Upgraded Counterpoint Hybrid SA-220 Power Amps

I have an old Counterpoint SA-220 and have always wondered if the basic, premium and gold upgrades were really really worth it. I can hear differences between the preamps and amps I have owned and auditioned but not $2K to $3K worth of sonic differences unless you really want that extra last bit of true sonics (yeah I know that I was being very general with that last comment). I am looking for anyone who has an upgraded Counterpoint power amp now or has had one in the past. Are the upgraded amps worth it? Have you compared the basic to the premium and the gold upgrades?

Thanks and Happy Listening.
I had a Sa20 and SA1000 both upgraded with the Basic parts.I have not heard any premium upgraded Counterpoints.I am happy,hope to hear more when the Merlins arrive however.I had this done 3 years ago now....what speakers are you using? Regards,Bob
I have an upgraded SA-20 to NP 220. Been using it for 4-5 years now. Very nice amp. coupling caps are worth playing with for tuning the sound - V-caps are great.
I have the last SA-220 to leave Counterpoint. It's stock and I'm leaving it that way because it is what it is, a great amp.

I'm sitting here listing to a Pathos right now, a couple of Quicksilvers are sitting idle nearby. I've owned a lot of amps and you'll see me part with my SA-220 on my death bed ; )

Now if the Mosfets blow, then it's another story.
I have both an SA 20 and an NP 220 gold version - sort of. The SA 20 is nice sounding but not exactly reference yet I doubt I'll ever sell it. I really like it.

The NP220 (hi-output)has all the works except the wiring & the Vishays found in the Platinum version now offered. It also has 120,000 uF Black Gate main supply and V-Caps for coupling and uses Jan 6188 6SL7s. It sounded very nice even before the BGs were added so I definately think the upgrade is worth it. I'd get a new tranny if I were upgrading as these have been known to die (mine did)and I'd do the premium at least.

Rolling tubes in this or changing the coupling caps significantly changes the sound so if you're not quite getting what you want you mat try experimenting.

Since Michael's selling new Aria amps I don't think he's doing many upgrades. For the cost of the Platinum upgrade you can buy an Aria which I'm sure is a similar circuit design.
You might give the old SA20 a mod of just the 2 coupling caps from old WOndercaps to something like Jensen or Mundorf 0.47uF. I have an NP220 Premium gold and an SA20 which I rebuilt from a trashed unit. I now have 2 wonderful sounding hybrid amps, voiced quite differently from one another but I find them both equally enjoyable.
Interesting that you're replying to a thread started 5 years ago and inactive for over a year.

I still have the SA-220 I referred to in my post a year and a half ago. I've read a few comments since then from owners who had upgrades done and felt that they changed the amp to sound quite different, not for the better. I love the sound of the amp and just don't want to risk loosing what I like. I also feel the upgrade costs are ridiculously over price.
i've got a solid One e, its not going in for any updates.I dont know about his other amps,he's made but i've noticed with the Solid one ,is that there seems to be about 5 different versions,i mean differing face plates,lots of differences inside,completely different binding posts on all models i've seen.Like the Solid one for sale now must be one of the first,,i guessing i have a late model what with better bindings posts,substantially newer looking everything.Who knows,but i'm very happy with it.
Well I finally got around to upgrading the basic amp and have answered a question that was going through my mind, what would be the improvement over the basic upgrade. Thanks to the help given to me by Johnsonwu here on audiogon, I replaced the large can caps with Nichicon superthrougs, hexfreds, V-Caps, mills resistors and larger hammond choke. The sonics changed dramatically. Bass slam, details without congestion, very resolving, warmish tone, just wonderful sounding. Now I have to wonder about adding the Plitron transformer and vishays.
The basic upgrade replaces nearly everything in the signal path so I would expect a sonic change (and if it didn't why would you opt to do upgrade), I got my upgrade due to the famed SA220 reliability issue (my amp blew up several times. What I got with my Michael Elliot upgrade was bulletproof reliability and state of the art sound. I think the old SA220 sound was worth every dime and the NP220 upgrade is a steal... to get closer to the music at any price will be a challenge, I haven't found a reason to 'upgrade' for 10 years
Good to hear from you J, I just purchased an oil choke and will be installing that to see what if any differences I hear. There is also a local guy I know who makes chokes. He has been winding them for 20 years and I may have him build one for me if that oil choke does not make a difference. Much cheaper then the Plithron. If you are interested, let me know. Funny you should post on this thread as I just told someone yesterday that I have not even considered upgrading or changing to a different amp now that I have the Counterpoint. The thought never crosses my mind even to look.

Happy Listening.
Installed the oil choke and wow! It kills the larger Hammond choke I installed replacing the baisc upgrade smaller Hammond choke. The oil choke made the amp much more musical, better dimensionality, way better tone with more clarity.
oil choke?? Whats that?
It is a choke that is filled with oil.