AES Six Pacs Monoblock Amps and AE-3 DJH Pre-Amp

I only have about 230 hours on my new AES Six Pacs monoblock amps and AE-3 DJH pre-amp, but so far, I absolutely love this new hardware.

This is driving a pair of B&W Nautilus 805s and a REL Strata III. My Teres 255 should arrive later this month, and then I'll hear the real potential of the system.

I plan on going into more detail at a later time, but the first thing that jumped out at me was how black the background is with this amp / pre-amp combo. No hiss. No tube rush. No hum. Just darkness. Even with the volume pot cranked...nothing. Then, out of the darkness comes this amazing detail. Between tracks, I sometimes wonder if the hardware shut itself off.

My only complaints are that I hate the speaker terminal binding posts (that's an upgrade waiting to happen). The bias adjustment is *really* sensitive, so a large knob on that post would be helpful. Also, I'd like some consistancy with the silkscreening on the front of both the Sixpacs and the AE-3 DJH (along with picking one color of LED and sticking with it).

Notice none of my gripes pertain to the sound of this hardware - only the asthetics. These things are easy to change, and if I decided to keep this hardware for a good while, you can expect some custom work to be performed on these babies.

Anyone else have experiences with the AES Six Pacs or AE-3 DJH?
Nick, I am willing to help you with swapping speaker posts. Cardas and Vampire are both (likely) better than what is on there now.

Glad there making such great music for you.
Please keep us informed as you get more aquainted with the amps. They have looked very appealing to me but I can't audition them anywhere nearby. I have owned Cary and they are a real good company to deal with as far as service is concerned. By the way, what did you have before them?

Thanks. I'll probably take you up on your offer. My biggest concern that it's tough to get the connections really tight, and I'm afraid that if the connections loosen, the spades on my cables will slide, touch, and short my taps.


I purchased my hardware from Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio. I know of only one other dealer that caries this hardware (Audio Connection in Verona, New Jersey). Otherwise, they are only available direct from AES.

The sound of these amps is evolving. Where I mostly notice the change is with hard rock - Tool, Disturbed, etc. The amps are beginning to have more "punch" and the highs are starting to smooth out. When I ordered the Sixpacs, I immediately upgraded the capacitors to Jensen .22uF 600V oil filled capacitors - I don't know how those are affecting the break-in time.

Did I kill my credibility by admitting I listen to Tool?

What hardware did I use previously? I had a full Rotel HT setup featuring a RMB-1095 driving matching B&W Nautilus 805s / HTM-2 all the way around. I drove my turntable through the R/L multi-channel inputs on my Rotel RSP-1066 in an attempt to keep my pathway as direct and "analog' as possible.

One afternoon, I took a pair of my 805s over to a friend's place and connected them to his Rogue Magnum 99 / Magnum M-120 setup. After fiddling with the placement, I stopped listening to the hardware and began listening to music. I knew that my system had to change. I realized that I was a 2-channel guy, and that multi-channel HT just wasn't for me.

I chose to try the AES hardware mainly because I was intrigued by their design. The Sixpacs are point to point wired, zero feedback, compact design, "choke input" power supply, push-pull triode, class A/AB, etc. The AE-3 DJH was perfect for me becasue other than 3 inputs and volume control (I added the remote control option - highly recommended), I really didn't want (or need) any other features. And after hearing Kevin rave about this pre-amp, I figured that if I don't like it, someone will take it off my hands here on AudioGon (sorry, folks, this one ain't for sale). I knew that I would have been happy with the Rogue, but I wanted to try something different. I mean, what fun would it be if we all had the same system?
I've had my Six Pacs for a little over a month now and am truely amazed at the sound they produce. Currently, they are powering Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitors. Detailed, a lot of air, and punchy base. Can't wait to try them with my Magnepan 3.6. I agree that the speaker binding posts are problematic.