I've owned them for more than a year. Are they better than your current amp, don't know, you would have to be the judge of that. I have owned Krell and Pass Labs SS amps as well as a very good Manley Stingray integrated and I still have the Sixpacs. It really depends on the rest of your system, your musical tastes and what's important to you with regard to sound qualities you are looking for. I can say the build quality is very good, the boxing/packaging is good and they are backed up by a very reputable company in Cary. You can go here
to read a little about them. If these are what you're looking for you'll know it when you A/B them against your Primaluna. Bottom line, I like the clarity, weight and smoothness they bring to my system. Good luck!
Some people have said that the Six Packs are better than the Cary V12i (they share similar designs as AES is sort of the lab for future Cary products). I owned the V12i and prior to purchasing it thought hard about getting the Six Packs. I just got a better deal on the V12i so I went with that.
If they are indeed better, or even if they equal the V12i, you'll be pretty happy with the sound. Especially if you pop in some NOS EL-34 tubes. If you can swing it, get the oil cap upgrade and have the plastic speaker posts swapped for gold plated ones.
I just hit my 2-year anniversary with the Sixpacs, and I'm still lovin' them. I have the AES AE-3 DJH pre-amp, too. I couldn't be happier with the combination. If it will best your PrimaLuna...no idea.
After spending the day chasing around my toddlers my brain was mush so that's the reason I'll give for a poorly worded previous post.
I realize no one can assess how these amps would sound in my system. I was hoping to get impressions from owners of how well they like them? How is their build quality? What did they do for their system and any other advise they may have for someone thinking of buying these amps.
Here's a quote from my system review:
As for the AES hardware (AE-3 DJH and Sixpacs), I was nervous about transitioning to tubes. Would the tube rush drive me crazy? Could I live with the weak, flabby bass? What am I going to do with only 50 Watts? Well, let me assure you, the AES hardware quickly dispelled all of my fears. I can literally crank the volume (with no source active) and hear absolutely nothing from the speakers. No rush. No hum. No noise. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Sometimes when the spacing between tracks on a CD is a little longer than usual, I wonder if my system has shut itself off.
The low end is absolutely wonderful. Now I'm not saying that the AES hardware equals the "slam" of the Rotel powerhouse, but there is something there that is more satisfying. I've been trying to think of a way to articulate it in words, but I haven't found them yet. The low end seems to be more appropriate. You dont feel it in the chest, but with all of the wonderful qualities the AES hardware brings to the table, you really dont care.
The dynamics of the pre-amp / amps surprised me as well. Why my previous solid state components sounded compressed is beyond me (especially with a 200 Watt per channel beast driving monitor speakers). I thought that previous incarnations of my system were revealing all that the source had to offer. The AES hardware presented detail and nuance buried within many of the CDs and LPs that I've listened to for 20 years (or more). What was obscure is now accessible.
It did take longer than the stated 100 hours to break in the AES hardware (about 240 hours - but, hey...who's counting?). This may be attributed to the Jensen capacitors I had upgraded when I place the order for the Sixpacs.
The only reservations I have about the AES hardware is purely superficial: I don't care for the myriad of fonts and font sizes on the faceplates, the blue LED on the AE-3 DJH should be replaced with a red LED as on the Sixpacs, the speaker binding posts need to be upgraded, and since the bias pot is hyper-sensitive, a large knob should be included. Ive been e-mailing the techies at AES, and all of my concerns can be easily remedied.
Build quality is superb. The AES gear doesn't have the same polish as the Cary gear (automotive-quality paint, etc.) but it is still very respectable. If you know someone in your area with this setup (or happen to live near the Cary headquarters or either of the 2 dealers), I recommend stopping over for a listen.
How do the Sixpacs compare in sound to a Super Amp Signature or DJH? Has anyone owned both amps?