AA capitole mk2 VS. Wadia 861

I'm in the process of downsizing to a single box player!
Seems it's down to two units!?
So, is there anyone out there which has compaired these two units head to head?
I've read many things, and as it seems it's leaning towards the capitole going off as the winner...!!?
But, is it really the better of these two ?
Anyone able to pin down what is the different,
talking sound-characteristics and philosphy between these two combatants?

Most thankful for every avaible info
Well, I have the Wadia 861 im my system. It does NOT sound "electronic" or "compressed" or "disappointing" at all. Not by a long shot. I have not heard the AA Capitole Mk 2.
The Wadia 861 is NOT a player you can buy, place on your rack shelf & begin listening. You might consider this a flaw. If so, so be it!
It takes some work to get the best out of the Wadia 861: choice of algorithm, power cord, rack & shelf dampening, dedicated lines to name a few.
I think that the Audio Aero Capitole Mk2 will, most likely, be similar 'cuz there is hardly any product out there that doesn't need to be optimized for its sound.
Great Northern Sound offers mods for both the Wadia & the AA Capitole! So, what does that tell you - for one thing, both players can do w/ a mod & will sound much better.
The Wadia does seem to need a mod to improve its sound & this is disappointing for such an expensive player BUT it can be made to sound excellent in its stock form. I have taken this player to 2 friends' house & compared it to the stock Sony 777ES & stock Sim Audio Nova. The stock Wadia 861 with stock power cord was better each time by the resp. owner's admission. In fact, the Wadia 861 sound way better in redbook mode than the 777ES in SACD mode. This, again, by that owner's admission.

Also, REMEMBER: the Audio Aero is French & will have a European sound signature. The Wadia 861 is American & will have a US sound signature.
Additionally, the AA is tube based while the Wadia is solid-state.
Some mental calibration for these 2 major factors must be made by the listener.
It is NOT an apples-apples comparison!

The best is to audition the players - a friend or a dealer - to find out what floats your boat. If you cannot, do take into consideration what I have written.
Well, thanks for Your input!
Of course i've had taken the differences between solid state and the tube output of the AA in to mind and thought!
That is my major concern also, i am not really a tube kind of guy and i lean strongly towards US signature of reproduction.
I have never been especially found of any French products, not even the later JM Lab speakers.
To my ear they are strongly towards highlighting the mid and high frequency reproduction.
Bass (attack) is sometimes to smooth/withdrawn also authority and body is lacking a bit for my taste.

Well back to the players!
What has been 100% Wadia has becomn more of 40/60, still i feel stronger for the 861..but far to many is raving about the CAP mk2 to leave it ignored.

Though i still wonder, if it is close in the speed and bass attack/impact?
Or is it losing big against the Wadia?

Money is of course a big issue and the second hand AA CAP mk2 is almost 50% against 2hand Wadia 861.

Thanks for the input guys!
Bombaywalla's comments seem too wordy, very defensive and less than helpful.
-The three people who made comments about the sound of the Wadia have heard or OWNED both and said that's what they heard upon comparison.
-He hasn't heard the Audio Aero, where others posting have heard both.
-From what he says himself, it sounds like the Wadia needs to be modded to compete...?
-Bombaywalla only compares it to a Sony 777ES and SimAudio Nova - hardly a valid comparison against good competition...
-US vs. French "signature"? Huh? Tube vs. solid state, fine, but nationality?
- no, they're not both "apples" but they're both CD players and can be compared easily and.....
- the Capitole is better!
- I've heard both and the Capitole wins. Inpieces, you needn't worry about response at any part of the frequency range. If there's a deficiency heard, you'd be better-off looking at your cables, amp, speakers and room placement.
- I will agree with one thing Bombaywalla contributed: "The best is to audition the players - a friend or a dealer - to find out what floats your boat."
ok the 861 is better than the capitol 2 in my opinion and in my system definitely the Wadia gets the timing correct to me the capitol 2 bass is little bit thicker than reality especially the upper bass if your speakers lack upper bass the capitol may be a better choice for you. the 861 can be made to sound absolutely astonishing at Great Northern sound specifically the statement upgrade

looks like you are making an attack! I tried very hard not to attack the 3 people (who posted before me) who said that the Capitole is better. There's no point in attacking these people as choice of CD player is personal (along w/ most other audio gear). Looks like you might be looking for a "fight"??

All-the-same, my post was NOT intended to be defensive at all even tho I own the Wadia 861. If it is considered to be the worse of the 2 CD players mentioned, so be it. I'm *not* going to defend my purchase of it. In my system it performs well & that's what's important to me. The AA Capitole Mk2 might be ANOTHER player that might perform well in my system? I don't know that as yet. I was trying to tow a middle line & was trying to be a bit objective on the matter by telling Inpieces what it might take to get the best out of the Wadia 861. Therein I insinuated that the people who posted before me might not have done all what it took to get the best out of the Wadia. (Sorry guys! Golden_ears dragged me into this sh**!). Pure speculation on my part as I don't know under what conditions these guys heard the 861. They haven't posted anything further so I still don't know. Very possible that they heard the 861 in an optimized setup & still preferred the Cap Mk2. So be it.

From whatever I have read, heard & communicated w/ people, I have noticed that very people have put the effort in getting the best out of the Wadia 861. Thus, most people who reject this player don't even know what it is capable of!

Golden_ears: can you share with this forum in what kind of setup you heard the Wadia 861 & compared it to the AA Cap Mk2??
Can you tell us why you preferred the AA Cap Mk2 over the Wadia 861??

2ndly: I N-E-V-E-R said "French sound"! Read my orig. post again. I said "European sound signature". Anyone who is in the hobby knows that the European gear has a different sound signature compared to US-based sound.
The comment on this leads me to believe that your ears are far from golden!

Lastly: you talk about my comments being less than helpful. Yours are worse off than mine. You provide absolutely no data re. why you consider the AA Cap mk2 to be better than the 861. No data on the setup & no data on what music you played on both machines. Just a
"I've heard both and the Capitole wins" - yeah, right!