Audio Aero and Accustic Arts


I've recently added Accustic Arts DAC to my system. I'm pleased with the new sound it brought to the system. Compared to Linn Unidisk the upper frequency is more extended and airy, and the vocals sound more natural.

I'm thinking of continuing with upgrade on the DAC. While Accustic Arts Tube DAC is highly regarded, unfortunately it's out of my budget. I've been looking around, and the DAC and CDP from Audo Aero caught my eyes. I like the fact that they have tube output stage and analog domain volume control. It looks like DAC is somewhat rarer than the CDP. Has anyone compared Audio Aero with Accustic Arts DAC?

How are the Audio Aero CDP? Do all models have tube output stage and analog volume control? I see some models with digital input and/or analog preamp section. Were there offered as an option?
jylee
Ben, could you describe in which ways Accustic Arts were better? I haven't heard Capitole, but since they have tubed output stage I assume the sound characteristics are somewhat different from Accustic Arts.
I have heard both and I disagree that the Accustic Arts combo is "much better" than the Audio Aero. Both are very good, and the real choice and expressed preferences may boil down to personal tastes.
Many players like Accustic Arts have a reputation for being ultra-detailed and are a little tilted-up in the higher frequencies, but that can become fatiguing.
The Audio Aero offers great performance across the frequency range and while maybe not as ultra-detailed as the Accustic Arts, with their patented STARS system and tubed analogue output Audio Aero offers a more natural, musical presentation and are never fatiguing to listen-to.
I would have to disagree with Golden ears when he refers to the Accustic Arts Tube Dac suggesting it's fatiguing, must be something else going on.

I have had and compared different dacs in my set-up, most costing substantially more than the AA Tube Dac and in the end preferred the Tube Dac but not with their stock tubes, even AA has come out with their latest Reference Tube Dac and changing the tubes.

You can refer to Teajay's threads regarding this.

I have actually had some of these Audio Aero pieces spoken of here in my system and they are very nice but there was no comparison in my set-up when compared to the Tube Dac and Golden ears you can listen to my system 24/7 with no fatigue what so ever.

I'm curious what was the rest of set-up because something was causing these issues you were hearing.
It seems that the Audio Aero stuff is quite prone to technical failures. Accustic Arts is very reliable ("Deutsche Gr├╝ndlichkeit"). So what would be your choice: better sound but not so reliable or less better sound but very reliable?

Chris