Back in 1997, on the advice of a Hi-Fi dealer that I trusted, I invested more than $16,000 in a complete system manufactured by Copland Audio. The Danish manufacturer (which also had offices in Sweden at the time) created minimalist components that offered superb industrial design, robust build quality, and excellent sonic performance. I had nothing but positive things to say about the products which reignited my interest in tube amplification and digital audio.
The dealer reached out to me after he heard that I had become a H-Fi journalist and offered up new products from Copland and Primare that he represented in Canada.
I should have left the part of my life that enjoyed listening to music through the Copland stack alone and politely deferred.
$3,500 later — I was stuck with a Copland CTA-301 MKII Pre-amplifier that I never should have reviewed or even considered purchasing. I did wait 2 months after the review to buy the product, but it began giving me problems and after spending so much money — I wanted the issues remedied.
The dealer/distributor was useless and I ended up having it fixed three times before I sold it at a huge loss.
So angry did I become about the entire experience, that I sold all of my Copland equipment that had never even burped out of place and I’ve regretted that decision for a few decades.
Why the regret?
Over the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the current generation of Copland amplification (they no longer manufacture CD players or pre-amplifiers) and walked away from the demonstration very impressed.
The new Copland CTA407 Integrated Amplifier has me very intrigued. If it offers the punch, detail, clarity, and timbral accuracy of the amplifiers that came before it with even more connectivity options — this might be well worth seeking out if your loudspeakers are compatible and you are looking to cut down on the number of components.
Copland simplified its product lineup a few years ago and has focused almost exclusively on hybrid integrated amplifiers that feature Copland’s double triode gain stage with MOSFET buffering. The CTA407 is not a hybrid and features a tube output stage with a surprising amount of power.
The CTA407 is a push-pull design that utilizes a pair of matched power tubes in a fixed ultra-linear configuration, providing the low distortion of triodes and the power of tetrode valves.
Copland claims that the CTA407 using a pair of 6550 or KT88/KT120/KT150 output tubes will deliver more than 100 watts of power into 8 ohms; the amplifier can output 50 watts/channel in high biased class A/AB mode.
Based on my experience with older Copland amplifiers, they are generally rather accurate with their published specifications and I never found either chassis to run hot when driven very hard; the top panel offered a lot of ventilation and only became warm when left on for extended listening sessions.
The CTA407 is a much larger herring with five line-level inputs, including a tape monitor loop, a built-in RIAA phono circuit accommodating moving magnet, and high output moving coil cartridges.
The CTA407 comes supplied with 4 x KT88, 2 x 12BH7, and 1 x ECC83 tubes, measures 435 x 215 x 390mm (W x H x D), and weighs 25 kg. There are 3 toroidal transformers inside which explains the rather hefty weight.
We are debating a review for May or June if we can get our hands on a sample. It’s a reunion that is long overdue.
We will update the story with the new USD price when we get it, but the CTA407 will run €6900.
- Tubes: 6550/KT88: 4pcs. 12BH7: 2pcs. ECC83: 1pcs.
- The auto-bias system will adjust also for use with :
- KT90 / KT100 / KT120 / KT150
- Rated power: 50W / channel at 4 / 8 ohms
- THD: Less than 0.5 % at all levels
- Frequency response: 10 Hz 150 kHz – 3 dB
- Input sensitivity Line: 200 mV for rated power
- Input sensitivity Phono: 2.5 mV for rated power
- Input impedance Line: 50 K ohms
- Input impedance Phono: 47 K ohms
- S/N ratio (IHF-A): 100 dB
- Power consumption: 300 W
- Nominal mains voltage: 115V or 230V / 240V. Factory set for destination country only
- Mains voltage range: +/- 12 %
- Dimensions (mm.): 435 (W) 215 (H) 420 (D)
- Weight: 20 kg
For more information: Copland