I would rebuild the amp. The counterpoint is a great amp and you will be hard pressed to find one any better for what you will have in it. As far as the amp being a shotty design. I do not know about that, but all the current owners of these amps do like them very much!!
If it's a MOS FET amp, I would recommend you contact Frank Van Alstine for pricing info. He has been doing great work on Haflers for years and years. I believe he does a nice job on rebuilding earlier Dynaco tube amps also.
I would NOT pay $1,000 to rebuild a preamp that will be worth under $500 when you are finished!! For a thou you could buy a BETTER working Counterpoint, or another nice tube/hybrid preamp.
I loved MY Counterpoint 2000 ... when it was working....
I guess if you really LOVE the preamp and plan on having it buried with you when you die... by all means get the rebuild!!
I'm with Elizabeth. A kilobuck is too much to rebuild your amp. You can buy McCormack DNA1 right now hear on audiogon fur much less and will probably be happy or even happier than with Counterpoint.
The MOSFET outputs in Counterpoint either work or don't so more-likely you're in OK shape on that issue. Replacing electrolytic capacitors and protection relays will probably eliminate problem.
The SA-100 is a power amp, not a preamp, and is definitely worth more than $500 when its rebuilt. You can certainly get fully working original SA-100s and SA-200s for around $800+, but they are not the same thing as the rebuilt units.
When Alta Vista rebuilds these units, they're not a rebuild-in-kind. They're basically a replacement of most of the electronics. Because Alta Vista operates on a very different business basis than Counterpoint did, you get a considerably higher value out of the rebuilds than the original units.
Most of the Alta Vista rebuilds are VERY extensive and QUITE expensive - the maxxed out rebuild of an SA-220 runs $3200+, plus the $800+ you put in to get the original unit. (There are less invasive $1500 rebuild options too.) I've heard the upgraded SA-220 and SA-5.1s, and they do sound REALLY smooth, but at those price points you have to consider a lot of other things as well, and the competition is quite stiff at that level.
However, the $1000 rebuild on the SA-100 looks like a pretty good deal, since the result (based on the SA-220 upgrade) is likely to be more than competitive with anything you can get for $1000-$1500.
I had a Counterpoint SA-100 4 ,3 years and it leaked current to y speakers.I had it rewired and it did not sound as good as bvefore.BTW Counterpoint rewired the amp.It lost its depth somewhat but still sounded great.
I had a SA-5.1 pre-amp upgraded by Mike Elliott. I also purchased the Aria monoblocks which are his latest hybrid design. My opinion is that your amp will become a different animal with the upgrade. Talk to him and see if your upgrade will meet your expectations.
You can buy a Rowland Model One for around $1000. No Counterpoint product at any price could ever compare.
i live in san diego ( minutes from counterpoint / alta vista) non of the local shops currently carry alta vista or carried previous counterpoint products because of relaiblilty issues.
mike elliotts gear is kinda like a jaguar car...when it is running..they are great..but when they go into the shop, they are never the same.
if you want headache and problems, then get the rebuild ( i think it is waaayyy overpriced)
otherwise i would avoid them. they have a reputation for very unreliable gear.
i would consider the muse 160 for $700. there is one on ebay (btw, it is not mine) or a pair of pse studio v monoblocks for ss amps.
if you want tubes, i would consider quicksilver monoblocks. they sound great and are very, very reliable unlike the counterpoint gear.
hope that helps !!
A sinking feeling for all those Countepoint owners, but then, why some very experienced Goners like Kublakhan are deeply, knee into Countepoint gear, like the legendary SA-11 or SA-4 preamps, as well as the SA 220? I used to dream about Counterpoints, when I could not afford them, and now, that I was somehow able to get them, I have all different type of gear. It is such a life.
My original (1985-86) SA-12 blew a Mosfet. I did send it in
for a rebuild and was quite impressed by the sound. Enough
to buy another old SA-12 (also with a blown channel) and rebuilt
it to run in mono.
Mike Elliott of Alta Vista argues that you are getting a lot more
for the rebuild as there's a lot less markup on the parts and
labour. All that's retained is the chassis and PS.
take a look at the Audio research Classic 60 stereo amp if you want a hybrid.
one of the best amps ever made ( i dont think anyone would disagre on this) and is still a refernce today.
this amp has it all, beautiful highs, thundering lows, beautiful mid etc...and very musical to top it off.
the classic 60 it is a hybrid 60 wpc amp - it is a tube output and solid state input( 60 wpc tube = 120 wpc solid state) and sounds better than most of their new amps.
and it is..........reliable !!!!!!!!!
they can be had for $1000 - $1200 used and they are reliable and still factory serviceable if needed ( audio research serivce departmentis very relaible and fair - i dont think they are try to grow their bottom line by offering outrageously expensive upgrades. they make the majority of their money off new products.
the rebuilt counterpoint gear is too risky imo.
the new alta vista gear is waaaayyyy overpriced compared to BAT & Manley to name a few and relaiblty is yet to be proven.
hope that helps out.
I had my SA-100 upgraded in 2002 (run #4) to NP-100.
I've used the amp with an Acurus RL-11 Preamp, and Goertz speaker cable to drive a pair of MG2.6s and more recently MG20.1s.
IMHO its a fine Amp - I have had no reliability issues in the six years since the rebuild. I have gone through one set of tubes - that is a lot of hrs.
All the upgrades/rebuilds are absent MOSFETs - the primary culprit in Counterpoint failures.
Additionally, Michael Elliot is a pleasure to work with and he's responsive to queries.
I've got the last SA-220 to leave Counterpoint sitting here. It's running but I have used it in years. For what the AV mods would cost I've bought an RM-9 and an RM-10. I keep forgetting I have the SA-220 because the MRs just sound so much better.