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)


Have had my S5.5 for about 10 days now and wanted to post my impressions after letting it break in a bit.  I have the S5.5 plugged into an UberBuss with a Revelation Audio Labs silver power cord.  I am using a Lumin T2 streamer going into a Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC.  My Accuphase E-380 integrated amplifier is acting as the pre-amp.  It only has RCA out so that is how it is connecting to the S5.5

Speakers are Spatial Audio M4 Sapphire open baffle (90db, 4Ohm)

Initial thoughts were that the Accuphase had a better mid-range while the S5.5 had a better lower and upper range.  After listening for several days and a lot of listening to both I have changed my opinion slightly.  I feel that the mid-range on both are roughly the same, meaning they are both Excellent!  I would say the Accuphase has good lower and upper ranges and an Excellent mid-range.  The S5.5 is Excellent across all 3 ranges.  Because of this the mid-range in the Accuphase stands out when you listen to it because it is the star of the show.  Not so with the S5.5, the lower range is keeping pace with the mid-range and I would say the upper-range is the star of the show on the S5.5.

If I were to rate on a scale of 1-10 I would rate them like so:

Accuphase - Lower (7) Mid (9) Highs (7.5)

S5.5 - Lower (9) Mid (9) Highs (9.5)

The S5.5 does everything the Accuphase does and then improves upon it.  The background is blacker, more detail and slightly wider and deeper soundstage.  I am extremely pleased with this purchase and would like to thank Terry and everyone else for this thread!



Also wanted to post my findings on comparing the Accuphase E-380 used as a pre-amp vs using a Holo Audio Serene pre-amp.

I am using relatively inexpensive RCA's to connect my E-380 the S5.5.  They are good but not at the same level as the rest of my cabling, but I bought them to test the Accuphase as a pre-amp with the understanding that I would either sell the Accupphase and get dedicated pre-amp and connect via XLR or I would purchase a higher end set of RCA's if I wanted to keep the Accuphase.

My friend brought over his Serene and we fist listened to the Accuphase and then listened to the Serene using the same RCA's.  We found the Serene to be a very good fit with the S5.5 as is the Accuphase.  They both sounded very similar but there were 2 main differences.

1. Using the Serene the bass was quite a bit better.  Faster and more of it.

2. Using the Accuphase the upper range frequencies had more sparkle and sounded a bit better.

I would be happy with either and they both seemed to fit really well with the S5.5.  Then we swapped out the XLR connection on his Serene.  Once we did that there was a huge difference in overall sound quality, clarity, bass, etc.  Everything just got a lot better.  It is worth noting that the RCA's I am using are around $100 where the XLR's we tested are around $2,000.  So, how much of the difference is in the XLR connection vs RCA and how much is due to the cable?  That is the big question.  I tend to think about 80%+ is due to the quality of cable but I am not sure.

I did just borrow a pair of Nordost Heimdall 2 RCA cables from my local hi-fi dealer and will test this weekend with a higher quality pair of RCAs. 

I do not know enough to know if RCA or XLR connection from the pre-amp will yield better sound, but will find out in a little while if a nicer pair of RCA's enhances the sound.


Hey, TJ. Those new Spectre 12 speakers from Aric Audio look really impressive! High quality! In your post you refer to them as a "large stand mount". The Spectre 12’s are very close to the size and weight of a Klipsch Forte 3/4 floor stander. The published dimensions for the Spectre 12 on Aric’s site are 35" x 14" x 13"; is that just for the speaker itself, which I am guessing is the case, or does that published 35" height include the stand as well which accompanies the S-12’s?

Anyway, I am curious on the stands that are provided with the Spectre 12’s. If they are not included in that 35" height, how much higher do the included stands elevate the Spectre 12? And are the stands wider and/or deeper than the speaker itself ? Also, do you hard attach the stand to the speaker, or does the speaker simply rest on the stand? What are the stands made of (metal, wood, other?); if wood,do they match the speaker cabinet?

In your listening tests how are the off-axis highs from the Spectre 12's Ribbon? 

If you have the complete dimensions for the stand itself, please share those with us. There were no photos of the Spectre 12 on its stand on Aric’s website unless I missed them. I am of course assuming the stands are not part of the published Spectre 12 dimensions of 35" x 14" x 13" off Aric’s site. Thanks Teajay! Joe

@firefly627s Thanks for your interest! The dimensions on the site are for the speakers only and does not include the stands, which are not quite ready yet. They are currently being built by the cabinet maker, out of wood and finished to match the speakers. The speaker will simply sit atop the stands. The stands themselves will be 13” off the floor with the footers included in that height which puts the total height of the speaker at 48”. TJ currently has a different set of stands which put the speakers at roughly this same height for his review process.
Best regards, Aric


           Thank you Aric for your fast reply and the information. I can picture them better now on their stands; the Spectre 12  w/stands being about the same height as a Magnepan LRS+ . I think that's a great height for the ribbon tweeter too! Excellent!

            I have been  looking at the products you offer and various reviews along with comments on this thread and am very impressed with the products you have to offer, your high quality ethic, and the fact that you have a strong customer focus based on your guidance to customers for their specific applications. Thanks again, and when I am ready to move on changing some of my components, you are right at the top of my list! Thanks again. Best, joe