Which preamplifier do you think sounds best? The Sunfire Classic Tube or the Counterpoint SA-5000A?
I have never heard of the 5000A, only the SA-5000. So no, I was strictly talking about the SA-5000 in comparison to the SA-5.1. The SA-5.1 is one of the biggest steals in high-end preamps if you can find one for sale. We traded off my brother's SA-5000 to a guy with an SA-5.1 because my brother was tired of waiting for one to show up for sale. He would have made some money had he sold the SA-5000 and bought the SA-5.1 outright. It was just a way to smoke one out from someone who thought the SA-5000 was better.
Lol! Smoke one out? Nice. I looked up the 5.1 on Altavista. I remember it now, but I never heard it. The 5000A was a later version of the 5000. I don't recall what the difference between the two was. Thanks for the info.
Snoop65-Well, it's true. My brother didn't think I could pull it off, but I knew I could get someone who had an SA-5.1 to trade straight across for the *better* SA-5000 and I did.
I was fortunate enough to pick up a 5.1 as a trade-in many years ago. I almost never take trade-ins. I wouldn't have been interested in the Sunfire.

Still have the 5.1. From time to time I decide to post it on Audiogon so I hook it up to make sure it still works and give it one last good-bye listen... and the damn thing would sound too good to sell for what I thought I could get. Subsituting the 5.1 for the preamp section of a little NAD integrated pretty much transforms the system, it's that good.

I own very few pieces of equipment that I'm not a dealer for; it just makes sense for me to have my money in something that can make money for me. But when it comes to the 5.1, I have repeatedly failed to come to my senses.

Didn't realize the 5.1 had a following until finding this thread. Thought it was my dirty little secret.

Ok I'm back. I have listened to both preamps back to back for about a week, both preamps using pretty much the same tubes and I have to say I prefer the Sunfire. I love the SA-5000 but the Sunfire just gives me more. The sound stage is larger, it is cleaner, more detailed, the low end is lower, the highs alittle more extended. It seems to have more "air". Months after I originally got the SA-5000 I began to notice the tube coloration. Didn't really bother me the preamps sounds great but I knew it was there. I haven't really noticed this with the Sunfire. The Sunfire really makes me go "WOW"! The sound is HUGE!!! I almost feel like I stole something now!!!