Copland CSA-150 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier

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Copland CSA-150

But, don’t get the impression that the Copland can’t kick its generous power through the speaker drivers. If you survive on a diet of heavy metal then perhaps it might not be your first choice but it can swing a transient with considerable force and it can get down and dirty too. It’s just that it does this with a certain degree of tonal finesse and shading. The new album by Steve Lukather, (ex-Toto and just about everyone else for the past decades),  I Found The Sun Again[Mascot] shows that that tube isn’t just there for show. Pulsing bass, charging drums and high tempos are all handled well, albeit with a nod of politeness, with surprising transient delivery and recovery. A quick word for Steve’s take on the old Robin Trower classic ‘Bridge Of Sighs’ here too. A swirling wall of sound with a Hammond organ in there to congeal the mix alongside fat bass and busy drums. Lukather plays a real dirty killer solo too, if that’s your kind of thing. It is mine. Great job by the CSA-150 here as it peels back the layers to reveal another side to its nature.

So, what we have here is a musically focussed and serious integrated amplifier, with a difference. That difference being its tonal subtlety and the interesting way it conjures up sonic landscapes and paints pictures between your speakers. The tube input stage brings a sense of colour and added variation for sure but it doesn’t intrude on the solid-state output devices ability to really drive and deliver transients. I’d say that the recipe is just interestingly balanced, helped in no small way by the pure speed of the solid state and the considerable wallop and weight that it packs. But, perhaps its real strength is the tonal contrasts and harmonic subtleties it constantly surprises you with. The DAC too is very good and enhances the amplifier’s attraction enormously and I found the HD Bluetooth module the review sample came fitted with, to be a lot better than I expected and although I never tried the phono stage, I imagine that it is going to be up to scratch. I haven’t heard the whole CSA range but I would encourage you to seek it out for a listen if you are in the market for a do-it-all integrated amplifier. Few people complain about having too much power but perhaps you might not need the considerable output of the 150 and the CSA-70 starts at a very reasonable price of under £3k. The Copland amps are a bit different for sure but, from what I’ve heard, they are always on the side of the music and that’s not a bad place to be. This is a very strong segment of the market with some notable performers but I think that if you seek it out, the Copland, is very well worth a serious audition. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Integrated amplifier with DAC and phono stage

Power: 2 × 150 watts into 8 ohms

Analog Inputs: 1 × balanced (XLR), 
3 × unbalanced (RCA)

Digital Inputs: 1 × coaxial S/PDIF, 
2 × optical S/PDIF, 1 × USB, 1 × aptX HD Bluetooth (optional)

Line Output: 1 × unbalanced (RCA), 
1 × pre-out unbalanced variable (RCA)

Phono Input Impedance: 47K ohms (MM)

Frequency Response: 10 Hz- 150 kHz -3dB

Headphone Amp Gain: 22 dB @ 100 ohm load impedance

Vacuum Tubes: 1 × 6922

Remote: Yes

Dimensions: 164 × 435 × 370mm (H×W×D)

Shipping Weight: 15 Kg

Finishes Available: Silver or Black

Price: £4,988

Bluetooth Module: £198

Manufacturer: Copland

URL: copland.dk

UK Distributor: Absolute Sounds

URL: absolutesounds.com 

Tel: +44(0)20 8971 3909

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