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I have spoken with Doug recently and he was kind enough to explain the changes in going from the 15.5 to the 16. First, the low noise input devices first used in the No.8 are incorporated into the input circuit of the No. 16. Second, the capacitance in the power supply has been increased from 200,000 to 280,000 microfarads. I believe that the price for the No.16 without meters is $12,000 versus $11,000 for the No.15.5. No. 16 amps with meters will cost $14,000. There may be other changes but these are the ones that I recall. I agree with Teajay that Coda amps fly under the high end radar most of the time, and that they offer sonic performance well above their retail price compared to similar products from other manufacturers. I am sure that the No. 16 will prove to be a great amp.
Finally, got the # 16 in-house after a lengthy delay caused by bad weather according to UPS that made the delivery four days late.
It was definitely worth the wait! The # 16 takes the already wonderful performance of the # 8 to a higher level of finesse and sophistication. What ever Doug and Eric learned/developed in this new generation, starting with the # 8, of amplification pays off in spades with this amplifier.
Even more purity of tonality/timbres, so quiet that the most delicate micro-details just pop out of the mix, explosive overall dynamics, and even more 3D sound-staging with precise layering and space between the players. None of this comes at the expense of sounding analytical like many Solid State amps that offer this type of resolution. This amplifier is way past the "dryness or grain" you still can hear in many solid state pieces, it oozes the sound into the room with total liquidity, and yet is explosive when the music calls for those moments.
I know this is heresy, but what keeps going through my mind is that the # 16 sounds like a SET 2A3 on steroids. The purity of tonality and sheer musicality that a reference level SET amplifiers provide, but with unlimited power and control to drive any speaker with its unbelievable power supply and current!
Last night a fellow music lover came over who is familiar with the performance of my system, with his own musical selections, to hear what the Coda # 16 would change in the sonics of this system.
About an hour of listening, no talking he was mesmerized about what he was hearing, he shared that this was the best the system had ever sounded. Explosive dynamics, expanded accurate sound-staging, and overall natural beautiful rendering of his favorite musical selections. Yes, he thought the # 16 is a great amplifier, indeed!
The # 16 runs warm, not hot, you can comfortably leave your hand on either the top plate or cooling fins.
I have great respect for the Luxman m900u its a full/warmish amplifier. The Coda is far more explosive/dynamic, is overall more transparent and presents the micro-details more clearly. None of this comes at the expense of sounding analytical. It's pretty dead neutral, maybe be a smidgen warm, and is totally silky smooth overall in its presentation. I also believe it creates more air around the instruments with more precise location on the sound-stage.
I will try to get some photo's up in the next few days.
@teajay Thanks for the feedback. You got me interested now.
It turns out there is a local CODA dealer for me. I think I will have a listen to the 07x preamp and the 16.0 amp before I put my money down on the Luxman amp + ? preamp. The Luxman dealer is also local so I can do a semi-useful head-to-head comparison.
You are welcome. Please share after you do some auditioning of these great preamps/amps. I still find it hard to believe two aspects about the Coda gear: 1) That based on build quality and performance how reasonably priced their products are. Compared to other very high-end US companies they are really "dirt cheap" when you look at the much higher price tags they charge. 2) This great American company is still somewhat a "stealth" builder of superlative equipment in the US. Highly acclaimed in Europe and Asia, but under the radar here at home.
I contacted Coda about some pictures, and hopefully, Doug will post/link here shortly some quality pictures. Remember, you can get the # 16 with or without meters. The one I have in-house, which is a sexy looking beast, is without meters.
@teajay I am looking to get 2 amps, because I want to be a little foolish in my next audio purchase. I am most likely getting the Luxman m900u. I was also going to get (for the 2nd time) the Benchmark AHB2 but I have always had the CODA #8 in the back of my mind as something to checkout. Mainly based on your review but I have also been reading the great feedback here about CODA for many years.
I spoke with the Los Angeles dealer for CODA and they have the 07x preamp and #8 but not the #16. I will have to rely on your review to flesh out the details on how the #8 and #16 compare.
BTW - the Luxman is actually a little larger than the #16. I was thinking the #16 was massive.
Without getting into a lot of details, I would be very surprised if you liked the Benchmark AHB2, which you owned before, better then the Coda # 8. The AHB2 would not be on my list of favorite amplifiers I have seriously listened to. The # 8 is so much more musical across the board then the Benchmark amplifier. I'm also not a fan of their DACs and preamp.
As I stated in my review on the # 8 its a wonderful piece and insanely priced. You have to spend a lot more money to better it, like the # 16 which is about double the retail price. The # 16 physically is not a "giant" in it's size, but because of its massive power supply is very heavy and dense for its overall dimensions.
Hey yyzsantabarbara -
Not sure how you figured the size of CODA 16 or Luxman...but just to clarify:
The 16 is 17.5” wide x 19” deep x 7.75” tall with a weight of 110 lbs.
The M900u is 17.3” wide x 17.5” deep (excluding the button in the front and terminals in the back like the CODA) x 8.8” tall with a weight of 105.8 lbs.
Not that it really matters...but neither amp is small. :o)
Audio Archon - CODA dealer
@audioarchon I downloaded the manual for the CODA 15.5 and extrapolated the dimensions to the new #16. The Luxman dimensions were also from the manual. This is important to me because the room where they will go is not huge.
@teajay The AHB2 definitely has a different sound than almost all the amps I have heard in the past. That difference is what attracts me to it as a second or alternative amp.
I am building 2 systems. The first, to be done this year, is an upgrade to my current office system and the second in another in 2 years, once my toddler shares his huge play room with me. So having a CODA, Luxman, and maybe a AHB2 at the same time is not wasteful in the long run.
I will post photos of my office when done. I have a feeling a lot of you will laugh at the setup I will do but I think it will be interesting and also sound great.
Tomorrow, I'm having some listening guests who contacted me through this thread who want to hear the # 16 amplifier. If there was any burn-in to go through, the # 16 'Killed It" right out of the crate, it's done. Everything I stated before regarding it's superlative performance is of course still there, with a smidgen more of ease and liquidity overall!
If you live in the Chicago land area and want to hear this amplifier, just shoot me an Email and it would be a pleasure to have you as a " listening guest" in the future.
On Wednesday a guest listener came over to see/hear the Coda #16 amplifier. He has heard every generation of this system as new pieces of gear come into it for reviewing of individual components.
He immediately noticed three changes/improvements in the system with the #16 in place. 1) The overall explosiveness/dynamics along with the extension and control of the bass frequencies were at a higher level. 2) The transparency and the ability to hear the smallest micro-details in the music was more apparent to his ears. 3) The size in all directions of the soundstage, the air between instruments, and the location of these players was a remarkable upgrade. He said, " the system already sounded great before this amplifier, but now the illusion of music is even better".
Yesterday, the owner of a great store in the Chicago land area, Toska Audio, and his wife came over to hear the system being powered by the Coda 07x and #16 combo.
Pete at heart is really a "tube" guy, he wants liquidity, warmth, and full bodied imaging. Pat his wife is a great listener who is quite sensitive to even the slightest "brightness/harshness" at all really enjoyed themselves listening to different genres of music. Pete said if it was not for how quiet the system was along with power full bass extension and overall dynamics he would had believed that this was a totally tube based system.
The Coda #16 and the 07x preamp are very special pieces, indeed!
Because of reviewing a new piece of gear that is balanced, I changed out my loom of RCA interconnects and went to a full loom of XLR cables because the Coda 07x preamplifier and the #16 are true balanced designs.
The system sounded great being run single-ended. However, by running the #16 balanced, it's overall macro-dynamics and its already vanishing noise floor became even more non-existent!
Question: Anyone reading this, have any of you heard the #16, if so what was your take on this amplifier
Don't really know what you mean by "lightweight", the #16 has a much bigger power supply then the Pass Labs amps you mention. I have heard the wonderful Pass Labs amps and the Coda performs at that level and does some things better for a lot less money.
I'll get into those details when I write the review.
I just wrote and submitted my review on the 16.0 to my editor at Stereo Times website last night. I have had in-house many terrific amplifiers for reviewing and personal pleasure.
However, the 16.0, teamed up with its stable mate 07x preamplifier, is a very special music maker, indeed! There is no "BEST" of anything in the world of high-end audio, but the 16.0 is a fabulous amplifier that will compete with any amplifier on the market regardless of price. 100 Watts Class A, along with the ability to drop 100 amperes of current on a peak means the 16.0 has the beauty of a lower watt class A design and the current to drive any speaker load effortlessly. This is a great amplifier!
Hope when the review comes out you all will enjoy reading it for all the details of why I came to this conclusion.
If you order the #16 without meters it retails for $13,000. I still love my Pass Labs XA-60.8's. However, for the reasons stated in my review, the #16 is now my reference amplifier in my large system.
Also: scott888, forgot to include the Tubadour SE III on my equipment list for the #16 review. Yes, I'll talk about the difference in the DACs I'm reviewing and the Audio Mirror piece.
Teajay-My Coda Model 16 is currently in production, according to Doug, and should arrive in the next couple of weeks. I am beyond thrilled hear it in my system! I was very reluctant to sell my Pass XA60.8's, but I can take solace in knowing that they will be enjoyed by their next owner as much as they were by myself and family.
Thank you again for your consult a few months ago!
My Coda #16 has been in house for five days now and break-in is going well. The sound stage is really opening up and the layered 3D imaging is outstanding. Dynamics are off the charts. The nonexistent noise floor is showing off the smoothest textures on a black back ground that I’ve heard. I’m a big fan of tubes and I love Linear Tube Audio, I have often said that LTA was the best compromise between tube and SS but I feel the coda is in the same camp. More to come.
I have not owned as many SS amps as I have tube amps. The closest I’ve had to the Coda is the Plinius SA125 and a Mirror Image Audio 1.1 SB. The MI amp is about 30 years old and is better than the Plinius overall but can’t match the Coda #16 although the MI is still an amazing amp. You rarely see them pop up used but they are a bargain when you do. I also had a Van Alstine FET 400R but it wasn’t in the same league.
The more I listen to #16 the more I feel like I’m listening to a tube amp. It is so very smooth. I try to find a weakness, grain, harshness or brightness but I cannot hear any such flaw. It has tremendous dynamics, speed and bass slam. I know how cliche it sounds but I can hear sound, instruments in the back ground that I haven’t heard before.
So glad to hear that your "sore back" was worth it because of how much you are enjoying the #16! The #16 is completely grainless with an overall liquidity, is the quietest SS amp I have ever had in for review (that's way you are hearing micro-details you never heard before), and delivers timbres/tonality like a tube amplifier. It reminds me very much of the finest SET 211 amps I have had in-house with it's speed and purity of tonality, yet it also has unbelievable bottom end slam/control because of its massive power supply.