Audio Aero and Accustic Arts

I've recently added Accustic Arts DAC to my system. I'm pleased with the new sound it brought to the system. Compared to Linn Unidisk the upper frequency is more extended and airy, and the vocals sound more natural.

I'm thinking of continuing with upgrade on the DAC. While Accustic Arts Tube DAC is highly regarded, unfortunately it's out of my budget. I've been looking around, and the DAC and CDP from Audo Aero caught my eyes. I like the fact that they have tube output stage and analog domain volume control. It looks like DAC is somewhat rarer than the CDP. Has anyone compared Audio Aero with Accustic Arts DAC?

How are the Audio Aero CDP? Do all models have tube output stage and analog volume control? I see some models with digital input and/or analog preamp section. Were there offered as an option?
The Accustic Arts DAC 1 Mk 4 is significantly better than the Accustic Arts DAC 1 Mk 3 that you now have.
IMO Audio Aero Capitole is a great player. I owned one for almost 2 years.

If you are looking for one used, look for Capitole II SE. IMO it represents the best value for money. The new Capitole Reference is not really better, and is much more expensive. The original Capitole (also reffered as mk I, with knobs) is nowhere near as good as mk II and mk III, and had many reliability problems, and as such is hard to recommend.

All Capitole players came with tubed output stage, analog volume controll and digital inputs fitted as a standard. Analog inputs were optional.
For many years the Audio Aero Capitole CDP was the center of my system. I ran Satellite through toslink, my DVD player through coax and I even ran my slim devices Transporter through the AES/EBU....with all thee of these sources using the Audio Aero's DAC.

It is only since I got my Anthem D2 that I switched over as the main DAC for all of ther other sources, allthough I still use the Capitole's DAC into the D2 via an analog cable.
Accustic Arts combo (Drive1 mk2 and dac1 mk4)was much better than Audio Aero for every parameter in my setup however I am going to sell them so that I am going to hard disc route for digital.
Thanks all for the replies. Elberoth2, thanks for the explanation of the various models. Ben, which Audio Aero model did you compare Accustic Arts combo with?
It was Capitole Reference cd player.
I have heard both and I disagree that the Accustic Arts combo is "much better" than the Audio Aero. Both are very good, and the real choice and expressed preferences may boil down to personal tastes.
Many players like Accustic Arts have a reputation for being ultra-detailed and are a little tilted-up in the higher frequencies, but that can become fatiguing.
The Audio Aero offers great performance across the frequency range and while maybe not as ultra-detailed as the Accustic Arts, with their patented STARS system and tubed analogue output Audio Aero offers a more natural, musical presentation and are never fatiguing to listen-to.
Ben, could you describe in which ways Accustic Arts were better? I haven't heard Capitole, but since they have tubed output stage I assume the sound characteristics are somewhat different from Accustic Arts.
I would have to disagree with Golden ears when he refers to the Accustic Arts Tube Dac suggesting it's fatiguing, must be something else going on.

I have had and compared different dacs in my set-up, most costing substantially more than the AA Tube Dac and in the end preferred the Tube Dac but not with their stock tubes, even AA has come out with their latest Reference Tube Dac and changing the tubes.

You can refer to Teajay's threads regarding this.

I have actually had some of these Audio Aero pieces spoken of here in my system and they are very nice but there was no comparison in my set-up when compared to the Tube Dac and Golden ears you can listen to my system 24/7 with no fatigue what so ever.

I'm curious what was the rest of set-up because something was causing these issues you were hearing.
It seems that the Audio Aero stuff is quite prone to technical failures. Accustic Arts is very reliable ("Deutsche Gr├╝ndlichkeit"). So what would be your choice: better sound but not so reliable or less better sound but very reliable?

I have two AA CDPs, the latest Prima and a Prestige. Both have been extremely reliable so far. Don
If you do a search of threads on audio aero I believe you will find a great number of very happy, loyal customers.
I am a user of Audio Aero Prestige SACDP (for more than 2 years) and agree Audio Aero is prone to technical deficiency.

Having said that, I am one of those 'very happy and loyal customers' and plan to upgrade along the Audio Aero product family.