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)


Hey charan,

First, thanks for your kind words regarding my reviews. With out copping out, both are great amplifiers with slight differences. The SPL S1200 has an overall smidgen of warmth (velvety) while the S5.5 is more neutral and has what I describe as a (silky) overall presentation. Both have great top ends. However, the shimmer/details of the Coda S5.5’s high frequencies is still something very special compared to any solid state amp I have tried. If you have speakers that can get a bit bright/forward sounding the S5.5 might not be a great match-up. Both are great at producing large sound-stages. Each is very musical and the antithesis of being analytical. Regarding overall speed, dynamics, bass control, and a sense of aliveness both amps are reference level. If you love your SPL S800 you would really dig the S1200, keeps the mid-range magic and adds on to it. (If you read my review on the S1200 it gives the details of these wonderful additions.) If you want a slightly different "flavor" the Coda S5.5 would provide that in your system. By the way the S5.5 matches great with the SPL Elector preamp.

I love to use tube analogies to describe the sonic differences between pieces of equipment. For my ears the S1200 is slightly towards the warmth of a great 300B or E-34 tube, while the S5.5 is slightly towards a great 2A3 or 211 tube. These are exaggerations, but give a taste of the differences that people can relate to if they have heard the different tube "flavors". So, it really does come down to personal taste and system synergy.

Teajay (Terry London)

Hi @johnah5  Terry

Thanks for your quick and helpful response. From everything I have read about both those amps, I was kinda expecting something along the lines of what you said i.e that they are both very good, more similar than different and it will boil down to preferred flavour and system match. Once again, thank you.