Where do you send these units for repair/maintence?Only then can I begin to answer.Thanks,Bob
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The Audio Aero Prestige is a superb sounding player with a preamp and digital inputs. It has a very analog/organic character. In fairness I must say that I am biased because it's the player that I own. But there has been service issues lately since there is no more a distributor in North America, so you have to send to France, but then it will be repaired by the people who built it. The Ayon seems to have the same flexibility (+ USB digital input) but I have not heard it myself but I have friends who owns Ayon CD2 and they are very pleased. They have a distributor in North America now but who knows in the future? For me I recommend the Audio Aero, buy used you'll have superb sound for a reasonnable price but if you want the security of warranty them go for the Ayon. If you can listen to both let your ears decide. Good luck!
Let me chime in if I may...
I will agree, Audio Aero does indeed build a beautiful player, and when put side-by-side to the Ayon CD2, it will boil down to taste and associated equipment of the listener. The Audio Aero is focused on a more relaxed sound, and in all fairness, in a system that tends to bend a little towards pure performance, it might be just the ticket, yet has often been accused of being a bit too laid back for others. In terms of pricing, the Ayon has no peers. In terms of reliability, they are second to none. In terms of service, although we have not needed any, we have 3 qualified technicians right here within Canada whom are authorized in the unlikely event something goes wrong.
In terms of comparisons, the Audio Aero player should be shown against the CD2, not a CD5. Respectfully, the pedigree of these two player are in different classifications. When I receive an Audio Aero player on trade, it always sells quickly due to it's excellent reputation, yet I consider it a tragedy that there are no parts for these players available as transports were a constant issue, i have 2 customers that have a dead Prestige and cannot even get a replacement, that is just not fair to ask this kind of customers money for a product and not stand behind it. Parts and Service depots seem quite reluctant to touch them, service personell cannot get information in a timely fashion they need for repairing, and the thoughts of shipping a product back to France is a bit unsettling, at least for me.
Ayon Audio designs and builds such a diverse offeratory of products that win constant awards, " BEST OF SHOW " accolades, " PRODUCT OF THE YEAR " and so on. This line is a huge seller and as long as Ayon is building electronics, I will be representing them here in the land of dogsleds, Tim Hortons and hockey sticks !
Simply put, these are outstanding products, but then again, I represent them, so naturally I can't say enough. If you want a second opinion, I can give you about 50. My customers.
thank for listening.....
The cd-5s is a must hear,and potentially could save you 1,000s
Of dollars on a preamp and cables the cd-5s as a cdp layer is exceptional
And the preamplifier section is as good even if you had $15 k to spend on separates I would insist you here this special player- preamp unit,
And do read the reviews ,the 5 s version is even better.
I agree with Audioman58. I recently bought ayon cd-5s that replaced esoteric k-03 in my system. I did compare the pre-amp section of the ayon cd-5s with plinius tautoro, arc ref-3 and in my system ayon cd-5s was better. I think unless one will go with $10K+ pre-amp, it will be difficult to beat Ayon cd-5s as cdp/pre-amp, Trully outstanding unit with great support from Ayon Usa.
Hi Orion, I think it is more helpful if posters have actually compared these players side by side as I have. I managed to dig out my old listening notes from the a-b-a test I did when I sold my old CD-5 vs the buyer's Audio Aero Prestige -
The buyer was using an Audio Aero Prestige player and we a-b-a tested it on the same music & the differences were certainly clear to me; the AA was more rolled off in comparison, the dac section was less detailed and accurate & the midrange was bloated. I also felt it had a 'sheen', like a veil clouding the music. The AA certainly sounded warm, though I felt that quality was compensating for omissions elsewhere. In comparison, the CD-5 had better weighted bass & extension, the above-mentioned veil was lifted, sound came from a dead quiet background & you then felt like the band were in the room playing for you. The buyer also noticed the improved detail and accuracy of the dac, whilst his wife noticed the above-mentioned veil being lifted, though on first impression said she preferred that quality in the AA.
...the end result? The buyer kept the Ayon and sold the AA.
I currently own the CD-5s and do not have the collective knowledge of many of the respondents chiming in here but echo many of the comments mentioned by melbguy1 (cheers mister!). There is certainly a reason this unit does not come up for sale as a pre-owned.
Its "micro-dynamics" are creepy. You may find yourself going to the front door of the home believing someone is knocking. No lie. As mentioned above, bass is fast, detailed and deep, which is something I was concerned about. I'd purchased the Cary slp98p pre and it was completely absent of bass below 30hz, although very nice in the middle. It's what pushed me over the edge for this purchase. Bass is the proverbial foundation needed in all (proper) reproduction.
Considering its inherent value of the CD-5s relative to an extra-preamp setup, it's my suggestion to spend the relatively nominal fee of upgrading the standard tube compliment in the CD-5s to the 1982 Russion "super tubes". Buy a back-up set for down the road - while they're still available.
This is the unit one takes to the casket...