Coda CP pre-amp vs Rogue Athena Magnum vs ARC LS-12 .Need information

I am looking at a Coda CP pre-amp, and can't find a single review on either their website or online So would like some feedback from owners.

I am also looking at the Rogue Perseus Magnum which I read two reviews  As a side note, also considering Rogue Metis Magnum. The "used" price is good on the Rogue Metis M, but it is  classified as an entry level  pre-amp but still received good reviews as the Magnum version.

ARC LS-12 is a sleeper possibility, was issued in 2001, but received very good reviews  I have  a BAT VK-200 power amp which is outstanding,, So, am looking for the best match up in a pre-amp to bring the system to the next level.   Thank you. 

This includes the 05X

Hi Jim, I've heard the LS9,  It had a low gain and was a bit temperamental matching, but when properly matched it was very good indeed.  From what I've read about the LS12, it will be very good. The Rogue has a good reputation. The last time that I heard the CP was at the Legacy booth and Bill told me that he didn't hear any particular advantages of the 07X over the CP. If you lean anyway toward the Coda, Might be worth giving Bill a Call at Legacy and Doug a call at Coda.
I'd have to believe that as long as you buy used and don't overpay, you'd be able to move any of these 3 without significant loss. Having heard the LS9 and reading the LS12 reviews as well as hearing other models from Rogue,  If I couldn't get some very reliable opinions from people I know,  I'd have to lean toward the LS12, as long as you are buying it right.
Good Luck, Tim

Jim,  there is a Muse Model 3 Signature on ebay right now at $950, plus exorbitant  shipping cost... This is a very nice pre also... Definitely worth adding this to your list.  

Timtub, The CP was offered to me for $1700; If  could buy it for 1500, I would "probably" jump on it   (But, I don't think BIll D  will go any lower in price) I say "probably", because I have never heard the pre-amp or found one review about it. 

ARC LS12  is posted at $1195. I could probably  negotiate the price down to $1050. However, it has no phono which means I would have to buy one at least equivalent to the one in the Rogue Sphinx integrated which is very good. The Rogue Metis Magnum is simple with minimal  features and has a phono and remote. No DAC's HT loops, etc.  

BTW,  I just looked on ebay for the  Muse pre-amp and could not find it. So, I am either blind or it has been sold which seems unlikely. Is the seller overseas?? because you mention something about exorbitant shipping costs.   Thanks for the information and advice

Jim,  Not to steer you away from the Coda,  I haven't heard its phono, but its a nice neutral preamp.  The point that I'd like to make is that for  the Pre's without a phono,  there are very nice phono sections out there.  Graham Slee comes to mind, you can get their MM phono for around $400. Plenty of others out there also.  Let us know what you end up with.


I have the former Innersound preamp, which is the Coda.  I upgraded to an ayre and then the jeff rowland criterion.  It was absolutely awesome.  I still have it and can let it go for a song...
Hey Jim,  after Cerrot posted the Innersound,  it reminded me of this.... The newest Sanders is essentially a CP and I knew of a review on that...
I hope this contributes,  Tim 

To Cerrot, Thanks for the heads up about the Innersound pre-amp.

To Tim, Thanks for the link to the ebay ad for the Muse.

 As far as the phono stage issue, I am just trying to avoid another box and cable The music looks nice but has an outboarded power supply which is good, however it has only a remote.  Its cosmetics are a bit utilitarian but the price is good compared to Coda CP.  BTW, Bill D. claims Coda  offers a remote for $150.00

Also, thanks for review link on the Sanders pre-amp in Dagogo

BTW, it appears the Muse Signature has been discontinued.  I'll keep you all posted.  Decisions, Decisions!!!!  

Hi Jim,
    The CP comes with a basic remote.  The $150 upgrade is larger digital readout remote.
The Sanders is comparable to a Coda 04/Windows Continuum III, it was from around 2004 or so, the CP replaced the CL with added phono, I believe the CP came out in 2012 or 2013.
The Muse is very discontinued, I'm thinking 2001. It is a really nice sounding pre.  I spoke to Kevin Halverson (designer) at one time about this, I believe around 2009, at that time he compared it to the current models Jeff Rowland models.  I liked this pre, but by the time you add a phono, you might as well get the Coda,  I didn't realize that Bill D was the person selling the CP,  you will most likely get a full warranty with that. I looked a bit around Agon for you and came across a CJ Premier 18LS... This is also a nice sounding pre.... Well,  I think this is all i've got for you,  Good Luck,  Your looking at all nice pieces. 

Looks like you checked out the CJ LS18  or is there a Premier LS-18?? 

I ask because if it is the one now selling for $1395, the seller posted a pix of a very delectable incentive to buy.  I will check out the CJ ads again because I don't recall a Premier LS-18.on sale 

I got the Sander's pre-amp review, but have not read it yet  BTW, I saw the Graham Slee unit in the Music Direct catalogue, but I probably am going to want both MC and MM because I could switch cartridges somewhere down the line. 

One last point about the CJ, LS-18, it is unbalanced, and has a few features  I don't really. need .  However, when I spoke to CJ about this pre-amp 6 weeks ago, the rep claimed it was the best SS pre-amp they ever built. There was a review that raved about its performance in Stereophile by Larry Greenhill posted Dec.22, 2002.  Thanks again for the advice and tips 

Tim, FYI, There  are several CJ ET2 and ET 3 on sale on AG., and one ET2SE which reviewers and members alike claim the SE version sounds better. 

I would have to assume the ET2 and ET 3 may provide better sound quality than the LS-18 Premier on sale But who knows, it could only  be marginally better except for the SE versions. 

BTW, I checked with CJ about the cost of upgrading  from the ET2 to ET2SE and would be  $2550..00. because they have to disassemble the original ET2 and rebuild it with the upgrade parts, and reassemble it.  Might as well just buy a new ET2SE    Cheers 

Hi Jim,  I didn't realize that you were in a budget that high, I was looking at that $1500 & below.  At that price point ($1500 & below), you have best of the best lined up in SS.  I've had tubes in every form in my own system,  but still don't have enough tubed listening experience feel competent in offering real advice.

Tim,  Well, I am surely not going to buy a CJ ET2  and have it upgraded  However, there is a few ET2 at r $2000  or under. on AG. I would prefer to stay far under that figure, that is why the Rogue Metis Magnum, and the ARC LS-17 (at $1195) are under consideration

However, as you mentioned The  CJ Premier LS-18 is a serious contender if I can negotiate down the price to $1000---$1100  The model was issue in 2001.  I reread Larry Greenhill from 2002, and in his conclusion he notes a few a caveats about the pre-amp.... He states...... "because the CJ pre-amp are single ended designs, you can't use them to drive amplifiers with balanced inputs, or use balanced interconnects to minimize  hum and noise pickup.....etc."  

I need to call CJ to confirm that, but I am not sure he is right. As mentioned before, I use the pre outs of the Rogue Sphinx integrated, and have a XLR to RCA cable from Signal Audio Cables,  and it all work fine. However, I am not sure how the Rogue hybrid integrated design is "classified".   Single ended??  Also, input impedance and output impedance  seemed to play a major in the sound quality

It seems choosing a different brand (and used)  pre-amp becomes a crap shoot in terms of the final sonic results   The ARC LS-17 was issued about the same time as the CJ,  which really means nothing except that they are older designs in the those companies lineup of pre-amp over the last 15 years.  I think the only reviews I found on the ARC was on the "Audioreview" blog  on which it scored very high  with owners.

Nevertheless, I will carry on with a song in my heart. 

Well Jim,  this would be a very tough choice for me... Really too bad that you can't compare and if I understand correctly, you haven't heard any of them.... So:
The Muse is really very good,  I understand that you are unfamiliar with it and that probably kills that piece, but I really like this preamp.
The Conrad Johnson and Audio Research we know are good and both sport 2 of the biggest names to ever exist in Audio, so there is some comfort that both of those pieces will be good and you can easily resell... Then here comes Coda,  Not the biggest name, but for sure a company that everyone knows is no slouch and offers built in phono. 
You know, in the end,  One of these truly will offer just a little something to your taste in sound that the others don't, but you have no way to confirm,  but I can tell you this,  in the end, if you get any one of these 4 preamps,  you'll have a NICE Pre.  I think all but the CJ offer balanced and single ended.  I know the Coda has variable gain inputs.  Make the best call that you can and maybe its none of these,  but in the end,  be comfortable that your decision is sound.  These are nice pieces.


Yes, it is a tough call, and you offer good common sense advice. I may put this all on the back burner for a bit, because I am taking a short vacation at the end of September, and  would resume the quest when I return

The Muse pre-amp has become a distant possibility for a few reasons which I need not go into.  The low profile of both Muse and Coda concerns me less than not knowing what to expect. The key trigger for me is that what ever I choose advances the sound quality similar to the BAT-VK-200 amp which really opened my eyes about aspects of high end audio I either did not understand or appreciate.

Let me note, that the BAT pre-amps are a given as far as a possible choice. However,   I was hoping to get something lighter in weight and smaller in size, and not dressed in "graveyard black".  I did not talk to CJ today to clarify about the compatibility of their LS-18 pre-amp and the BAT  amp.

One  last point, I was thinking of launching a new thread about asking whether the electronic "design" of a component is still viable after say 15 years, that is, do newer designs necessarily provide better sound quality. I realize and know from experience that speaker design may be hardest to pin down, whereas electronics, and to a lesser degree cables over time "usually" ( I say usually) get better in sound quality incrementally.   I know that the idea of buying some companies "newest" amp, pre-amp, CD player, etc. does not guarantee improved sound quality compared  to either its previous models, or models of  other manufacturer with similar dates of issue.  That is an interesting question!!


Classe CP60 with phono just popped up on ebay.


0I will checkout  the ad on e-bay.  In the meantime,. do you know anything about the Mark Levenson 38S  pre-amp.  I always thought Levenson products were overrated and the company continued to flourish because of his constant crusading for its products which always seemed over inflated in price.  There is one on AG now, but the seller Tansen Audio wants too much for it.  The design  must be at least 15 years old.   Thanks 

I had an old buddy that had a 38s in his system. I hadn't heard it, but he liked a lot. It has a good reputation as one of the better ML pre's.  Not sure this helps. I would say,  Make sure that its the "s" version.  I recall it fairing much better than the 38. 

Tim, Thanks. I contacted ML about the serial number but they claim the server that contained the info was destroyed.  So I will either have to believe the seller or move on.   I did read some stuff on the blog "Audio Review"  about the major sound quality difference between the 38 and 38S..In addition,  ML sent me the info and a PDF file of the manual.

Were you aware that ML was bought by Harman International?? I also heard though it might be just rumor that they also bought  out  ARC  about ten years ago. 

I got blown off twice by their customer service department attempting to verify a serial number. Maybe, it was a mistake, but I know Victor Khomenko at BAT is always open to answer questions about his older models.

An ARC SP-17 popped up on AG today. and I found an old thread from 2008 asking about what was a better choice the SP 16 or SP 17.  I also was able to clarify via that thread the difference between their two series: that is, the SP and LS. I read that SP models were earlier pieces and had no phono stage, whereas the LS series often have phono stages ( optional, I guess) and remotes. The SP 17 is not   balanced, only RCA's,  but has a phono stage and remote I need to check out some reviews. However, if ARC is going to be hard-ass about answering questions I will need to change horses in mid stream. The Classe CP-60 is looking much better now, and even the Muse CL3 Signature

Onward and upward I go  Thanks.  

In general, for ARC, SP = Stereo Preamplifier (with phono stage), LS = Line Stage (without phono stage). There are some exceptions (e.g., the SP-17L is a line stage only SP-17).

The Only SP Series that I've sat in Front of is an Old SP10.  It did a lot of nice things, but in the end added color.  Pulled a review of the SP 17, sure sounds good.   The Muse Sold.  I've only seen a couple of these available in the past 5 years.  I'd be surprised if another came around soon. The Old Classe is a great piece.  I've never directly compared it to the Coda,  but I believe that they would have a similar sound signature, My instinct is that the Coda will have a touch more detail, although the Classe is built like a tank. 
My experience with the Mark Levinson models that I've sat in front of has all been mediocrity.  I know that there are a few excellent models, but I haven't sat in front of them.  Good Luck my friend.  You'll finds something that you'll be comfortable with.

To Larry,     Thank you for the info  and explanation. 

To Tim, Thank you for all your advice and recommendations. Sometimes I am reluctant to launch these threads, but don't have the means to  travel to different audio stores even in L.A. county, and there are several good ones; and, going out of state to audition or shop would give the wife  just another reason to commit me.  BTW, I never got a reply from the Classe CP-60 seller on ebay

Also, thank you to the members who have responded.

The search continues!!.