SIMPLY AMAZING: Coda Technologies 07x Preamplifier


I have in-house Coda Technologies 07x preamplifier, which is the latest iteration of their '0' series linestages.  Very briefly, over the last seven years I have had over five solid state preamplifiers, price range was between 4K to 20K, in for auditioning in my system.  They were quite good, but lacked what my tube based linestages had to offer.  The solid state pieces were wickedly transparent, micro-detailed, tight accurate bass extension, and had great overall dynamics.  However, they lacked the organic timbres/tonality, 3D imaging, and the ability to create a sense of space between the players that my tube based preamplifiers produced in my system. 

So, I was concerned that based on my personal preferences that the Coda 07x might not be my "sonic cup of tea".  Boy was I wrong!  Besides, the superlative build quality, starting with the double-sided gold-plated circuit boards, and the sane prices Coda charges compared to other much more insanely priced gear, the 07x is priced at $6'500, this preamplifier has patiently shocked me regarding it might be the best synthesis between what solid state offers (transparency-clarity/low frequency extension-control/micro-details/speed-dynamics) and the best of what tubes have to offer (pristine timbres-tonality-color/holographic imaging/three-dimensional sound-staging with a sense of air around the individual instruments).

Coda always, at least in the America "flies under the radar" compared to other US manufacturers, but based on performance, build quality, and  smart evolved engineering they offer cutting edge equipment at reasonable prices that deserve to be heard by more music lovers. I'll get into all the little details in my review on the performance of the 07x, but for right now if you are thinking about purchasing a solid state linestage, consider giving Doug Dale a call to hear this very special piece.
teajay
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Very interesting! Are you publishing a full-review on this one?
I wanted one of their integrateds but they use buttons for volume control which I’ll never use. 
Put a big volume dial on it and I’ll buy one. 
I’ve heard great things about the sound. 
@teajay  Thanks for your early read of the Coda 07x Pre. Looking forward to the full review.
mickeyb,
it has a rotary volume control.

Just had a listener over who has a base line on my system's overall presentation, based on numerous times hearing it, and brought his own musical selections. 

He immediately heard the improvement with the Coda 07x preamp in place of my reference tube based linestage.  The lower noise floor you get with SS compared to tubes leading to more clarity and micro-details being more easily heard, along with greater overall dynamics, he expected.  He was amazed, as I still am, at the purity and how pristine the timbres/tonality/color of the instruments were, which rivaled any tube based preamplifier he has ever heard.  As he said, " we are not just talking about being grainless/dry, but a liquidity/flow I have never heard in a solid state preamp before". 


Sorry everybody, my friend's quote should have read,"we are not just talking about lacking grain or dryness, but a liquidity/flow I have never heard in a solid state preamp before".
Good to hear. I heard an early Coda, actually had one in my living room, and it was sterile as hell.


Hey Eric,

Really don't know what Coda piece you say you heard in the past.  However, it is irrelevant to this thread.  I know you like to be a gadfly on your threads, but please leave this thread alone.  If you have no interest in Coda gear, that's cool, however, if you not heard their great new generations of amps/preamps, please restrain yourself.
OP: Are you a dealer? If so then yeah, you would really dislike anyone who doesn’t share your views, wouldn’t you? Since you’ve thrown down a gauntlet here, I’m going to be more in this thread than I meant to.



I do have an interest in Coda gear as I have in many brands which I may not actually be shopping for. That’s’ what this forum is for, right? To discuss this hobby, or did you think it was just for dealers to promote new pieces of kit without challenge?


My personal interest in how Coda is doing goes far back to when Roger still owned InnerSound. I was a rep and I even put together a deal to get Roger to NY for the first time.


The amp was a much better sounding piece of kit than the preamp, which was unusually susceptible to noise, and not much better sounding than a bunch of op amps in a can. My purpose for my comments was to ask if this has changed very much, because if so I’d be interested in hearing about it.


If the preamp is as good as you claim, I'm sure it will sell on it's own merits and any criticism I may have had of products 20 years ago won't matter.

That is all,

Erik

Hey Eric,

Nope, I'm not a dealer but a long time AudioGon member and a professional reviewer who likes to share information on great new gear that's reasonably priced for us music lovers. 

I chose never to engage on your threads because it seems that you are always trying to start not a positive conversation, but some type of controversy, regardless of the topic. 

So, I hope your last statement, "That is all" applies to this thread.
"The lower noise floor you get with SS compared to tubes leading to more clarity and micro-details being more easily heard, along with greater overall dynamics."

This may be true of many tube preamps but not all of them. I make tube equipment that is quieter than SS gear.  I have not hear this particular preamp but so far i have not found a SS preamp that can create a piano where you can actually hear the wood of the piano, the hammers hit the strings and the details of how thick and long the string sound when they decay.  But that is just my opinion.

Happy Listening.
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Eric,

Another positive thread that was sharing information about an exciting new product and then you come along to try to hijack-it towards the negative.  

To bad you could not just stick to "that is all" regarding this topic/thread and keep creating your numerous own threads on any topic you want to discuss.  This is why many reviewers that I'm friendly with don't post on the forums because of the few individuals who make unpleasant remarks about them.  Most, of course not all, GON members have given a lot of support and positive feedback regarding my motivation and intention to share information on products that offer killer performance at realistic sane prices.  A few examples are Beckert Labs, Linear Tube Audio, Aric Audio, and Tekton Design.  I have professionally reviewed these companies products and then shared on threads information about them with the members.  

Coda is another company that designs and builds superlative electronics at extremely fair prices compared to the rest of the high-end market.

So, I'm sure you will deal with the "blow", can you just do it on your threads and not this one.
Thanks for calling this preamp to our attention, Terry, and for the characteristically excellent writeup. In recent years I’ve seen some other highly experienced members here post very positive comments about some Coda products.

A minor point, but which seems worth noting: If and when you are in contact with Coda you may want to point out to them that the spec sheet for this preamp indicates a 46 db gain for its balanced outputs. Surely that is a mistake in the spec sheet, given that the preamp apparently does not include a phono stage.

Regards,
-- Al

Hey Al,

Thanks for your kind words regrading the information I share on these threads.  You are extremely knowledgeable and have always enriched the forums here with your posts and comments.

I'll inform Doug Dale regarding the db gain number on the spec sheet.  One of the great features of the 07x is that you can change the output gain to match the amplifier and to get to the 'sweet spot" on the volume control.  I do know, based on a conversation with Doug, this excellent feature is not mentioned in the manual.
Teajay,

Thank you for your initial observations of the Coda 07x preamp. I have owned one for about six months and have had it in a system for several months. I agree that it is wonderful, I can not fault it, I also own two Pass preamps a XP-30 and a XP-22, I used the 07x and the XP-30 with Pass XA160.8 monoblocks and found very little difference in fact in the time it took to go between the two I found it hard to quantify any difference.

I have two Coda S100 amps (100w class A) one with the Pass XP-22, the other with Coda 07x.. All three of those systems sound wonderful, I could not be happier.

I am not able to speak audio speak like many here as I don't have any audio friends and we have no real audio shops in my area for me to hang out at and talk audio. I really enjoy music both live and recorded and have been in the hobby since the later 1960's,

I got in for my love of music but over the years became an equipment junkie, but now I am back enjoying the music and enjoying it as much as when I started.

Teajay I would like to clarify your last comment, it is easy to set the gain for each of your inputs such that when you switch between them they will be at the same volume or any difference you choose, a great feature.

The Coda Csib integrated amp has many features, one I like is there is the subwoofer output that can be adjusted with the volume control, so no need to adjust the sub volume on the sub.  



Hey robertrs,

Thanks for sharing your experience withe the Coda 07x preamplifier.  It's interesting that in your systems that you found very little difference between the Coda 07x and the Pass Labs XP-30 three box preamplifier.  What a great compliment to the 07x, which costs $11,500 less then the XP-30.

I had the Xp-30 in-house and found it to be dramatically transparent, detailed, and dynamic, indeed.  However compared to the 07x, which has all of the virtues mentioned regarding the Pass Labs preamp, it did not have the organic timbres/colors of instruments at the same level and individual instruments/images were not quite as 3D or holographic in the sound stage.

I still have more testing to do, in other systems and pieces of gear for the review I'll be writing, to figure out if what I'm hearing is because of my upstream gear, cables, amplifiers, regarding the beautiful timbres and colors, along with tube like imaging/space is being supplied by my digital front end or a synergy with my amplifiers or both.

Robertrs, would you be kind enough to share what is your digital front end in your systems, and what type of cables do you run in these systems.

 


Teajay,

I recall that you have a Cod No.8 amp as well as a number of other excellent amplifiers.  Did you notice any synergy between the No.8 and the 07X preamp or did the preamp interface equally well with your other amplifiers.  Also, have you noticed any particular interactions with different interconnects.

Great questions soundhound,

The Coda No. 8 is not in-house at the present time.  I'll be getting it back to run that experiment in the next few weeks.  I'm also waiting for Coda's new more upscale single chassis amplifier for review, so it to will be matched with the 07x preamp. I'll bet both Coda pieces will be great together.

I run Black Cat Coppertone wires throughout my system.  However, I'm beta testing some silver IC's & speaker wires for a company that are quite good.  I hear the difference between the wires when I insert them into the chain.  So, the system, using the 07x, is very sensitive to the changes made in the wires. 


By the way,

If anyone is interested in auditioning the Coda 07x preamplifier in the Chicago land area just contact Mike Kay of Audio Archon, who is a Coda retailer, or send me an Email if you would want to hear it in my system.
Teajay,
Do you have any information on the new Coda single chassis amp that you are expecting?
It's going to be the latest generation, based on the improvements regarding what was discovered in the No. 8, and I believe it will weigh close to hundred pounds with an unbelievable power supply.  It will be pure class A or very highly biased into class A. 

It will retail for around $14'000. 
Teajay,

I am using homemade IC's Belden 1800F for balanced and a mix of Belden 1505F and Blue Jean LC-1 cables, not willing to do a lot of testing, I just want to listen to music and realize it can always be better but I am happy with what I have.

Oppo 105D for cd's and Logitech Squeeze Box Touch for internet radio, I really like "The Jazz Groove" laid back jazz on internet radio, it is hi-fi broadcast.

I am sure your ears are better tuned than mine both preamps sound great to me, now back to the music. I have Tekton DI SE which were released before the Moab. Also have KEF LS-50 that I use subs with shocking sound out of a small box with good front end.

I used to think speakers were most important but realize that what's up front counts also which the LS-50's showed me. 
Thanks for starting this thread.

A few notes:
  • The new amp will replace the 15.5 stereo amplifier and will be called the 16.0. In addition to the component changes in the circuit (presumably similar to those implemented in the Continuum No. 8), it will also have a 40% increase in power supply capacitance and meters on the faceplate (similar to the Continuum No. 8).
  • The current version of the CSIb seems like a great buy. Its amp section is now exactly the same as the Continuum No. 8 amplifier. And, if SalonAV is correct, the preamplifier section was revised to be closer to the 07x circuit vs. the 05x circuit it was formerly based on. (Source: http://www.salonav.com/arch/2018/12/coda-technologies-perestroila-integralnik.htm). It's also beautiful in silver (Source:  http://www.salonav.com/arch/2019/02/integralnyj-usilitel-coda-csib.htm)
  • One can order the newer amps without the meters if they want to save some coin. They are pretty expensive.
@teajay I thought you bought the Continuum No. 8 amp, no?
Yeah, I have one. I've had mega$$$ dual chassis ss preamps here but the only thing they do better is enhanced, possibly over enhanced, dynamics.  Great preamp that does everything exactly right and makes you realize by paying more, you are only paying for casework, over engineering and/or coloration (and maybe ultra extended dynamics as I said). Casework and styling are early Rockford Files, so get used to it and use the 15k you save to buy a nice used, gold Firebird.
An amp manufacturer completely under the radar, since they are all hand made by an 82 year old, is this
http://www.powermodules.com
Not competition for Coda, these are different, and only the SA100 is truly superb,  small, nearly runs in class B, an he used to export them to the UK (by the UK TAD importer). David builds these all himself and is backordered from now to infinity on his inexepensive integrated.
At one time, I owned a Coda CL, it was the linestage version of the current CP.  It was excellent in its price point.  I have sat in front of the CP on a couple of occasions and the 07x on I believe 4 occasions.  These pre's have always been excellent in every system that I've heard them in. I compared the CL to a Pass XP10 and slightly preferred the Coda.  The 07X certainly has the same family sound to my old CL, but is more refined and does everything just a bit better. 
teajay...Have you experienced over the years the Spectral DMC-6 or the Spectral DMC-10. I have only heard the 10 and I have yet to come across
a solid state Preamp over the past twenty five that equals the rich, very smooth velvet quality that I've heard from that piece.
OMG, finally something to aspire to - A gold Firebird, mine was lowly copper with a 400

seriously, IF Coda can keep pace with Pass for less $$$ good for them and the listeners that choose them in a sea of excellent choices at or near $7,500

enjoy the music
Hey audiozen,

I have heard both Spectral preamps and believe that the 07x out performs them.  The longer I have the 07X , in-house for a professional review in the near future, it is becoming apparent to my ears that this Coda preamp belongs in the very special category of "the best of the best".  And this is coming from a listener who is inclined to only use tube based linestages. How the 07x does color and space out does my reference tube preamplifier.

I'm waiting for the new 16.0 amplifier so I can review both as a combo.
Now that is very interesting. You really got my attention and if that is truly the case, that would be a first since the Spectral's. Do you have plans to film and record in high quality audio and upload on YouTube?
teajay..forgot to ask regarding the volume control. Back in the 90's I purchased Coda's budget preamp, the Continuum  from Legacy. When you would push in the volume knob in the gain would reverse to maximum
level with the volume knob set to minimum. One afternoon, I was walking back to my home, I got within a half a block and the sound from my system was at maximum volume and you could hear the sound all over the neighborhood. Turns out while I was gone, there was a short power failure in the building, when the power came back on it snapped the gain into reverse. Could never figure out why Eric would do that to a preamp for the home since that is a feature with pro gear. Does the 07X have a dual or single gain design?
Hey audiozen,

I don't do videos on Youtube, you will just have to come to my home to hear for yourself!  The 07x is a single/safe gain design.
teajay..I checked a picture online of the 07x in silver. The faceplate and the front panel end caps are all one sheet of metal. The black version front end caps are separate pieces attached to the left-right ends of the faceplate. The silver looks much better with a single sheet. Is that silver version available or is it a beta model?
teajay..no need to get back to me. Spoke to Doug and the pics of the 07x
on the Coda site with the separate faceplate end caps was one of the first ten models and the current version is single piece faceplate end to end which looks a lot better. 
And its available in silver or black.
Since I'm recovering from surgery I have spent quite a bit of time exploring the 07X and came to the decision this morning that the Coda is my final choice instead of Spectral as I slip into retirement. I downloaded last night high quality HD pics of the 07X and I must say it is truly a work of art inside and out. As far as the face-plate design, best I have ever seen in thirty years, (IMHO). Coda has really hit a grand slam with this masterpiece. I noticed to the left front of the board platform that there is a second circuit board stacked above the main lower board which takes up about 40% of the board area. One common design theme I have noticed over the years with the cream of the crop circuit engineers is the simplicity of their board designs with signal path layouts that are works of art that are untouchable which is why they achieve such magnificent performance from lightweight designs as compared to other companies engineers that struggle with much heavier preamp designs attempting to achieve the same results, but never get it right and they wind up with the MK2 version and then the MK3 version etc..etc..the 07X...a no brainer.
Hey TeaJay,

I'm curious, how does the Coda 07x pre-amplifier compare to the Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL pre-amplifier?

Thanks
@audiozen this is not like you. You should listen to it first, as you typically do, as far as your posts go, you always listened,1st. I am sure the Coda is a fine preamp, but, there are many..........Teajay is an individual, as we all are, and no one is doubting his opinion. Just sayin'......
lrm1jaf - you queried terry about how the coda compares to the microzotl preamplifier.  earlier he stated:

"...The longer I have the 07X , in-house for a professional review in the near future, it is becoming apparent to my ears that this Coda preamp belongs in the very special category of "the best of the best". And this is coming from a listener who is inclined to only use tube based linestages. How the 07x does color and space out does my reference tube preamplifier..."

i  believe it's the microzotl he's talking about...  looks like i have just added another pre to my shortlist for audition.  i never thought i'd want to be trying a s/s preamp...

doug s.
terry, here's a question for you - i've seen expired ads for used 07x's dating back to december of 2015 - has this model been out that long?  

kindest regards,

doug s.
Hey Doug,

No, the 07x that I have in for review is the latest generation and has not been out until recently.
hi terry,

so, coda hasn't changed the model number?  a 4 year old 07x is different from a new 07x?  any idea how to figure out from which serial number onwards, is the latest generation?  ask the mfr?

i know other mfr's - linn for example - have made changes to their electronics, w/o changing the model number.

thanks again,

doug
Hey Doug,

Why don't you call Doug Dale, tell him I say hello, and ask him the information you are seeking.
hi terry,

i *did* converse w/doug d., and mentioned you.  ;~)  something might be brewing.  tho my bias (no pun intended!) still makes me find it hard to believe a solid state pre could provide more air and better staging than a tubed pre.  we'll see what happens, and i'll keep you posted.

thanks!

doug s.
@mrdecibel ..Correct, I do listen, just got off the pain killers and back in focus. Having owned a Coda Continuum Preamp in the past, and familiar with the sonic character as warm and well balanced but no 3D imaging that grabs your attention, I thought the 07X would achieve that and recently listened to an HD video on YouTube of the Coda 07X Pre and the Coda 15.5 stereo amp hooked up to a pair of Legacy Focus XD speaker's and the sound was good but no cigar. Very forward and dimensional. Listened to an eight minute variation of Brubecks' "Take Five". Sounds like good solid state but no "tube character" that would float your boat. From a practical point of view I would hesitate buying the 07X and its hard to get around the very high price tag for a unit that weighs eleven pounds. Just based on what I heard the Spectral DMC-10 sounds much smoother than the Coda. For the money, the Preamp to beat that performs as good or better than Preamps in the $20K to $30K range is the Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage 2 Upgrade.
@audiozen you haven’t heard the equipment and thus should not opine on it. You have heard a recording of said equipment, playing music likely in an untreated hotel room, recorded with an unknown microphone, compressed and uploaded to YouTube, streamed to your listening device, uncompressed and played through your own digital audio playback chain.

How an experienced audiophile could base their opinions of gear off of a YouTube video is simply beyond me.