The new Coda S5.5 amplifier: It's a "Petite Beast"!

I have in-house the New Coda Technologies S5.5 amplifier for review for Stereo Times website. It will be awhile before I write the review. However, I'm so impressed by the performance of this petite amplifier, it only weights 45 pounds, that I wanted to give a heads up to you GON members if you are in the market for a balanced pure class A amplifier, delivers 50 watts @ 8 Ohms, and can drop 100 Amperes of current on a peak!

The world class build quality of Coda amplifiers is on display with the S5.5, along with the most beautiful purity of tonality, precise sound-staging, complete liquidity offered by pure class A design, and what might be the best top end regarding details, decays, and a natural shimmering without brightness or any edge at all.

The S5.5 uses extremely wide bandwidth output transistors instead of the usual TO3 devices used in most transistor designs. I own the Coda #16, which is great, but the midrange/high end is taken to another level of musical enjoyment with the S5.5. The S5.5 has a sense of speed/aliveness that is exciting to listen to that you experience in live music. The amp is dynamic as hell, has driven with ease any speaker I have tried it with, hence my nickname of the "Petite Beast". Remember, 50 watts pure class A, can drop 100 amperes of current and only weights 45 pounds.

Teajay (Terry London)


@tucki08 If you want to hear a very smooth, relaxing, and yet detailed Class A amp check out the Krell Duo XD lineup. I liked the KRELL Duo 175XD over my CODA #8 (sold). I like the CODA #16 more than the 175XD (sold). I had the CODA 07x preamp when I had the 175XD and the #8. I use the Holo Serene preamp now.

Next week if I manage to get a job, I am seriously considering trading in my CODA #16 for the KRELL KSA i400. That is 400 watts in Class A and doubling to 1600 at 2 Ohm. I think the Class A stays at 400 as it doubles.

The KRELL XD lineup can be had for similar price as the CODA lineup. Both are great, I think the KRELL is a little smoother sounding. Normally this smoothness is not my preference, but I had the KRELL XD’s I owned sounding great with my other gear.


@tucki08 I have a Krell 300xd amp, I’ve had Coda’s CSiB integrated.  I would agree with yyz’s assessment.  If you are looking for a smooth, tube like SS amp that also has the power, command of SA Krell is tough to beat.  Coda wasn’t better or worse in my opinion, it had a different sound signature.  I agree with Terry, I’d put Coda’s gear up against anyone’s, price aside.  They use extremely high quality parts and really know how to design, get the most out of those parts. 

Yes I had a #8 and a CSIB and ended up with the S5.5 and agree with Terry it's the best of the lot, and by a considerable margin, at least in my system. Yet it is the cheapest amp CODA makes. I have it paired with an Audio Hungary Qualiton C200 tube preamp, and there is no musical genre the stack doesn't render faithfully, at least to my ears. 

Just now I finished listening to two tracks (via Tidal) that had me spellbound:

-Art Pepper's "Nature Boy" 

-Leonard Cohen's "The Night of Santiago"

The tonal verisimilitude of the acoustic instruments was breathtaking. Cohen's voice was so eerily "present" in the room, when I turned the lights back on I had to chuckle at my goosebumps.

The system is as follows:

Puritan PSM156 conditioner -> Melco S100 ethernet switch (fiber optic output) -> Lumin U1-> Gustard R26 w/external masterclock -> Qualiton C200 -> S5.5 -> Mofi Sourcepoint 10s (cabling is all by Transparent)

I sometimes prefer this setup to my main setup in the living room, where the amp is a Gryphon Diablo 300 running B&W 804 D4s, especially for small scale acoustical music.

Regardless, the point is IMO someone could build a killer system with the S5.5 at its heart for under $20K.


Hi Teajay, thanks for the heads up on this CODA. How would you say it compares to the Pass XA-25 ? I know you mentioned in the past that you thought it was the best of the pass labs amps. Would a move from the XA-25 to the CODA be more of a sideways move or a step up in your opinion ?