COUNTERPOINT HYBRID PHONO STAGE UPGRADE


This is my first post, but I am well acquainted with this forum. I have recently imported a SA 5000 from a member and I am very impressed with the build quality, and performance of the line stage. It is a vast improvement over my modified SA 3. I have both service and owner's manuals, and the documentation is equally impressive, and worth the asking price.
I intend to do some of the Alta Vista upgrades, and would like to remove the JFET and inductor from the cathode circuit of the phono 1st gain stage as a starting point, and replace with a resistor, using the low gain common-cathode triode option for MM cartridge only.
I have no philosophical objection to hybrid circuitry, and I guess that Mike Elliot would have used the ARC SP11/15 as a reference for his own designs. Tube purists may have scoffed at the hybrid ARC products, but the people who make a living out of reviewing them, raved about it.
However, the Alta Vista upgrades for the SA 5000 and SA 9 involves removing the SS buffers and cathode JFETs, and associated circuitry. Any assistance in providing feedback and guidance on tackling these mods would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


ozdiyer
Sorry to break the news to you, but Alta Vista went out of business about 4 years ago. Michael Elliot has retired.

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?6805-Alta-Vista-Audio-closing-it-s-doors

I believe there is an Audiogon member named Bigkidz (Peter), who does some Counterpoint mods, and maybe some other folks as well. 

Good luck.
I am an original owner of Counterpoint SA5000 . I had it fully upgraded  by Alta Vista about  late 2011/ received it back about FEB 2012. Just after I received it back Mike Elliot closed down his web site.  I believe I am the last person to have a unit fully modded. I state emphatically the upgraded unit sounds completely different from the original and all in a good way.  Looking back at my paperwork my  phono stage I had the jfets removed and had a sowter step up transformer ind]stalled for the mc . there is plenty of gain and the circuit is dead quiet unlike the original  and sounds great.
I think there are some people who do repair/mods I have several names I could provide let me know .
Thanks nap,
I agree that the phono stage is noisy, that is not the only problem. I need to change the 47K loading for my Garrott Decca cartridge, and whilst I am doing that do some tweaking. I live in Australia in a rural situation, and was hoping that someone would be able to provide instructions or pix, so I can do the mods myself. 

You might have more luck over at the DIY Audio website.  The only person that really did any mods to these was Mike. The cached info for the preamp on his website is here if you don't have it:


https://web.archive.org/web/20140623010209/http://www.altavistaaudio.com/SA-5000.html

Good luck.


You may also find this link interesting:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/counterpoint-alta-vista-mike-elliott
Thanks guys, I have all the Alta Vista upgrades stuff and will try swapping the JFET with a cathode resistor . 

No circuit diagrams were provided when I upgraded and Elliot did not make a set of specs/diagrams available  for upgrades  when he closed down the site. 
You need to get those jfets out of there . the Sowter 8055  used in my unit gives a gain of 10 times & sounds great. You can change the loading resistors to get different loading values tailored to your needs. I had it done.  You need to go higher than 47k ?
You really should mod that unit . You will not believe how much different and better it sounds. 
I do have the name and address of Eliiot*s  last technician who worked on my unit. No phone or email info as all my contact was with Michael.  He probably has instruction/ schematics . Don*t know if he could/would help you ..
i also wanted to ask what tubes you are using. Getting some new tubes can make a big difference. 
I have 4- NOS Amperex 6922 gold pin 1972 made in Holland. I am going to fit Keystone micro- jacks on the jack board so I can swap resistors to get the right loading for the Decca cartridge. I also have schematic for the SA 5, that could be an option after I remove the JFET and upgrade the coupling caps to Dynamicaps. I don't use the phono all that much since I am getting incredible sound from digital after upgrading the CD player and DAC last year. I had a Koetsu red MC , but I prefer the Garrott- Decca Gold which is in a class of its own, but needs careful set up. 

the Amperex NOS tubes are a good choice. I am using 6 Siemens NOS  6922s and a Tele NOS 12AX7 in the power supply  spot  but that is my preference.
The SA5 schematic should help you. In a conversation with Mike Elliot he stated that the circuit in the SA5 AND SA5000 were pretty much the same except for the extra bells and whistles on the SA5000. Good luck with your changes / upgrades.
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Much appreciated.