The new Coda S5.5 amplifier: It's a "Petite Beast"!

I have in-house the New Coda Technologies S5.5 amplifier for review for Stereo Times website. It will be awhile before I write the review. However, I'm so impressed by the performance of this petite amplifier, it only weights 45 pounds, that I wanted to give a heads up to you GON members if you are in the market for a balanced pure class A amplifier, delivers 50 watts @ 8 Ohms, and can drop 100 Amperes of current on a peak!

The world class build quality of Coda amplifiers is on display with the S5.5, along with the most beautiful purity of tonality, precise sound-staging, complete liquidity offered by pure class A design, and what might be the best top end regarding details, decays, and a natural shimmering without brightness or any edge at all.

The S5.5 uses extremely wide bandwidth output transistors instead of the usual TO3 devices used in most transistor designs. I own the Coda #16, which is great, but the midrange/high end is taken to another level of musical enjoyment with the S5.5. The S5.5 has a sense of speed/aliveness that is exciting to listen to that you experience in live music. The amp is dynamic as hell, has driven with ease any speaker I have tried it with, hence my nickname of the "Petite Beast". Remember, 50 watts pure class A, can drop 100 amperes of current and only weights 45 pounds.

Teajay (Terry London)


Love my Coda #8 and 07x preamp combo…At the end of the day… a better sounding/built/top value component at Coda’s price point is a rare bird indeed!

Hearing is believing!!!

Sorry for being off topic but do you know if there is or will be in the future a Coda S5.5 integrated amp?

I emailed Doug at Coda and he sent me this answer: 'It is not conceivable due to the size.' Still, $6400 for this amp itself sounds good to me.

@johnah5 , Teajay, do you know its output into  4 ohms? I can’t find it in the specs on the Coda site.

I must say I’m tempted, not that I need another amp!

Teejay and all,

I am strongly considering purchasing the S5.5 in the next few days, and it will be paired with an Aric Audio Motherlode XL preamp I've ordered. I've already talked to Aric about the low 10k XLR values, and he is making a slight change to Motherlode to adjust for that.

I don't think this will be an issue, but just wanted to ask: Do you see any problems driving a "reasonable" pair of speakers. I know the Clayton Shaw Caladans at 93db will be no problem, but I also have a pair of Thiel CS2.3 (4 ohms/ lower than 3 ohms), and a pair of Buchardt Audio S400 MKII bookshelf (4 ohm/87db).

Hey vinylvalet,

Totally agree, most of the Coda pieces that owners are selling don't last to long before they are bought up. Secondly, most of the owners of Coda gear that I communicate with keep their pieces for long periods of time and then move up the Coda chain, instead of going to a different brand.

Just had my "golden ear" friend come over to hear the S5.5. He's really a tube based listener. Yet, he thought that the level of musicality, top-end air, and mid-range spatiality was rivaling his tube based system!


Hey vthokie83,

Congrats, on your AricAudio Motherlode XL preamplifier. I own the Motherlode MKII and its a great line-stage. If you do purchase the Coda S5.5, you will have a killer combo, indeed! I know because I have heard the combo in-house.

Any speaker you mention on your list would easily/effortlessly be driven by the S5.5.



Hmm..I have Pass XA30.8 with Supratek preamp and thinking about this..maybe it would be lateral move? When was the S5.5 released? Is it fairly new?

Hey sim_audio_nerd,

I'm very familiar with your XA30.8 amplifier. Actually your amp and the XA-25 are my favorite amplifiers in the .8 generation of Pass Labs amplifiers. 

I don't believe that the Coda S5.5 would be a lateral move for the following reasons. The S5.5 compared to your XA30.8 will have a more airy/open detailed top end, will present more easily heard micro-details because its noise floor is lower, will be overall more dynamic/faster, and have a more controlled/tighter bottom end. If these differences appeal to your sonic palette you would totally enjoy the S5.5. The XA30.8 is a great amplifier, and so is the S5.5, so which is better is based on your personal taste and how each amplifier matches up with the speakers in your system.


Has anyone tried using two of these amps in bridged mono mode? If so, how does it compare to one in stereo?.  Thanks. 

Hey hanki,

I would love to answer your question, but Coda only sent one S5.5 for review! What are you trying to power that would require a bridged pair of S5.5?


My speakers are Magico S5’s. I’m not sure if I would really need the extra power but was curious about the mono block configuration. I currently have a Luxman m900u driving the speakers which I think works very well but, am curious if more power would sound even better. The Luxman has 150 watts into 8 Ohms with the first 12 being class A and 300 watts into 4 Ohms. Thanks for your response. 


Hey hanki,

I don't know what your front end gear is, analog or digital, but you would get a very different perspective overall on the music if you went from the Luxman amp to the S5.5. You would unlash the potential of your S5's dynamics/aliveness, along with getting the most out of its great tweeter. The details, shimmer, sparkle would be beautiful with no edge or brightness. Also, the current loading of the S5.5 is vastly more powerful then the Luxman so the bottom end would have more control.


@johnah5  Teajay, If you have ever listened enough to have a sense of them, the tonality of AGD amps compared to this Coda? TIA



To be quite honest I believe the AGD amps are good , but very over rated. A dear friend of mine with very good ears bought the hype about the AGD amps and sold off his Coda #8 to buy one. Very quickly he had great regret. As he said it to me my new AGD amp does everything right, but he never connected on an emotional level with the music and relax into it as he did with the Coda #8 amp. When I listened to the AGD amplifiers I don't find them unpleasant, but theirs still something missing compared to a great Class A amp with a big power supply, like the S5.5 and the other Coda amplifiers.


What version of the AGD amps did your friend have  1, 2 or 3?? and which ones did YOU hear??

Hey riaa_award_collectors_on_facebook,

He had the Vivace MKII mono-blocks, which I heard in his system. I heard one of the single chassis models in my system that someone brought over to compare to my Coda #16 and SPL S1200. Don't remember the model number.


@johnah5   @riaa_award_collectors_on_facebook 

I am using a pair of AGD Tempo's. These are stereo amps, the single chassis amp referred to above. I am using one channel of each (not bridged), using as monobocks. 

Teajay, I really want Class D GaNFETs to work for me. They are extremely clean and detailed with no edge. I have never heard one bit of strain from them. I can't put my finger on anything specific wrong with them, and yet.... I think I'll try some different tubes in my linestage. I'm really concerned about an all class A amp design - there are far more efficient ways to heat a room. Though I must say your comments about the little Coda make it sound very appealing. It is nice to have some low-powered high-quality solid state amps to choose from. 

Hey riaa_award_collectors_on_facebook,

Very interesting. Your statement, "I can't put my finger on anything specific wrong with them, and yet...". My friend's way of trying to explain his discontent was that the music he loved sounded boring and he found it harder and harder to want to listen to his system.

If your major concern is the amount of heat generated by Class A amps, remember the S5.5 runs warm but not HOT like a Pass Labs XA-25 or XA-30.8. I leave the S5.5 with no problems all regarding being a "heater" in my room.


@johnah5 thank again for your comments. I am strongly considering and spoke to a dealer. 

If it's somewhat close to SET sounding, I want to try the S5.5 from my XA30.8s.

Hey sim_audio_nerd,

You are welcome. I have a great SET 2A3 and 300B tube amplifier, both two chassis AricAudio designs-one of my favorite tube companies, and of course you have to use the right speakers with flea SET amplifiers. However, when using the S5.5 on these same speakers, Omega single driver, the Coda does not take a back seat regarding beauty of timbres/tonality, image density, or sound-staging.



Thank you for the reply, sorry I didn't get back sooner....I was soaking up some sun on vacation. The more I read on the CODA S5.5, the more it made sense for I purchased mine, silver with gold buttons. I had quite a few conversations with Mike Kay at Audio Archon prior to pulling the trigger, and he really likes the combo with the Aric Audio Motherlode XL as well.

Hey vthokie83,

Congrats! Both on your vacation and your purchasing the S5,5 amp. Mike Kay is a very close friend of mine and his customers at Audio Archon love to do business with him because he's a straight up guy, carries great lines of equipment, and is very knowledgeable. Please let us know what you hear after you get your S5.5 in the near future.



@johnah5 placed an order for Silver unit. Are Coda amps generally sensitive to power cords, interconnects, isolation footers?

It will be paired with Supratek Grange Signature preamp.

Getting excited now to get it..want to extract the most from my first Coda amp! 😄

In a word yes...Coda is very refined with high resolution and will definitely lay bare the sound quality of cables.


Congrats! You are in for a lot of musical pleasure.

I would not call the Coda amps as sensitive, but revealing to the quality of power cords and wires you run in your system. The footers that the S5.5 comes with are first rate. I have experimented with isolation devices and heard no differences compared to the standard Coda footers.


Only GaN for me I am done with the heavy slugs that cause climate change. 

I recently tried 3 different speaker cables with the CODA #16 | Holo Serene preamp | Yamaha NS5000 speaker.

  • WyWire Platimun speaker cable
  • WyWire Diamond speaker cable
  • Audience FrontRow speaker cable

I also tried a Benchmark AHB2 on the same system and tried the same cables as above (except WyWire Diamond) plus the following:

  • Benchmark speaker cable.
  • Audience AU24 SX (too short for the CODA #16)

All of these cables had issues, fatigue, lack of clarity, except the Audience FrontRow. I was not 100% happy with the #16 previously because the AHB2 was better in some ways, such as clarity. However, after using the FrontRow the #16 really became more detailed and cleaner sounding. Closer to the AHB2 in that regard.

So, in my experience the speaker cables matter a lot for the CODA #16, When I had the CODA #8, I used very short Audience FrontRow cables for a headphone setup and those cables also made a huge improvement.

BTW - CODA No. 16 Amplifier (100w Class A) For Sale - US Audio Mart

I find the comments regarding Class D amps lacking “soul” very interesting when compared to good Class A or AB SS amps and tube amps. I recently purchased some Class D mono blocks to be used in lieu of tubes during the summer and could not describe the difference any better. I think Class D have come a long way in the last few years, but also feel they have a ways to go.

@yyzsantabarbara I am now the proud owner of that Coda 16, and my initial listening impressions are pretty stunned for the positive. I saw you share that and didn’t chime in to jinx anything until I bought it!


Compared to the JC5, everything is better. It was substantial enough where even my wife unsolicited was impressed. I didn't expect such a dramatic change just switching amps. I’ll continue listening and share as I go.

@christianb5s4 The #16 definitely is a great amp. Now that I found some speaker cables that do not mess up the sound, I have no complaints with the #16.

I actually had my #16 up for sale at the same price a month ago but I pulled the ad after the speaker cables were sorted out.

Just looked up your gear. The #16 will play very nicely with that gear. I had a CODA 07x preamp at one time, which is likely similar to your PASS, it was a nice pairing.


@yyzsantabarbara I decided to start with the XP22 because it while maybe not the most excited or colored, it’s still very good as a neutral reference point since I was just starting my journey then.


Now that I’ve got the amplification leveled up, the goal is to try a great tube pre.

  Terry, Your prior review on the No. 8 amp from Coda was very influential in my long thought out decision to purchase the CSiB. No regrets. It offers in my system everything you stated about the No.8 and what Richard Willie reported in his review in Stereo Times. I was researching amps for a couple years and very pleased with the CSiB decision. I am planning to replace my McIntosh MC2125 amp and looking seriously at the S5.5. I spotted it on the Destination Hi-Fi site a few months ago. Seeing your comments have revved me and I plan to talk with Doug Dale and James at Destination Hi-Fi. Both gentlemen have been extremely helpful to me. The quality and sound from the CSiB has narrowed my  amplification preference to one manufacturer- Coda. Great quality, sound and value. 

Terry, how do you feel about using the CSiB V1 preamp outs to control the S5.5? My other option is an  ARC SP-8 Tube preamp that still performs well? I did some comparisons between the CSiB pre outs and the SP8 pre with a separate power amp (Mac MC2125). The 07x preamp section of the CSiB came very close to sounding like the SP 8 tube preamp in overall flavor; however,  with improved detail/resolution, bass control, smoothness and a much quieter dark  background and cleaner, more evident micro and macro dynamics.  And the SP8 sounds beautiful so the Class A preamp section of the CSiB V1 has certainly surpassed my expectations. Coda=Impressive!!! What do you think though about the synergy of either of these preamps with the S5.5? I plan to touch base with Doug Dale at Coda as well on this.  His knowledge and experience has been invaluable to me on prior calls and he is just great to talk with and learn from. With high respect, I do want to thank you for steering me to Coda with your No. 8 review! If you are excited about the S5.5;  that's really enough for me to place an order. Thanks again!

Joe M 


Hey Joe M,

First, thanks for the kind feedback regarding my reviews helping you purchase the Coda piece. I would go with using the preamp outs on your Coda CSiB V1 into the S5.5. Please tell Doug hello for me if you contact him regarding the S5.5. As you can tell, based on what has been shared on this thread, the S5.5 has become my favorite Coda amp. I believe the #8 and #16 are still great amplifiers, but this little beasty offers another level of fidelity/musicality to my ears.


Thanks Teajay for your thoughtful reply and advice on the preamp. I'll use the Csib pre outs. I agree,  the synergy should be better and do appreciate your insight on this. I'll definitely tell Doug you said hello and get into some further discussion with him on the S5.5. I was leaning to it before I saw this thread, only uncertain if I should just get the #8 or the S5.5 as a second amp, so really appreciate the heads-up you have provided  us on the Coda S5.5. Definitely sounds like the way to go. I wasn't familiar with AricAudio; however, from one your posts, I became interested and checked out the AricA site.   I am impressed with the Motherlode Mk II and XL preamps and for my needs leaning to the Mk II line stage. You commented it goes well with the S5.5. That's good enough for me; I'm a believer and will let Aric know how I found out about him!  Thanks again!

Joe M

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Hey Joe M,

First, I think you will be quite pleased with what the S5.5 has to offer. Combined with the Motherlode preamplifier it will be sublime! Let us know what you think after you get both pieces.


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Hey Joe M,

Thank you for your kind words regarding my posts on AudGon and my reviews as being helpful to you. Yes, please say hello to Doug and Aric for me.



Hi Teajay, My pleasure and will do. Thanks again and I'll keep you posted. It's great that you are very familiar with the #8 from your prior thorough analysis of it.  Your conclusions on how the S5.5 compares to the #8 are of high interest. Looking   forward to your S5.5 review and keep up the superb work!



Hey Guys,

One of my audiophile friends, George came over because he wanted to hear the S5.5 after reading this thread. He immediately noticed the special high frequencies. His description was, "so airy and detailed with great sparkle without sounding harsh or in your face". He loved the overall clarity and said, "the tonality was very true to nature" and the S5.5 added a "kick" to the system's overall aliveness and dynamics compared to his Pass Labs X-250.5.


I just ordered an s5.5 from Mike from Archon Audio. I should get it approximately March 18th right after I return from vacation. I’m really excited to get into my system. I’ll keep you posted on my impressions as it burns in over time. 


Hey Jeff,

Have a great vacation. Congrats on purchasing your S5.5! I believe you are in for a real sonic treat. Isn't Mike great to do business with?

Yes, please get back with feedback after you get some time on the amplifier.



"I find the comments regarding Class D amps lacking “soul” very interesting when compared to good Class A or AB SS amps and tube amps. I recently purchased some Class D mono blocks to be used in lieu of tubes during the summer and could not describe the difference any better. I think Class D have come a long way in the last few years, but also feel they have a ways to go."

Well if one is willing to pay quite a bit more, it looks like the newest AGD Duet amps have achieved quite a lot!

"The AGD DUETs anchored a truly stunning aural experience, retaining perfect control of image and musical energy regardless of amplitude through continued listening sessions. In essence, and with every reference example, I found the DUETs to be a key conduit to the soul of the recorded musician." So much for the amps lacking "soul"!