Audio Electronics by Cary Audio
It’s difficult to tell from my poorly shot photograph, but Audio Electronics’ range of affordable products seem to offer the same high level of fit and finish one would expect from their more ambitious parent, Cary Audio. The 30Wpc, EL34-based Hercules power amp ($1895; seen here) was mated to AE’s Constellation tubed preamp ($1495) and Lightning DAC ($1295). Also in the range is the Nighthawk headphone amplifier ($1195).
Cary’s Billy Wright explained that, with the Audio Electronics range, the goal is to attract a greater market share by keeping all of the products priced below $2000. This is accomplished by utilizing direct marketing, cutting down slightly on warranties, and in certain instances sacrificing some versatility, but never, according to Wright, sacrificing sound quality. “Our goal is to cut costs without cutting performance.”
Audio Electronics Supply was originally founded in 1993 as a parts supplier, primarily for Cary Audio customers who wanted spare parts and replacement tubes. Around 1996, AES began offering kits; and when customers requested help assembling those kits, AES decided to offer complete products. When the interests of Cary Audio’s customers took a turn toward home theater systems, AES took a backseat. But happily, in 2011, the brand was relaunched as Audio Electronics by Cary Audio to serve the growing number of audio enthusiasts in search of higher quality at lower cost.
“It’s great to see more people getting involved,” said Billy Wright, “and we’re happy to be a part of that.”
All Audio Electronics products are designed and handmade in Apex, North Carolina, USA.