The Cascade is my twist on the 1953 Standel 25L15, with a late 50’s aesthetic. Faithful to the original schematic (and the Standel 25L15 reissue in my collection) with some tasteful tweaks, it’s an all tube, true point-to-point wired amp, made all in-house by hand. Available as a head or 1×15” combo, it’s a big sounding 25-watts (sounds more like 30-35 watts), with enough clean headroom for medium rooms with a drummer. If you’re seeking the traditional Standel tone as heard on so many classic recordings, this is it. However, while it’s capable of delivering those familiar sounds – like any great vintage amp – it’s versatile enough to deliver completely “new” sounds as well.
The Cascade features 2 channels – Standard and Bright – with Treble, Bass and rear mounted Cut Control, and 4 inputs – Hi and Lo for each channel. It has deep, chimey, liquid cleans with a soft, compressed response, but up past halfway it clips smoothly, and all the way up gets a mild, smooth overdrive. It has a forward upper midrange but shares little of the woody sounds of tweeds, and has a sweeter, softer mid 60’s Fender feel, but not as stridently bright.
It’s great for roots rock, rockabilly, country, jazz, surf, Chicago-type blues, and of course Western swing, and even ambient and indie music. Travis picking with this amp reveals why Chet Atkins always recorded with his.
Lower voltage Class-A operation, cathode biased, no negative feedback, hot input stage, with no second gain stage – which gives the amp a very clear, detailed tone and more power tube tone. Light and sturdy pine plywood cab, dovetailed joints, and all point to point wired circuit with tube rectifier. Trimmed with aluminum, an edge-lighted plexiglass dial, and your choice of three tolex colors (custom colors available).
The Cascade uses readily available 6L6GC’s (the original 807 tubes are no longer made and are arguably a 6L6G with a plate cap on top, and, when real world comparing the two types of same make and vintage, they’re indistinguishable in tone and output, however, either only produces an 18-watt amp) and a Weber California speaker. Should you wish to install your favorite JBL or use NOS 6L6G, 6L6GB, 5881, (or even 807 tubes with adapters), you can do so with no other modification needed to the amp.
This is one of the classic sounds of the golden era – similar to the Contender in voice, but cleaner, deeper, and more refined sounding. It loves virtually any pedal and guitar. This is my pragmatic version of this overlooked classic, dialed in for today’s player, and built for real world use.
DIMENSIONS and SPECS
1×15” Combo: 23.75”W x 20”H x 9.5”D / Weight: 38 pounds
Head: 23.75”W x 8.5”H x 8.5”D / Weight: 23 pounds
Tube compliment: 5U4GB, 6L6GC power tubes, 12au7, 12at7, 12ax7 pre-amp tubes
1×15” Combo in Standard Color: $2699.00
Head in Standard Color: $ 2499.00
Standard Colors: Cream, Red, or Black
Oxblood grill cloth with silver stripe
Custom color: $75
Please inquire about pricing on 1×12” versions, extension cabs, or unloaded combo.
Cab: 3/4” pine ply cab, dovetailed joinery, 1/2” birch baffle. Made “in house”.
Chassis: USA-made, brushed 16-gauge steel, zinc plating, with wood block end pieces for some period correct fun.
Parts: Vishay or Sprague Polyester and Polypropylene caps, Xicon Carbon Film resistors, Vishay and Mojotone filter caps. Solid core wire. Hammond or Heyboer North American-made transformers. Switchcraft jacks and switches, Alpha pots. Anodized aluminum trim. Metal photo Military style back emblems, clear plexi front panel, with luminous letters.
*** I use the highest grade components for the best tone, performance, and longevity, however, I can accommodate nearly any request for preferred brands of components at customer cost.
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