the Mark 2 is much better especially the bass alot more authority and much better definition the differences are worth the price definitely having owned both previously.
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As I have been told the Mk II improves greatly in the bass region and increased resolution across the board.
I am not sure there is a Mk III version coming out, perhaps it is the Mk II SE (special edition that the North American importer is offereing) which changes some caps out as well as replaces the tubes with NOS cryo'd tubes. I do think they told me they sent one of their units to AA for them to review... perhaps that will be the Mk III...
I would give Globe Audio a call (the North American Distributor) and ask them, they were very helpful and insightful as to thte differences between the models.
I have had it for a few years. The latest version has an analog passthru which is really good. In addition to using it as a Cd player, I run my satellite feed with toslink and I run my DVD player through coax. Being able to run my tuner through the passthru would be great and it would save me a swithcbox or a pre.
The Mark II certainly does not need a pre as it is very true to the original intent of the producer/mixer of the CD. When you get a really poorly done CD the Mark II will show it so much that some of my CDs are now relegated to my car. There are multiple versions or the Mark II which can be itentified by the serial number. The very first Mark II players had a defective chip and these can be itentified by chips version p4 or earlier. Mine was upgraded to a p6.5chip with a new circuit board and it runs really well.
One of the best things about the Mark II is that it is somewhat futureproof as even an older unit can be upgraded to even include the analog passthru with a new circuit board.
It is worth the wait. This would be the very last component in my system that I could part with.
Mine was one of the first p4 releases and it did give me some problems. I called Globe and after checking the serial number they were somewhat helpful with the upgrade even though I bought it here on Audiogon. The serial number will have a sequencial number and it will also show the year it was manufactured. If my information is correct, if the serial number is 0207/318 then it was made in July of 2002 which is when the P4 chips started getting their acts together.
From what I have been told the MK III will have the software upgraded by USB. I guess you would put the software on a USB key & then update the unit. I have done that w. my Canon 20D camera without any issue. Actually it takes about 3 minutes from start to end. It would make the new CDP future proof in some regards. The MK II is an incredible unit which I prefer to my EMM DAC 6e w. an APL modded EMM SACD 1000 transport on CD. On SACD the Audio Aero is outclassed on many SACDs., and very close on many CDs. If it was my decision & money was an issue I would stop w. AA MKII used. If not I would get a MKIII w. some discount. The modded players are tempting but I find it difficult to fairly compare a modded player to a stock unit. The APL types are tempting. In the end trust your ears. I purchased my AA MKII after hearing it in several systems that I judged to be very musical. More so than almost any other system I was listening to at the time.