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)

johnah5

@minatophase3 

          I wouldn't rush into anything. See how the S5.5 sounds off the Accuphase. It may totally meet or exceed your expectations. I have two 45 yr old preamps that still sound great (to me), a Mac C27  (SS) and an ARC SP-8 (8 tube pre). I also do have a Coda CSiB V1 integrated; the preamp stage is some hybrid of  a CB and 07x. My favorite of all is the SP-8. The CSiB preamp section is excellent though and very comparable to the SP-8 performance using either to drive a Mac MC2125 amp. I wouldn't sell the SP-8 or CSiB for a 07x  to drive a S5.5, being very satisfied with the CSiB sound, quality, design, features.  I am expecting the preamp section of it (similar to CB) to work fine with the S5.5. TBD. The SP-8 synergy is questionable.  I definitely like good tube based preamps though so if buying separates, I myself would look in that direction, but get good guidance on synergy.  The best way is trial testing in one's room if possible. 

There have been some posts in this thread  on Aric Audio Motherlode tube preamps that Terry London speaks highly of. Pricing is in between the CB and 07x. If your Accuphase sounds great to you though, that synergy may beat other separates so why gamble? If you are not satisfied with The Accuphase preamp section though, patience and careful research will pay off. You have numerous choices for your preferred budget. Ask Terry @johnah5 .

The Accuphase may be a fit for the S5.5, but if you feel that it fails to live up to the performance of the Coda, I would also enthusiastically recommend reaching out to Aric at Aric Audio. I have the Coda Model 16 mated to the Original Motherlode, and my system has been nothing short of sublime ever since. 

 

@laaudionut I love the sound tubes add to a system but I do not like having tubes in my system.  I had a Modwright Preamp for a while with tubes and it sounded fantastic, but I didn't like having to turn off the preamp after using and then wait for it to warm up.  Many times I will only have 30-45 minutes to sit an listen and I want the system to sound great from the start.  I also didn't like knowing that at some point the tubes will have peaked and the sound would start to degrade.  Probably overthinking it, but I would much rather have an SS preamp that sounds as close to tubes as possible.  Don't know if tube anxiety is a real thing but I think I have it. 😁

I have owned the CODA 07x for a year. I listen near-field and the 07x was way too noisy for me. The Holo Serene is a comparable and totally silent with better clarity but not as tubeby. Someone that wants more warmth may like the 07x more.

I think the Class A Schitt Mjolnir v3 is a better comparable to the 07x. It is quieter and sonically sounds a lot like the 07x. I have both Mojolnir and the Serene connected to the CODA #16 at the same time (RCA + XLR). I may listen to the warmer Mjolnir once in 2 weeks. When I do I love it.

Only problems with the Mjolnir V3 is that it costs $1200 and has no remote.

 

I would like to add my 2 cents to this thread.  I have a Coda 16 amp which i really like and it replaced a set of PS mono blocks.  I do not think the 16 is really any better sonically than the PS BHK monos,  but I did not want to deal with tubes anymore.

However my reason for writing is to comment on the 07x.  My last three preamps have been the BHK preamp from PS,  then a Pass XP22, and then the 07X.  to my ear,  the Coda is the Goldilocks of the three.  not as euphonic as the BHK, not as clinical as the Pass,  but just right.  I really have enjoyed my system so much more since getting it. It too is a little beastie.  

hope that helps.