Audio Aero Prima 24-bit/192kHz Should I fix it?

I just acquired a Audio Aero Prima CD Player. It uses a Philips CDM12 transport and a 24-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown chip-set. It skips badly. I opened it up and everything looks really clean. There have been some mods:

There is a 3 lead ribbon that runs from the PC bord on the transport and delivers the digital out signal to the digital out section of the main PC board. The connector was removed from the transport end and was soldered directly to the mating connector pins. Then one of the wires was snipped.

The skipping does not seem to be affected by this mod. It behaves the same when using the digital out as when using the audio out with this ribbon disconnected.

I removed the PC board from the transport and it looks like 2 each IC chips have been removed and a wire soldered to jumper from a pin on one to a pin on the other. This can't be good! Does this mod sound familiar to anyone?

I've been thinking of replacing the transport. It is my understanding that a Philips VAM1252 is a direct replacement for the CDM12.

I looked on Ebay and there are several VAM1252 transports for sale. They all seem to be in the $17.00 to $30.00 range and come from sellers in China.

Is it safe to buy from these sources? Does anyone have any experience to share?
You didn't mention who performed the mods on your player. I sure hope they knew what they were doing. What they did sounds a bit extreme to me.

About the transport, I purchased a new transport from, for my ailing McIntosh MVP 871, for $93, installed it, and it has been working perfectly.

Considering the cost to replace the player (given the mods haven't destroyed it), it is a small price to pay for the potential benefit or risk.

On my new transport, which is out of a Denon 2930, before installation, there is a small solder spot that has to be removed on the transport. It was put there to help discourage static electricity build-up during shipping.

This spot has to be removed for the player to work, and is easy to do, with a copper solder-removing braid, and soldering iron. This may not be required on your particular transport, but it's something to keep in mind.

Let us know how you make out, good luck,

Thanks for the reply.

I didn't say who performed the mods because I have no idea. It was listed for free on the local craigslist site. The guy I got it from said it worked before he put it into storage. It may just need a bit of cleaning.

He also said the guy he got it from did the mods & perhaps the mods are causing the problem. It sounds like a bit of a mixed message. Perhaps I misunderstood. Perhaps the previous owner told him it worked fine before he put it in storage and is may just need a little cleaning.

Based upon what I see I can't believe the thing ever worked after the mods.

I looked on They don't list the make or model of this CD player. When I search for the transport I get several hits for the CDM12. However, all are no longer available. I tried searching for the VAM1252 and found nothing.

Jim, Lubricating the rails may help with the skipping. I have seen others claim that this helps. I've never had to do this but my thought was (if necessary) to use zipper lubricant that you can get at the local sewing/fabric store. It's made for lubricating nylon/plastic parts. Dick

Thanks! I'll give it a try.


I tried Lubing the slides. No luck.

I contacted Audio Aero and surprise, I got a response! This is what they said:


Unfortunately the problem with the Prima range came with the cd drive. First we used Philips and after Philips /orbit decks, but the parts are no longer available because the provider is out of business since 5 or 6 years...and Philips has stopped the production and after sale service .

I am sorry but we don't have any solution to resolve it.


I replied and asked if the Prima I have used the Philips CDP12 transport, If the Philips and orbit transports are interchangeable & how do I tell which one I have.

If it is a CDP12 or an interchangeable orbit, the Philips VAM1252 should work. There are several on Ebay.
OK, here is the latest: I scouted around and found a tag on the back of the CD transport that reads:
3103 308 52010

I tried searching orbit ECOSL MK-3 and found a few Philips hits. I was able to down load a Philips MX-5 service manual that has my transport in it. It looks like it's a Philips VAM1201 Transport. I wonder if all the VAM12** transports are interchangeable? More research to come.

Many Thanks! Jim.
Keep us posted.
Jim, Sorry it didn't work out. Best of luck on the search. That is a pretty well-respected player. Dick