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)

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@markmuse Although the S5.5 is listed as one of many "instant ship" items from Destination, on Monday 6/24 I got this confirmation from James: "there is (not "we have"') a silver S5.5 unit that is scheduled to ship next Tuesday (meaning 7/2)." At this point I can't tell whether it is coming direct from factory, or is a floor demo being spruced up, or just what. No response to inquiry thus far, although in fairness James is a very busy guy, constantly doing setup for big names in the music biz. So, best guess as of today: somewhere around 2 weeks.  

@markmuse Turns out there is a Widex dealer near me and will call them tomorrow, thanks! And I should have thought not to discuss marketing in the forum. Just spotted your unit online, questions answered. Though too late for me personally as I put a new one on order several days ago.
@fthompson251 If you have Focus XD, then you must be bi-amping with the internal woofers handling the bass, crossing to Coda at 180Hz or so? With Legacy SE models, the S5.5 would need to run full range, so I'm hoping it will.

@hickamore   I am driving some Legacy Focus XD's with the 5.5 effortlessly FWIW. Because of my hearing and need for hearing aides I try to keep the volume 75-85 dB SPL. I used to have to listen louder but now I can hear more of what's in the recording without the extra volume.

@hickamore At least in WV when I got mine I had to purchase from an authorized audiologist. They were not available otherwise. And there is some very sophisticated software they use to set them up. The user software for your phone is pretty lame, useable but relatively unsophisticated. 

You better contact me outside of this environment to pursue the 5.5. Otherwise the heavy hand of the moderators will likely activate. It is listed in one of the common platforms. 

@markmuse Audiologists: yes, been down that road. They have no clue. But looks like I can buy direct with no prescription (as I gather insurance doesn't cover). Did you buy online or for a dealer? Thanks in any case as I was having no luck finding guidance for audio listening purposes.

Coda S5.5 -- wow, you preferred the tiny AGD Tempo? I know nothing about it except what I just read. Where are you listing the 5.5, and for what price, if I might ask? Must be burned in, but only lightly used, and with plenty transferable warranty remaining?



@hickamore  Widex Moment. But they are half the battle. The other half is the audiologist. Don't hesitate to lean on them... they are supposed to be working for you. They tend to think they know what you need better than you do, and they resist being pushed into what for them is unknown territory. 

Ps, my 5.5 is now listed.

@hickamore You're welcome. After doing a lot of research, Widex appears to be the top choice among music lovers and musicians. They are certainly an improvement over my previous expensive hearing aids, Siemens Signia.

I hope they work out well for you.

Two somewhat related points.

One, Terry's now-published review fails to mention that the Coda S5.5 supposedly runs 40W Class A into 4 ohms. As a user of 4 ohm Legacy speakers, which are known to have a couple of  impedance dips, I ordered this amp for its high current, but am eager to learn whether I can hear the bias shifting into AB. The majority of my serious listening is done at average 85dB with peaks at 95. 

Two, as for hearing: I also need hearing aids, and in fact could no longer appreciate hi-fi without them, but consider mine (ReSound) pretty junky despite high price. So, many thanks to @markmuse and ​​​​@vinylvalet for recommending Widex. Ready for a change and hope these are the answer!

Just curious, has anyone tried using a Swiss Digital Fuse Box with their Coda S5.5?  I am considering trying one as it sounds like it would deliver better/cleaner power to the amp than the traditional fuse. 

Any thoughts?

@imhififan - at idle the Belles is pulling close to 400 watts.

Nice in our cold winter months.


It is impossible for a 50Wx2 pure Class A amplifier to only consume 90W at idle! The 90W reading must be in standby mode!

The "BIAS" button should be turned on with no input signal to test idle power consumption.

@johnah5 That was not much, my Supratek Cabernet uses 152 watts and my belles SA30 uses 354 watts!!!

Makes me wonder if the S5 has sliding bias into ab early ?

@fthompson251 Yes they do.  They are not listed on the website yet but reach out to Jeff and you can order them.  He is offering both XLR and RCA.  I am very happy with the RCA's.  I will either order a set of the XLR's or speaker cables next, not sure which one.

I also have Widex Moment. I agree, the best I've found after trying several others and understand your position. I think I'm right on that threshold. 

My experience with audiologists has been the same as yours. Oh well...

@vinylvalet My hearing must be worse than yours. Without my hearing aids everything is dark and heavily muffled. I have Widex Moment. All in all, I think they are pretty good, and dramatically better the the other two brands I had before them.

My gripe is that aids and audiologists are aimed at voices, as if that is the only important thing we use our ears for. I spend far more time listening to music than I do talking with others, something on the order of 95% to 5%. And when I am outside I want to hear the sounds of nature in all its glory, without hype and without the sound of bird chirps causing pain.

@markmuse I also ended up with an upper end Widex pair after living with another brand. After dicking around with these for over a year, I prefer listening without them. I'd rather not have the higher frequencies compared to crappy sounding higher frequencies.

LOL, same. Fairly useless in that regard.

Just guessing but I think if you had healthy ears, you would prefer the S5.5. I have a very nice modern class D amp and I think I know what you mean.

Thanks for posting your impressions.

@markmuse , Thank You sir! I commented and have a bunch of questions - sorry in advance 😁

@markmuse , I would love to see your system on the "Virtual Systems" page. You have a nice setup going there.

I have been out of town for 2 weeks so after I get back I will check on the amp/system progress and report back. The last time I listened I was ecstatic at what I was hearing.

I should add that I wear hearing aids. This itself has been a journey, finally ending up with Widex. While Widex are the most musical aids I am aware of, there are still some compromises. And getting the audiologist out of their comfort zone to focus on something other than voice was yet another journey. 

Ok. Finally got my AGD Tempo upgraded to L3. If switching back and forth between the AGD and the Coda s5.5 wasn't such a PITA I would probably have a more coherent comparison (I also have 3 pairs of speakers I am switching around as well). But here goes: The Coda does have the sweetest highs I can recall ever hearing - smooth, detailed, refined. The overall presentation is slightly warm. The AGD, though, has a more liquid midrange with a better of delineation of space. Also the AGD has more grip in the lower frequencies - better definition of timbre. 

I have not made a final decision yet, but as it stands I will likely sell the Coda. 

My system: Aurender n200 > PS Audio DSD Mk II > Backert Labs Rhythm 1.3 > amps per above > CS Labs Caladan (will probably sell), Fyne F1-8, KEF Reference 1, and a KEF KC92 sub. 

@aolmrd1241 - I am still thrilled with mine!  Changed out my RCA cables connecting my Accuphase to the Coda with a pair of Silversmith Fidelium and the sound opened up even more.  More bass, faster, more holographic. 

When I first got the amp I loved it but missed some of the warmth of the Accuphase.  I made a change on the backend of my system (removed a filter on the modem power supply) and everything improved so much.  Now I have the "warmth" that my Accuphase provided but have the top end shimmer, low end slam and ultra detail that the Coda provides.  I couldn't be happier and would still highly recommend the Coda S5.5! 

I guess maybe that’s a wrap…No more listening updates guys after some long term use?

Thanks, Terry. I might try this in one of our production studios as well driving. Looking forward to seeing how it mates with active ATC pro monitors.

Just wanted to share that I have been driving the S5.5 with a SPL Volume2 preamplifier with superlative results. What's terrific about this combo is that the SPL Volume2 only costs $450, active balanced with a single input/output, which allows the S5.5 to "sing" just as well as my other preamplifiers that cost thousand of dollars more. No remote, but if ultimate performance for pennies on the dollar is the most important priority to you, this could be the preamp to use with your S5.5.

Yeah, I thought that room sounded good, but no better than a number of others. As usual, I was disappointed by the limited musical material used to display equipment at the show. While I have nothing against a female jazz singer, a bass and a piano player, I’d like to see a bit of variety to show what systems can do in varying contexts.

It is kinda small for those Legacy Aeris but the Wavelet II can help a lot. I have the same combination, just with the Focus XD, the next step down from the Aeris. That room is not kind to the sound that you are capable of achieving.


James Thompson of Destination HiFi is who I bought my CODA gear from. I was hoping he would show up with the CODA System 150 amp that he was supposed to be the first dealer to get.

Though that room looks small.

Yesterday I was doing some listening. I use the Aurender N200 through Qobuz. Anyway, when i make playlists they sometimes are done on my Phone with headphones and songs added to the list don't always sound good once played on the big rig. This was the case for many of the cuts on my "Blues" playlist, but I decided yesterday i was in the mood for something different so I o loaded that into the queue. This was the best i have ever heard this music, even songs that I usually skipped by I was just enamoured with and tapping my toe. They sounded so much better, musical textures i never heard before, the bit of harshness was gone!  Things are getting really, really good with this amp!

If anyone wants to talk about coda, can search on facebook group:

"Coda amplifiers community "

Interesting and thanks for the heads up.

I can't remember the last time Coda did a show. If ever.

FYI - I see on THE SHOW (Costa Mesa, CA) happening this weekend that CODA will have 2 rooms. Likely for the S5.5 and the SYSTEM 150. I am going to see if I can make that show.

You're welcome, Fred. So glad it's all coming together for you so nicely. I can see that you work really hard at getting the best sound quality possible from your stereo.

Hey gryphongryph,

I have an isolation transformer that has a digital read out of how many watts are consumed and the S5.5 at idle is less then 90 watts. I never turn it off and it runs warm but not hot.


Before I describe my new Coda S5.5’s sound I feel the need to reveal that I made several changes to the rig prior to adding a new amp. I placed my my VAC Cla1 Mk III tube preamp and VAC Renaissance 70/70 Mk III Signature amp on consignment to fund the change. However I’ve made several other improvements while waiting 9 weeks for it to arrive. Here are the things that have changed:

  1. I now run an XLR Wireworld Eclipse 8 from DAC to Wavelet II which is now used as the preamp/crossover/DSP unit. No preamp prior to the Wavelet II anymore.It used to be the same level Wireworld Eclipse 8 but RCA. I am now fully balanced end to end.
  2. I purchased a used 1.5 meter Wireworld Gold Eclipse XLR from Wavelet II to the Coda amp. I was using RCA Wireworld Eclipse 8 RCA before.
  3. I added a very nice power box with DH labs wiring and Synergistic plugs and two DH Labs Red Wave Signature power cords to the Legacy Audio Focus XD speakers, internal powered bass amps replacing a pair of Waudio PC’s. The power unit is fed by the Shunyata PC I used before on a lower level API power box.
  4. I added another DH labs Red Wave Signature PC to my Aurender N200 and moved the Wireworld Silver Electra 7 PC to the HDPlex linear power supply feeding the Wavelet II, an upgrade from the Wireworld Electra 7 PC that was on it before.
  5. I used to run 2 BMI Whale elite PC’s on the VAC amp, those have been replaced by another DH Labs Red Wave Signature PC for the Coda.
  6. I now run a AQ Diamond USB from Aurender to Hermes, but I still have the coax connected too.

OK, whew! Now that is out of the way I also had to run new sweeps for the Bohmer Legacy Room correction software in the Wavelet II to reacquaint the room to speaker interaction to the refinements made since the last version of the system way back in December 2023. December is the last time I have heard my rig. I got rid of the VAC stuff immediately after arriving back home from our Florida winter after getting it repaired. So, lots going on here and I took my time discerning how it all changed and to what effect the amp had on it. (My system is in my signature if you want to see what else I have going on)

I am breaking in new power cords, new USB cable, new XLR’s and a new amp!

Anyway here is where i am at now in comparison switching from tubes to all solid state. A bit of a paradigm shift for me if you will. I have 50 hours of music run through and 120 hours total time on the system being powered up.


OK so here are comments in my listening notes:

  • Sound is sorted out, I hear more of whats in there -clarity.
  • Great driver integration vs tube, no lag, quick, keeps up better with bass amp section through the outboard crossover in the Focus XD’s Their bass had become better defined and controlled.
  • Great top end detail, not harsh at all.
  • Dynamics!
  • Quiet, blacker background
  • Lacks the bloom and fullness of the old tubed electronics. (A SS Tradeoff I expect) I think I get a great result with either a tubed preamp or maybe a Lampizator Balitic 4 in the mix.
  • Speakers still disappear, soundstage is the same front to back and side to side. BIG.
  • Accurate tonality of instruments and textures.
  • Better upper bass articulation
  • Light, delicate, airy and quick
  • Images are sharper with less “tube haze”
  • Quick leading edges, such as on guitar riffs
  • Great rhythm and pace
  • Can enjoy at lower volume, but it can play very loudly. I listen around 85Db average, I wish I had better hearing at age 69 but I do use hearing aides.

I like this amp very much. I am sure as it continues to get time on it and the system it will keep getting better.

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Hey vthokie83,

I totally agree with your statement, "all beautifully, and with out strain". I have now tried the S5.5 with over seven different types of speakers and each was driven splendidly at all volume levels. This amplifier lives up to its nickname the "Petite Beast" regarding its current loading and beautiful reproduction of music in a small package.

Teajay (Terry London)

I can appreciate the discussions on the class A versus class B, but this amp sounds incredible whatever it is providing and in what class. It seems to me that the 100 amp peak power is the real beauty of this amp, along with the rare transistors

So far I've driven: Clayton Shaw Caladans (4 ohm 93db), Buchardt Audio S400 MKIIs (4 ohm 87db), Thiel CS 2.3s (4 phm 87db and not easy to drive), and old school Infinity RS Kappa 7s (4 ohm 88 db). All beautifully, and without strain


         Thanks for your kind words. I have been into audio for 50+ years and am still an amateur. I know just enough to be dangerous. I am certain any electronic engineer in the group can pick this apart; however, I think it gets the general idea across. And again, it's not worth a hill of beans. The sound is what counts. So here is additional clarification jetter. At least I hope it is clarification. 

           You are partially correct, but as Aolmrd commented, the Class A S5.5 amp does produce Class A audio at impedances actually below and above 8 ohms but with different power ratings, typically below the AB power ratings especially for lower impedances such as 4 ohm and lower. The following example is strictly  for illustration only; the actual WPC values stated are not to be taken as fact but for illustrative purpose only. This shows why, whether the amp is called AB or A, that it can exhibit both classes depending on its electronic architecture, driver impedances, and current potential. This illustration is for the S5.5. 

1) Class A, 8 ohms, up to 50 WPC;  above 50wpc into 8 ohms is AB; For lower impedances above 50 WPC --->Class AB, 4ohms up to 100WPC AB,  2ohms up to 200wpc AB. 

2) Class A, 4 ohms, up to 40wpc; above 40wpc into 4 ohms is AB

3) Class A, 2 ohms, up to 15wpc; above 15 WPC into 2ohms is AB

S5.5 is called a Class A amp based on 50wpc Class A into 8 ohms but you can see it's more complex than that. However, a 50WPC Class A amp hints of being a great sounder! Terry London clearly pointed out the S5.5 does more than hint, it shouts. Terry led the AGON band and all the musicians in the band were precisely in tune!

S5.5 is a winner! In any Class!