Hopefully Rtilden will chime in here for you...He aquired this amp...I was happy to receive the Coda CSi integrated amp and I LOVE IT..
Thanks. I sent CODA an email and I am waiting for a response.
I'm afraid that I cannot comment on the 15.0, as I have never heard it. I have owned many audio products over the years, I owned CODA Model 10 and Model 20 amps in the 1990's. After climbing up the almighty audio food chain for many years, I have finally gone back downstream due to the economy. I am living very happily these days with a VAC preamp and CODA Model 11 amp.
I won't bother to say that the Model 11 is the best amp I have ever owned, because it isn't. I will say that it is a very musical amp though, especially for a solid state amp. Yes, certainly not the last word in transparency, but never irritating or aggressive, always pleasant to listen to. Just as I recalled the Model 10 and 20 amps from the 90's. It's one of the reasons I went back to CODA when downsizing.
I also have a VAC preamp so I am glad to know yours is working well with your CODA amp. I appreciate your input very much.
Glad I could help Joe. The only concern you MAY have is if you plan to run balanced interconnects. I don't know why you would, since VAC's are generally single-ended preamps, but some offer a balanced output (not truely balanced). I believe that the input impedence of CODA amps is VERY low through the balanced inputs. I'm running RCA's with no problems at all. I have the VAC Auricle preamp with built in phono stage. It's not quite as nice as the Renaissance MK II preamp that I previously owned, but it comes close for a lot less $$$.
Which VAC preamp are you using?
VAC Sig IIa. I love it. I saw the CODA love in other posts and it has me intrigued.
Hi, Joe: Yep, I have the CODA 15.0 and love it. I will be happy to give you more information via phone if my comments here don't suffice. Try to send me a private message if that is the case, and I'll email you my phone number. First, I have 4-ohm speakers (Tyler Woodmeres), which require the grunt of a high-current amp to sound their best. The 15.0 was specifically designed to run this type of low-impedance speaker, which pays dividends for those of us living in that scenario. The VAC Sig 2a was on my short list, but I ended up with a Purity Audio Designs tube preamp instead (also very highly regarded). So, my electronics are in line with your potential scenario.
This amplifier has NO weaknesses that I can detect, and my system is quite revealing. I could list a dozen positive adjectives right off the bat, and they would all be appropriate. No one or two or three things stand out with the sonics; each area is as strong as the others. It is powerful, sweet, has all the finesse AND imaging that you would wish for. Instruments are palpable and immediate (if the recording contains it). And all the time, it sounds like music (not hi-fi). My musical test track is pretty grueling, and, among the more difficult passages are complex classical, which can convey a huge shift in dynamic range in an instant, and in the next instant, shift from a full-on orchestral battering to the airiest and most delicate sound of flute and harp. This amp doesn't care..... it delivers whatever I throw at it and doesn't flinch.
I am familiar with the VAC sound, and I think the 15.0 will mate with it very well. Both are sweet, full and liquid sounding. I think you will be more than satisfied with the imaging, too. I have read that high-powered Class A delivers excellent imaging, and I can only nod my head, based upon my results. Stage width, depth, air surrounding individual instruments, layering of instruments in a group, different textures, all of it is there in the highest sonic quality I could hope for. With an expensive tube preamp, you certainly don't want to lose imaging potential with an amp, and solid state might make some folks shake in their boots for fear that they might lose imaging potential. But I am extremely satisfied and could not ask for better. I hope this was helpful.
Ren Tilden/Winter Park, Florida
VAC Sig IIa. I love it.
Woah! I'd love that too Joe!!!
I don't know if you are aware of it or not, but you can try the CODA 15.0 in your own system on their 14 day home trail period
. Click on the 'Home Audition' link on the right side of the page.
They are great guys to work with too (former Threshold engineers), especially Doug Dale, he is very knowledgeable, helpful and reasonable too. There's not too many companies out there that have been in business for over 25 years, who still have a founding engineer answer the telephone when you call.
I've owned a lot of CODA pieces over the years, in addition to the Model 10, 20 and 11 amps, I've also owned their Model 01p and 02b preamps as well as a Model 03p phono preamp. My take on them as a company is that they are very good engineers who are very leery of the marketing wizards. They prefer to just design and munuafacture gear, they are not keen on the 'selling the sizzle' schtick. Perhaps that is why they have been in business for so long but are still a relatively unknown company.
A slightly more obscure company that may also intrigue you is Clayton Audio
. I owned a pair of their M-100 monoblock amps a few years ago and they were pretty impressive too. Maybe just a tad more bass slam than the CODA amps, but a tad darker too. The M-200 fall in about the same ballpark price wise as the CODA 15.0
Thank you so much for your offer. Yes, your answer is extremely helpful and I appreciate it very much. I may call when I get closer to a purchase/trial date. I am still in research mode and have a few other pieces on my list to compare. It sounds like you have found a great amp. I know of the Purity Audio preamp and had looked at them before I settled on my VAC. The PAD is very nice as well.
I did notice the trial offer. It makes the decision to purchase much easier to justify.
It's funny you mentions Clayton Audio. I was just looking at them this evening and have been eyeing them for the past several years. Clayton Audio is also very highly rated and has my interest.
Thank you for very thoughtful input.
Joe, a word of warning, the CODA 15.0 has an input impedence of only 1K in balanced mode, which means that it could potentially have an impedence mismatch with a tube preamp. It seems like Ren is not having an issue with this, maybe he is not running balanced, but it would make me wary of this match up.
CODA's 50K unbalanced input makes for a much easier match up with a tube preamp, but I don't think that you are running your Sig IIa single-ended, are you?
John is right. It just so happens that both the VAC and the Purity are transformer coupled at the outputs and can easily handle this condition. That is why they were on my short list! I run mine balanced, and it sounds superb. Even so, I doubt short runs would have a noticable sonic difference if RCAs were used. BUT... CODA does recommend using balanced whenever possible, which is one of the things that drove me to focus on those two preamps.
Joe: I didn't catch the speakers you are using. What are they?
Thanks Guys. I plan on talking to CODA before I pull the trigger. I know my VAC Sig IIa has a very low output impedance. That was one of the many reasons why I bought it in the first place so it should match well with almost any amp.
On speakers, I just sold a pair of Dynaudio C1 Sigs. I am thinking about getting a pair of Sonus Faber Evolutions to replace them.
Hi, Joe: I am not familiar with the power/current reqirements of the SF Evolutions (I do see that they are two-way), but the 15.0 will give you plenty of everything you need, plus a bunch of room to grow. This amplifier makes music with AUTHORITY. That is to say, this amp properly drives (handily controls) my 4-ohm Woodmeres in a 30x31.5x12 room at levels louder than anyone would care to listen (and with audiophile quality). That is ten SEAS drivers in all, four of which are 10" diameter. I don't want to beat you over the head with my message, but this amp will will allow you to move up to the biggest, baddest, multi-driver speakers if you so choose, and do it with both authority and grace. Just trying to offer more guidance by giving some perspective here about the capabilities of this amp.
I'll contact CODA after the new year. I do not want to bother them until after the holidays. It looks like CODA and specifically the 15.0 will drive just about anything.
Don't forget, they'll be at CES from the 8-11th of January. Just a friendly reminder...:D
I forgot about CES. I can't wait to see all the new gear released after the show. Should be fun.
Also look for show demos after the show is over. I've picked up a lot of gear and cables over the years picking up show demos. In fact the year I got that CODA Model 03p phono stage it was a CES demo.
Coda will not be at CES. They will be at T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas along with Legacy Audio. Same dates as CES.
Thanks for the correction, Don.
A pair of Clayton Audio M-300
monoblocks just went up for sale used on Audiogon. These are even a rarer find than CODA amps. I don't know the seller, and have no affiliation. I just thought that you may be interested. Clayton amps are about as hard to find used as Klyne preamps.
I just got a demo unit of Coda 15.0 today and it is exactly as Mr.Ren state above. I use it to drive the Audio Physic Avanti V and the amp is really sweet and pwerful at the same time. Never loose its grip as I increased the volume. Just pure music. Wowwww!!!
@ jmcgrogan2, Hi, why did you get rid of the vac preamp for a cary unit?
@ jmcgrogan2, Hi, why did you get rid of the vac preamp for a cary unit?
More tube bloom. I still love Kevin's VAC gear, but I find that they work best with tube amps. When I switched back to a solid state amp, I decided I wanted more traditional tube sound. The Cary has more tube bloom than the VAC preamp.
@ jmcgrogan2, Hi, Thanks, that does make since.
Joe how did your Coda demo go?