Coincident Linestage vs CJ CT5 or Allnic L-3000

I currently own a Conrad Johnson CT5 but would like to upgrade and move to a preamp with XLR in/out. I have tested the Allnic L-3000 which I find very intersting, and I am also interested in the Coincident Statement linestage. Has anybody compared the Coincident to the CT5 or the Allnic?
Coincident Statement linestage does not have a true fully balance circuit. XLR input is matter of convenience only.
if you have not heard of CSL, it very very airy and light in musical notes but smooth, & somewhat polite. the music seems to float in the air and very entended. Very clean and Superb detail, rivalling anything that cost 3x higher.
Which amp will you be using with the pre?
Just a correction, the CSL circuit is fully balanced to the best of my knowledge.If any doubt send an email to Israel Blume(Coincident President), he responds pretty fast.I agree with phillip on his impressions except for polite. I`ve own mine for over 3 years and while it is quite smooth,organic and refined, it`s exceptionally vivid,dynamic and conveys music`s drama and scale completely. But again different systems and ears.Phillip is right,the music flows(floats) freely and completely detached from speaker location with appropriate recordings.
thanks for the information guys. That's very useful. I am also under the impression that it is a fully balanced preamp. But I'll check with Israel. With regards to amps I'll be using Quicksilver V4 tube monoblocks for now and my source is a DCS Puccini.

What about bass presence?
My 2 cents worth, the bass performance in the context of my system is superb. The tone,texture, articulation and weight is natural and convincing. In judging the bass performance much of what you`ll hear is obviously amplifier and speaker specific. With my 8 watt 300b SET amp(same brand and designer/builder)I have no complaint,there`s speed,agility and exceptional seperation and detail. With my 100 watt push-pull amps(6550/KT 88)there`s more weight and impact.The gap in this area is surprisingly small but still noticable.The CSL clearly distinguishes the very different nature of these two amplifiers.

I hope you`re able to hear it and determine for yourself(easier said then done sometimes).Keep in mind it has only two inputs and there`s no remote control(unimportant for me). If the overiding concern is music reproduced naturally and with realism/involvement,I`d put it up against anything out there.It`s pure and transparent, so if you like the sound of your V4 amps, that`s what you`ll hear.The CSL won`t enhance or fatten/boost your system`s intrinsic bass character(nor will it make it leaner).It `s available in two versions, with either 20 or 10 db of gain. 10 db is perfect for my system.
If you are in the NYC area send me an email. I build DHT preamps that I think will better most. Custom built.

Happy Listening.
You might also consider the TRL(Tube research Labs) "The Dude" Pre-amp. It can be had either single ended or fully balanced and it is simply a superb music maker...well worth waiting for as they are built to order and usually have something of a waiting list. Check out lots of discussions about it...Good luck
I heard The Dude in direct comparison to the Coincident and I liked the Coincident much better. The
Can you give use some more info on the comparison
Thanks Lissnr and Jwm for the input on the Dude. I have also read about it and it seems to be quite a performer. Jwm I was wondering: what were the reasons that made you prefer Coincident?
The Dude is very dynamic, but the Coincident is more open and more organic sounding in the midrange. The Coincident is also dynamic as well. The Coincident also was able to convey inner details better than the Dude.
Thanks that helps a lot
Israel Bloom(Coincident) says the CSL is fully balanced input and output. Standard gain is 12 db and 20 db gain is optional.
Oh.. that's nice to know. thanks! i'm haven'nt made up my mind yet. need to hear the ATma MK-1 & Purity audio design & velvet "block" before pulling the trigger.
Did you managed to find your right pre-amp?
Still haven't made my final choice. I had put money aside to buy the preamp but got an oportunity to replace my Quicksilver V4 by Nagra VPA amps and I simply couldn't pass. So it slowed things down a bit with regards to the preamp purchase. As soon as there's development I'll share my info and learning to you guys!
The best you can do it getting in contact with an owner and visit him. In Forums it is absolutely normal that everyone recommends the units he owns, good or bad. Even when someone owned this and owns now that, forget it, when you don't know what priorities he has. I know Audiophiles who owned 8 preamps, 15 cartridges, 8 tonearms ... and their System is still awful.You can do a selection who writes what but finally a personal demo is the best way.
Hi guys. Here's an update. I hesitated for a while as nobody in my network had one and I couldn't really hear it beforehand. I had however heard their 300B amps and I really like it. I was also interested in the TRL Dude but could hear it neither. So I finally decided to make the move and buy the Coincident (cheaper than the Dude, and built in Canada, which is more convenient for me). Maybe the best decision I made in the audio field. Reviews were so positive that it seemed too good to be true. But I have to say that it lives up to all of the expectations reviews and forums created. By far the most transparent component that I have heard. It brought my system to another level. And it beats the Conrad Johnson (which was already very transparent) and the Allnic L3000 flat out in terms of transparency and musicality (even if I still consider that those two preamps cost more new)! Now the music floats in the room, and the musicians are with me. I still hold the CT5 and L3000 in high regard... but I now consider that the reviewers that said that it's a best in class, best buy preamp are most probably right.

The only minus I see, apart from the absence of a remote and the limited number of inputs, is the fact that even if the preamp look really nice, you can notice minor finish flaws. Specifically, when you look at it closely or if you slide your fingers along the edges of the metal sheets that are assembled to constitue the body of the preamp you'll notice that they are rougher in some areas. The metal cutting and finishing process used may not be as elaborate as other products. However, considering the absolutely superb performance, which i would expect from a component three or four time more costly, I still think that this preamp is a steal for the price and that the finsh flaws are minor.

Gotta go now. I can't be aways from my system for more than half a hour at a time!
Obrennan, Thanks for the update. I am about 1-3 weeks away from placing an order for my Coincident LS. Can't wait!
I`m happy for you as nothing is better than actually hearing a component yourself.I`ve owned mine for 3 1/2 years and appreciate it more as time and many long listening sessions past by. You described its brilliant sound and performance accurately.As much as you enjoy it now this will increase just as it happened to me. I`ve had the pleasure to hear other excellent sounding linestages that cost considerbably more but would`nt trade any of them for the CSL.Did you get the 12 db gain or the 20 db gain version? The CSL combined with your 845 tubed Nagra must be a pure delight.Excellent choice!
The Coincident is not balanced, this comes from a reliable source but I wonder how you can really tell
The CSL is attractive and very solidly constructed,is it cosmetically flawless?, No.Take a close look internally and see the true value of this design.Very high quality transformers(Japanese custom made) and choke filters(power supply)(that`s why it weighs 73 pounds combined two chassis). Why so transparent? not a single capacitor or a resistor in the signal path(no resistor based volume control either).Minaimalist single gain stage(most preamps have two or more gain stages) with DHT tubes is also a key factor in what you are hearing. Avoidance of the common 'electrolytic caps' in the power supply.As you discovered, It`s a significant achievement to get this level of design and performance for well under 10,000 dollars. You compared it to two 'very well respected' linestages(for sure).The CSL as you found, will relatively speaking sound more natural,musically convincing and less hifi."It brought my system to another level", I believe you.
The CSL will fit wonderfully in your beautiful system and room.I think you`ll be very happy with it.
Have you considered the ModWright modified OPPO 105? I heard it extensively in a friend`s system(VAC electronics) recently and it clearly surpasses the already fine sounding ModWright OPPO 95 he has.Utterly organic,dynamic and very involving presentation.
It baffles me how Coincident can get the workmanship and cosmetics So right with their speakers and miss the mark with their electronic. Some of the only complaints about the Coincident electronics have been attributed to inconsistent build standards and lack of cosmetic refinement. Coincident made some significant improvements with their Mk2 versions, but apparently, they have some room to go.

It’s nice when you buy a component based on reviews and internet recommendations and it delivers as advertised.
Charles1dad, Obviously I think and hope that it will be a good match with my current system. I will know in about a week and a half. As far as the ModWright OPPO 105, I have pretty much decided that is in my future. I was going to send my modwright sony 5400 back for the digital in mod, but I think at this point it is clear that the way to go is to sell it and go with the OPPO, which already has a digital in feature. Its likely that will be on the agenda for next fall or winter. I think for now, I'll get the biggest bang for the buck out of the Coincident.

Abruce, I would consider Israel Blume a reliable source and he says its balanced.
02-12-13: Abruce
The Coincident is not balanced, this comes from a reliable source but I wonder how you can really tell
From the CSLS description at the Coincident website:
The circuitry of the Statement is fully balanced from input to output. The sonic performance is optimized for balanced and single ended operation. The choice of balanced or single ended will be determined by the ancillary components used with the Statement. If the amplifier or source component is designed to be optimized for balanced operation, for example, then using the Statement in balanced mode will yield the best sonic results. Single ended mode is recommended when used with components designed for single ended operation.
Looking at the rest of the description that is provided for the CSLS, the one thing that raises some doubt in my mind about its internal signal path being fully balanced (when the XLR connectors are used and the rear panel switches are set to balanced mode) is that there is apparently only one single-section triode tube per channel. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I'm not sure how a balanced active gain stage can be implemented with a single triode.

Although Atmasphere has described in past threads an approach involving applying one of the two signals in a balanced signal pair to the grid of a tube, and injecting the other signal into the cathode circuit, thereby driving the grid and cathode in opposition. That approach would allow a single triode to accept a balanced input signal pair, with the output transformer converting the signal that is output from the plate to balanced. Whether or not that kind of approach would constitute a "fully balanced" signal path is debatable, IMO.

In any event, regardless of its topology it is by essentially all accounts an exceptional performer. Obrennan & Brownsfan, congratulations and enjoy!

-- Al
my guess is :
$0.02 tells me when a transformer is used to split signal that enters from RCA connector into positive & negative phase for further "procresing" then the amp is fully balance. however, if a balance connector is added for convenience and subsequently, signal enter through this balance connection then get converted by transformer into SE circuit,i would guess it would not be full balance circuit, right?
The current Coincident components are built to a very high standard(just
not uber high) and better than many.Obrennan did say the level of
imperfection is "minor" and I would agree.The overall package
of built, part quality and most of all sound is spledid IMO. My CSL and
Frankenstein MK II have been completely trouble free with very heavy use.
Once listened to, many are quite impressed with it, just as Obrennan is.
Coincident is still considered a small boutique manufacture; therefore, I give them some slack. I like the fact that Coincident focuses on quality engineering and quality parts to a lesser degree than cosmetics, but with today’s manufacturing techniques, quality controls etc. there should be no excuse for minor imperfections at a $5,500 price point. You don’t see those minor imperfections in their speakers.

You know that I'm a Coincident fan and these comments may sounds like nit picking, but I know that Coincident can do better and I am pulling for them.
Hi Brf,
Have you had the chance to actually inspect "current" electronics? It's very good quality and as good or better many competitors. The stainless steel is very good quality, it is' nt Zanden level of execution but still good. Examine for yourself the latest versions and see what you think.
Charles or is the Coincident phono pre - love my dehavilland ultraverve linestage, it is also excellent and minimalist built as well. Can't get her to build a phono pre though!

Curious how the coincident would sound with the dehavilland....
02-13-13: Philipwu
my guess is ... when a transformer is used to split signal that enters from RCA connector into positive & negative phase for further "procresing" then the amp is fully balance.
I don't think we can say, based on the description at the Coincident site, whether or not the RCA inputs are converted into a balanced pair of signals. In fact, their statement that I quoted in my previous post could be taken to mean that the circuits are configured very differently depending on whether the rear panel switches are set to balanced or unbalanced.
... if a balance connector is added for convenience and subsequently, signal enter through this balance connection then get converted by transformer into SE circuit,i would guess it would not be full balance circuit, right?
Yes, but again there is no specific indication that that is how the circuit is designed.

The only meaningful clues, as I see it, are that the design is transformer coupled at both its inputs and its outputs, and that the only active device in between is a single-section triode. Which per my previous post probably means, at least arguably, that it is not "fully balanced" in the usual sense of that term. Although if the topology is such that a balanced signal pair is input to the tube via the grid and cathode circuits, as I described earlier, and the single-ended output from the plate is converted to balanced via the output transformer, the design could perhaps be considered as falling within a loose definition of "fully balanced."

-- Al
early on coincident amps were made by antique sound labs. love to try the franks someday. Charles you need to try Izzy's Extreme cables
Hi Pehare,
I`ve heard the Extreme cables(in other systems) and they`re very good.At hesrt I`m a believer in silver and my Ocellia Silver Reference cables are superb in my system.Israel does`nt like silver wire.I hope you get an opprotunity to hear the Frankensteins soon and see what you think of them.
It’s curious that the line stage Coincident offers is balanced throughout but their amp’s only have single ended inputs.
I `ve not heard the Coincident phonostage.Word of mouth says it`s excellent.
Thanks Charles, that is what i have read and the price point makes it a worthwhile gamble.
Charles1dad & Bfr

Charles I agree with your comments re. quality of electronic parts and finish. A friend of mine who's much more knowledgeable than me had a peek inside the linestage and found the design brilliant, well executed and rugged. All in all, I am amazed that Coincident is able to manufacture a component of such outstanding performance in that price range. I agree with Bfr that cosmetics should be flawless, but I would never let the minor flaws that I noticed stop me from buying it again though.

I forgot to mention that right out of the box the Coincident was already clearly better than the Allnic and the CT5. Once it will be broken in I anticipate that the performance gap will even widen. So I agree with your Charles1dad, I think that I will just love it more and more!
Yes ,overall perspective is the point I was trying to illustrate.I thought Brf was making a bit too much(IMO) about very minor exterior cosmetics(but I know his intentions are good).The Coincident is better built than my former ARC and Quicksilver preamps(and they were very solidly constructed).The big seperation gap is undoubtedly internal parts and layout, your friend`s observation is on the money.You want better near perfect exterior finish, there`s Absolare Passion,Zanden and Robert Koda etc.In terms of pure natural sound realism and getting to the core soul of music the CSL is a very upper tier product.The good news is the price is within reach of many music loving audiophiles. Obrennan, there`s a lot of iron(transformers and chokes) to burn-in with additional hours, you`re in for treat.Those 101D DHT tubes make for wonderful music reproduction.
You and I are happy owners of Coincident speakers.This is where Israel Blume made a name for himself and earned his well deserved reputation.His Pure Reference Extreme speaker has gotten rave reviews universally.Some say at 27,000 dollars they`re an absolute bargain.However consider this,his all out effort in his latest Mark II electronics are 'much more affordable' and are said to be world class by a variety of reviewers. The cost of his preamps and and both power amplifiers are far less than his top speakers.This is the viewpoint I`m trying to get across, very reasonable value for the high performance one gets from the electronic components.

When I decided to go the SET route it was narrowed down to Coincident and the Wavelength Cardinal 300b. The reviews of the Frankenstein were so positive(nearly over the top I thought) and they were less money(by a noticeable margin at that time). I know I would have been very happy with the excellent Wavelength but there`s been no looking back with the Frankenstein MK II,the reviews got it right.
Browsnfan, have you finally a move to buy the CSL. If not, keep us posted. I'll be curious to hear about your own experience. On my side I am still as excited as I was on the first day!
Obrennan, My wife just called and told me it had been delivered a few minutes ago! I am quite eager to get home, set it up and flip the switch.
Congratulations Brownsfan.Give us an early(very) impression tonight if you find the time.
I own the Coincident Statement line stage and it is the very best line stage I have heard. You would have to spend megabucks to beat it and even then might not.
Congrats Brownsfan....can't wait to hear your impressions, signed Ravensfan. ;-)
Guys, :)

Lots of smiles here. Even with just an hour of burn in, its really showing me a lot of what I hoped I would find. Dead quiet, very transparent, excellent dynamics, it has all the virtues of the Promethius signature but does them better. Just a bit of brightness expressed at times, but I trust that will work its way out with burn in. Timbre generally dead on. Nice piece of work, Mr. Blume!
Starting to develop depth in the soundstage. OMG, this thing is good.
As I thought you'd be impressed with it straight out of the shipping carton.Enjoy this superb linestage, and it gets considerably better as the various parts accumulate hours.You made an excellent choice.
it would be top notch if Coincident can offer 2 variants of volume control(more steps at higher price) to capture a bigger market pie.
Phillip was that a problem in your audition of the CSL? I`ve had no complaint or issue with the volume gradients/steps( or maintaining equal channel balance).It just proves once again we`re all different.