Simaudio i5.3 factory upgrade question


I have a Simaudio i5.3 integrated amp and have been considering sending it in to Sim for their factory upgrade to the SE version. Apparently in the process they improve the output stage and add an improved volume control. Cost of the upgrade is $1000. So I was wondering if anyone has done this, or compared the stock unit to the upgraded SE version, and if so, whether the improvement justifies the price?

Any insights appreciated.

Thanks, Mike.
A number of years ago, I sent my I-5 in for the "sonic upgrade" retrofit. At that time I think it was somewhere around $175.00 and it wasn't indicated as to what they did other than replacing some key components. It came back and I couldn't tell any difference at all.

In an email exchange with another I-5 owner, he was of the same opinion. An investment of $1000.00 sounds like quite a lot. Maybe it will make an audible difference and maybe it won't. I guess you just have to take that chance if you really want to do it. At least, you could be assured the amp has been optimized and all operational parameters are at factory specs. The bulk of the cost is probably going for labor.
Thanks, that's kind of what I thought.

I did the i5 upgrade ...
They were supposed to give a new box, packing material and manual. The unit came back in the original box I sent them with nothing new. I could not tell if the box was even opened.
The upgrade was $225.00 plus shipping there and back.
Given the opportunity to go back in time I would not have done this.
BTW ... the unit sounded EXACTLY the way it did when it left ... go figure!