What would you do???

I am torn between the following solutions, all run in balanced configuration. I do not have any SACDs, so I would be getting the marantz for it XLR capability and good reviews. Both configs are about the same price.

Audio Aero Capitole SE MKII direct into a pass X250.5


Marants SA-11 CD player into Audio Research LS-17 Preamp

Thanks for any input.
I would go with the Audio Aero Capitole, as it is one of the very best Redbook players I have ever heard. This will allow you to add a preamp at some point in the future should you see the need, although several Capitole owners I know run direct into their amps.

My two cents worth anyway.
Good Luck!
Ditto Kurt's recommendation on the Audio Aero.
Watch out for those reviews. I listened to a Marantz and an Arcam player (both raved about in the reviews). I compared them directly to the Meridian 588 and there was NO comparison. The Meridian was in a whole other league. The Audio Aero should trounce the Marantz in Redbook and the setup should sound much better going direct as long as the player has enough gain. However, I preferred going through a pre-amp vs going straight through my player which is supposed to have enough gain to go straight to the amp. Of course, it helps when you a have a great pre-amp to go through (the LS17 is good, but far from great).
I third the AA Capitole MKII recommendation. And I'm an owner of the fabulous player! Marantz???? Not even in the same league .......... by really far too!
Audio Aero. No competition. The latest version has analog passthru so you can run your tuner through it, too, I run my DVD player through my Capitole via coax and Satellite with toslink. This is my preamp.
Thank you for all your posts. Capitole it is.
What would be a fair price for a used Capitole?
If you are shopping higher end on audiogon then I suggest you pay the nominal fee and make use of the Bluebook charts. You will see what things are selling for.

Also, on the Audio Aero you need to see if it has the analog passthru which is great if you want to run your tuner through it and get rid of the pre altogether. You would only then need a pre if you are still into vinyl.

If you get a deal on an earlier version there is a fellow in Texas who is an authorized Audio Aero service man that will change out your circuit board and update it to the latest. One of the other advantages to Audio Aero is that to this extent it is some what future-proof. The last I heard he charges somewhere aroung $2,000.00 to to this.