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Gryphon Diablo 300

To Jeff Fritz, 

I enjoy reading your reviews -- they are thorough and more times than not I find that I agree with your conclusions. With that said, I do have a question for you that I hope you can answer. Can you tell me whether you still recommend the Coda brand, particularly the 15.0 power amp? Can you give me some idea of what competitors you would look at? I don’t want to spend Gryphon or Vitus money, but I still want something that is state of the art. My speakers will be either the Magico S5s or Wilson Audio Sasha W/Ps. Thanks in advance for your time.

Ronaldo R.

Coda makes some of the best-sounding equipment on the market, and at prices that, although not cheap, do not rise to the stratosphere the way some of the more exotic brands do. The 15.0 stereo amplifier retails for $10,000, but for that price you get a lot of hardware and a sound that can rival anything at any price. It is a very good value in the high end and, yes, I still do recommend it.

As for alternatives, there are a couple of brands/products that I would consider. First is Ayre, based in Boulder, Colorado. I don't know if your budget would allow you to consider their $14,950 VX-R stereo amplifier, but it is a terrific product and I think would compete admirably with the Coda. Doug Schneider reviewed the VX-R back in January on SoundStage! Hi-Fi and raved about it. It is a solid alternative. At a lower price point you might also want to listen to the Hegel H20, which retails for $5750 and was reviewed by Michael Wright back in March of 2011 on SoundStage! Hi-Fi. Hegel is based in Oslo, Norway, and is making some of the best solid-state equipment out there right now, and at prices that are very attractive. . . . Jeff Fritz