Copland CTA-405-A
Copland CTA-405-A
Copland CTA-405-A

Copland CTA-405-A: Stylish tube amplifier from Denmark

The Danish company Copland has long been known in our country to lovers of high-quality sound. Its products are an example of not only a competent design approach and careful selection of components for its products, but also a correctly chosen strategy and the right moment to enter the market. Or maybe there was some basic luck involved. How many noteworthy designs never saw mass production! Nevertheless, new stars appear in the heavens, and new schemes and solutions are maturing in the depths of design bureaus. The laws of nature require updating, rivers change their courses, companies delight us with new designs that should bring us an iota or two closer to the ideal. This is natural, and we are latently prepared for this.

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There are few external differences with the already familiar STA 405, and they are immediately visible. The alphanumeric designation, enriched with the first letter of the alphabet, moved to the second line in the center of the inscription and acquired a carmine hue, like the “ST.BY” button. That seems to be all. Well, except for the word “stereo” at the beginning of the line, which is why the title “moved out”. Not enough for an updated look. On the other hand, decorum is maintained, and inside we have two pairs of KT120 in the output stage, a built-in low-noise Sanyo Denki exhaust fan, screwed to a horizontal plate of exactly the same carmine color. And in this one can discern some special chic, inner sophistication. It’s as if, instead of chrome-plating the bumper of a classic car, the manufacturer decided to turn the driveshaft from the inside into a mirror. You can also remember Freken Bock’s insoles, which she urgently wanted to buy before going on television. In a word, this is something hidden from prying eyes, but at the same time carrying a special meaning. In any case, the meaning of anodizing an internal structural element in such a non-trivial color escaped me. It’s absolutely true that the fan is low-noise. Firstly, it is low-speed, with a rated speed of 2000 rpm; secondly, the manufacturer claims the noise level is 16 dB. Of course, you can hear it with the top cover removed and the volume level at zero, but when assembled it does not remind you of itself in any way. And although the combination of a class A amplifier (which, according to the manufacturer, is what the Copland CTA 405-A is up to about half its power) and a fan may seem controversial to many (by the way, it was not present in the previous model), but, apparently, This is the only way to ensure acceptable thermal conditions without resorting to serious alteration of the appearance.

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At the back wall there is a small board, which I initially mistook for a phono preamplifier board (which is not surprising, since it is on it that its input jacks are located), but the inscriptions on the connectors of the cables going to the volume control force us to make an unambiguous conclusion that this is also at the same time preamplifier board. It houses a pair of 12AX7EHs and a pair of 6922EHs, all from Electro-Harmonix. The latter tube is a fairly close analogue of the 12AX7, which in turn are the favorite choice of a wide range of manufacturers of preamps, phono stages, headphone amplifiers, etc. In a word, I would not dare to say without disassembling and studying the board layout which lamps act as preamplifier stages and which ones are responsible for correction, but no one demands this from us. It’s funny that due to the design, the phono stage uses more serious connectors than all the others.

The Copland CTA 405-A main board contains a 290 VA toroidal power supply transformer from Noratel. The output transformers are not marked, but visually they are 100% identical to those installed in the base model.

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The power amplifier section consists of a 12AX7EH dual triode (which serves both channels simultaneously), a pair of 12BH7AEH bass reflex drivers, which have thicker glass and therefore reduced microphone effect, and a quartet of KT120 beam tetrodes from Tung-Sol. As for the selection of lamps, it cannot be called unusual; on the other hand, intermediate stage lamps are not exactly the most common, which again suggests some design preferences that are not so noticeable at first glance, but are quite critical from a sound point of view.

To switch inputs, Swiss Axicom relays are used, located in close proximity to the connectors themselves. The board is generously strewn with Jamicon film capacitors, which do not need to be introduced once again to those for whom life is not complete without a sip of coffee and a haze of rosin.

The front panel design of the Copland CTA 405-A is strict and balanced. The 100% symmetry of the aluminum plate makes me wonder if the through channel button was left in its place solely for the sake of this symmetry? Although, in my opinion, this rare function was left deliberately. How it fits into the style of a real “seasoned” sound. As an aim at the target audience, for whom handling the recording level control is not such a distant past.

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The central element of the panel is a kind of target, with a “bullseye” – an IR radiation receiver behind dark glass and an input selector indicator located around the circumference. It looks, despite its apparent simplicity, stylish, original and very organic. The remote control in an aluminum case is moderately weighty and allows you to control not only the amplifier itself, but also the CD player.

Copland CTA 405-A is a great amplifier, as they say, for all occasions. It fully possesses all the musical advantages that brought well-deserved fame to this Danish manufacturer. The quality of its execution is close to ideal, and personally I only regret one thing: that the manufacturer decided to hide the lamps from the eyes of future owners under an almost blank cover. Does it have any disadvantages? Yes, perhaps, only one: owners of CTA 405 risk being very upset.

Specifications Copland CTA 405-A

Tubes: 6550 (4 pcs.)
12BH7 (2 pcs.)
6922 (2 pcs.)
E83CC (3 pcs.)
Output power: 50 W per channel
THD: < 1%
Frequency response: 10 Hz-100 kHz (-3 dB )
Input sensitivity: Phono: 3.5 mV
Line inputs: 350 mV
Input impedance: Phono: 47 kOhm
Line inputs: 33 kOhm
Load impedance: 8 Ohm, 4 Ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 95 dB
Power consumption: 250 W
Supply voltage : 115V or 230V.
Factory set according to country of destination
Supply voltage tolerance: +/- 12%
Dimensions (mm): 430 (W), 185 (H), 390 (D)
Weight (packaged): 25 kg