Audio Aero Capitole MKII

I finally got around to installing the new chip. First, I want to say that my unit came with the P2 chip installed and I had no problems with it. The P4 changes some of the functionality and adds some new features. All of which I find quite useful. No effect on the audio, it's as good as it gets. There may be other enhancements that I haven't found yet but these are what I've observed:
- Pressing "standby" on the remote takes the unit OUT of standby mode as well as putting it into standby. It now toggles
- Pressing and holding the "stop" button on the front panel puts the unit into standby
- Pressing and holding the front panel "play" button takes the unit out of standby
- Press any of the volume "up/down" buttons, remote or front panel, changes the display screen and you now see the volume "bars" as well as the volume level in dB.

While none of these changes in and of themselves amount to a whole lot, I do find that it makes using the MKII all the more nicer.

If anyone is interested in some tips on swapping the chip I'd be glad to tell my experience and how to.
Rap- I would love to know how involved this process is, I still have a P1 chip in my player and will not send it out to be done(wonder why:) I am pretty good at this sort of thing I just haven't gotten around to it. Is it really as simple as others tell me? I should get a P4 chip sent to me this week! Its been a long time now!
Given the on line and off line requests here is the procedure for replacing the "P" chip in the MKII..

Installing the P4 chip in the Audio Aero Capitole MKII CD Player.

Tools required: 2mm (for cover) and 3mm (for CD drive mount) hex wrench available at any hardware store for about 50 cents each. Medium jewelers screw driver. The right one comes in an inexpensive kit (about $5) with about five different sizes. Even better is an IC removing tool for this size square chip and I don’t know how readily available that is. I used the screwdriver technique.

All references assume that the MKII is facing you – i.e. the front panel is at your belly.
Total time: 30 minutes
Caution: Be sure to remove the power cord before beginning and ground yourself to remove any static charge build up on yourself. It’s a good idea to ground yourself often during the process.

Remove the cover. The chip to be replaced is on the front panel circuit board mounted vertically. The chip you want to swap has a red dot on it with its version handwritten – e.g. “P2” in my case. For reference, so you know what you are dealing with, look at the board with the STARS™ DAC mounted on it at the rear of the unit and you will see another chip that has the same form factor – i.e. it’s square and has the same pin count. You should notice two things. 1) one corner of the chip is “cut off” as an orientation reference and 2) there are two opposite corners that have a little space between the chip and the socket to insert a removal tool/screw driver.

Gain access - I found that the easiest way to gain access to the chip is to remove three mounting screws from the CD drive. Note these screws are actually screws of the mounting fixture and not the drive itself. Remove the two screws on the left side and the one on the right front. Count how many half turns you make with the hex wrench to loosen the screw. This will allow you to screw them back in with the same tension on the mounting springs. Remove the wire connector from the top of the front panel (there is a little RTV on each side to prevent it from coming loose in transit). These wires connect the magnetic switch that detects “door open”. Now, gently rotate the CD drive to the right about thirty degrees. As you do, you will notice that there are large foam rubber mounting pieces that may dislodge. That’s OK, you’ll want to remove them for better access. The CD drive will safely suspend from its remaining mounting screw while you swap the chip.

Remove the old chip – It’s important when removing the chip that 1) you verify the orientation of the cut off corner (lower left) and 2) you SLOWLY “walk the chip” out of its socket by alternating gentle prying on the two opposite corners where there is access to the chip (upper left and lower right). Slide the screwdriver under the CD drive and into one of the access corners. Important! Before you begin to pry the chip up, put a finger on the outside corner of the chip socket to support it and prevent cracking it. Pry slowly and carefully until the chip moves. It’s in pretty tight. You might actually hear it move a bit before you see it move. The noise is from the very tight spring clips of the socket. As soon as you hear a little sound, stop and go to the opposite corner. Back and forth two or three times and it will be out.

Install the new chip – Place the P4 chip with proper orientation on the top of the socket. Gently push it down all the way while taking care to push it down evenly all at once.

Reassemble by reversing disassembly procedure and enjoy!
I was remiss by not mentioning and thanking Darrell, Audio Aero's authorized North America technician, for:
- providing the P4 chip to me (even the three trys it actually took to get it to me)
- providing the info for hex wrench sizes
- and lastly a tip or two on replacing the chip.

The post above indicates my experience with the process. Let me know if you would like Darrell's contact information or go through Globe Audio Marketing.
Thanks for the great instructions !.. worked like a charm.. I initially thought I was replacing a P2 chip with a P4, but I received a 3.1 ?.. has all the features listed.. maybe a minor difference.. I also want to add that I had no issues witht he P2 chip installed..

thanks again...Matt