Counterpoint SA-7 preamplifier Specifications

Sidebar: Specifications

Description: Stereo vacuum tube preamplifier. Inputs for Magnetic phono (both MM and MC), Aux, and Tape. Mute switch. Separate volume and balance control.
Price: $595 (1984); no longer available (2018).
Manufacturer: Counterpoint Electronic Systems, Inc., La Jolla, CA 92037 (1984); company no longer in existence (2018),

Counterpoint Electronic Systems, Inc.
company no longer in existence

Axiom05's picture

I guess they struck out with this model. Too bad there are no measurements. Is this before your arrival JA? I thought you joined the staff somewhere around 1984?

John Atkinson's picture
Axiom05 wrote:
Is this before your arrival JA? I thought you joined the staff somewhere around 1984?

I joined Stereophile in May 1986. But I did try modifying SA-7s in the UK in 1984, adding a regulated power supply to try to get better sound.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Ortofan's picture

... for (a lot) less money you could have bought the all-discrete transistor NAD 1020B, the Hafler DH-110 or the Harman-Kardon hk825.

tonykaz's picture

The Modulus ( back then ) was tearing up the entire field of Tube Preamps.

My sales of ConradJohnson went flat after I met Art Ferris and carried his little Pre. Phew

No doubt the Counterpoint people suffered and lost out.

I'd love to have an old Modulus 2A .

Tony in Michigan

spacehound's picture

The Counterpoint preamp was a terrible thing in many respects.
But if you persevered with it (I did, with the help of my local UK dealer, who didn't charge me for the preamp until I said I was happy with it) by choosing your sources and your power amp carefully and using very short cables, it could provide a performance way above its price range.

Whether its relatively low price made it actually worth all the hassle is a moot point.
(And Conrad-Johnson stuff often didn't come out too well either. Some of their supposedly 'lower priced' power amps were hopeless.)

Remember this was in the 'pre-digital' days (CD players were available but none had 'digital' outputs and I don't recall any that had volume controls), so what I now consider the best option of all, buying a DAC with a decent volume control and not using a preamp at all, wasn't available. Even now very few DACs, (or better still a 'network player' that also has a computer friendly USB input) that also have a couple of analog input so you can connect a turntable and maybe an FM tuner) are available.