Casablanca

The Casablanca’s are aptly named for their classic good looks and commanding performance. They came about in response to repeated requests by our customers 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, we 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, we turned to our design partners and carefully evaluated 2 new takes based on similar designs; the Eico HF97 and the Dynaco MKIII. We 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 our 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 we all expect 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.

I was asked recently 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 our 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.

We chose our 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 our PCB’s provide superior grounding and noise isolation, with the result that we have realized and improved upon the sonic characteristics of the great amplifiers of the 50’s and 60’s.

Fantastic Review of Casablanca & Stereo 15 from NewRecordDay


Bench results:
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

Casablancas: Pair $3,995 with full tube set.

Casablancas
Casablancas
Casablancas
Casablanca Internals
Casablancas
Casablancas
Casablancas
Casablanca Internals

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