Pre Amp for a PA-7?


First post advice please. I’m looking for a good pre amp match for the Nakamichi PA-7.  My heart was set on a CA-7 and found one for a fair price. After I “thought” the deal was done and all I had to do was wire money, the seller backed out. His reasoning…


”Hi ……, I thought about your journey so far our chat and I have to admit that the CA7A is likely not the best choice for you. The one thing that it doesn't do well is bass. I didn't feel right after not sharing that with you. I'm going to pass on selling it to you. I hope your not unhappy and if you ever want to chat hifi I would be happy to help. …..”


So questions - Is he correct on that assessment?  Or ???

If the CA-7 is a poor fit, what would you recommend as a better fit?  Prefer vintage gear, like to have a remote but not a deal breaker, for under 1k  

My equipment is challenged, as I’m just starting the journey and working on a good audio fit for mostly CD play of all types of music, 70’s thru 90’s and modern country.

Current set up:

Carver Receiver 900

Carver DTL 200 CD player

Pair of B&W CM-4’s

- Moving to build something around the PA-7

Currently have pair of Infinity SM-150’s

Yamaha NSW-2 sub 

Thank you, S






Everything in audio is about synergy between components. Having owned Nak cassette decks but not their separates, I can’t comment on the authenticity of his remarks, other than to say - the Nak preamps were built to augment and work with their power amps. Why would any manufacturer of audio gear that offers amps and preamps design them not to work well together?

I would ask him what else he is using in his setup. Maybe his speakers are poorly placed, too high up in the air and therefore, not giving enough bass? Maybe there is something else in the audio chain, like ICs or speaker cable that prohibit bass or perhaps the amp he’s using with the CA7 doesn’t produce a lot of bass?

I appreciate the sellers honesty, I just think that finding out what else is in his system may lead you to why he made that remark about the preamp not having bass. Also, perhaps there’s something wrong with the preamp too?

Personally, I like the more minimalist CA5 preamp over the CA7; however, if I owned the PA7 or PA5, I too would be looking to partner it with a Nak preamp as well.

I just realized he has the PA7A preamp.  I think it also is a very good idea to research Nak preamps.  I think the earlier CA5 and CA7 may be better than the later 5A and 7A, not sure?  He may have just done you a huge favor not selling it to you?  BTW, what is your preamp budget?

Thank you Lou, excellent observations and definitely agree that it makes sense for a manufacturer to build the best match possible between their own gear. But the different generations do seem to have some different characteristics for better or worse. 

I’m not opposed to a CA-5, just thinking 7 with 7, oh and a remote. But likely end up with a CA-5 or something similar when all said on done. 

Looks are desirable, but quality is key. So then it comes down to best bang for the buck.  Budget? Would be nice to find a good fit/match for under $1k. 

You may be correct on the favor piece….

But a big part of it for me is the love of the hunt.  
One for garage, living room, and sitting room.  

thanks again for the great feedback. 

Most likely the seller got a better offer than what you were going to pay. His story sounds like BS. If you are set on that preamp you should check out other ones that are for sale!