I love my #8, had it for about nine months. They need a lot of break in, run it for a week solid before you do any serious listening. It was a big upgrade to my system and now I am wondering if an upgrade to my preamp (Freya) is in order. Posted on this forum yesterday asking for experience in that regard. I am looking at the Coda preamp of course, but it is a bit out of my price range right now. I have seen some positive comments on the Benchmark LA4 when paired with the #8. Following your post with interest.
A guy said he loved the denaphrips athena with it. But it has no gain...which may be a problem if u play vinyl. Denaphrips has a warm signature...so I’ve also been looking at tube preamplifiers. I have the freya + in another system. Coda CB is what they is in the CSiB. So getting the CB seems counter productive.
The Freya+ is OK with the CODA #8. I forgot if this applies to the CODA#8 but with the KRELL Duo 175XD the Freya+ does not go silent when the volume is turned all the way down. I had the same thing happen with my Topping pre90 (Stereophile review should be out online today) so I sold it. With the Freya+ I figure its tubes, so I let it go. The Freya+ will not stay long term with my CODA #8 or KRELL 175XD.
The CODA 07x preamp is great with the CODA #8 and my KRELL. I use the dual XLR outputs to use with my headphones and speakers. The Benchmark LA4 sounds excellent with the CODA #8. It was not that great with the KRELL, but I had COVID that week when I tried it out so maybe that was the reason. I actually prefer the LA4 with the CODA #8 but I need the dual XLR outputs so the 07x stays. The 07x is also much warmer than the LA4. The LA4 maybe not warm enough for some people. There is a 30-day home trial with Benchmark, so you cannot make a mistake trying it for yourself.
A few weeks ago, there was a used CODA CP preamp on USAudiomart. I was debating whether to get that or the Freya+. The dealer who sold me the 07x told me that the CP is sort of like the 07x and an excellent preamp. He suggested I go with the used CP over the Freya+. I should have listened.
Dealer told me the CP and CB are the same...just the CP has the phono stage. I have a hard time believing a 3k pre amp is on par with the 6.5k 07X. He said the CB is the practically same as whats in the CSiB. @yyzsantabarbara have you ever considered a tube pre amp with the no.8?
I am using a tube preamp some days with the office setup. At the moment the CODA #8 is my headphone amp. In a week or 2, I will change it up so that the CODA #8 becomes my speaker amp and my KRELL 175XD is my headphone amp. I rotate these amps every few weeks because they both sound good in both applications. With the speakers, I have 2 preamps ready to go. The CODA 07x and the Schitt Freya+. I just need to switch the XLR cable on the speaker amp to either the cable from the Coda 07x or Freya+.
I have heard the Freya+ with the CODA #8, but that was when the Freya+ was brand new. I thought it was not bad. It had that tube bloom and was very quiet. I need more time to figure out what type of music I like the Freya+ with. The Freya+, with 100+ hours, is not anywhere near the sound quality of the 07x. The 07x is warm like the Freya+ but it also has a lot of details in the mix. The Freya+ is quieter. though However, I do like the no warmth Benchmark LA4 ($2.5K) over the $7200 Coda 07x on the CODA #8.
I should add that I do like the Freya+ a lot with my Benchmark AHB2 amp when used with my RAAL SR1a headphones. Unfortunately, I had to sell 1 of my AHB2's to fund the KRELL 175XD.
BTW - if anyone is thinking of the CODA #8 vs the KRELL XD stereo amps. I would take the KRELL. The CODA #16 is a different matter. I was planning on upgrading the #8 to the #16 before the CODA price increases on Jan 1, 2022. However, I decided to get the KRELL 175XD instead before the KRELL price increases (I had a great deal). The KRELL 175XD has made me question the need for the upgrade of the CODA #8 to the #16. I am really happy with the #8 now. Not saying any of this makes sense.
I have a Coda #8 paired with an LA4 and it’s an amazing combination. I previously had a Freya+ and while it’s almost unbeatable for the price and I had quite a lot of fun tube rolling, it wasn’t transparent enough for my liking. The #8 is a standout compared to other amps that I’ve owned to the point that I can’t see ever letting go of it even if I do upgrade (#16?) in the future. I would like to try a 07x or a higher end tube preamp for a bit more warmth, but I’m also considering a change to less bright speakers instead to get the same effect while maintaining the crystal clear transparency of the LA4.
I had the LA4 and 07x on the same system to the CODA #8 and it was the best of both worlds. Sometimes when that bit of extra warmth is needed I switched to the 07x. I tended to like hard rock with the LA4. Both are good with all music, it was just a matter of preference on a particular day.
My LA4 is now on an all-Benchmark system in the Living room. Which sounds different from the CODA/KRELL system in the office.
BTW - the $600 Topping pre90 sounds like the LA4 on my Benchmark AHB2 amps. Though on other amps I had issues.
I ended getting the CB pretty cheap(hifi cheap lol). Dealer gave me a good deal on a new one. I know it's what's pretty much in the CSiB and I could've saved myself hassle just getting that but I wanted seperates to play around with. I enjoy the Focals I have but there are more I'd like to try. I'm still trying to find my preferred sound and if I'm going to be trying new speakers than a clean neutral sounding pre made sense. There's a balanced Decware preamp I like the look of. Unfortunately I was told wait time could be anywhere from 8-24 months. It'd be nice to have both preamps. Something about tubes I like.
Congrats on the CB. Going separates is better than the integrated. I have the CODA 07x and #8 now and had the CSiB (from 2019) before. Let's hear your impressions of the CB once you have the gear broken in.
Last night, I moved my Schitt Freya+ off the office system. The Freya+ was my second preamp to the CODA #8 and KRELL 175XD office amps. I put the Benchmark LA4 pre back in as the second preamp. I am listening to it today with the CODA #8 driving my Thiel CS3.7's. The LA4 is really my fav preamp on the CODA #8. Maybe not for everyone, but the absence of any sonic character on the LA4 really agrees with me. It cost $2600 with remote.
I was not overly excited about the Schitt Freya+ (tube preamp) on the CODA or KRELL. However, the Freya+ sounds great on my Benchmark AHB2 amp in my living room. The tubes on the Freya+ were not a good match for me with the CODA and KRELL.
Ive been using matched pair Sylvania 6SN7 6SN7GTA Vacuum Tubes Valves Bad Boy Chrome Dome Top & matched pair General Electric GE 6SN7 6SN7GTB in the Freya + I have. I wish I had more time to A/B test things. Never really planned on using the Freya with the Coda. I am interested what a really good tube pre would sound with it though. I was looking at the LA4s... don't remember why I decided against it.