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)


I should be receiving my Coda S5.5 tomorrow. I’ll keep you all posted as to my impressions after a few days as it continues to break in. It will be driving a pair of Magico S5 speakers which need a lot of current. I’ll be comparing it to my Luxman M900U amplifier which is 150 watts at 8 ohms and 300 watts at 4 ohms with the first 12 watts in class A but, must less current. 


+1 for speaking with Mike Kay at Audio Archon. He's a great guy to talk audio with, and he carries some high end brands including CODA and Harbeth.

What was really helpful to me personally, was that Mike is friendly with Aric Kimball of Aric Audio and he was helpful in talking through the pairing I ended up with: Aric Audio Motherlode XL and CODA S5.5. His prices are also more than fair, even for new equipment

Hey Jeff,

I'm very interested in what happens going from the Luxman to the Coda S5.5 in your system. Both, excellent, but different. I predict that the S5.5 will bring a sense of aliveness/overall dynamics to your rig. Also, the clarity of micro-details across the board with a much more airy high-end. The Coda overall is silky smooth compared to the Luxman's overall velvety perspective.

Hey vthokie83,

I totally agree with you statement about Mike and Aric. Both are great people, take care of their customers, and are totally knowledgeable about what they either build or sell.


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Sorry I seemed to have missed your post. Currently with the Denafrips Hades preamp > CODA S5.5 > Clayton Shaw Caladans, the soundstage is more similar to what I would consider a live performance. Soundstage is outside of the speaker width maybe a foot and sometimes more. The vocals are front and center with instruments in their location, and the whole presentation comes from a "platform of sound" and not from the speakers themselves. I have not noticed vocals coming forward of that stage, but I may have just missed it if it does.

One of my favorite bands Poi Dog Pondering is a collection of 8 to upwards of 16 musicians and vocalists depending on the track, and I have never heard them properly placed in a recording least compared to live performances where I have seen them more than a dozen times. Also the instruments all have their own audio space as well, being able to pick out synth, from electric violin, to recorder, to horns, to xylophone, to accordian, to harmonica. The CODA and Caladans do this for me.

I don't tend to listen to a lot of small presentations with minimalist vocals or instruments.

Off topic for you streamers, I'd recommend listening to a couple of albums from Poi Dog "Wishing Like A Mountain, and Thinking Like a Sea", "Pomegranate", and "Natural Thing".....may or may not be your cup of tea, but a real workout for a system.

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I believe those specs were listed in the old Coda website which dealers at the time copied into their web pages.

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Thanks guys for the information about WPC and Current. Not sure I completely understand it but from what you’ve describing the 5.5 would easily drive and control the Harbeth C7. Also since it’s 6 ohm the WPC would be somewhere between 50 and 100. Probably 75. 

So given the high current of the 5.5 you’re saying it will have the reserve power to handle dynamic events when listening at the 70-80 DB level? Again I listen to large scale classical such as Mahler, Opera,Film Scores etc. 

Is there a way to compare the current delivery to WPC? For example 100 Amps current is equivalent to X WPC max. 


Call Doug Dale at CODA, he is easy to talk to, free with his opinions, and an all around great guy. I've spoken to him a few times before and after buying the S5.5, and he was easy to reach.....actually he picked up the phone each time.

He'll be straight with you and give you an honest "yay" or "nay". He probably can give you a better understanding of the correlation of WPC compared to current delivery than most of us can

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@firefly627s I owned the CSiB from 2019 so it is not the best version of it, but it was pretty good. The #8 was better and the #16 is so much better. The Sanders Magtech sounds better to me than the #8 but not the #16. I had the Sanders on the LRS+ for about 6-months and I loved it. My slight dissatisfaction with the #16 on my Yamaha NS5000 made me move the #16 to the LRS+. It is over the top amazing. A perfect match for the brighter LRS+. The Sanders Magtech is really good on the LRS+ but the #16 is so good that I have been constantly stopping my office work and listening.

I use the KEF KC62 sub in my office LRS+ system. It is not essential since the #16 really pumps out some bass in the small room, but the sub does add a nice touch,

If I get the new CODA System 150, which I can when I start a second job in September, I will replace the Sanders. Have 2 CODA amps and be done.

I asked James at Destination HiFi what was up with the listing for the SYTEM 150 already on the web site. Here is the response:

The amp Doug is sending here is the very latest and newest version of the Coda System 150. It’s so new, that Doug is still building it!

There are internal improvements being made.

There are no new specifications to be updated, so there is nothing to update on either the Coda website or Destination HiFi, for the time being.

BTW - The Magna Risers are great for the LRS+. They also come with a wire to plug into the speaker connections. It made a big difference for me.

Vogue is sounding great. Switching over to the new Judas Priest.

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Hey Everybody,

This last night received another Email from a Gon member who had purchased the S5.5 after reading about it on this thread. He is totally enthralled with its performance. He had been using a P/P EL34 based amplifier and took a risk trying this solid state amplifier. As he said, "I got everything that I had with the tubes plus much better extension on the top and bottom, a lot more details and clarity, and, this surprised him the most, beautiful colors and a overall smooth/silky tonality. 

I hope other members, including this one, will post their experiences with the S5.5 in their systems.


Happy to hear positive reviews!  I believe my amp will ship tomorrow so I should have it mid-next week!  I will definitely post my thoughts on how it sounds compared to my Accuphase E-380 integrated.  Will also have a friend bring over a Holo Audio Serene preamp so we will be able to hear the amp through two different preamps, will be using the preamp section of my E-380.  Getting very excited!

I'm gonna try and get my thoughts together and get an opinion posted here in the next couple of days. Had to do extra work, because I was also breaking in a pair of Clayton Shaw Caladan speakers.....and needed to make sure what I was hearing was the CODA and not just the Caladans breaking in.

I received my S5.5 on Wednesday and have about 15 hours on it. I’ll be posting my initial impressions tomorrow. Even at this point it is more than impressive. Can’t stop listening. 


Just curious, has anyone tried the Coda CB/CP preamp as well as the 07x.  There is a big price difference, is there a significant performance difference?  Looking at the specs it seems the 07x has less noise and more gain on the XLR connections.



I have no experience with any of the Coda preamps; however, suggest taking an online look at Terry London’s review in Stereo Times on the 07X. Based on his findings, the 07x sounds absolutely phenomenal! It would be surprising if the lower cost CB or CP preamps yield as satisfying a performance as Terry reports for the 07x.

          To quote Terry's review conclusions on the 07X "It is the best synthesis of what solid-state has to offer (transparency, clarity, low frequency extension, control, micro details and slam/speed) and of what tubes have to offer (tonality, color, holographic imaging, three dimensionality, and soundstaging with a sense of air around the individual instruments) that I have heard in over thirty years listening to scores of preamplifiers." Placed on Stereo Times "Most Wanted Components of Te Decade" list!

            I am guessing the lower cost CB and CP preamps are excellent but not in the 07x league. Then again, depending on the total synergy of all system components with any of these preamps, anything may be possible. More likely though, the 07X will win the race by a decent margin, providing the overall system synergies for all preamps (CB,CP, 07x) being compared are on an even keel. Just a guess from the 07x review.

So here are my first impressions of my new S5.5 amp. It now has about 23 hours on it and still burning in. As a reference I have Magico S5 speakers, a Luxman M900U amplifier, Luxman C 900U preamp, Esoteric K-01x CD player, VPI Prime Signature turntable with an Ortofon A95 cartridge, Modwright PH 150 phono stage. My cabling is Kubala Sosna speaker cables and interconnects, power cables are all  Kimber Kable Palladium 10 except the amp has an Audioquest high current Hurricane. I have two dedicated lines, one 20 amp and the other 30amp for my power amp both with Furutech NFC outlets. 

Terry at the start of this thread nailed it perfectly as to the amps attributes. Crystal clear, clean highs with no grain or fatigue.  It lets me hear deeper into the music catching unknown nuances that I didn’t realize that were there. 

The mids match the high frequency in the openness and silky smoothness and more detail than I’ve ever experienced. 

The bass is tight, tuneful and full ( as much as a ported speaker design can give you). The amp never seemed to stress at higher levels  as I have been playing my system louder than normal without feeling the need to turn it down.  The amp never seemed to stress even when I turned it up way beyond with what I’m comfortable with. 

I am sure you have guessed I really like this amp. I’m 67 and retired so this will likely be my last power amp. I just can’t believe that this retails for just $6,400.  It is the least expensive component that I have and maybe the best performing. Coda really nailed it with this one. 



Jeff, Outstanding review and your system is absolutely awesome. Your report in conjunction with Terry’s heads up on GON clinched my decision for an amp. S5.5. Thank you!

Question now is why should any audiophile look anywhere else? 

CODA Technologies and Doug are totally worthy of this success story and the benefits it will reap! Coda-Great products and customer focus and support!

Thanks again Jeff for the stellar review of the S5.5.


@firefly627s I have ready Terry's review of the 07x and it does sound amazing.  I guess I am having a hard time with the preamp costing more than the amp :-).  I only run digital and need 1 input from my DAC (running computer, streamer and TV).  My DAC does not have volume control.  Several years ago when I only had my Lumin T2 streamer I connected it directly to my amp (Modwright KWE 150 SE) and it sounded good, but was lacking compared to going through a preamp.

Will wait to see how much I like the S5.5, but from the reviews I am hearing I think I will really like it.  May be time then to think about selling the Accuphase and putting that money towards the 07x. 

Thanks firefly.  I don’t think you can go wrong with the S5.5. In my review I meant to say about the Magico’s that they are sealed enclosures not ported. My error in writing. 



          I wouldn't rush into anything. See how the S5.5 sounds off the Accuphase. It may totally meet or exceed your expectations. I have two 45 yr old preamps that still sound great (to me), a Mac C27  (SS) and an ARC SP-8 (8 tube pre). I also do have a Coda CSiB V1 integrated; the preamp stage is some hybrid of  a CB and 07x. My favorite of all is the SP-8. The CSiB preamp section is excellent though and very comparable to the SP-8 performance using either to drive a Mac MC2125 amp. I wouldn't sell the SP-8 or CSiB for a 07x  to drive a S5.5, being very satisfied with the CSiB sound, quality, design, features.  I am expecting the preamp section of it (similar to CB) to work fine with the S5.5. TBD. The SP-8 synergy is questionable.  I definitely like good tube based preamps though so if buying separates, I myself would look in that direction, but get good guidance on synergy.  The best way is trial testing in one's room if possible. 

There have been some posts in this thread  on Aric Audio Motherlode tube preamps that Terry London speaks highly of. Pricing is in between the CB and 07x. If your Accuphase sounds great to you though, that synergy may beat other separates so why gamble? If you are not satisfied with The Accuphase preamp section though, patience and careful research will pay off. You have numerous choices for your preferred budget. Ask Terry @johnah5 .

The Accuphase may be a fit for the S5.5, but if you feel that it fails to live up to the performance of the Coda, I would also enthusiastically recommend reaching out to Aric at Aric Audio. I have the Coda Model 16 mated to the Original Motherlode, and my system has been nothing short of sublime ever since. 


@laaudionut I love the sound tubes add to a system but I do not like having tubes in my system.  I had a Modwright Preamp for a while with tubes and it sounded fantastic, but I didn't like having to turn off the preamp after using and then wait for it to warm up.  Many times I will only have 30-45 minutes to sit an listen and I want the system to sound great from the start.  I also didn't like knowing that at some point the tubes will have peaked and the sound would start to degrade.  Probably overthinking it, but I would much rather have an SS preamp that sounds as close to tubes as possible.  Don't know if tube anxiety is a real thing but I think I have it. 😁

I have owned the CODA 07x for a year. I listen near-field and the 07x was way too noisy for me. The Holo Serene is a comparable and totally silent with better clarity but not as tubeby. Someone that wants more warmth may like the 07x more.

I think the Class A Schitt Mjolnir v3 is a better comparable to the 07x. It is quieter and sonically sounds a lot like the 07x. I have both Mojolnir and the Serene connected to the CODA #16 at the same time (RCA + XLR). I may listen to the warmer Mjolnir once in 2 weeks. When I do I love it.

Only problems with the Mjolnir V3 is that it costs $1200 and has no remote.


I would like to add my 2 cents to this thread.  I have a Coda 16 amp which i really like and it replaced a set of PS mono blocks.  I do not think the 16 is really any better sonically than the PS BHK monos,  but I did not want to deal with tubes anymore.

However my reason for writing is to comment on the 07x.  My last three preamps have been the BHK preamp from PS,  then a Pass XP22, and then the 07X.  to my ear,  the Coda is the Goldilocks of the three.  not as euphonic as the BHK, not as clinical as the Pass,  but just right.  I really have enjoyed my system so much more since getting it. It too is a little beastie.  

hope that helps.




I am in a similar search for a pre amp for the S5.5 for my 99db Forte 3’s and from just doing paper research on preamp, am leaning towards Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme 1.4 or Rhythm 1.4 balanced line stage. Would have to part with my 1yr old perfect CSiB, new mint Technics 1210GR TT in box, Mac C27 pre, ARC SP8 pre and Mac MC2125 amp first for the economics to work out but seriously considering doing that.

On the S5.5, its WPC rating is 50wpc @ 8 ohms class A. 100wpc @ 4 ohms AB. 100 amps. My concern is if Magnepans can be comfortably driven with the S5.5 (86 db, 4 ohm, require high current) without stressing the amp. Any input on how the S5.5 handles Maggies or electrostats is of definite interest! Thanks.



@ronkent the issue for me was that I could hear hiss from the preamp on quiet musical passages. Once I heard it was always on my mind and I was only listening to the hiss, even on louder passages. Now this hiss level is about the same for a lot of gear, except the 2 preamps I use now, which are totally silent.

I sit about 8 feet away from the speakers so that is rather close.

@hanki Did you check on the temperature of the amp after driving them at say 90db for a few hrs? It would be interesting to see how much effort the amp is putting out to drive your 4 Ohm speaker.



@firefly627s Thanks for that observation/suggestion - the Backert is definitely on my very short list. I can't recall every reading anything remotely negative about the Rhumba Extreme much less the Rhythm. And it's goodness was also confirmed in this thread by @vthokie83 ... Still can't wait to hear back from @minatophase3 on synergy with Holo Audio Serene. I'll need to sell some surplus gear to make all this happen too... Luxman 550 MkII, Cary Audio SLI-100, and possibly my beloved CSiB. From everything that's being said here... This is has the makings of exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks again to everyone who is contributing to this thread.

hi Santabarbara,  I too get a bit of hiss when i put my ear to the speaker but cannot hear it from 8 ft away.  the PS BHK preamp was noisier for sure.  i recall the Pass XP22 being a bit quieter but it was not a good fit for my system.

I am going to wait for @vthokie83 to report back on his Motherload XL to make a decision on which preamp to get to pair with my incoming Coda s5.5. I am to the "endgame" point at age 69. I am intrigued by that Coda 07x from the synergy perspective. This shift in the conversation is exactly the information I am looking for. What to pair with the S5.5 that won’t require selling a kidney to buy.

@hanki just for clarification, you’re Magico S5 speakers have the following specs and you don’t find the S5.5 lacking in power or bass output compared to other amps?

Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Recommended Power: 50 watts - 1000 Watts

I have the SF Amati Traditions, which present a similar load, so I’m wondering if it might be a good match for them.

yyzs.. If you are hearing hiss from 8 feet away you must have bat ears!

My 07x is dead silent! To hear any type of noise my ear has to be 1 to 2 inches from the speaker... Did you not have a noise issue some time back with the 07x? Did Coda fix it?

The 07x and my #8 make for a powerful musical combo!

@jceahodges  and @firefly627s 

I have had the Backert Rhythm 1.3 for a couple of years, using with AGD Tempo amps. It is indeed a special preamp. And only 2 tubes. Tube rolling is affective.

I ordered a S5.5 but won't have it for a month. Then burn in. So it will be a while yet before I can comment on the pairing. I do think it will be fine though.

If you can wait and stay in contact I will let you know what I think.

@markmuse Thanks for chiming in. I'm in no particular rush, so I've definitely got the time to see all these synergy tests that are happening to come to fruition.


          Thank you for your helpful input. I am in no rush as well, and am definitely interested in how the Backert Rhythm/ S5.5 performs vs the Backert/AGD with the speaker(s) you have in your system. Please keep us posted. Thanks again!

My issue with the 07x was documented here on A’gon a few years ago. I will repeat.

When I first got the 07x I found it a lot noisier than the Benchmark LA4 which I had. The 07x was supposed to an upgrade from that. I used the 07x with the CODA #8. Both were upgrades from the CSiB.

I spoke with Doug about the noise issue, and he initially thought it was my DAC. A Benchmark DAC3B and/or the AufioMagic Tubadour (do no remember). After about a month my dealer asked me to bring it to the Los Angeles store. We put my 07x on top of this 07x and compared. Mine was noisier. We sent my 07x to Doug to diagnose and fix.

Now the dealers 07x was noisier than the Benchmark LA4 I owned. After a few weeks Doug got back to me and said he could not find the issue but could hear the noise. He said he replaced every part except the casework, great service in my opinion. When I got it back the 07x was much quieter but still not silent and I could hear it. I lost $2k selling it but all I could hear from that point forward was the hiss.

Drove me batty, maybe to match the ears.


Must have been a one off anomaly. I have never heard of such a noise issue with the 07x before! Thanks for the update yyzs…or should I say batman…lol

Hey aolmrd1241,

I agree that was a "one off anomaly". I own the 07x, reviewed it and made it a product of the decade for Stereo Times. It is one of the most quiet/transparent preamplifiers, which allows you to hear micro-details so easily without becoming analytical or edgy that I have ever had in my systems. Great piece.

My experience so far with the S5.5 being driven with either tube based or solid state preamplifiers is that the amp it self is very revealing of the preamp or source gear that is driving it. Therefore, you can "flavor" to your taste by experimenting with the upstream gear. 

Please keep posting your experiences with the S5.5 as you get your piece, so far everyone agrees it's a superlative performer, drives all types of speakers effortlessly, and is a great bargain at its price. I'll use many of these quotes in my published review on Stereo Times in the near future.


@johnah5  do you have any thoughts on whether the S5.5 might be a good match for Sonus Faber Amati Traditions?  People tend to recommend around 500w to bring out their best and are usually paired with McIntosh.  

+2. Owned the 07x for over a year and would call it anything but noisy. That noisy unit must have been defective.