Review on Coda Technologies 16 Amplifier went live today

Just wanted to inform the individuals that have shown interest in reading the full review on Stereo Times website, not just the comments on the on-going thread about the 16 amplifier, that it was posted this morning.  It gets into the details why this is a spectacular piece regarding performance, build quality, and it's very reasonable price for what you get for your money.

Damnit Terry, I purchased and have the No. 8 amp on the way but after reading you’re review I’m already jonesing for the 16.
@lancelock, where have you been for the last four months since teajay  started his thread concerning the CODA 16? If you were thinking of purchasing a CODA I would think that you would want to see what the review contained. Not judging mind you🙂.

I have been the proud owner of the CODA CSX since 2015 or so, and a CODA  Pre.
cant go wrong with any of them

I was just kidding around. As nice as the 16 sounds. The No. 8 is more in my price range right now and I don’t think I’m going to be disappointed.
Hey lancelock,

Believe me you will not be disappointed with your No.8, it's a great amplifier!  

That’s good to hear but if my audiophilia gets out of control, Mike at Audio Archon said he would take it back on a trade.
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Hey Lancelock,

I did not know you are Mike's customer.  He's a great guy and a total expert on all things in high-end audio.  Yep, you could always go up the "chain", but remember your starting high up already with your number #8.
To answer your question:

I own the Pass Labs XA-60.8 mono-blocks, which are great amps, and like the Coda 16.0 better for the reasons I stated in the Stereo Times review.
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Your price on the Pass Labs XA-60.8 mono-blocks is incorrect.  The MSRP price is $13,500.  If your order the 16.0 without meters its MSRP is $13,000. Therefore, price wise it's an "apple to apple" fair comparison.
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If I'm not mistaken Doug at Coda was using the same Toshiba transistors that Pass Labs was.  In reading your review, it sounds like they have moved away from those Transistors?  Is that your understanding?
Well d2girls,

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My review piece is without the meters and I really like its "classy/understated" looks. Would I personally spend another 3K for the meters? I would not. By the way, the cost of the meters is extremely expensive, hence the up charge in the price if you want them.

Also, not only does the 16.0 have double the Class A rating of the Pass Labs amps, it also has almost three times the current/amps rating then the mono-blocks.
Hey dep14,

I know that Doug had found a better sounding JFET for this generation of Coda gear. However, I do not know which company he sources them from. I'm sure if you called him he would give you all the details.

A few questions regarding the Coda Technologies 16 if you don’t mind.

Is it a good match with the NSMT Model 100 speakers?

Do your NMST Model 100 speakers have the powered base?

Once you come out of standby how long does it take for the amp to come on song?

I assume this runs very hot, yes?


Hey mrpaul,

To answer your questions:

1) It's a terrific match with the NSMT 100's.

2) Yes, I have the 100's with the built-in amps.

3) I never turn off the 16.0.  However, since you can put it into a stand-by mode which keeps the caps charged I would assume it would come on "song" very quickly if you did.

4) Nope, it's rather cool running and even when its pushed hard it does not become more then mildly warm to the touch.

Thanks for the response.  I find the Coda/NSMT combination very intriguing.  I will arrange a visit to Audio Archon in August when I am in the area (corona virus willing) to check it out.
If I'm not mistaken Doug at Coda was using the same Toshiba transistors that Pass Labs was. In reading your review, it sounds like they have moved away from those Transistors? Is that your understanding?
@dep14, there are (at least) two main types of transistors used in Coda power amps. The input stage uses a new FET transistor which I don't believe we have details on. The output stage, however, uses the OnSemi / Motorola ThermalTrak high-bandwidth bipolar junction transistors (28 per side). I do not have experience with older Coda products, but know they have used the ThermalTrak for quite some time, as do companies they OEM for like Sanders. The massive power transformer is made by Keen Ocean.
For any Audiogoners that might be interested in the CODA 16 or other CODA products we would be happy to answer further questions.  Feel free to contact us.

Audio Archon - CODA dealer
For any Audiogoners that might be interested in the CODA 16 or other CODA products we would be happy to answer further questions. Feel free to contact us.
I’m very happy that I found this thread. I was going to write you a letter, but now I can ask here, right?) I need your advice which version of Coda № 8 to take. As I understand there are 3 of them:
  • V3: 400 Watts per channel Class AB into 8 Ohms, 800 Watts per channel Class AB into 4 Ohms, Class A ~8 Watts
  • V2: 250 Watts per channel Class AB into 8 Ohms, 500 Watts per channel Class AB into 4 Ohms, Class A ~12 Watts
  • V1: 150 Watts per channel Class AB into 8 Ohms, 300 Watts per channel Class AB into 4 Ohms, Class A ~18 Watts

  • I’m leaning toward V1, because I want it to sound good on low and moderate levels and I like more delicate sound of A class for music listening. But sometimes I want push it hard too. I know that Terry tested it with high sensivity speakers and V.1 was great for him, but I have Dynaudio Evoke 50 ( Sensitivity: 87dB Impedance: 4 Ω).So would V1 be enough? Or it wouldn’t play in A class with my speakers anyway and I’d better go to more AB power with V3 (800 Watts looks great on the paper). Hope I made my self clear, ’cause english is not my native language)
    I'd email Coda to confirm, but my recommendation would be to go with V1. That's what Doug recommended for my Maggies. V1 and the 15.5/16.0 are "better suited to low-impedance speaker systems where higher current capability yields superior performance." I think if you ran the numbers on how much power you actually use at normal and even loud volumes, you may be surprised that you'll virtually always be within the Class A range except on dynamic peaks:
    I have TAD ME-1, 85db, 4 Ohm speakers. My new No. 8 amp will arrive next week. My amp will have meters so I should be able to monitor when it leaves class A and goes into class AB. I will report back to you.

    I have TAD ME-1, 85db, 4 Ohm speakers. My new No. 8 amp will arrive next week. My amp will have meters so I should be able to monitor when it leaves class A and goes into class AB. I will report back to you.
    That would be just great! I will be waiting!

    Thanks Terry, great job on the review BTW.  I am so satisfied with my sound right now but you certainly gave me a reason to lay in bed unable to sleep now.

    Bet the 16 would drive my Thiels to heaven!

    Hey everybody,

    Just want to share I have received over twenty Emails from ecstatic new owners of both the #16.0 and #8 Coda amplifiers.  Such statements that the amps have " the tonality and purity of SET tube based designs, can't believe how quiet the amp is, never had this type of bass control and extension in my system, it allows my tube based preamplifier's tonality to be heard clearly in the exact why I wanted it, it's so smooth and effortless, forget about grain, this amp drips with the liquidity of the finest tube based amps I ever had in my system".

    Very happy new owners, indeed!
    My #8 arrived today and I have to agree with teajay and the other new owners. Seaglance, I am powering my 85db 4 Ohm speakers to my normal listening levels, loud to me and the needle on the meters barely move. Plenty of class A watts for sure.

    That price is uncalled for.
    if it’s made of platinum or it uses 2 carat diamonds as conductors, some of these audio,prices are just gouging.

        Some are worth it, most are just taking advantage of people,   

    Hum arctikdeth,

    Coda is completely built in America, uses the finest gold plated circuit boards, beautiful chassis, and very high quality internal parts throughout.  Compared to all the other very highly regarded American based companies Coda's amplifiers are priced about half of what they charge, and in my opinion out perform the great majority them, and you think the price is, "uncalled for".  I with great passion disagree, I believe Coda is a great company that charges very fair prices for superlative gear in both build quality and performance, at not inexpensive, but very reasonable prices. 
    I agree they make great stuff, no argument.

     16K.   Sixteen thousand dollars.
      Does this ring any bells of people, this is about 5K less than my yearly take home after Uncle Sam legally steals most of my income.
    It is an amazing,amp for sure. Specs are wow!
    As the saying goes, everything’s relative. I added up my total outlay on my system, over time, and it equals about that one amplifier’s price. But 15 years ago I’d never have believed I’d spend as much as I have. Or that I’d be able to. We won’t even talk about what 3rd World occupants who couldn’t conceive of having what you do :)
    Very true.

     It has taken me 30 years to be where I’m at now with my stereo.
       Patience, waiting, demo’ing, etc.
     I’m golden where I’m at, with one small slight,.....proper speakers.
    ive been on the Dynaudio c-4’s search for a long time, but, by the time I have the scratch, something new will be there.

    im content now with my Energy RC-70’s. They fill and check every box I’ve wanted in a speaker.    I’ll get at least 10-15 years from these,happily!,
    til I need an upgrade these speakers are my. Grail!

    amps, pre,spinner, I’m happy.
    Hey lancelock,

    Would you be willing to share some of your "listening notes" about the #8 amplifier with us on this thread.

    Hi Teajay, I had Coda CSIB 5 years ago driving Avalon Indra (89db, 4 Ohm, quite power hungry). Nice, but a bit too laid back for my taste. So I replaced it by Pass X250.5 which is a superb amp particular in the middle range with tube-like liquidity and warmth which suits my taste of jazz. Now I wonder what kind of beast Coda No.16 is and how well it would work with the Indras. Based on your experience would Coda No.16 be a step up compared to Pass X250.5? Cheers and thank you for sharing, Mike

    I will chime in on the #8 with some more break-in. After a bit more run-in I will put the good 300B tubes back in the Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT and spend some time critical listening. So far I’m very happy.

    Hey mikefi,

    I'm a big fan of Nelson Pass's creations.  I reviewed professionally the X-250.8 and gave it five stars out of five stars.  I also reviewed and own XA-60.8's and a XA-25.  However, this new generation of Coda's amps are very special.  The 16.0 is tremendously powerful, the quietest amp I have ever had in my system, and yet is extremely musical/engaging that draws you into the music.  I would would not call the 16.0 "laided back" in your words, but has great transit speed without ever becoming in your face or aggressive.
    Thank you for coming back, really appreciated. The midrange in the Pass (X250.5) is great. I guess I will have to hear Coda in order to make up my mind. Have you had the chance to compare it to the integrated CSIb?
    Cheers, Mike
    The amplification stage of the current version of the CSIb is exactly the same as the Continuum No. 8.
    Hey Mike,

    I have not heard the CSIb with my own ears.  It is a combination of a #8 amp and the baby brother to the 07x preamplifier.  However, I know two people who have it in their systems and love it.

    If you can you should really try to audition the 16.0, you might find it to your liking even though your x250.5 is a great amplifier.

    After giving the #8 a good run in over the last week I can report only the sweetness of quality sound. Im in agreement with the review that this amp has amazing dynamics, holographic depth, micro detail galore and just smooth, probably because its so quiet. There is a boogie factor here too that makes your foot tap and body move.  It has a certain je ne sais quoi for lack of a better word. I can’t explain it but I love it. 

    I used both the Vinnie Rossi LIO DHT and LTA Micro ZOTL Preamp. I love both of these but the MZ Pre seemed to have better synergy with the #8. Even with the Elrog 300B tubes in the LIO, the MZ Pre has the last word in detail and sound stage. My source is a Modwright Oppo 205. I’m already scheming to trade up to the #16. Is there a 12 step program for this disease?

    Hey lancelock,

    Thanks for sharing the details of why you are enjoying the music with your new #8 amplifier! I can understand why you would have the passion to try its big brother the 16.0. Enjoy yourself totally now and look forward to getting the 16.0 when you have a chance.  We both know Mike will help you when you are ready and able. 
    @ lancelock

    You may want to look into a more linear sounding tube in your LIO than the 300B as in my experience it's shouldn't even be close between those 2 pre-amps.

    Those small octal tubes do sound beautiful and are transparent but when compared to a DHT, it sounds like you are listening to a recording verses actual instruments occupying a space between your speakers with body, texture, reverb and nuances that are unmistakable the hallmarks of a DHT; refinement and precision.

    I'm also using a 2A3 DHT Pre and I have never heard this type of sound emanating from my speakers with such delicacy and realism...


    Im not done with the LIO. I do have some tube rolling to do. My preference for the LTA and having synergy with these particular components is more a testament to the quality of the ZOTL pre. I can take nothing away from the DHT pre. I absolutely love it but it might find a better home Upstairs with my hybrid electrostats. 
    It seems the Preamp shootout results were tainted because of continuing break-in of the Coda #8 and just as I’m getting it broken in I will be sending it back in exchange for the #16. Yes, the #8 is that Good, an entry drug if you will.
    I would also like to mention that if your looking for a good dealer look no further than Mike Kay at Audio Archon. He is a true gentleman and a pleasure to deal with.

    Does anyone know if the coda 15.5 sounds similar to the 16? Or is the 16 and the 8 represent a totally new design and sound character?

    From the "other" selling site...

    The differences between the new Coda No. 16 and 15.5 amps are twofold, the use of low noise input transistors and somewhat higher power supply capacitance. The 15.5 has 200,000 versus 280,000 microfarads in the No. 16.