the Cary single-ended output transformers.
A balanced drive signal is applied to the control grids of the KT-88 output tubes from the 6922 (6DJ8) driver tubes. These driver tubes sit on top of a pair of 6CG7 dual triodes as a current source. The 6922 tube is configured in a dual differential network that operates in the following manner: The first section of the dual 6922 tube is direct coupled to the input signal from the system preamplifier. The drive signal is amplified through this first section in a class A grid driven circuit with the output signal inverted 180 degrees out of phase at the anode and then coupled to one half of the push-pull bank of KT-88's. At the same time the second half of the dual triode 6922 is cathode driven in a grounded grid non-inverting class A gain stage coupled to the other half of the push-pull bank of KT-88's. With this network the balance is a perfect plus and minus dual drive signal to drive the final output KT-88's in a balanced push-pull configuration. With the simple deletion of one resistor and capacitor at the 6922 tubes socket, the Super Amp becomes a true balanced amplifier that may be driven by a balanced input signal. The Super Amp is offered as an option in the balanced configuration with XLR input connectors.
The power supply transformer is designed to operate at a 200% continuous commercial service at the full rated 50 watt output level. The high voltage power supply section is a full wave center tap configuration (not some cheap voltage doubler as used in many competitor's amps) to a two stage PI network with two filter chokes, one for each channel. This dual high voltage supply feeds the final output KT-88's.
The AE-25 Super Amp is a zero global feed back design. The only thing hooked to the secondary winding of the output transformer is your audio system loudspeaker. You will immediately notice on female voices the lack of syllable sibilance. Music will tend to float between and behind the loudspeakers. You may be hard pressed, from your listening position, to hear any of the music coming from the loudspeaker itself. Bass notes will be full and exhibit sound stage decay. You will be able to play the Super Amp beyond its power rating without discernible clipping. These are just some of the musical benefits of listening to a properly designed tube amplifier without feedback.
A great deal of attention during design of the new AE-25 Super Amp was concentrated on the "overload recovery" ability of the amplifier. The ability of an amplifier to instantly recover from clipping is much more important than is commonly believed. In the power war of amplifier manufactures the mentality is focused on high and then even higher power output to solve the clipping problem. When in reality the most critical aspect is how fast of a recovery an amplifier can achieve after overload. With the incredible dynamics range of live and in turn recorded music, even 2,000 watts of power is not enough. Most of the music being listened to in an average home listening room is only requiring about 3 watts of power. It is on the transients of loud low frequency program material that tremendous signal voltages will appear at the input of the amplifier. It is in this situation that the overload recovery ability of an amplifier is of critical concern. The Super Amp extols its merits in the ability to handle transients and instantaneously recover from brief or even extended overloads. The Super Amp will overload symmetrically at any frequency in the audio bandpass. The Super Amp will also yield faithful reproduction of extremely low frequencies at full output levels. Power transformer, power supply regulation and output transformer design and careful shaping of the overall frequency response curve all play a very important part in the ability of the Super Amp to recover quickly when over loaded. If one were to monitor the high voltage rail voltage (310 VDC) of the Super Amp during soft and also loud music passages it would be found there is no more than a volt or so change from soft to loud passages.
Another technical feature of your new Super Amp is stability. The Super Amp may be operated with no load (without speaker) without damage to the amplifier, output transformer or tubes.
Get ready for years and years of enjoyable music with the new Audio Electronic, AE-25 Super Amp, stereo amplifier."