AmpsandSound Casablanca Mono Block Amplifier

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AmpsandSound Casablanca Mono Block Amplifier

by AmpsandSound

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Product Code:
Mono Block Amplifier (Pair)

Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.

AmpsandSound Products Are Handmade In Small Batches and Go Through Extensive Quality Control

The Casablanca’s are aptly named for their classic good looks and commanding performance. They came about in response to repeated requests for a single-ended amp with the power to drive non-compliant or inefficient speakers. Given that large power SE amps are either run in pentode or using exotic power tubes, Ampsandsound opted for a push-pull based amp; a larger version of the Stereo 15.

The Casablanca’s provide 60 watts with KT88/6550 power tubes, and 45 watts with EL-34s. Based on the Eico circuit and using a 12AX7/6SN7 front end allows access to a vast array of NOS/NIB tubes. The Casablanca’s come with 8ohm and 4ohm taps and can be ordered with 16ohm taps if desired. To provide reliable power and a sweet sound, they turned to their design partners and carefully evaluated 2 new takes based on similar designs; the Eico HF97 and the Dynaco MKIII. They built both and did a shootout with the reigning king of push-pull amps, the McIntosh MC275.

The results were startling. The Eico based circuit was a clear improvement over their take on the MKIII, and was on par with the MC275. The Casablanca’s provided extremely articulate bass, with truly remarkable mid and high frequency extension. The bottom line – this amp provides the warmth and detail that is expected from reference level push-pull amps, and nearly limitless personalization with different tube combinations. The tubes included with purchase are new Tungsol 12AX7, Tungsol 6SN7, and Tungsol 6550s.

They were recently asked what differentiates Ampsandsound Casablancas from any of the other well-made gear in the $2000-$3000 range. The answer is that there may be few differences, but the differences that do exist are pivotal to their approach to the reproduction of music. First off, many tube amplifiers in the Casablanca’s price range have lower power. Other similar-price amplifiers are stereo amps, not providing the performance and channel separation for which mono-blocks are known.

They chose the Casablanca design to allow for the largest practical power supply. Also, mono-blocks require 40% more parts, and like all Ampsandsound components, the Casablancas utilize modern materials to bring a higher level of performance. This includes using 1-2% resistors instead of the less costly and more common 10% variety, and coupling capacitors with 5% tolerance instead of 20%. Point-to-point wiring would allow for streamlined building, but their PCB’s provide superior grounding and noise isolation, with the result that they have realized and improved upon the sonic characteristics of the great amplifiers of the 50’s and 60’s.

From AmpsandSound:

Non-boutique approach
ampsandsound believes in the non-boutique approach to manufacturing. Resistors are 2% or better and over spec’d, Caps are made by industry leaders with 5% or better ratings, wiring is Teflon, and output transformers include large core to resist saturation and provide a minimum 20hz to 20khz on a bench. Ultra wide frequency response, rock steady RMS provides a non-fatiguing sound.

Minimal Deflection
All ampsandsound amplifiers are built on a thick plate of anodized aluminum which is 10”x14” and placed into a hard wood plinth/chassis made of solid ¾” thick Eastern Walnut. The plate is 1/8” thick and has nearly no deflection. We don’t outsource our work at ampsandsound. We have the depth of the chassis large enough to allow for full sized chokes to be used without cluttering the clean look up top.

Ample Power Supply
All ampsandsound amps employ an extremely stiff power supply. The power supply chosen exceeds specified capacitance and always includes robust choke filtering. We recognize the importance of reducing DC ripple in creating life-like sound stages.

High Quality Transformers
Output transformers are over spec’d and ultra high quality. We consider the output transformer as important as any other design choice. When buying any tube amp, the weight of output transformer can be directly proportional to the quality of sound. In general, larger outputs have larger cores which are less prone to saturation and have higher inductance. Larger cores and greater inductance allows the transformer to carry a low-end signal with minimal distortion. These transformers are bench tested to perform down to 20hz to up to 20khz. Even if your speakers only go to 50hz like a LS3/5a having an amp with can drive that low impedance signal is pivotal in creating the whole sound stage.

Wiring Detail
Internal wiring is done with silver plated Teflon and silver solder. All wiring is held down and tied neatly with obsessive detail. We prefer never to see a loose wire… always tied down with a service loop and always dressed with function dictating form.

Handmade Products
Our products are handmade. Parts selection matters deeply to us, sourcing the highest quality parts that can be found without getting distracted by esoteric or misleading specs. We have chosen parts with preference to domestic suppliers including our signature top plates, chassis, transformers, and PCBs.

Quality, not Quantity
We do not want to sell these in large quantity. We seek to build something worth passing down and demanding use. We believe each of our amps are statement pieces, each design choice was made with care. Our design esthetic was masculine and purposeful… nothing by accident.

Easily Upgradeable
We have specifically chosen to build based on the best practices of production. Switches, fuses, IEC sockets and binding posts are common and replaceable with off the shelf parts should a need ever arise. Tube Sockets are high temp ceramic, PCB is super thick with through hole construction, resistors, and capacitors are all over spec’d intended with long trouble free use.

Dramatically Smooth Sound
The sound is smooth, liquid without sacrificing detail. We recently demonstrated the final production version at a small listening party paired with our Cornscalas’ and everyone was awestruck with the size and depth of the sound-stage.

Semi-Custom Design
The Aluminum top-plates and hardwood chassis were made large enough to allow appropriate component layout with specific attention to grounding and signal wire location. We chose to use domestic hardwoods, Eastern walnut, Mahogany, and other exotics to provide the solid foundation to build excellent sound. Exotic hardwoods can be chosen at additional costs.

Special Attention to Grounding
Each amspandsound amp is built with attention to grounding schemes/ star grounding and use of common ground contributing to its ultra-low noise floor and wide bandwidth.

Tube Rolling
Tube Rolling is a great way of getting to know your amp as each tube has its own sonic signature. The reality is we are here to enjoy music… if rolling, try 1 type at a time… driver or power and allow several weeks to really hear the tube before changing it again. So often we chase a different sound, rather than a better sound. A great amp or speakers are meant to be transformative, so let the music play!

Input impedance is 475Kohm, 1.6v for full power.
With inputs shorted output noise is 680micro volts RMS
Maximum Power @ 1kHz = 60 Watts RMS
One watt Bandwidth is 10 Hz to 35 kHz
Bandwidth at full power 60watts is 26hz to 18khz

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