GREAT NEWS! The Coda Technology new #16 amplifier will arrive this week


I was just informed that Coda's brand new model #16, which is based on the latest generation of improvements used in the #8, will be arriving later this week for review for The Stereo Times website.  Since the reviews I have done on the #8 amplifier and the 07x preamplifier, I have received numerous inquires when I'll get this piece in for review.

This beast of an amplifier, over hundred pounds with one of the largest power supplies in a single chassis design on the market, delivers 100 Class A before it crosses over into A/B. The Coda #8, is in my opinion, one of the best SS amps on the market for under ten grand.  I expect, based on the run Coda is on with their new generation of gear, that the #16 will be a beautiful musical performer.  We shall see! I still find it amazing based on build quality/performance that Coda's prices are so damn reasonable.  Yes, the #16 will retail for around 12K, not inexpensive.  However, I guarantee if this amplifier was manufactured by other high-end American or European companies it would be triple the price. If the #16 takes the already superlative performance of the #8 to another level, it will be truly a "killer" of an amplifier. 




teajay
Any place on the web to find some specs on this, or even the .8 that was released many moons ago?
Hey yyzsantabarbara,

Coda has not up dated their website recently.  I'm sure if you call or mail Doug at Coda he will give you all the specs you are seeking.
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.
Here's some specific specs on the #16 amplifier.

1) Class A operation to 100 watts/ 300 watts A/B into 4 ohms

2) Maximum current: 100 amperes per channel

3) Power supply: 3KVA  power transformer/ Dual independent rectification and 280,000 of power supply filter capacitance

4) Weight: 110 pounds
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!
@teajay 

Does it run warm or hot?

Have you heard the Luxman m900u amp to compare against? 

How about a photo(s) on the virtual systems to see you big this beast really is? You would think Coda would do this on their web site but I believe we have a better chance with the virtual system here.
Hey yyzsantabarbara,

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.
Pics and more info would sure be swell! Coda webpage could use some TLC!
thx


@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.
Hey yyzsantabarbara,

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.
Hey yyzsantabarbara,

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)

Mike
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".
I wish I was located closer to you, teajay! ;-)
@teajay 


have you tried the Coda #16 on  your Tekton Ulfberht speakers  and  do you feel it's a great match with the Tektons as with the NSMT 100?

was looking at the Bricasti M15 amp and  would the Coda be a step up or a few notches down  compared to the M15?   

Cheers 
Hey roadwarrior75,

On the Tekton and MSMT speakers both the Bricasti M15 and Coda #16 sound terrific. However, for my taste the #16 is more explosive/dynamic, throws a larger sound-stage, and is slightly more detailed without out losing any musicality or beauty to the excellent M15.


Hey teajay,
Have you ever listened to Coda Tm Monos V2 that i have with the 07x which im still waiting for. Or compared them with another amp.Think the Tm have the same guts as the 16.
M.