Plinius M8 or CD-LAD

I am looking to acquire either the CD-LAD Mk2 or the M8 to pair with my SA-100Mk3. Most likely it will be a used CD-LAD since the new M8 will be above my budget.

Looking for any comments on the comparison between these 2 preamps.

I am currently running the SA-100 straight into my SOny XA7ES Cd player via variable input of the Sony, using the digital volume control of the Sony. Will I get SUBSTANTIAL improvements in sound if I get the preamp in the chain? I have got contradictory comments from my fellow audiophile mates, some telling me running straight into the CD player will be the best since the signal is going through the shortest route, thus the signal is the purest. Others pointed out that by adding the preamp the soundstage will be better, the bass will be better, vocals will be silkier etc.

Should I spend more money on getting a preamp (and cables) just to obtain a small improvement in sound? I don't mind if the differences are noticeably huge but will be utterly disappointed if I have to strain my ear hard to hear a difference.
I have previously owned the CD LAD mk 1 and the SA-102.
I changed preamp,- to Classe CP 47.5mk2.
The Classe has more attack and more of a muscly performance. Much punchier bass and the soundstege is bigger and deeper.
The Classe has a cooler way of comming on, with what it does!
Though You will feel as sitting a few seats back in the row. Switching back and forth, made me feel the Classe was more musically rewarding..and it certainly had a higher "feel good factor!"
The CD LAD had a very recessed bass reproduction in comparsion to the CP 47.5mk2.
CD LAD was thin in comparsion. It had no slam!
Rather like, all things happening in the bass-region
was further back, in the over all reproduction!
Somehow giving the impression the rest of the audio-band
(the mid and hights) is comming closer!!
With a few speakers, it could becomme a little shouty and in Your face.

The CD LAD mk2, have a few minor differences up it's sleave.
But that might not change how it repressent the music.
The M8 is said to be substantially better!
The question still remain, if it's of another philsophy and improves on my complaints towards the CD LAD mk1?

My speakers are of a small serie, similar to Avalon's Eideolon or Kharma's midi grand.

Well, good luck!
I hope that You'll find Your complementing pre amp!?
I didn't expect to get a reply to my thread but thanks to you as it does helped since I was also considering between the CD-LAD and the Classe CP-47.5!

Although I had been contemplating to get the matching Plinius pre, I had always been considering the Classe 47.5 but wasn't too sure whether which pre will go better with my SA-100Mk3. Your experience with both preamps certainly reinforced my belief that the 47.5 will be much better. Luckily I have not found the CD-LAD yet! Will be hunting for the 47.5 now.