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Audio Aero
Audio Federation is delighted to be an authorized dealer of the entire Audio Aero line of fine digital equipment and amplifiers. FAQ

The Company
Audio Aero is a French company that is a small subsidiary of a French conglomerate of the aerospace industry. It has entered the high-end audio business - not to make money, very few high-end companies make money - but for the love of music and the challenge of improving the average audiophile's experience. The result has been some very special products. In particular, their Capitole CD player has become one of the very, very few CD players that can convert ordinary 'redbook' CDs into... music. Audio Aero products are distributed in North America by Globe Audio Marketing whose website is more Netscape friendly than Audio Aero's).

The Sound
Many astute listeners are convinced that the Audio Aero Capitole CD Player is one of the 2 or 3 most musical CD players being made today (even though it is priced 'somewhat' modestly).

There are other CD players out there, in fact quite a few, that have a more detailed presentation, that have more bottom octave slam and resolution, that have more 'air' at the top end. But the Capitole has enough of these attributes to satisfy... and one other key ingredient that so very few CD players have: it sounds like music.

It can be an almost embarrassing admission to oneself - that a player that does not have all the wizz-bang audiophile-approved set of sonic attributes that all CD players are expected to have - but it just plain sounds better; one just wants to listen to it more often, one relaxes, perhaps taps one's foot when listening to this player.

So in these respects: the Capitole is a break-through in CD player design. Most CD players, let's face it, produce an irritating, headache-inducing sound that, if anything, impresses the mind with bombastic dynamic ranges and microscopic detail - but never touching the soul. The Capitole can reach in and grab us and take us on journeys to places that we may have not seen since the days of our youth.

The Audio Aero amplifiers have a sound that might be called 'charming'. Not very 'tubey', but not completely neutral either, they are musical and seductive. There are other tubed amplifiers out there - that do this or the other in a subtly different way, and so everyone should be able to find an amp that matches their tastes (though in practice - with limited time and budgets, this can be difficult).

What we like about the amplifiers is that they mate exceeding well - majestically well in fact - with the Audio Aero CD players/ Because the CD players have a fully-functional output stage, they can be connected directly to an amplifier. They do not require a pre-amplifier, and, in fact, sound much better without one.

Connected directly to an Audio Aero amplifier, the soundstage just engulfs one, the macro, midi and micro dynamics just loosen and free up so much more music and foot-tapping PRaT (pacing, rhythm and timing). So, if you have speakers that can be driven by a Audio Aero tubed amplifier, you really might consider getting one of their amplifiers to mate with your Audio Aero CD player.

The Technology
CD PLAYERS: STARS « digital resampling software from Anagram combined with an excellent, tubed, output stage.

All CD players can be decomposed into 3 parts: transport/laser mechanism, DAC (digital to analog converter), and output stage. Audio Aero uses standard audiophile quality off-the-shelf transports from the leading manufacturers, revolutionary STARS « digital resampling software from Anagram in their DAC, and one of the, if not the, best analog output stage (tubed) that any CD player has ever had. These three things, taken together, make the Capitole unique, an evolutionary leap in technology, a revolutionary leap in sound.

AMPLIFIERS: TRIODE Beauty with PENTODE (or, in the case of the Transtrac, MOSFET) Power.

The sound of Audio Aero amplifiers has a natural beauty originating within the Triode tubes and supported by various innovative technologies to drive real-world speaker loads.

  AUDIO AERO CAPITOLE 24/192 MK II CD Player  
 
Capitole 24/92 CD Player mk II Features
CDPRO2 laser mechanism from Philips,
STARS « Digital Sampling Process, 1024 times up-sampling,
Conversion is performed at 6,144MHz by 24bit/192 kHz DAC,
Analogue output stage
Specifications
Frequency range (with 16/44.1 input signal) : 7 Hz - 20 kHz (- 1dB)
Frequency range (with 24/96 input signal) : 3 Hz - 48 kHz (- 1dB)
Output voltage : up to 5.0 V RMS
Output impedance : 100 ohms
Signal to noise ratio : 125dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,3 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 30W
Technology : Philips CDPRO2 mechanism for audio CD, CDR and CDRW suspended on aluminum / rubber subchassis
Exclusive STARS « process for 24 bit / 192 kHz re-sampling using SHARC DSP 32 bit floating point
Supported wordwidth (digital input): 16, 18, 20 and 24 bit
Supported sampling frequencies (digital input) : 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
Analog Devices AD1853JRS 24 bit / 192 kHz Digital to Analog converter
High quality IC analog attenuator
Balance control
6021W subminiature tube output stage and high quality buffer
Analog outputs : single-ended RCA and professional line driver XLR
Digital inputs : BNC, RCA, AES/EBU, AT&T and TOSLINK
Digital output: inside player or any of the digital inputs by a BNC plug
Chassis : 15/10 steel
Lid : 20/10 brushed aluminum
Weight : 15kg. / 32.6 lbs.
Dimensions (WxLxH) : 452 x 450 x 120 mm / 17.82 x 17.72 x 4.72 inches

"The Capitole CD Player 24/192 has been designed with the idea that it will equal the new digital formats performance. 

First, Audio Aero selected the high-end CDPRO2 laser mechanism from Philips for it's excellent playback performance, long lifetime, low play noise and long product life cycle. 

Supported by a specific aluminum suspension, it's excellent readability allows it to recover the maximum data from CDS. 

Then, they included the state-of-the-art in digital processing : Their exclusive STARS « process (Solution for Time Abstraction Re Sampling).  A combination of very high speed 192 kHz RE-sampling (a new jitter free clock is created), 24 bit re-quantization and signal enhancement techniques (extraction of “hidden” information from 16 bit data, improvement of dynamic, precision, soundstage and details), developed for Audio Aero by Swiss company Anagram Technologies SA. 

The core of the system is a 32 bit SHARC DSP which, by performing hundreds of millions of calculations per second, rebuilds a high precision 24/192kHz signal, independent from the input clock, keeping total dynamic range in all stages. Then, after a 1024 times up-sampling on demand, D/A conversion is performed at 6.144MHz by a high performance 24 bit / 192 kHz DAC. 

The analogue output stage features sub-miniature tubes and high precision buffer with built-in high quality volume control for a perfect match between high-tech digital treatment and musicality."

Application: The Capitole CD Player is excellent for systems that either: need or want some (very slight bit of) warmth, are too bright, the listener would like to use tubes but cannot or does not want to deal with tube amplifier's negative environmental issues (heat, maintenance, foot-print), or those systems that do not have 'charm' - that missing something that makes a whole system sound musical and engaging.

Reviews: Distributor's review page. Enjoy The Music.com's Bob Neill review. Inner Ear Report 2/2001 (Capitole mk I). International Audio/Video Review Featured Pick.

Awards: Soundstage Reviewers Choice Award.

Includes: Delivered with Black Diamond Racing Pyramid Cones

Options:

  AUDIO AERO PRIMA 24/192 CD Player  
 
Prima 24/192 CD Player Features
Philips VAM1201 transport,
Analogue output stage
Specifications
Frequency range : 15 Hz - 20 kHz (- 1dB)
Output voltage : 2.2 V RMS
Output impedance : 1 K Ohms
Signal to noise ratio : 100dB
Total harmonic distortion < 0,2 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 20W
Technology : Philips VAM1201 mechanism
4 times oversampling
Burr-Brown PCM1739E 24 bit / 192 kHz Digital to Analog converter
6021W subminiature tube output stage and buffer
Analog output : single-ended RCA
Digital output : RCA
Chassis and cover : 15/10 steel
Weight : 8 kg. / 17.4 lbs.
Dimensions (WxLxH) : 435 x 320 x 95 mm / 17.12 x 12.60 x 3.74 inches
"When Audio Aero started designing this CD player, they wanted to offer the best performance from the latest technology components in signal conversion and treatment. 

First, they chose the musical and reliable Philips VAM1201 and added a low jitter external clock to enhance its precision. Then, by performing a four time over-sampling (176.4 kHz) and delivering data to the new PCM1739 (24 bit / 192 kHz) DAC from Burr-Brown, the digital signal is converted with enhanced resolution, presence and soundstage (16 bit signal treated by a 24 bit DAC), giving analogue-like mediums and highs. 

In order to keep and reveal the qualities of the digital stage, the output stage features two sub-miniature tubes and a high quality buffer. We hope you’l enjoy its qualities as much as we do. "

Application: The Prima 24/102 CD Player is excellent for systems that need, but cannot afford, a Capitole CD Player.

Reviews: Distributor's review page.

Awards:

Includes:

Options:

  AUDIO AERO PRIMA 24/192 DAC  
 
Prima 24/192 DAC Features
STARS « Digital Sampling Process,
1024 times up-sampling,
Conversion is performed at 6,144MHz, Analogue output stage
Specifications
Frequency range (with 16/44.1 input signal) : 7 Hz - 20 kHz (- 1dB)
Frequency range (with 24/96 input signal) : 3 Hz - 48 kHz (- 1dB)
Output voltage : up to 5.0 V RMS
Output impedance : 100 ohms
Signal to noise ratio : 125dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,3 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 25W
Technology : Exclusive STARS « process for 24 bit / 192 kHz re-sampling using SHARC DSP 32 bit floating point
Supported wordwidth (digital input): 16, 18, 20 and 24 bit
Supported sampling frequencies (digital input) : 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
Analog Devices AD1853JRS 24 bit / 192 kHz Digital to Analog converter
High quality IC analog attenuator
Balance control
6021W subminiature tube output stage and high quality buffer
Analog outputs : single-ended RCA and professional line driver XLR
Digital inputs : BNC, RCA, AES/EBU, AT&T and TOSLINK
Digital output:: inside player or any of the digital inputs by a BNC plug
Chassis and cover : 15/10 steel
Weight : 8 kg. / 17.4 lbs.
Dimensions (WxLxH): 435 x 320 x 95 mm / 17.12 x 12.
"Prima D/A Converter 24/192 has been designed with the idea to equal the new digital formats.  

Therefore, Audio Aero included the state-of-the-art in digital processing : the exclusive STARS « process (Solution for Time Abstraction Re Sampling), a combination of very high speed 192 kHz RE-sampling (a new jitter free clock is created), 24 bit re-quantization and signal enhancement techniques (extraction of “hidden” information from 16 bit data, improvement of dynamics, precision, soundstage and details), developed for Audio Aero by Swiss company Anagram Technologies SA.

The core of the system is a 32 bit floating point SHARC DSP which by performing hundred millions of calculations per second, rebuilds a high precision 24/192kHz signal, independent from the input clock, and keeping total dynamic range in all stages.
Then, after a 1024 times up-sampling on demand, D/A conversion is performed at 6,144MHz by the latest advanced segments 24 bit / 192 kHz DAC from Burr-Brown.
The analogue stage features sub-miniature tubes and high precision buffer for a perfect match between high-tech digital treatment and musicality. "

Application: The Prima DAC is excellent for systems that either already have or are getting a quality transport but want to add the Capitole's musicality to their system.

Reviews: Distributor's review page.

Awards:

Includes:

Options:

  AUDIO AERO PRESTIGE MONOBLOCK Amplifiers  
 
Prestige Monoblock Amplifier Features
Single-ended triode and high-voltage pentode
TRAC« system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept)
Specifications
Frequency range : 15 Hz - 25 kHz (-1dB)
Output power : 40 W Class A / 8 ohms
Input impedance : 2,2 K Ohms
Input sensitivity : 1,0 V
Rise time : 5 Ás
Signal to noise ratio : 70dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,3 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory. Voltage visible at the rear on the fuse drawer.
Power consumption (each block) : 300W
Tubes : 6SN7GT, VT4-C, 813
Inputs : single-ended RCA
Outputs : gold plated five-way binding posts
Chassis and bottom plate : 15/10 steel
Upper plate : 30/10 polished stainless steel
Weight (each) : 30kg. / 65.22 lbs.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 520 x 395 x 285 mm / 20.47 x 15.55 x 11.22 inches
"The Prestige Monoblocks represent the latest development of the exclusive TRAC« system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept).

Single-ended triode and high voltage pentode are matched to bring out the best of both worlds (musicality and low impedance for triode - power and efficiency for pentode).  Far beyond classical single-ended designs, these reference mono blocks are able to reproduce music in an outstanding way, offering the most open, dynamic and realistic sound you’ve ever heard. 

Indeed, this 40 W Class A special system allows single-ended to keep its body and magic, and enables higher speed, large bandwidth, incredible true soundstage, improved details and focus.  Step forward and go to the exception"

Application: The Prestige monoblocks are excellent for systems that want the 'charm' of the Audio Aero amplifier sound and which have fairly efficient speakers (as a rough guide: 2-way speakers with efficiency > 90dB, 3-way speakers with efficiency > 94db)

Reviews: Distributor's review page. Inner Ear Report Vol. 12#3.

Awards:

Includes: Delivered with Black Diamond Racing Pyramid Cones

Options:

  AUDIO AERO CAPITOLE STEREO Amplifier  
 
Capitole Stereo Amplifier Features
Dual Triode/Pentode Design
TRAC« system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept)
Specifications
Frequency range : 7 Hz - 50 kHz (-1dB)
Output power : 50 W Class A / 8 ohms
Input impedance : 10 K Ohms
Input sensitivity : 0,8V
Rise time : 1,7 Ás
Signal to noise ratio : 70dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,2 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 400W
Tubes : 6SN7GT, E34L, KT88
Inputs : single-ended RCA and balanced XLR
Outputs : gold plated five-way binding posts (4 & 8 ohms)
Chassis and bottom plate : 15/10 steel
Upper plate : 30/10 polished stainless steel
Weight (each) : 38kg. / 82.62 lbs.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 520 x 395 x 285 mm / 20.47 x 15.55 x 11.22 inches
"The Capitole Power Amplifier is not a conventional tube amplifier. 

After  2 years research, Audio Aero has perfected triode and pentode matching in power, achieving the exclusive TRAC« system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept).Triode and pentode can now work together over the full output power range, providing all the benefits of triode (musicality and low impedance) and pentode (power and efficiency) amplifications.

This 50 W Class A special push-pull configuration leans on the very musical E34L triode wired, supported all the time by the powerful KT88 pentode.  Resulting in higher speed, extended dynamics, large bandwidth, incredible true soundstage with improved details and focus, it makes possible an extraordinary musical reproduction, revealing the most natural amplification."

Application: The Capitole amplifier is excellent for systems that want the 'charm' of the Audio Aero amplifier sound and which have somewhat efficient speakers (as a rough guide: 2-way speakers with efficiency > 88dB, 3-way speakers with efficiency > 90db).

Reviews: Distributor's review page.

Awards:

Includes: Delivered with Black Diamond Racing Pyramid Cones

Options:

  AUDIO AERO Transtrac STEREO Integrated and non-integrated AMPLIFIERs  
 
Transtrac Integrated Amplifier Features
Pure Class A balanced triode
TRAC« system (Tube Relay Amplification Concept)
Specifications
Frequency range : 10Hz - 40 kHz (-1dB)
Output power : 40 W Class A / 6 ohms
Input sensitivity : 0,8V (power version)
Rise time : 3.6Ás
Signal to noise ratio : 80dB
Total harmonic distortion: < 0,3 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 150W
Tubes : 6SN7GT, E34L
Inputs : single-ended RCA (XLR balanced for power version only)
Outputs : gold plated five-way binding posts
Chassis and bottom plate: 15/10 steel
Upper plate : 20/10 polished stainless steel
Weight (each) : 21kg. / 46.3 lbs.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 410 x 300 x 215 mm / 16.14 x 11.81 x 8.46 inches
"Audio Aero designed the TransTrac« system (Transistor - Tube Relay Amplification Concept) with the idea to have the sound of a full tube amplifier out of a tube/transistor configuration.  This unique system is a pure Class A balanced triode amplification with an additional D-MOSFET booster to increase output power.

The preamp stage delivers a perfectly balanced signal to the very linear triode power tubes (E34L). Then, the booster performs a perfect copy of the signal from the output transformer and increases both transformer impedance and output power. Each booster is trimmed to obtain a perfect balance between the two channels.

Both output transformers and booster are connected to the speaker terminal. Output transformer nominal impedance is 6 ohms but it will accept speaker impedances from 4 to 8 ohms. Only a local feedback is used to lower output impedance. When overdriven, tubes clip before boosters to always keep a pure Class A sound. All the reality and soundstage of a tube amp is reproduced in a unique, small and cost effective equipment, available in integrated and power version."

Application: The Transtrac amplifier is excellent for systems that want the 'charm' of the Audio Aero amplifier sound and which have fairly efficient speakers (as a rough guide: 2-way speakers with efficiency > 90dB, 3-way speakers with efficiency > 94db).

Reviews: Distributor's review page.

Awards:

Includes: Delivered with Black Diamond Racing Pyramid Cones

Options:

  AUDIO AERO PRIMA MK II STEREO Integrated AMPLIFIER  
 
Prima Integrated Amplifier Features
Subminiature tube preamplifier and DMOS-FET amplifier
Specifications
Frequency range : 7 Hz - 50 kHz (-1dB)
Output power : 50 W / 8 ohms
Rise time : 2 Ás
Signal to noise ratio : 70dB
Total harmonic distortion : < 0,1 %
Power supply : 100 / 120 / 230 / 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz selected at factory.
Power consumption : 40W
Tube : 6021W
Inputs : single-ended RCA
Outputs : gold plated binding posts
Chassis and cover : 15/10 steel
Weight (each) : 9 kg. / 19.6 lbs.
Dimensions (W x L x H) : 435 x 320 x 95 mm / 17.12 x 12.60 x 3.74 inches
"Audio Aero designed this amplifier to have the advantages of tube amplification without expensive and huge output transformers.  

Therefore, they chose a hybrid concept composed of a subminiature tube preamplifier and DMOS-FET amplifier. 

This special configuration allows the merging of tube softness, texture and soundstage with transistor precision and power, producing soft, fast and detailed music, bringing life to each and every instrument and voice.

Built with the same care as the top of the range products, this cost effective amplifier features remote controlled volume and includes 5 line inputs and a tape monitor.

Take your first flight with Audio Aero. "

Application: The Prima amplifier is excellent for systems that want some of the 'charm' of the Audio Aero amplifier sound and which have somewhat efficient speakers (as a rough guide: 2-way speakers with efficiency > 88dB, 3-way speakers with efficiency > 90db).

Reviews: Distributor's review page.

Awards:

Includes:

Options:

 

 

email: mike&neli@audiofederation.com
Copyright (c) Audio Federation, Inc.
303-546-6503
November 20, 2002