Preview: CODA Technologies new generation number#8 Stereo Amplifier

I have always had a keen interest in hearing a CODA amplifier in my own system for a long time. This company has been in existence for over twenty years. It's if they were a "stealth" product, very few American reviews, built many highly regarded amplifiers for other companies as an OEM source, and most of their products are loved/sold in the Asian/European markets.

I finally was able to set up a review for on their new generation single chassis number#8 amplifier.  Internally, their has been some very important changes in the power supply, along with "kept in house" different part selections through out the entire circuit pathway.  Externally, the #8 has a pair of blue light power meters and is quite a good looking piece of gear. The build quality and parts used are at the highest level.  The number#8 amplifier is 150 watts into 8 Ohms and 300 watts into 4 Ohms.  The first 18 watts is pure class A.  Regardless of the volume levels I play the amp never leaves its class A rating.  Like all Coda amplifiers a special quality is the #8 ability to provide 150 Amperes of current if needed!

Well, the beauty of what this amplifier has brought to my system has lead to all night long listening sessions.  I have owned/reviewed other great SS amplifiers. However, the #8, being driven by the new Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL preamplifier has some special qualities, here are a few:

1) It might be the quietest amplifier I have ever had in my system.  This allows all the micro-details to float out and be heard.  Yet, the #8 never sounds edgy/electrical/mechanical as other very detailed amps can.
2) It's lighting fast and provides the speed and aliveness you find in live music to a higher degree then other amps I have had in my system.
3) The overall tonality is "silky-smooth" with not a touch of grain/dryness.
4) The macro-dynamics overall and the control of the bottom end are superlative.

In my review I'll get into all the details why this is a killer amplifier!  I also think its a "bargain" at it's retail price of $6,500.00.  So, if your in the market I strongly suggest you might want to hear the #8 before you purchase another amplifier.  It's that good.


currently  using my Threshold S/350e amp  with Tekton Electron SE's and very happy with the sound.

was looking at the Coda No 8  as my next amp, but wanted to ask if the No 8 is a much better amp?  $6K is not pocket change in my book.

There are a number of Audio Archon power cables.  Do you have a recommendation as to which of the Audio Archon power cables high work well with the Coda No 40 amp - 400 wpc Class AB.

Anyone know if this Coda amp has auto turn on? I don't see triggers. Or will it either need to be turned on every time it is used, or left on all the time
Anyone know if this Coda amp has auto turn on? I don't see triggers. Or will it either need to be turned on every time it is used, or left on all the time
My coda integrated left on 24/7, push the 'bias' button on remote or front panel when I want to play music. 
@imhififan Thanks for the info. I spoke with Doug Dale and he said for no upcharge they add a 12v bias trigger in the back panel. There is already a hole that is plugged for this use.
@audiotroy so, how do the three amps compare, the coda, str, and the Krell xd?
oem-wheels , yea i figured, but somewhere on this or another thread he said they were going to have a comparison of the 3.
Hey guys sorry not to get back to these questions will try to anwer the opinions on these three killer amps

They are all fantastic and all a bit different

Coda is the best overall amplifier in terms of image size, depth, having a warm full midrange, and a very delicate top end. Overall our favorite unless you really want to play loud or have a very unrully load.

Krell has better bass being a bit warmer in the lower frequencies, vs the Coda which was a bit tighter, slightly faster. The Krell has an even warmer midrange, Krell’s soundstage was equilly as good, the amp never seemed to run out of omph. and was just a beautiful sound on all loudspeakers.

Anthem STR a bit less air then the other amplifiers, bass was also warm, still quite tight  a tick tighter than the Coda's bass, also nver ran out of omph.

So overall Coda number one, Krell number two, Anthem STR number three.

The Coda does take a long time to burn in. Fantastic amplifier at a great price unless you need more slam just an awesome amplifier. The most balanced out of all three amplifiers.

If you want a warmer even more tube like presentation then the Krell is your amp.

If you want a bit more neutral still a bit warm but less air and precence the Anthem is still quite musical just less overall wow factor then the other two great power reserves and outstanding bass never ran out of juice. 

Hope that helps, these are all exceptinal amplifiers comes down to taste the Coda was really exceptional for most of our clients who we demoed it for.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Dealers for Coda, Krell, and Anthem

I've owned various Krell amps throughout my life and have never heard them being described as tube like.
Mikey the new XD series is very very different than the older Krell amplifiers.  

We have owned and sold Krell amplifiers over the years including the KSA 250 and the 400MCX mono blocks. 

Older Krell deep bass, a bit recessed in the mids, clean but not hyper detailed top, good dynamics. 

New Krell not quite as punchy in the bass, great soundstage, much warmer fuller midrange very flowing sounding. 

New Krell sound is from the ibias design and the new XD output circuit.

Dave and Troy 
Audio Doctor 
I have heard the iBias designs but not the XD ones.

They are more musical - not tube like though - but I felt they gave up a lot of the bass slam that Krell was famous for.

I am guessing the XD upgrade is similar to the FPB c to FPB cx upgrade.

I remember the old Stereophile cover comparing a Cary to a Krell KSA series amp in the 90’s. They depicted the Krell as being polar opposites to a tube amp. I think they revisited the story a few months ago with current equivalents.

Throughout the years I have heard marketing hyperbole about how this particular solid state or Class D amp sounds like a tube amp. People also say that about the d'Agostino amps - but again that wasn't my impression. I have never heard a solid state amp that sounds tube like - even the very costly FM Acoustics ones. They may sound musical in their own way but not tube like.
Mikey, the Krell does not sound exactly like a tube. The XD series has a much more organic and flowing sound which is remininicent of a tube sound, also the new XD series is much more midrange orienteted and sounds warmer then any Krell of the past, and yes we would say the new XD are less slamy then the original.

The amplifiers are so much more engaging that is why people are raving over them. 

The Stereophile article was just one of their attempts to be interesting such as if this amplifier is right then the other is wrong kind of thing.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Krell, Anthem and Coda dealers
Hi Dave & Troy,
I have a Theater 7 (non XD), which I was thinking about upgrading.  However, you keep mentioning warm, warmer, etc.    I use the Theater 7 for a home Theater, so I'm not sure now that I want to do the upgrade.
It almost sounds like the non XD version would be closer to the Coda than the XD version, since I am guessing the non XD version is less warm.

Does anyone else find it odd that the No.8 is STILL not listed on the Coda web site. Are they still in business?

Coda is very much in business, they are working on a new website.

They are shipping Number 8 and people who have received their are very impressed with them.

For the money it is one of the best sounding amplifiers we have ever heard, we just sold a Point 8 with its matching preamp to a client with ATC SCM 19mk 2 monitors with a Golden Ear Sub x woofer and a Lumin streamer. 

The Point 8 is very open, has a stunning midrange, and throws a huge soundstage. You have to pay a lot more to get a really superior amplifier.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers
Hi audiotroy,
Any thoughts regarding my above post?  Would a non-XD Krell be closer to the Coda, based upon the reasoning I mentioned?
OK, I broke down and got the Coda amp. Fantastic. It replaces the Parasound A21 in my system and substantially improves on it. Something that I don’t think has been mentioned here is that you can get the amp in one of three configurations.
  • #1 150 watts w/18 watts pure class A
  • #2 250 watts w/12 watts pure class A
  • #3 350 watts w/8 watts pure class A
I got the version #2.
Actually Tom

The Coda Point 8 improves on a lot of amplifiers and actually challenges way more expensive ones.

Congratulations on the amp, after break in it gets way better.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers

What speaker(s) did you audition with the Coda CSiB (in the past) and again now with the new Coda  8?

High amps we have and continue to get great results with most loudspeakers with the Coda gear.

The Coda gear is very well balanced it is not uber lush, nor is it bright. 

The Coda sound is clean with a touch of warmth, a huge soundstage, tight, punchy bass, excellent resolution.

We have gotten fantastic results on pretty much all of our loudspeaker lines, the choice of preamp tube or solid state, front end and cabling will also effectively tune the sound depending on the desired sound.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor Coda dealers
Ron you will love the combo the STR is just fantastic for the money, and the Coda .8 is smoking. 

We would recommend an Innous Zenith MK III to feed the STR,

Ron 1264 do you have the Antem STR power amplifier as well?

Also you will get a nice improvement with a set of Isoacoustics footers replacing the 3F's stock footers.

The Coda and the STR also benefit from the Isoacoustics footers.

Please feel free to PM us if you need or want any setup details.

Dave and Troy
Audio Docotor NJ Coda, Anthem, Innous, Paradigm Dealers
@audiotroy  my questions  were way back in Feburary. They have long been answered and I have moved on.
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What is the difference between the Continuum No. 8 and the Continuum Ts, aside from the aesthetics and the meters on the front panel?
Yesterday, I received my Coda No 8. I am using an Anthem STR as a preamp, and Tekton Moab speakers. The Coda is not broken in yet, but the sound so far is amazing. 
@gb9746 Are you planning on getting a separate preamp and replace the STR integrated, or did I misunderstand and you are using the STR preamp and not STR integrated. 

I am curious as to what criteria should be used to determine how the #8 should be ordered.

  • #1 150 watts w/18 watts pure class A
  • #2 250 watts w/12 watts pure class A
  • #3 350 watts w/8 watts pure class A
I am thinking the sensitivity of the speakers and maybe room size and listening sound levels. Anything else?

So for a speaker with 88 sensitivity, in a small room, and at low to mid volume levels would option #1 be the best choice (I just made this up).

I am using the Anthem STR Integrated as my preamp. I called Anthem and they said the preamp section in the STR integrated amp and the STR preamp are basically the same

Because the Tekton Moabs have 98dB 2.83V@1m sensitivity,  my Coda was ordered with 150 watts w/18 watts pure class A. If you call Coda, they will advised you what settings would work best for you. 
@gb9746 Thanks for the feedback on the preamp section of the integrated. I am going to demo the STR integrated and the Lyngdorf 2170 for preamp duty (both have DSP) but I am really interested in the STR preamp if I decide to go with the Anthem.

Good idea on calling Coda. I may get the Coda #8 or the Benchmark AHB2 for my soon to be second system.

I had the Lyngdorf 2170 and used it for about a year. Both the Lyngdorf and the Anthem have good room correction software, but I like the Anthem STR better. 
Guys we have a few clients running the Pesona 3F with the Coda .8 the combo is fantastic. 

The Coda power amplifier is just fantastic with the Personas.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Paradigm, Anthem, and Coda dealers
The Coda gear is basically neutral with a bit of warmth and midrange bloom, a huge soundstage, and very well controlled bass.

Add good top and bottom end performance it is hard to imagine a set of speakers the .8 or the CS IB integrated amplifier wouldn't sound good with.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers
what are the Coda 8 amplifier specs (input impedance?) cannot find them anywhere
Is there any difference as far as sound quality using balanced/unbalanced inputs?
what are the Coda 8 amplifier specs (input impedance?) cannot find them anywhere
Is there any difference as far as sound quality using balanced/unbalanced inputs?
You should email Coda to confirm, but the input impedance should be 10 kOhms for the balanced input and 50 kOhms for the unbalanced input.

As the amp has a fully differential input stage with a DC-coupled balanced input, that would be the purest signal path. Going through the AC-coupled unbalanced input would route the signal through additional circuitry. Whether this is audible likely depends on your ears and your particular room/equipment and whether you have any ground loops.

See: ("Different types of voltage are handled differently at the input. DC-coupled inputs are the more straightforward: the circuitry just takes the input as it is. The entire signal passes through, more or less untouched. AC-coupled inputs are different. They include a capacitor in the circuit that allow them to filter out very low frequencies.")
I do not post often as I come here mostly to learn, but having recently purchased a No. 8 amp (Version 1 for 18 watts of Class A bias 150/300/600 watts into 8/4/2 ohms) I thought I'd share my experience.

To keep it short and to the point, it is the best amp I have ever owned. No matter the quality of recording or the volume I am listening at, I am constantly astonished. There seems no limit to it, even LOUD the meters barely register the deep bass plunges, and my B&W 702 S2s are notorious for wild impedance swings.

I paid 6k for it, I would pay double for it and still feel like I got a smoking deal.

Anyways, just my 2 cents.
Thinking about the no 8 with Yamaha ns5000. Any thoughts ?

Was going to go pass 250.8 used but it just sold.

I concur with @kairosman, the #8 was the best until I got the #16.
@smodtactical Take a look at @soundhound CODA #15.5 that is upgraded to almost #16 level. He has it on sale on USAudiomart. Same price as a new #8.

BTW - I decided to pair the CODA #16 with my Benchmark HPA4 preamp. I think it will be a nice blend of the Benchmark AHB2 and Luxman m900u. A super quiet amp (130 SNR almost good as AHB2), with a sweet top like the Luxman m900u, and more slam than the m900u. PM me if you want to know a bit more I spoke with a dealer that maybe useful to you.
Terry how come so few people have the Coda amp? Barely any reviews except for your excellent review.
YYZ ya I was looking at that 15.5, looks good. But with coda its a bit of a gamble. If I don't like the pairing its basically going to be impossible to sell.
Hey smodtactical,

Great question. My explanation would be two fold: 1) Coda does not seek reviews where you have to buy advertising or other types of incentives to have a review done. 2) Coda is beloved and sells tremendous amounts of their gear in the Asian and European markets. 

I call Coda the great "stealth" company because they have been in business for over 30 years, build great stuff that competes with anyone else's gear on the market for reasonable prices, and you rarely see them on the second hand market because the owner's tend to keep them for ever. 
I agree with Terry. I had the Coda Model 11 and (regretfully) sold it some years ago. I am less than one week into my new Model 16, and it is nothing short of stunning! This piece will stay in my collection indefinitely! And for reference, I parted with my much beloved Pass XA60.8's to make room for this beautiful beast of an amp.
Hey laaudionut,

Congrats! I’m sure you are enjoying your new "baby". In another thread on the #16 I tried to explain the difference between the Pass Labs XA-60.8’s and the #16. I still think the XA-60.8’s are wonderful amps, but I like the Coda #16 better. Would you be willing to share what you have found to be different and an improvement over the mono-blocks in your system and for your taste.
As per Terry's request, I will provide my initial thoughts on the Model 16 after around 25 hours of listening to date:

Please pardon the lack of audio superlatives and jargon specific to our esoteric hobby, as I am not a reviewer, just an avid audio dragon chaser.

In comparison to my Pass 60.8's, The 16 requires that I use far less of the volume knob on my preamp to obtain the same level of listening(a great deal less). At lower listening levels, The Model 16 is far more dynamic in its soundstage and presence. At all listening levels, the separation of instruments is more apparent side to side and back to front...the dimensionality is astounding! It is every bit as detailed and articulate as the Pass, but with a tube-like warmth to it, is the only way to explain it. In short, this is by far the best amplification I have had in my set up ever, and there have been quite a few very highly regarded gems that have occupied my rack!

If it matters, I am feeding a pair of TAD CE1 Monitors via a set of Found Music speaker cables. 

I believe that I am more than satisfied for the foreseeable future, and I thank Terry's consultation earlier in the year for his thoughts on my desire to have another Coda back in the lineup!

Happy listening!
wow, XA200.8, max current 50 amps, XA 600.8 50 amps, XA30.8 20 amps, Coda No 8 75 amps! damn that thing has some insane current