1. What makes Audio Aero digital components (CD players and DACs) so special?

There has been quite a grassroots buzz about the Audio Aero Capitole CD players - that it was one of the most musical players in the world; that it did not sacrifice much of the advantages of the digital sound (detail, dynamics, quiet background) in order to gain some of the advantages of analog (musicality, naturalness). We then read about the design of the Capitole - combining an audiophile class transport, a high-quality DAC and a world-class tube output stage (essentially a built-in preamplifier) into a single, easy to manage, chassis. Why this approach had not been taken before, we do not know, but we do know that Audio Aero pays particular attention to the way their components sound and not just their technology.

We first got to hear the Audio Aero Capitole mk I CD player at CES 2002. Not only that we got to hear it with the Audio Aero Capitole stereo amplifier amplifier driving the Acapella Audio Arts Campanile speakers. My oh my, did we like the way this system sounded! What we heard was a world-class system. There are very few world-class systems out there, and if you want world-class sound yourself, the easiest way is to try and buy the entire world-class system, soup to nuts, when and if you ever hear it. And, piece by piece, we did; becoming dealers for both Acapella and Audio Aero, and setting up for our client's listening pleasure that same system we heard at CES: Audio Aero Capitole (mk II), Audio Aero Capitole stereo amplifier and Acapella Campanile (High).

2. How are Audio Aero digital components (CD players and DACs) standing the test of time as digital goes through such rapid improvements every year?

After living with the Capitole CD player and Capitole amplifier for awhile, we have come to love the sound of the CD player. It also has a special synergy with its brother Capitole amplifier. There is something happening here that just lets one forget about the equipment and just enjoy the music. And although the honorable competition gets better year by year, they also raise their prices, and by significant margins at the same time. So dollar for dollar, the Audio Aero pieces hold their own, and it is not like the sound we enjoyed so much last year is any worse this year - in fact we take special smirky pleasure in watching many challengers come and go.

3. How long does it take to break-in an Audio Aero Capitole CD Player?

It takes about 1000 hours before the CD player finally settles down and sounds the way it is supposed to. There-after it will continue to get better, but at a much slower rate, for years.

4. How long does it take to break-in an Audio Aero amplifier?

The Capitole amplifier, with which we have had the most significant experience, sounded tight-and-constrained right out of the box but quickly, in about 200 - 300 hours, loosened up and has continued to improve over time, becoming even more relaxed and musical.

5. Does the Audio Aero Capitole CD player have a digital or analog volume control?

The Capitole MKI remote control can attenuate the volume in the Analog domain or in the Digital domain. If you press CD, the remote will affect the internal digital volume control, but if you pressCD/PRE, the remote will be affecting the internal analog volume control. It is much better (sounding) to use the analog volume control. The front panel kob always controls the volume in the Analog domain. The LCD remote control that some owners chose for the MKI has less functionality than the plastic remote control and does not have the capability to chose CD or CD/PRE.

The Capitole MKII remote control can only attenuate the volume in the Analog domain. If you press CD, the remote will not be able to control the volume, but if you press CD/PRE, the remote will be affecting the analog volume control.

6. I am running the Capitole CD player into a linestage (instead of directly to an amplifier). At what volume should I set the Capitole to have the sound not attenuated or amplified by the Capitole (aka at Unity Gain)?

Set the Capitole CD player volume to -10.

7. What about the balanced (XLR) output capability of the Capitole CD player. Should one use this or the unbalanced/single-ended (RCA) outputs instead?

The Capitole CD player is a fully balanced design. In fact, the original designer of the Capitole CD player output stage (as well as the Capitole amplifier) recommends using the balanced outputs vociferously. On the other hand, there are those who swear by the principle that  the simpler single-ended approach adds a deeper truth to the sound. So we are not able to recommend either type of connection - it is up to you and your ears to determine which you prefer.



For Orders Or Inquiries Please Contact

Audio Federation

Copyright Audio Federation, Inc.