Capitole owners- any benefits to external preamp??

I drive a pair of monoblock tube amps direct with my Capitole CDP, however, it has come to my attention that some owners have found better performance using a high quality external preamp (they have alluded to the fact that the analog volume control in the Cap may not be the best). Any thoughts on this? If you HAVE found a benefit w preamp in the chain, please post WHAT preamp you are using (and IC's too).
I extensively A/B'd the AAC with and without ext pre-amp, primarily Klyne series 7 and CTC Blowtorch. I preferred the sound directly driving the amps (Tenors) with the AAC to either pre-amp. More body and bloom, pinpoint placement of instruments with a holographic sense of space. I realize the shortcomings of the volume pot on the AAC and hope ( and have heard) this has been addresed in the mk 11 soon to hit the streets. That notwithstanding, I still prefer the sound without a pre. To my ear, using a pre-amp was the best of hi-fi sound: without pre-amp was music. Go Leafs!
The addition of the volume control on the Capitole actually very similar to a built-in passive preamp?
Thanks Mes- are you a fellow Canuck? :) Yup- we'll all be watchin' the big game tonight.

Hey- I have heard that the addition of the Placette Passive to the Cap provides even greater clarity (with perhaps a touch less bloom). Only prob- another set of IC's. HOWEVER, if it IS a lot better, I would look at adding it on (as my dealer wants my Cap Gen 1 + another $4k USD for the new version Capitole!!)
even though the volume control in the Capitole Version 1 is not the last word in transparency and neutrality it does add to the "bloom" and "layering" that is part of the attraction of the Capitole. so i think the decision to use a passive pre such as the Placette is very system dependent.

it also is somewhat a matter of taste. i've heard the Capitole's sound described as somewhat like "analog", which the volume control contributes some to.

if your system is on the lean side of neutral or maybe solid state amplification the volume control in the Capitole may be perfect. in my system i did prefer using the Placette with the volume control in the Capitole turned up to "unity gain" which resulted in greater detail and timbral texture, and a more transparent soundstage....YMMV.
Not a Canuck, just a tragically hip leafs fan :-)
Mike- where is 'unity gain' on the Cap dial? I assumed that if adding external preamp, I would simply crank the Cap's volume control all the way, then attenuate with the Placette's volume- no??

Secondly, what interconnects did you use (since with the Placette, I guess you needed an addiitonal set?)
Sutts, i'm sorry if i was not very clear, i interpret "cranking it all the way up" as "unity gain" and i just cranked it all the way up.

i use Valhalla XLR interconnects before and after the Placette.
yikes- Valhalla's??!! What are the IC's worth (both pairs together)
Sutts, what can i say?.... a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do. in the context of my system the whole combination of interconnects and Placette makes sense. it replaced a Levinson #32 and sounds better..... and i had money left over to contribute to other toys.

i think most systems would have similar tradeoffs at whatever level they are.
Mike- I spoke with Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound yesterday about his upcoming upgrade mod for the Cap Gen 1- it sounds cool, and I will post a review if I end up springing for it...