CAL Alpha Info

A few years ago I had a CAL Alpha and sold it. I recently bought another and opened it up and surprise, gold all over the place. The main circuit board is gold plated as well as the transformer. The 96/24 upgrade board is present but is not gold plated. I contacted a former authorized repair tech. He told me it is a “Special Edition”. He only gave me technical information but nothing about any sonic improvements the Special Edition may have vs. the standard model. I am looking for any information about the Special Edition Alpha.
Below is a letter I received from a former CAL employee.

There was no special edition Alpha per se. There was
only the standard Alpha, and then ones that had the
24/96 upgrade.

But heres the rest of the story. CAL made a "Master
Series" of components that were gold versions of the
Alpha DAC and Delta transport (this was pre 96/24
upgrade). I forget what the model names were, but we
did not actually put the Alpha and Delta names on
them. They were in different size/shape chassis than
the Alpha/Delta and were a high gloss gold plated. The
internal circuit boards were also gold plated, and
some of the capacitors were upgraded. I have never
seen seperate schematics for the Master series
components, so I am 99% positive that the circuits are
the same as the Alpha/Delta, they just have some
higher quality parts in the analog section.

The Master Series were very pricey, came in their own
special wooden crate, and were primarily sold in the
overseas markets. Although there are a few in the
states here. I dont know how many we actually made,
but if I had to guess, I would say less than 25 of
each model. They had one major drawback which was that
the gold would flake off the chassis and then it would
look like crap. This happened to all or most of them,
and there was no way to fix that problem. So the
Master Series was a cool idea, but effectively a

I remember seeing some of the gold XFMR's and boards
in inventory that were left over from the Master
Series. Some of these got put into the Alpha chassis
to use up the parts. This is what you have. Congrats,
as you now have the sonic benefits of the Master
Series, without the hassles of a defective gold

In reality I dont know how much better the Master
Series sounded vs. the Alpha. I was never able to
compare them. Like I said, some of the parts were
upgrades, and a gold plated board in theory should
sound better than the standard PCB. You have the 24/96
upgrade also so you pretty much have it all. I'd
probably hang on to that one!