Audio Aero Midos gainstage upgrade on Capitole Mk2

Have just received a major upgrade on my Capitole Mk2 SE from Ron at the Audiophile Club in London. It costs GBP950 plus VAT per module and replaces ICs in the gainstage with 2 discrete modules. I feed the signal directly into my WAVAC EC300B driving Duevel Bella Luna omnidirectional horns.

The results are rather spectacular: in particular, there is a dramatic increase in the 'being there' impression created: faster rise time with leading and trailing edge precision, in particular with woodwinds and strings, much better localisation of individual instruments in an orchestra and significant bottom and top end expansion.

I used to think of the Audio Aero as a high class pre -certainly compared to my Graaf GM13.5B- and am now in reference territory.

Rather than spend upwards of $8000 on a Shindo or Modwright preamp, upgrading an existing Audio Aero this way is a great way to go.
I always suspected I wasn't getting the best out of my ATC powered speakers because of the Source & Pre being bottlenecks.

Further to several positive reviews, I was on the lookout for Audio Aero Prima DAC SE model for a while to match my ATCs. It turned out there aren't many around - it has been discontinued for a couple of years now.

I went over to see Ron at Audiophile Club, London, UK. The demo Audio Aero Capitole Reference CD player happened to be a lot more than the CD player. It is also a high-end PRE & multi-input DAC at the same time. I liked it a lot in Ron's setup! I was becoming very tempting.

I have heard about MIDOS Audio upgrade from the Audiophile Club site, however, did not think much about it. Why would you want to change the output stage of a highly reputable unit for for an additional GBP 950+VAT? How much better could it be? Then I listened to AA Capitole Reference CD/PRE with the MIDOS upgrade! I was in disbelieve.. Clearly it was in a league of its own! Fully agree with Abtigrunge's comments above. It has clearly expanded the stage, also bringing it slightly closer to the listener. Percussion, drums, strings, bass have all become spectacular! It may have become a tad less transparent than the non-upgraded AA unit, but what a live-performance feeling it gives...!

Had to shell out on MIDOS upgraded Capitole then and there!

I am now in disbelief for a 2nd week running - the match with ATC speakers is bind blowing.

In the past I have auditioned / used my powered ATCs with the following Source and/or Pre combos:

-dCS P8i SACD player/Pre
-Modwright SWL 9.0SE pre
-Mark Levinson CD Player/PRE
-Stello DP200 DAC/PRE
-Benchmark DAC1/PRE
-Lavry DA11 DAC/PRE
-Musical Fidelity kW SACD
and a number of others.

None setups came close to AA Capitole Reference CD/PRE with MIDOS Audio upgrade. My wholehearted recommendations for anyone considering getting the best out of their AA setup!