Upgrade Audio Aero Prima with mods?

I really liked the sound of the AA Prima when demoing, and recently acquired one here on A-gon. I hope it sounds great in my system as well. Here is my question: I purchased this unit hoping to use the analog out to replace my preamp, or at least see if I like a direct volume control. If it works, I will sell the preamp and put the money toward upgrading the Prima with mods, or possibly a better CDP (budget $2200 used).

Does anyone here have experience with an upgraded Prima? I could probably get a good upgrade package for around $1000 extra, and a used Capitole would cost me $2500 extra. Would the mods likely get close to the performance of the Capitole or a similiarly priced unit? I don't expect miracles, but it would be nice if it were 90-95% of the way there. I currently have an $1800 (retail) source in a $12K (retail) system, and I would like to get the front end up to "the point of diminishing returns". I just don't have $3500 (used price) to spend on a CDP. If I upgrade it, I would be keeping it for the forseeable future.
The Prima and Capitole are well regarded players in their stock forms, and I would be very cautious about modding them. People love them for what they are. Modding invariably changes the sound of a component. You might like the change, but it will change nonetheless, and future buyers looking specifically for a Prima or Capitole will be hesitant to take a chance on modified versions, IMO.

I cannot remember ever seeing a modded Prima for sale. What mod package for $1000 are you considering?
I second what Tvad said---people love these players for the way they reproduce music. Buy a Capitole and forget about it!!
If you're referring to the GNSC mods, I think you will be happy. Steve can walk you through the changes he will make and what you should expect to hear. I would suggest you give him a call to discuss.
I was thinking about the GNSC mods for the Prima, but hadn't yet spoken with Steve. I had also spoken with the gentleman at The Upgrade Company, who had mentioned that he has done several Prima mods. As he explained it, his mods more or less involve swapping out the cheap stop-gap parts that are used to keep costs down with higher-end, but similiarly-sounding replacement parts. According to him, the "house sound" of the unit shouldn't change.
There are occasional referances to a Capitole mod and I believe those who have done it are pleased with the results.
That is a tough question, and I tend to agree with Tvad but... GNSC can do some great things with digital. I havent heard a GNSC modded Prima though, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I personally consider the "other modder" you mention a somewhat risky proposition.
I do recall that GNSC mods Audio Aero players, although I haven't heard one nor do I know anyone who has. This is a situation where I'd personally be hesitant to mess with a stock machine. Whereas Wadia and GNSC are synonymous, Audio Aero and GNSC are less so. I definitely wouldn't mod a Prima as I don't believe even a modded one would be a long term investment, and recovering the cost of the mod upon resale would be unlikely. The Capitole would be a better candidate to mod and keep as a "legacy" piece in a very high end system.

In the end, though, I'd leave the stock players alone.
GNSC not only replaces some parts with higher quality parts but also implement extensive resonance control. Again, I'm not suggesting that you get your unit modded, that of course is up to you. However, a call to Steve will clarify exactly what could be done to improve your unit, what you can expect sonically and how much it would cost. He may even tell you that the unit is not worth upgrading, I don't know. For my part though I would give him a high recommendation.
Unless things have changed GNSC does not mod Audio Aero gear. At least that's what Steve told me when I phoned him a while back about modding my Prima.

How are you proposing to use the direct volume control? My understanding is only the first version of the Prima CDP had that feature. Mine (the version before the latest with the Sony transport) did not have that feature. If it is the first version of the Prima that you have, I would definitely not mod it, because if your transport goes--they were problematic--you could end up with nothing more than a book end.

If you can save up for a Capitole MKII, that would be my suggestion. You can run it direct, and you will be satisfied for a long time.
Boa2 is correct that the only Prima version with volume control was the original one.

I have a Prima Mk2 (with the Philips transport) and I simply love it and wouldn't dream of paying $1000 to mod it.

I would say that getting a Capitole would be your best bet.

Which version of the Prima is it since there have been many many revisions (MK I, early MK II with mirror finish, latest MKII with XLR outputs, MKIII with new Sony transport.

I own the Prima MKII CDP (XLR version) and don't see the point of modding it. If you like the sound of the Prima and can spend extra, why not take a look at the Prima DAC (same DAC as Capitole) with transport or the Capitole itself.

Thanks for the info. Maybe I should hold off on the Prima upgrade for now. I have the latest version with the Philips transport (would be MKII) that I bought here on A-gon. It should be here in a few days. If it is working well in my system, then I will give Steve a call and see what he says, or check out the Prima DAC.
I have the latest version with the Philips transport (would be MKII) that I bought here on A-gon
The latest version has a Sony transport. Yours is the one previous, cannot be run direct to the amp, and I would not mod it. Just my two cents.
It should be here in a few days. If it is working well in my system, then I will give Steve a call and see what he says, or check out the Prima DAC.

Why not wait, live with it for a few month. You might like it so much that no upgrade is necessary. If you like it's type of sound but are still missing something, then it would be a good idea to upgrade in my opinion. But I would not decide that before I used it for a couple of months.
Restock, curious what your thoughts are after you've had some time with the unit...
Portugal11, sorry for the confusion...looks like in my previou posts the quotes were missing. I have tried to quote Dawgcatching from his last post:

It should be here in a few days. If it is working well in my system, then I will give Steve a call and see what he says, or check out the Prima DAC.

I guess your question must therefore have been addressed to Dawgcatching...

I have been having my Prima for just about 2 years and it is the best sounding single box player I have had in my system, period. To elaborate, here are the times I lived with each source over the last years (in order that I tried them):

Original Rega Planet: 7 years (still have this one)
Linn Classik 4 months
Linn Genki 6 months
Unison Unico CDP 1 month
Audio Aero Prima 2 years (present source)

I think this is probably the best compliment to the Prima...