contact Coda Doug Dale
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Let me first say that I bought the Model 11 as part of a system downsizing and yes, I am still using it. From previous experience with Coda amps in the 90's, when I downsized and went back to SS, Coda was high on my list. I owned a Model 10 and 20 in the 90's, as well as their 02b and 01p preamps.
I currently am using a VAC Auricle preamp which I like quite a bit. I found that I could go back to a SS amp, but NOT a SS preamp. However, I also just ordered a Cary SLP-98P F1 that I expect to receive next week sometime. I'm hoping the Cary will give me a bit more of the tube magic than the VAC does. The VAC is very nice, and I would prefer the VAC over the Cary with a tube amp. However, with a SS amp, I'm looking for a wee bit more tube bloom, hence the Cary.
I have a friend who is using a PrimaLuna tube preamp with his Coda Model 10.5 and he is very happy with that combo. His Audiogon moniker is: Wescoman in case you wish to contact him. His name is Steve.
What is you price range for preamp shopping?
My price range is $1K ball park, preferably used. I would be using it with my Aerial Acoustic Model 7 speakers. My source is an Oppo 980H. My cables are mostly Blue Jeans. I'm currently using a NAD 375 integrated.
My observations are that several preamps are available in the $500-$700 range but I'm not convinced they would be an improvement over what I currently have with the NAD 375.
Another option I've thought about is a DAC/preamp combination. The Monarchy Audio NM24 is probably at the top of this list largely because of the cost/performance ratio of Monarchy products.
I'm not in any rush, I just don't want to part with the amp.
It sounds like you are looking for a solid state preamp. Keep a lookout, I'm sure you can find an older Coda, Classe, Forte or other such device for under $1000.
I tried going back to all solid state, but it didn't work out for me. Perhaps if you've never heard tubes, just stick with solid state, you're better off. Tubes will spoil you forever.
JC I would have agreed with you before going with a Coda 15.0 and a CP preamp.
We were running an Ayon Triton in tubes prior to
But then that got blown out of the water with Coda's new 7X.
They use some very expensive double gated FETs and because of their high impedance they are very tube like.
I thought I would go with some tubes in the Pre until I heard
I've switched from tubed preamps to solid state several times. The last time from an ARC Ref 3 to a CODA CP with never a regret or note missed. There are things I do miss from the ARC but equally I'd miss little things the CODA does if I switched back. Overall the two sound more similar than different, witch seems to be the way both have evolved. The problem with the REF 3 is the tubes. In my view the preamp could sound much different from session to session from amazing to what's up with this thing. It did not matter how new the tubes were or whether I purchased the tubes from ARC or not. With the Coda CP it is always consistently great and one never has to worry about long interconnects or impedance mismatches. I plan to upgrade to the forthcoming two chassis 7X . If money grew on trees I'd be trading my Coda CSX amps in for the new 15s.
Yes, Tobb, I am well aware of Coda's trade-in policy. I spoke with Doug about this when my 11.0 was in being serviced. They had some NOS 10.5's that they were selling and I could have traded the 11.0 in for a new 10.5. Doug advised me to hold on to the 11.0, and I agreed. Nothing like pure Class A power.
If the 7X sells for < $2K with phono stage, maybe I'll give it an audition.
Ahhhh...now I see why you were saying the 7X blows away tube gear, you haven't heard tube gear. I'm not saying that the 7X is not a great preamp, I have owned many, many high end preamps, both solid state and tube. Names like Krell, Coda, Levinson, Classe, Klyne, Tom Evans, VAC, BAT, ARC, Cary, CJ and many more that I'm sure I've overlooked.
Of all the SS, the Klyne came the closest to a tube sound, but even then it did not flesh out vocals and instruments like a tube preamp. If you haven't experimented with tubes, don't, they become addictive, and then you're stuck fiddling with tube experimentation.
Stay with SS and you will be just as happy as I am with tubes. Once you go to tubes, it's very hard to go back to SS.