As anyone heard this piece? I'm interested in it too. Any comments appreciated
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I'm interested as well. I now own a First Sound pre-amp, but my reference for 10 years was the Cary SLP-98P which served me well. For a second system, I'm considering the new AE pre. A quick inquiry to Katie Wright of Cary Audio resulted in a reply that read: "the AE Constellation is an excellent pre amp, but not on the same level as the SLP-98. For half the price, that should not be expected. I like the simplicity of the AE product and of course that it is tubed. Cary uses the same tubes in it's PH-302 phono pre and I have that unit as well, and it is very desirable piece. One obvious difference is that the 98 has a separate power supply, which is a key feature of all the First Sound pre amps. Any feedback on the Constellation would be interesting. I'm guessing it will have the same delicious sound of other Cary products, maybe lacking in some refinement, but imminently listenable. It's a strange world when we think of a $1500 product as 'inexpensive'. I could buy a boat for that!
Can't comment directly on the Constellation, but if the Hercules amp is any indicator, then, damn great product for the price! I ordered a Hercules with the upgrades specified on the website: hexfred rectifiers, Cardas capacitors and WBT binding posts. I have been playing it for about 48 hours with a set of Sylvania EL34s and RCA Black Plate 12ax7s. I am using my EAR 864 as the pre-amp. The sound is fantastic! Very nice bass, great mids and shimmering highs! So I say, order it with the recomended upgrades and put in your favorite tubes and go! Cant beat made in the USA either!