Ampsandsound – Classic American Craft

April 30, 2015

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.

Ryan and I, the founders of Ampsandsound, came together through the web site Audiokarma while exploring our mutual interest in the econowave speaker. Upon meeting for the first time, we discovered that we shared amutual love of old tube gear, engendered by the incredible warmth and fullness that those components delivered. We also realized that each of us had experienced the limitations of vintage gear.

Many tube amplifiers in the Casablancas’ price range have lower power, or are stereo amps, not providing the performance and channel separation for which mono-blocks are known. Mono-blocks require 40% more parts, and we chose our Casablanca design to allow for the largest practical power supply. Like all our Ampsandsound components, the Casablancas utilize modern materials to bring a higher level of performance to amplifiers with the sonic characteristics of the great amplifiers of the 50’s and 60’s. 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.

Our amplifiers are designed for daily performance and longevity; if need be, they could be easily serviced 15 to 20 years from now. Employing microprocessors and regulators could yield marginal performance increases, but their use might well leave the owner with an unrepairable component when replacement parts are no longer available. We employ three major components; capacitors, resistors, and diodes. No silicone voltage regulators or integrated circuits to hot-rod our designs. We stand as a classic example of American craftsmanship and value. Our amplifiers are beautiful and simple, with a non-fatiguing sound that has been enjoyed by previous generations and will be equally enjoyed by those to come.

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