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Vintage Kasino 1600 15 Channel Mixer

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by kcguitfiddle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. kcguitfiddle

    kcguitfiddle Active Member

    I have a nice old kasino 1600 mixer with 15 channels. It has a case built on to it. Its a really neat old piece. Its really dusty at this time but It will clean up nicely. I was hoping that somebody could tell me a little bit about it. History or otherwise. It does have a decibel meeter. Model # 1600-HI Serial # 10277. If you can tell me anything at all it would be greatly appreciated. Im not looking to sell it. I like it too much to get rid of it. But I like to know as much about my toys as I can. The wife says its too big lol. I said "Its to cool!"
    Kasino 1600.jpg Kasino 1600 2.jpg
     
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Kustom Audio made these in the 70's. They were famous for their "tuck n roll" guitar and bass amps and mixers. I'm sure you've seen those. Metallic Blue sparkle vinyl rolled amps with usually 2 port holes. Those were sooo cool to have back then!
    They also had a "Kasino" line listed as the "little sister" level of PA amps systems and mixers to the Kustom stuff.
    Here's a link:
    Kasino Page

    That one you have looks pretty interesting. Does it work? Might be something worth refurbishing. It would have a pretty analog vintage sound to it no doubt. Does it have balanced XLR inputs on the top there or 1/4" jacks? Take a look inside that thing!
    Maybe you could take some more pictures of the plug in top area and front panel to see better what is what...
    One meter for a PA is all you need!....is it VU or DB meter?

    BTW I think that's a 16 channel mixer!?!
     
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Bud Ross started Kustom Electronics in the early-mid 60's to make RADAR GUNS !!!!! He got interested in the burgeoning rock'n'roll music biz and in around '67 started up "Kustom by Ross" to make solid-state (the transistor was his passion!) guitar and bass amps, PA systems, later on, combo organs and electric guitars. His unique upholstering of the amps with metal-flake Naugahyde (red, white,blue,charcoal, silver,gold, and "cascade"-a turquoise) as well as flat black, in tuck'n'roll made them hugely popular, unique, and expensive. The PA rigs were big with the travelling "showcase" acts of the day - Altec-Lansing speakers, a unique "anti-feedback" circuit design, and 1/4" Hi-Z mic inputs- as many as 16 of them - made them a hit. Hard to imagine these days, isn't it?
    Kustom came out with the less frilly and lower-priced Kasino line in around 1970-71. The concept was different. You started out with a one-piece monstrosity of an amp - preamp, power amp, and CTS speakers - in one cabinet. Then you could buy a "power module" which was the power amp and speakers, sans the preamp section. The "master" amp had 1/4" line outputs and AC power outlet receptacles on the rear panel to feed several "power modules". The sales brochures from them show a wall of Kasino amps all interconnected to form a massive 2,000 watts of Kasino sound...YIKES!!! In Kustom tradition, the amps' internal electronics were built to be very reliable and easy to service. Tonally, if you plug a Strat into one of those behemoths, it's like an icepick in your ear!
    Kasino PA consoles like yours came out a few years later, and were designed to compete with Sunn and Acoustic Control gear. Hartley Peavey would soon follow.
    The PA gear was the only Kasino gear that had built-in spring reverb, the guitar amps were much less fancy than the Kustoms. That reverb used a larger Hammond tank with more springs than the Fender amps did, and it ROCKED!!! This would be the only reason to even consider plugging that beast into a wall socket! All Kustom gear, while it was built like a brick outhouse, was insanely noisey! When you powered up any amp, there would be this humongous THUMP through the speakers and then this steady roar of the ocean...Bud Ross has stated that the thump and hiss were intentional..."Those amps sounded loud just sitting there idling!" And, yes, that is a VU meter , not a dB meter on the front, and it's probably as accurate as Helen Keller at a darts tournament...
    I still have a very nice 1971 blue-sparkle Kustom 200 PA head that I use when I want real surf spring reverb happening. You do have to be sure that there's some sort of speaker load on the amp at all times or it will damage the output transistors.
    Bud Ross went through a nasty divorce around 1974-75 and had to liquidate his companies (there is still a Kustom Electronics radar gun factory in Kansas, though). Around the same time, sound reinforcement technology was rapidly increasing but Kustom did not keep up with it and lost market share. Too bad, because Bud was quite a visionary in his field, as well as a master promoter, a pilot (he flew himself all around the country in a Beechcraft promoting his products), and a really nice guy.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Call me crazy but I'm just wild about vintage gear. I would most likely never use it in a critical application but I just love collecting it.

    Here's a piece I have come across in my neighborhood. I'm trying to chisel the owner down to a price I can afford or better yet trying to get him to trade me for something. I just LOVE those big knobs!
     
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Krazy Kurt"?
    I used to actually "mix" on one of those bohemoths back in the stone age. People used to walk up to me and ask, "Hey, is that a Moog synthesizer or somethin'?".
    I don't know how Hartley Peavey wrangled Switchcraft to go cheap, but those "boards" were notorious for the XLR connectors to go bad and not release the mic cables! We'd just wrap the cables around the board (just like the AC cord) and roll with it. I wonder how man y of those noisemakers he sold during that era...
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Maybe Peavey picked up some seconds from Switchcraft or even some counterfeit knock offs or perhaps they were doing something wrong with the way they were installing them at manufacture.

    I never even had a thought about trying to use the thing and that's why I'm waiting to see if the guy will let me have it on the cheap. Peavey was famous even way back then for using cheap components.

    I just think it "looks" cool. It reminds me of the old Crown mixers or an old UA console with all those mushroom knobs. Who knows maybe the knobs themselves are worth something?

    I'm really trying to downsize and sell stuff off, not collect more but I can't help it, I've been looking for one of these things for a while

    Oh well! Just shoot me!
     
  7. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    Me two!
    i have always found it fascinating: )
     
  8. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Cool mixer.
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Fifteen channels? Are you sure? I can see sixteen channel strips."
    That was covered by the first response to the OP...


    Yes, Kurt, those big ol' knobs ARE cool, just like the ones on my UA 610's...like they came off of a surplus control console from a WWII submarine...
     
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I grew up only a short distance from Chanute Kansas home of Kustom Electronics. I've owned several bass amps in my day. One setup when I was 18 or so and playing full time was two 200 heads, one black roll and one blue sparkle, a 3-15" black cab with Altec 417's and a 2-15" blue cabinet with D140 JBL's. We had that board that Kurt had a picture of, A Peavey PA900 (yep nine channels) A pair of Altec A7's and two Crown D300's with a pair of little Kasino 4-8" columns for monitors. We were the shizit! Guitar player had a pair of Bassman Blackface heads and a couple of custom made cabinets his Dad built.
    When I left the midwest for Denver I traded the Kustom heads for a pair of Sunn 200S heads and then traded one of those for a Sunn 1200S head. Kept the cabinets for several years until a traveling show band came over to the house after a gig and HAD to have the blue sparkle cab to match the other one they already had. I also had a Silver rolled guitar amp. A 100 head with reverb and fuzz and a little 2-10" cab. Dont see many silver ones. Or white but they were were out there.

    A showband from the midwest (can remember their name but they had horns) had all Kustom. Red, white and blue sparkle. Impressive. The stuff sounded like nothing else and nothing else since. Think early Creedence Clearwater with a Ricky guitar....amp on ten.
     
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... yup. Kustom was the only amp that could also double as furniture.

    Tuck and Roll upholstery... Popular in sofas, Chevy Impalas ...and Kustom guitar amps.

    I have a special place in my heart for the Blue Sparkle models. :wink:
     

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