I had the a3cr pre and power amps, and switched to a sonic frontiers line 1, which to me sounded like an upgrade. I enjoyed the combo and would be tempted for the AES tube pre over the matching pre just for the fun of it. Since I have not heard the AES, in that price you may be able to find an older conrad johnson tube preamp which would be super nice with the a3cr. Make sure the output and input impedance are compatible.
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