1. About AIME
AIME is abbreviation for ‘Audio Image Musical Experience’ and is pronounced as ‘AIM’ with silent E. Designed by a Hi-Fi enthusiast and audiophile who is based in Kuala Lumpur. All AIME products are custom handmade and tested by audio technician.
2. SE-P3 Introduction
SE-P3 Multi Curve Phono Amplifier is produced in small numbers and sonically superior to mass industry products. SE-P3 phono amplifier has 2 version. SE-P3 V1 has MC Stage. SE-P3 V2 has both MC and MM stage. To maintain very low noise, quality electronic components were hand picked to build SE-P3. The chassis is fitted with isolation feet to reduce vibration. The chassis is made from solid aluminium (up to 6mm thickness) to shield electronics from magnetic field interference. SE-P3 has user selectable gain settings. These settings are easy to select by user simply by placing in the right gain 2 pin jumper found on printed circuit board.
Each SE-P3 comes with a dedicated power supply unit and a remote control. The Power supply is a heavy unit in a solid aluminium box fitted with a large low noise toroidal transformer.
The SE-P3 has been designed and made to provide audio enthusiast the equalisation control and at the same time delivering sound clarity, wide sound stage and sound dynamics from playing your records.
3. Why Multi-Curve Phono Amplifier?
Recording curve is one of many variables found when playing records . The other variables are rotational speed, groove, stylus size, record thickness, surface material, groove cutting direction and diamond profile etc.
The recording curve for phonograph records was not standardized until 1958, and was not universally accepted until 1975. Before that, each company selected the curve that they thought would provide the best possible recording. Because of this disagreement between record companies, you must know how to equalize records made before 1958, and some re-issues and foreign records made after that.
There are several phases in the history of recording phonograph records. Each phase has its own set of recording characteristics.
You can find various information on internet e.g wikipedia for a more detailed research of each phase history of recording phonogragh. One of many useful link is https://midimagic.sgc-hosting.com/mixphono.htm
4. SE-P3 Front Panel
The front panel present the following functions:
Screen – Indicate the mode, curve, mute function you have selected. This screen is visible in the dark.
Curve – Select the playback curve. See Curve selection.
Mode – Select the mode for the playback curve. See Mode selections Mute- Mute line in.
Led indicator – Blue Led indicates power is on for phono amplifier.
5. Getting Connected
Connect the supplied 8 Pin Din Cable from Power Supply unit to SE-P3. Hold the Din connector firmly as you insert the connector at the rear panel of SE-P3. You will find that the DIN connector has a guide pin. The small screw should face top. Turn locking ring until it is connected completely. Do not force or over tighten locking ring.
The locking ring should be able to turn smoothly. The thread can be damaged if ring is inserted and turned at wrong angle.Use a quality power cord with IEC socket. Connect IEC socket to the power supply. Power remain off. If you have any question, please contact us at the number provided at the bottom of every page.
Use 1 pair of quality phono interconnect cables with RCA plug (Grounded) on both ends. Connect RCA cable from turntable to INPUT of SE-P3. Ensure L is connected to L channel of turntable and R connected to R channel of turntable. Connect the ground wire (if any) from turntable to GND. You can use a banana plug to connect the ground wire.
Use another pair of phono interconnect cables with RCA plug on both ends, connect OUTPUT of SE-P3 to your pre-amplifier (when using pre and power amplifier ) or to the input of integrated amplifier. Ensure L and R is connected correctly. Please contact us should you have any questions.
6. Initial Setup
For Low Output MC Cartridges, set gain between 60 – 66dB before powering up SE-P3. You can set the gain by placing the jumper on the desired gain inside the SE-P3 unit (see picture). Use fingers or a long nose plier to carefully remove the jumper and place it in position. REAR indicate where the rear panel of the SE-P3. Picture shows both jumper L+R gain is set at 66dB. Suggest to start from 60 dB and increase the gain step by step as you find the sound best suited to your system. Power must be off when change gain setting and loading.
Ensure cables is connected and gain is set. Turn the SE-P3 on. You will see the blue LED light up and Screen display “SE-P3 Multi Curve Phono Amplifier” for 5 secs. Screen will then display the Curve and Mode. Press ‘Mute’ before turning on the integrated/ pre-power and playing records on turntable. You can press ‘Mute’ again to un-mute when your turntable and amplifier is running. You can then start playing your records.
7. Set Cartridge Loading
SE-P3 V1 loading is adjustable for MC only. For MM cartridges please use SE-P3 V2. Turn off power to your equipment when you change the loading. On the circuit board you shall find 2 blue dip and 2 red dip switches. On the dip switches you shall find the label ‘ON’. ON indicate the selected value setting is being activated. Each number on the dip represent capacitance and resistance.
Picture on the left – Blue dip 1 and Red dip 5 is at ‘ON’ position. The rest of the dip is turned OFF.
- 1 – 360 pF
- 2- 680 pF
- 3- 1nF
- 4 – 2.2nF
- 1- 100 ohms
- 2- 220 ohms
- 3 – 330 ohms
- 4- 470 ohms
- 5 – 750 ohms
- 6 – 1K ohms
Remember that these values are added to the cable capacitance of your turntable for total cartridge loading.
Check the cartridge specifications and adjust the setting accordingly.
Most MM and high output MC cartridges use 47K Ohms. Low output MC’s use 100 Ohms.
Note: with moving magnet cartridges, lowering the resistance below the recommended valued will roll offthe treble response.
8. Choosing a Curve
If you know the approximate age of the disc you are playing, you can simply “test” the curves in that era and settle on the one that sounds right to you. If you have a newer disc and can identify the curve as a standard one, then select it by name. If still in doubt, go through the selection chart and find the label and corresponding curve. The differences in some of the more modern curves are subtle, yet in an audiophile environment, these subtleties can make big differences. What we are trying to achieve in selecting a curve is spectral balance- a kind of unity between the bass, midrange, and treble.
See selection chart (attached). This chart is updated from time to time when new record label is being released and being use with SE-P3 V1 and v2.
Press Curve until desired curve is displayed on the screen. There are 6 curves to choose from :
RIAA, LP, LONDON, AES, NAB, CCIR
9. Choosing a Mode
See the selection chart. Press the mode until the desired mode is displayed on the screen. Each Curve the following 5 Modes :
Stereo, Mix Mono, Left, Right, Reverse.
10. Other Specification
Specially selected transistors for low noise.
Discrete Class A zero feedback output stage.
Each gain stage buffered by fast parallel voltage regulators.
Resistors and capacitors (input loading) adjustable.
All electrolytic capacitors in the audio section are Low ESR and is specially selected for their sonic texture.
Multiple gain structure selectable by the user.
Specially selected low noise toroidal transformer.
Specially snubbed capacitors for each diodes for each secondary coil.
Pre-regulator circuits for the additional low noise effect.
Very low noise regulated voltages.
Shielded cable between power supply and audio section.
High quality RCA connectors.
SE-P3 comes with a remote controlled – picture.
240V AC mains voltage with fuse . Contact us if you need to use other AC Voltage input such as 110V.