Preview: CODA Technologies new generation number#8 Stereo Amplifier


I have always had a keen interest in hearing a CODA amplifier in my own system for a long time. This company has been in existence for over twenty years. It's if they were a "stealth" product, very few American reviews, built many highly regarded amplifiers for other companies as an OEM source, and most of their products are loved/sold in the Asian/European markets.

I finally was able to set up a review for hometheaterreview.com on their new generation single chassis number#8 amplifier.  Internally, their has been some very important changes in the power supply, along with "kept in house" different part selections through out the entire circuit pathway.  Externally, the #8 has a pair of blue light power meters and is quite a good looking piece of gear. The build quality and parts used are at the highest level.  The number#8 amplifier is 150 watts into 8 Ohms and 300 watts into 4 Ohms.  The first 18 watts is pure class A.  Regardless of the volume levels I play the amp never leaves its class A rating.  Like all Coda amplifiers a special quality is the #8 ability to provide 150 Amperes of current if needed!

Well, the beauty of what this amplifier has brought to my system has lead to all night long listening sessions.  I have owned/reviewed other great SS amplifiers. However, the #8, being driven by the new Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL preamplifier has some special qualities, here are a few:

1) It might be the quietest amplifier I have ever had in my system.  This allows all the micro-details to float out and be heard.  Yet, the #8 never sounds edgy/electrical/mechanical as other very detailed amps can.
2) It's lighting fast and provides the speed and aliveness you find in live music to a higher degree then other amps I have had in my system.
3) The overall tonality is "silky-smooth" with not a touch of grain/dryness.
4) The macro-dynamics overall and the control of the bottom end are superlative.


In my review I'll get into all the details why this is a killer amplifier!  I also think its a "bargain" at it's retail price of $6,500.00.  So, if your in the market I strongly suggest you might want to hear the #8 before you purchase another amplifier.  It's that good.





 
teajay
Link?
....i can’t find anything on the web or their website on a #8 amp...,
@teajay you must be pointing to Coda Ts V1 ?. What is #8 you are talking about it is not in on their website?.

I am seriously considering Coda since it seems they work well with Legacy Aeris. It seems they use Coda amps (not Ts V1) for internal testing for speakers etc. I am sure they use a wide variety of amps.

What are the speakers you are using with your Coda amp?. 
This Amp $4500 is a pretty fair deal  . No more my friend paid 
abit less with shipping before summer.a nice sounding amp.
Hey guys,

The number#8 is not listed on Coda's website because it is a brand new model.  Just call or Email Doug for all the details.

The speakers that is driving are Tekton Design Ulfberht speakers.

Audioman58 your friend could not have purchased the #8 because I have the first one that Coda has built in the new series.
I emailed coda asking about it. Will post if I hear back from them.
At RMAF, Legacy Audio was using Coda to power one of their demo setups, can't remember which one.  I think they told me that it was a new amp model. 
@teajay  Any updates on when your review will be published?
Lucky for me I have had the pleasure of owning the CODA CSX amp for the past four years. 330/660 into 8ohm/4ohm. The first 25 watts are pure “class A”. The power supply uses a 3kVA toroidal transformer with independent rectifier and 80,000uF of capacitance. That’s serious iron guys! Subtle styling and built to a very high standard. This has been the best amp I have owned to date. Dead quiet, fast, transparent to the source and musically engaging.

Previous amps have included Audio Research, Unison, Edge, McCormack and Jeff Rowland. They do fly under the radar of most audiophiles. Listen 👂 if you get the chance !
Teajay,

Any updates regarding your upcoming review of the Coda No. 8.  Also have you had a chance to compare the No. 8 to the T series amps which they are scheduled to replace?
Hello soundhound,

My review on the No.8 was submitted last week to my editor.  Coda was going to send in pictures for the review today.  Hopefully, it will go up on hometheaterreview.com in the next few weeks.  I did not have the experience of comparing the No.8 to a T series amplifier.  However, the No.8 S/N ratio is dramatically improved and Doug Dale believes this, with a few other part changes, have lead to a better sounding amplifier.  The greatest compliment a reviewer can give a piece of gear they are reviewing is to purchase it, as I have done.  It's a terrific amplifier and you will get all the details of what makes a special piece in my review.  It's also a great bargain at $6,200 compared to much more expensive amps.
Tejay,

Thanks for the response to my questions.  I may be next in line for a No. 8.
what happened to the kinki review?
Hey mboldda1,

I decided that after what Srajan of Six Moons reported in his excellent, along with the quotes from me, review on the Kinki piece being a terrific performer it was not necessary to write my own review.  Everything that is stated in his review I'm in agreement with, therefore I choose to use my time to audition/review other pieces like the CODA No.8 amplifier, that no one had reviewed yet.
Nice to know Coda is still around, last I checked their web site was in transition, and I always fear that means the end.
@teajay please post a link after the review goes up. Cheers,
Spencer
Teajay,
Appreciate your insights regarding the Coda 8's.  Given your evaluation that the No 8's are competitive with much more expensive amps, I am curious as to what level price wise you feel this amp competes with.

Hi soundhound,

I compared the Coda No.8 to a pair of mono-blocks that retail for 14K and a single chassis amp that retails for 16K and liked the Coda better.  It's one of my references for my large system.
Hey Teajay when will your review be up, we are a Coda dealer and have been waiting for some thing exciting from Coda.

Their amplifiers have always been amazing, we had a CSib on the floor for some time and it was better then the Luxman and Hegel integrateds we had compared it to,  the only issue was the lack of built in Dac which alot of clients want, so we have been bugging Coda for some time to add a digital board to make the amp competitive to the units which have built in dacs. 

According to your findings this is one killer $6k amp.  Can you hint at the other amplifiers you tested the Coda against and when production units will be shipping?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers
Hello Audio Doctors,

You will have to talk to Doug regarding when they are going to start shipping to dealers.

I'll let the suspense build, you will just have to read the review when it comes out in the next two to three weeks, about which amplifiers I had directly compared to the No.8 in my system to do my review.  Both are highly regarded American made amplifiers.
I won’t say the whole name but does one of them amps start with Pass ?
Hey Teejay, can you at least give a little teaser info on what amplifiers you compared the Coda NO 8 to and when the review will be up the suspense is killing us.

We haven't yet talked with Doug at Coda yet dying to see your impressions of the amplifier. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ CODA dealers
The amp has meters. Looks very nice. The review sample mailed out today. 
"Consider the check written"
Yeah at the accommodation price I'm sure it is worth it. For us mortals well?
"The Pass Lab sound is slightly "warm and velvety" while the Coda is "smooth and silky" in its overall presentation."

teajay...could you elaborate a bit more on this statement please...Sounds like 6 of 1 and 1/2 a dozen of the other.  
Gaaaah,  my eyes hurt just looking at it....

I know that's not supposed to be that important, but dear heavens no no no. Not in my house.
@aolmrd1241 

If I remember correctly, he uses that language to describe the smoothness of the music.  If you compare the 2 fabrics, they are both smooth to the touch, but still different.  Which smoothness you prefer is your preference.

TJ's review has me curious on how it would sound with my MG1.6's compared to my Threshold 350.  The Code and Linear Tube Audio preamp on my future ponder list!
Anthem has ARC.

How important is room correction software?
Post removed 
This amp seems a little like the amp I just heard with Paradigm Persona 5F, the Simaudo 860A at $15K. They were great with the Personas. 

I have always had the CODA on my radar so much so that a few months ago I was corresponding with CODA on the appropriate CODA amp for a few speakers I had under consideration. The CODA guys were good communicating with me. This new amp sounds like a serious contender for my needs.
Anthem has ARC.

How important is room correction software?


Apples and Oranges. This is a pure amp. Anthem does not have a pure amp with ARC. Only ingegrateds.

For music, ARC can really help the subs integrate well.

But ideally, have good room acoustics first, then apply ARC.

Best,
E

@jujubeez The Anthem ARC is in the separate STR preamp and also the STR integrated not in the separate STR amp.

I am going to do a have a dealer do a DSP shootout for me with Lyngdorf 2170 | Linn SELEKT DSM | Anthem STR in a truly bad room. I will use a separate amp for all 3 demos. That is where an amp like the CODA 8 sounds interesting to me. I heard the Lyngdorf 2170 with $15K Simaudio 860A amp and it sounded superb (no DSP was used). The CODA sounds extremely promising for the same purpose at $6.2K.

Having DSP on the preamp section seems to be the what most companies are doing. There are a lot more companies that have DSP solutions but I am focusing on the 3 above which 1 dealer has for demo.
Yysantabarbera we do believe that the Coda is going to be fantastic so much so we ordered one.

This will give us 3 killer $6k amps the 400 watt Anthem Str, the 175watt Krell XD 175 at $7 and the 150w Coda at 6.2k

The Anthem Str is an amazing deal for $4k preamp dac room corrector.

With the persona 5f that would be one fantastic setup.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I have been thinking of a CODA for about 6 months now. I was tempted to buy that 50 watt Class A amp they have for $4.5K but I needed a bit more power for the speakers I owned at that time. I am glad I waited and this new #8 sounds interesting. 

I like the idea of a streamer + DAC + maybe room correction hooked up to a separate high quality amp like this CODA #8 is being described.
Sounds like a great amp! I haven't seen it yet on their website, but I am concerned by the low input impedances into the balanced inputs of their other amps. Some of them are only 1K ohms into a balanced input, but 50K into the RCA inputs. I don't ever recall ever seeing an impedance that low into a balanced input. Teajay - do you know the input impedance of the amp? Of course the LTA preamp has a very low output impedance and therefore the pairing with the CODA amp would not be a problem.
Hi grk,

The unbalanced is 50k Ohms, I don't know what the balanced number would be.  Yes, there is no problem at all with the LTA preamp driving the No.8 in my system.
audiotroy,

have you received the amp yet ? I know its soon, but what do you think of it ?

Coda still doesn’t have it on their website.. 

oops, only been a week
 How does the #8 differ from the TS amp? The specs seem almost identical. Any insights? 
My understanding is that the principal differences between the TS and No 8 amps are the use of new lower noise transistors, I believe FETs, in the input stage, and the presence of power meters as well as the associated circuitry needed to run these meters.  The lower noise input circuitry FETs are also being incorporated into other CODA models.  According to Doug Dale the decrease in noise levels with the newer input circuitry devices is readily measurable.  I have not seen anyone comment on a direct listening comparison of the TS and No 8 amps.
I like Coda having owned one years ago, very nice amp.  Doug is a good guy, and I trust TJ's review.

I dig meters and machining and typically like Coda's look, but something about that amp looks too "Busy" for me.  I'm sure it sounds excellent and the built quality is likely great.  I think it's the combination of the meters and the + machining that makes it look a little too much like a tic-tac-toe board for my liking.

I'd like to see it with less machining, or maybe just the "coda" circle in the middle. Seems like an amp that is so close looks wise.

But, beauty in the beholder.  I've had conversations about meters and I know he is not a big fan but the market likes it.


For speakers that either the Coda or Pass xa25 would both drive without problem, would anyone recommend one amp over the other based purely on sound quality?
Teajay,

Saw the Coda No 8 review.  You stated that you started serious listening after a 70 hour break-in period.  Did you notice any further evolution in sound after that initial break-in?  Also, did you try different power cables with the No 8?
Hi soundhound,

No, after the break-in period I did not notice any more changes.  I use the Audio Archon power cords throughout my system.  I have auditioned many other power cords, some very costly, and find these cords to be as good if not better then others.  Very reasonably priced.
Hi Teajay,

Thanks for the prompt response and recommendation for Audio Archon power cords.  I have purchased a No. 40 amp from Coda with the new input transistors installed.  So far I have run it in for about 18 hours and there is a noticeable improvement in very low level detail.  Even at this time, I find it to be a remarkably fine amplifier with excellent transparency of low level detail and better imaging depth and specificity than my previous Krell 402e.  I have Martin Logan CLX's and the No 40 is an excellent match.
Hey soundhound,

Congrats! This generation of Coda amps are really very good, indeed.
Anyone have experience with how this Coda amp would compare to the Anthem STR Power amp?
@ron1264 What preamp are you considering for the Coda or Anthem STR? I am also considering both of those amps if I buy the Paradigm Persona 3F speaker. 
@yyzsantabarbara I already have the Str Preamp and funny thing, I'm also using the Persona 3F's. Great Speakers! The STR pre/power combo sounds great with the persona's, but thought the Coda would take it up a notch.
@ron1264 I sent you a message. I don't want to divert this thread with my own questions about the STR.