Counterpoint SA-11, worthy looking for?

Does anyone have any experience with counterpoint sa-11? How is it compared to the current elites like the Lamm, Ultimate Cat , Audio Research
Reference 2 and CJ ART?

I own an SA11 and have not found the need to replace it in the 10 years Ive owned it. In fact, I have purchased boxes full of replacement tubes as I knew I would never part with this unit. Well, after 10 years I have found something that works better for me, a Passive preamp. If you are interested, email me privately as mine is up for sale. I am in Northern Cal and you are welcome to audition this fine preamp.
I've heard great things about their preamps...especially the top models, like the SA-11. Mike Elliot is still doing repairs and upgrades to the old Counterpoint gear, so it's a pretty safe buy. (
I always loved the Counterpoint products but was always leary because of their reliability problems. As musical as anything out there in their day. The foundation is there. Maybe with a few mods....who knows? I would call Mike Elliott and get the scoop on what can be done with this piece.
I agree with Tubegroover. The SA 11 was my reference preamp until about a year before Counterpoint went under. This is an extremely good unit, with tonal balance in between the ARC Ref 2 and the ART.

Considering it's age, I would ask Mike Elliott about the rear circuit board. Not only do the output tubes plug into it creating a fair amount of heat, the RCA input and output jacks also mount directly. With repeated use, plugging and unplugging, there are often fractures in the circuit track, making repair difficult. Long term use also tends to erode the circuit board quality. Mike knows more about this unit than anyone else, and as already stated, the man to see about repairs and upgrades.

I also have a great deal of experience with this product, and a lot of tube and tweak knowledge. If you get one that works properly, and you cannot afford to invest in Elliott mods immediately, I am willing to share ideas. Best luck!
Thanks all for the advices. I bought the preamp yesterday. It looks like a big modify project. I will have Mike Elliot modify the circuit ,add balanced outputs and replace the capacitors with auricaps and blackgates. The TKD volume pot will be upgrade to TKD stereo attenuator. Internal wirings and the RCA plugs will be next. I might put in wood panels on both sides too. I will post the results later.

Special thanks to Albert Porter, Mike Savuto and Justlisten for all the information.
I am looking to buy a good SA11. If anyone knows, or wants to sell, please let me know.
This pre amp is great but extremely hard to service. You are better off buying the schematics from mike and commission someone local to build one point to point for you. Seriously its not going to be any more $
Hi Luis,

I might consider a good offer. E-mail me at to discuss the details. I reserve a lifetime tube supply for this monster so you don't have to worry about the tube replacement. I do have the original box and it just went through the full examination and necessary fix from chief technician of Counterpoint 2 years ago.

San Francisco