Counterpoint SA 220,Comments anybody?

I'm looking at this amp used for around $800.00. I will have it upgraded to the premium pkg. that Micheal offers. But after this upgrade I will have about $4000.00 in this old amp that I would never get that kind of money back out of it if I don't like it . I've tried Llano,Pass Labs, BC2's,and none of these were to my liking.So far the best two amps I've heard (tube) is a VAC or (solid state) Bel Canto Evo. I'm hoping that the Sa 220 will have the benefits of both.Your input will be most helpful, Thanks Phile.
The 220 kicks ass. It is one of the best sounding hybreds out there. It has the classic "Counterpoint" sound which is deep bass, clean highs, and deep soundstage. You can't beat a used SA220 for the money. Just don't go crazy and spend thousands to upgrade it. One step up from the SA220 is the NPS-400. I've also owned it. It betters the SA220 in every way by about 15%-20% but, it will cost you twice as much as an SA220. One nice feature of the NPS-400 is the wood trim on the sides! I think the NPS stands for "Natural Progressive Sound".
If you are going to spend that kind of money, try listening to an Audio Research VT100 MKII or III in your system. It is fantastic. I used to own Counterpoint equipment and I feel the ARC smokes it. To put that kind of money into it is CRAZY!
The VT100 mkII is superb. It has no weaknesses, and equally important is the name behind. AR has been around for a long time, there products are extremely reliable, they offer great product support, and they offer continual upgrades to existing products, so they don't deliberately try to obsolete something.
I have an SA100 and I think it's people have mentioned above. The upgrade is easily worth the money, because it is a complete rebuild, using the original chassis and replacing the inside with very high quality parts. I've thought about having it done too, but you're will not hold it's value on resale because it's not advertised, and probably won't be anytime soon. The rebuilds are done by Michael Elliot...ex-Counterpoint President and designer. He claims that the rebuilds are his current design, based on what he's learned over the years, and not subject to the typical audio cost to resale ratio. Listen to an older Counterpoint amp. If you like the sound, you may very well like the rebuild even better. If you don't like the sound, you probably shouldn't invest in a complete rebuild done by the same designer.
Phile, Stop the endless upgrading, invest in a pair of Lamms, and be done with it all. You do still own the Merlins, don't you?
I have owned an SA220 and loved it as well. There are prior threads in regards to Counterpoint to view as well. 2 points agaisnt Counterpoint always come up, 1. reliability issues ( ive owned many many pieces of their gear and currently have their flagship preamp Sa11/SA9 , and have not had a problem of mention, this includes owning the Sa4 OTL monos where OTL's have inherent problems to begin with. No problems. 2. The alternative of ARC gear. Ive owned an ARC d70mk2, and their m300 monos, and just didnt find their sound what I would call "musical", I found them dry and clinical. I have seen Mr elliots web site and his theory on the upgrade vs purchase new, and agree with him. He is a sound engineer and has been for many years, the only missing link would be parts quality which you obtain from his upgrades. However $4000?? that is rather steep.
Dkuipers, I have got the Talon Khorus now. I agree with Justlisten concerning the ARC gear.I've just about convinced myself to stay with my VAC PA100/100 or maybe a VTL amp? Thanks again everybody,Phile
I recently had my SA 220 upgraded to the NP220 and find it very pleasing. I only went to the first stage of the upgrade but added the new binding posts and XLR inputs. Michael thru in the IEC power cord socket. This upgrade cost me around 1500.00 and was well worth it. I would recommend going with the better tube option for a few more bucks.
Philefreak: Justlisten is talking about totally different equipment then I mentioned. The VT100 MKIII is far superior to anything he mentioned.
I have an SA-220 that has been idle for sometime - just not working. I checked Mike Ellio's site with a thought of upgrading. But i noticed that Mike is charging $60 per 6DJ8 tube. That is way too high and I assume that the rest of his procing is just as high. Since I am on a tight budget (two kids in college), the SA-220 will just have to sit and wait. It reminds me of an MGB sports car I once owned. When it ran, it was Nirvana. But then it was always in the shop, and such has been my experience with the SA-220.