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






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!


Duh! How did I not realize that until now PA/CA7, PA/CA5, I still like the minimalist CA5 :)


For well under $1K, there’s lots of nice preamps to choose from on USAM now. Classe DR4L, Electrocompaniet Ampliwire IIa, Forte Model 2, Acurus L10, Nakamichi CA5, Aragon 24K, Threshold SL10 and a few others if you’d like to get into tubes. I personally love the combination of a tube preamp with a SS amp but any of the above mentioned should work great too. If the desire is to stay with all Nak setup, than the choice is simple; and that CA5 is mint too! If you are interested in exploring other combinations, I’ve owned the Aragon and Classe and have heard the Forte as well. Another really great sounding under the radar preamp, if you can find one, is the Museatex AVC-1. Lots of really good choices here….


I hear you about the love of the hunt.  Currently living overseas now, but if I were back in the US, I’d seriously consider buying the Nak PA/CA5 stack, the Electrocompaniet stack and the Musical Design amp & pre that are on USAM just to hear them all.  There are just so many flavors of ice cream that I’d like to try :)

seller is dishonest I believe.

I would find one from someone else. Has balance, and 3 tone controls, lots of inputs, both MM and MC phono (you of course can use external), two tape loops, two outputs, nice!

Seems missing remotes can be acquired, but a complete collection of box/manual/power/remote indicates careful ownership, ...

One seller said 'two buttons missing', 'typical of these', enough to clarify if any signs of trouble from one you may buy.

I am a recent purchaser of a CA-7 and PA-7 combo. My previous amp was a Nakamichi TA-4A. The speakers I’m running are not known for their bass output. (Avalon Avatars) If anything, I’ve found improved bass and greater all around detail with this combination. I think the seller does not know what he’s talking about.

The CA-7 has an amazing phono section and I’m told the same holds true for the CA-5 & CA-5II.

My only complaint about the CA-7 would be that the OEM remote feels delicate. (Mine had a crack in the IR window plastic) You’re not stuck to that remote as the Harmony remote system supports the CA-7.