Is the volume control on the Transport or the DAC?

It seems a silly question but that's my ignorance. I am currently using an Audio Aero Capitole CD player in my system to drive a pair of monoblocks. I do not use a preamp nor am I contemplating buying one.

I am looking for a back up player and have spotted an Audio Aero Prima Mk II but the latter has a volume output of 2.2V, no volume control but has a digital output.

My question is, ifever the transport/disc reading of my Capitole becomes capricious, will I be able use the Prima as a transport and the Capitole as a DAC? If so, will I be able to control the volume level through the Capitole?

Or simply put, does the volume control of a Transport/DAC combo lie with the Transport of the DAC?

Second question, I am being offered a perfectly working Resolution Audio CD55 at a bargain price (around $800) which I am very tempted to buy as back up in place of the AA Prima but someone very knowlegeable in the field has recommended me to buy a used Resolution Audio Opus 21 instead. But times are hard and I am not keen on splashing out twice that sum on a back up player. Should I go for the Prima or the Resolution Audio. Both are at the same price point. I like the sound of my Capitole and play all kinds of music but more classical - Tchaikosky & Strauss type.

Many thanks for your advice and help.
The volume control on the AA Capitole is on the analogue output section, which means any of the solutions recommended would work.

That said, why would you buy another transport as a back up? You might have many years left.
If the Capitole has a digital input then you can use it as a dac for whichever transport you chose. But I agree with T_bone concerning the need for a back up.
Also, I have been using a Resolution Audio CD-50 for years now and love it. I have tried several times to upgrade but nothing has bested it. Haven't tried the AA Capitole, although I have looked into it.
I can understand the concern about having a back up for the AA Capitole. The problem with your idea is that when the Capitole dies (ie. needs repairs), the whole unit will be down and out, not usually just the transport. Additionally, it is the main board, the DAC chipset (STARS) that seem to be the cause of the biggest problems with these units. Both of these problems would put your unit out of commission.

On another note, the Prima does not really sound anything like the Capitole (I bought a Prima when I sent my Capitole back to France for servicing). The prima's sound stage is a fraction the size of the Capitoles and it can get congested pretty easily with large scale recording (ie. a lot of stuff going on, a lot of instruments, and certainly with rock music).

I do understand your love affair with the Capitole direct to the amps though. Its just too bad its made in France, I have never had any positive experiences with any of the French equipment manufacturers in terms of service and also have found their equipment much, much less reliable. I do like their fries though!
Thanks all for your inputs. I appreciate.
The reason why I need a back up is if anything happens to my Capitole it has to be sent to AA France for repair (am from Mauritius, not in the US), which is a traversing almost half of the globe and that may take several weeks/months to have it back in my system.

But I do travel to France & USA a few times a year and my initial thought was, ifever any problem develops with the Capitole, I would be able to use the DAC part with a cheaper CD player and traverse the desert pending my next trip to France (and have it repaired there).

Timrhu, have you ever had any transport problems with your Resolution Audio CD50? I understand that it is about 10 yrs old, more or less like the RA CD55 being offered to me. Any reliability issues?
Lall, no problems with the transport on my cd-50. Mine was purchased on ebay, at least 5 years ago, and advertised "as is." When it arrived there was an issue with the remote; the standby function did not work. Jeff Kalt, from Resolution Audio, sent me a new remote along with an updated EPROM for the player at no charge.
The older RA players use a common Phillips transport so I would expect it to last as long as most. If my transport quits I will probably have it replaced or buy another cd-50.
Is there a dealer on La Reunion? I'd bet not but you might ask. In any case, I guess airfreight St. Denis to Paris would not be cheap...
I did quite a bit of research on AA dealership in La Reunion but in vain. Am quite sure they do sell it there but what I know if that outside some major countries (USA for instance) all repairs have to be handled by AA factory.
For example, a UK customer willing to upgrade Capitole to SE (which is a simple straight forward technical work) has to have to send it to his dealer in UK who will send it to France i.e. teh upgrade is not done by the UK distributor.

In any case, Mauritius to Reunion then to France and back through the same route to Mauritius will probably entail more cost, but also more stops and handling and a definite possibility that the player will arrive DOA.
Now the best for the last, the current rate quoted by DHL for sending my Capitole to France & back is around USD 1200 + handling and documentaion fees + brokerage + customs + VAT on repairs etc..... much more expensive than paying an air ticket to France.
Ouch. Shame on me for expecting that it would not be so expensive. La Reunion is an expensive place to be (as I expect Mauritius is), but I would have expected air freight to be somewhat subsidized. My idea on a dealer on LR was that he would have an even cheaper way to ship it...
Hi T-Bone
Just had a look at your two systems, am impressed by your Horn speakers. Very unsual and ...mmm scary too.. I myself am thinking of making a trip to Germany to listen to a Velvat Pulseon horn speaker. Looking at your assembly, you seem to be quite knowledegeable about gears. Can you send me a private e-mail, I want to discuss an audio issue with you. My e-mail is