Yes, they changed to the Sony transport with the Prestige line. First they offered the new Prima with a Sony transport too. I had one for a short time and wasn't that impressed over the Prima MK2. I have a Capitole MK2 with the Phillips transport. Besides the new Sony transport the control panel looks a lot like the new Prima too. I'm still a bit leary about the Sony transports ..........
I think there is some confusion as to the prestige CDP transport. The new transport going into the prestige player is not a Sony transport. It is a new transport designed by AA and manufactured for them by the same company who make the Sony. My Prestige CDP is on its way back from replacement of the transport now so I will be able to report on it later upon arrival. All indications from fellow owners of the switchout have been very positive.
Gwalt is correct. This is what I was also told. This does make a nice improvement over the first version of the Prestige. I received the new transport and software before Christmas and it has broken in nicely. I am currently running it balanced through a pre amp, but may start running it direct.
I bought my AA Prestige SE player in february 2006. I really love the sound of this player, but I have experienced many troubles with its transport. My player has already been repaired twice (!!). I have been thinking that I let this player go, but maybe new transport will solve those troubles. I really hope that the process is not very expensive.
If the player was purchased through the North American dealer network connected with Globe Audio Marketing in Canada and you are the original owner of the player then I believe there is no cost for the replacement. I paid shipping one way only for the repair. If your located outside this network then I don't know the answer but Audio Aero is trying to maintain customer satisfaction.
Mine was out of warranty. They still replaced the transport at no charge. I have had no problems and it is so quiet. I'm very happy with their service.
I own the Capitole. Is the Prestige that much better? I have never had a chance to try one.
Oh, I do love the Capitole.
I live in Europe and I have been told that those new transports are out of warranty. They define them as upgrades and we have to pay for them. How much, I don't know yet, because they don't answer my emails and the local distributor is very passive about this process.
As far as whether the Prestige vs. Capitole is that much better should be determined by Unclejeff with a side-by-side comaprison with both units fully warmed up in your own system. To me the Prestige plays Redbook CD's outstanding. One of the largest differences I think you will note that the Prestige carries more realistic micro/macro dyanmics and a larger soundstage but this should be your call in your system decided by your tastes.
Mkili, Globe Audio of North America replaced mine (no charge) after 14 months.
It's great to see many Prestige users. To get best performance, I suggest you disable the Analogue input board:
1. Remove top (16 screws)
2. Input board connects to motherboard using a ribbon cable
3. At each end unclamp cable by gently pulling on side stubs
In my case improvement was clearly audible. It seems this Prestige feature adds to players noise floor. Please share your findings.
I received answer from AA to my questions today. They informed that I have to pay 450 euros + shipping charges for that upgrading process. I quess I will do it anyway.
Saxman2, please describe sound differences between old and new transport. I quess they changed the motherboard too.
1.Much quieter operation
3.better bottom end
I have a Dartzeel pre and it gives a very different
presentation(a little leaner and more open). I like the sound
direct and through the pre amp.
I like to use my Prestige with ARC ref 3 with balanced cables. It gives me fuller sound and better soundstage.
A few days ago, after a long wait I finally received the upgraded Prestige (SE + new Sony transport).
The initial impression was: very quiet transport, still more open, tactile sound, slightly stronger bass. Overall: worthwhile upgrade.
However, there still seems to be a problem with the transport:
When I start the player, an electronic noise (hum) is heard from the speakers as the transport spins up. When I stop the CD, the same type of noise is heard as the transport spins down. When I go from one track to the other, short electronic pops are heard. I do not mean mechanical noise coming from the transport (which is much softer than the previous Philips transport), but electronic noise coming from the speakers (or headphones). The noise is quite irritating and sometimes occurs at the same time as the music. As soon as the transport has reached a constant speed, there is no noise.
This problem occurs only after the player has warmed up. When the player is switched on after a period of rest (= not powered on), there seems to be no problem, but it starts after approx. half an hour or so of being powered on.
I have not yet written to Audio Aéro about this, but plan to do so this weekend.
Anyone having a similar experience with the Sony built transport?
Problem now with the transports is that neither Philips nor Sony make the pro versions because of lack in demand. The stuff going as Philips and Sony now is a cheap reproduction made somewhere in China, probably next to a cheap DVD assembly line. No much quality control there, everything goes out the door, no questions asked at those prices anyway.
That is why Accuphase is building now its own transports (weights about 8Kg). Sony stopped making the good transports some time ago. Teac and Linn took measures some time ago too.
So the other manufacturers are drawing from NOS transports, of which they bought many in anticipation of what is happening now.
I would make sure the manufacturer will service my CD long enough, or get a pickup head as a replacement now. I do not know how the future will look like for those transports, but not so nice if you paid dearly for your CD player .
As is happening with AA it will happen with every other CD player manufacturer who does either not make its own drive or at least put together something solid from bits and pieces sourced fron Sony or Philips. They call those "modified" now.
Interesting info... my demo Prestige (same one I brought to use as the front end for the Merlin/ARS-Sonum/Cardas room at the Stereophile show the other week) which is only a few months old with the new transport has been very, very quiet. If the transport or something else in the player is causing noise to come out the speakers, check the ground lift swtich on the rear panel. While I doubt its some kind of weird ground issue that is causing the noise, it would only take a few seconds to flip the switch to see if it makes any difference. One last thought... I would also check the placement of the player in regards to other gear... it could be some kind of odd interaction issue with other gear which may be located close to the player.
I also have the new transport with my unit, and i have not experienced any similar problems as u stated. You should better contact with your dealer and Audio Aero direct. It must be a problem with your transport unit.