Counterpoint’s preamp have garnered quite a following over the years. Mainly because they sounded really good for the money. This SA-7.1 is one of their less expensive preamps (based on MSRP) at $600 back in the early eighties. It uses two 6922 and two 12AX7 tubes. We have had several Counterpoint preamps come through our doors and the SA-7.1 has the same mid-range magic and very good soundstaging. It may be slightly “tubby” sounding at the lower bass but you probably won’t notice it unless you listen to lots of hard rock. Vocals and jazz is where it excels. Imaging is life like with good attention to depth and width. For under $400, this is a tough one to beat.
Cosmetically, the preamp looks really good for its age. There is a small scrape line on the left faceplate which isn’t that bad unless you are up close. The screw holes on the rack handle was previously “enlarge” a little to take in a larger diameter screw but that’s about it. Preamp has phono inputs and it appears the RCA jacks for the phono stage may have been upgraded before. We don’t have a turntable now to test the phono stage but the line inputs and controls all work fine. We have the original box and will extra pad it for safe shipping