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  1. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I still have enormous respect for him, just question some of his motives and antics early on.
    If you were still in college and/or just graduated and had no money to speak of, wouldn't you pull a gimmick or two to get dough to start your dream? He did and the multiple millions he has now was a result of what he did. Along the way, he pleased a consumer or two...
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

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  2. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Here's another take on it to be fair.

    Back in the 80s, Bob Carver issued an amplifier challenge to Stereophile Magazine. The gist of it was that Bob claimed that he could transform the sound of one his solid-state amps (I can't recall the exact model) to mimic that of an expensive tube amp of the Magazine's own choosing. So here we were huddled in JGH's listening room in Santa Fe, with Bob on his hands and knees tinkering with his circuitry so as to match the sonics of a very expensive Conrad-Johnson power amp. I've got to hand it to Carver - that's some bravado and one hell of a publicity stunt. Nice try, Bob, but no cigar. At the time, Larry Archibald and JGH seemed to think that Carver had in fact succeeded. But to my ears, Carver had merely managed to reduce the damping factor of his amp; in essence making it sound as loose and uncontrolled in the bass range as the Conrad-Johnson. There was still a large residual difference in the midrange. - Dick Ohlsher

    Adding to the above....

    He achieved a successful result by live tweaking a prototype, a process that proved unstable and unsuitable for series production. Later Carver himself, said that it was impossible to duplicate his results in production amplifiers.
    ...and....

    Carver was able to duplicate the sound of the selected C-J amp. However, the results were unstable and the similarity faded over time. Carver had to continually tweak the amps during the challenge and was never able to duplicate the sound over the long term, which is why the production models sounded nothing like the C-J.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  3. #213

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    I wondered why some folks say that when they tried the production Carver model and the CJ head to head, they could hear the difference. Yet the "golden ears" at Stereophile could not. Personally, I never thought that the golden ears heard that well due to this, but this sheds some light on it. Thanks Jesse.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  4. #214
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    What's weird about the above is the original challenge was:
    • - Bob in a hotel room;
    • - a Mark Levinson amp (rumored as the name was withheld); and
    • - the proof of his success or failure was a null test, not a listening test.
    I guess history is fluid...

    EDIT: and I think the Carver was the M-1.0t.
    Last edited by Tour2ma; 12-30-2010 at 02:48 PM.
    More later,
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  6. #216

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tour2ma View Post
    What's weird about the above is the original challenge was:
    • - Bob in a hotel room;
    • - a Mark Levinson amp (rumored as the name was withheld); and
    • - the proof of his success or failure was a null test, not a listening test.
    I guess history is fluid...

    EDIT: and I think the Carver was the M-1.0t.
    Apparently the same challenge was taken up by The Audio Critic with an ML as the reference.

  7. #217

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    It was a listen test. He used null test to get the sound close.
    engtaz

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  8. #218

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    apparently I can't find the time in the day to write a reasonable review. So, I'm going to add pieces as I can.

    The review session was pretty fun. My wife's dad is back from Afghanistan and so she stayed the weekend at their house which left me almost ALL of Sunday to myself. Crazy, I know. I found myself edging the volume control expecting her to come around the corner screaming I know many of you have witnessed a similar scene, so you can understand the instilled fear I had. Luckily after 30 minutes or so, the paranoid glances over the shoulders subsided and I was able to lay back and close my eyes while the SRS blasted.

    OK, I'm never going to get anywhere at this rate. Let me cut to the chase.

    For all the experimentation I settled on a pair of Kimber IC's that were laying at my friends house. Don't know the model, but they're blue and red or maybe orange and braided together(?) Anyways, those sounded better than anything I had, and as a side note: Man, you guys were right about there being a difference maybe it was because I had silver IC's, maybe they're just better quality, who know, but they WERE distinguishably better. OK so I used atwo different tube pre's (Audible Illusions and MiniMax, and one SS pre. While the SS pre wasn't a Carver as I had hoped, and wasn't anything I was even familiar with. I was assured that the Threshold fet10 was much better than the C-1, and was happy my friend Rick let me borrow it. After listening to all the pres with all the amps in a precursory listen, I decided the Threshold is what I would use for the test to keep it simple. OK so for the critical showdown I used both my Empire Troubadour 598 mkIII and my friends hot-rodded Lenco. These were run through a DIY tube phono stage that is killer. The amps used in this showdown: Carver tfm-555, Carver 2.0t, my Parasound HCA-1200II, and my B&K reference series. For material I used my standards: Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique 5th movement, Nancy Wilson's "Sunny," Rodrigo y Gabriela's "Hunaman," Livingston Taylor's "Isn't she Lovely," and Rebecca Pidgeon's "Spanish Harlem. "I've listened to these songs no less than 100 times each.

    It's taken me nearly all day to write this much, coming and going, so I am going to give some very generalized results. First, the Carver's sounded much better on my current (now much more refined) system. They weren't nearly as painful to listen to as I remember. Let me say that the Pre I was using was better than anything I've ever used. I think it was very exposing. So much so that I think I'm going to be selling my B&K haha. Anyways, what I notice on the Carvers was that they sounded... digital. I don't know how else to describe the feeling I had with them. The bass was way better than the last time I listened to them. MUCH tighter. Not ADCOM 555 tight (not many things are at that price,) but tighter never the less. Although, I found the 2.0t was a bit muddy. Especially on the tympani rolls of Beliroz. This is something that really stands out to me because it's my favorite part. Switching to those copper Cables really helped out my Parasound. I had started feeling fatigue from the highs with the SL2000 tweeters, but I really noticed the difference. No fatiguing at all. However I noticed the same digital grainy feeling with the Parasound. Not as pronounced as with the Carver tfm. The B&K was the huge winner though. Everything sounded better than my system had EVER sounded and I kept playing sections over and over. I kept noticing little things burried in the mix.

    Anyways, so what is my conclusion? Carver sucks.
    hahahahaha. just kidding.
    I just thought I'd ruffle a few feathers for old time's sake. They sound a little better than I remember them sounding but I don't think they are for me. They were able to push th volume VERY high with low distortion but I wasn't enthralled with the sound to begin with. There was no point in the test that I thought "wow." But that's just me, and I did feel they were decent. I still contend they are overpriced in the 2nd hand market. Not because they're THAT bad, but because of their realative price to amps with equal or better quality. But I suppose something is only worth what someone is willing to pay.

    The conversation and experiment has been quite fun. I've learned a lot so far, and got to know my equipment better. I've found things to aspire my system to become, and found qualities I'd like to improve. And that's what it was all about, right?
    design is where science and art break even.

  9. #219

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    The thing is, most people don't realize how important the pre-amp is in the chain. Many use mediocre pre's and blame the amp for shortcomings in the sound. The pre-amp is just as important as the amp (as in 100% equal). That Threshold is a killer piece and have no doubt it was the best of the bunch you had to choose from.

    I dislike silver cables very much.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  10. #220

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    H9, if one had a system that consisted of only a CDP or some other digital source, a DAC, and an amp, would you recommend they get a preamp, or would you recomend they run straight to the amp from the DAC, given the DAC has line level control?
    design is where science and art break even.

  11. #221

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    H9, if one had a system that consisted of only a CDP or some other digital source, a DAC, and an amp, would you recommend they get a preamp, or would you recomend they run straight to the amp from the DAC, given the DAC has line level control?
    Depends on how good the DAC line level is. In general I'd say no because a dac with a excellent line level section isn't that much different than a good pre-amp. Now there are exceptions and some may prefer a passive line control or a buffer, etc.

    For instance Monarchy makes a really nice DAC NM24 with a line level control. It acts the same as a pre-amp and the cost reflects it.

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 12-30-2010 at 08:07 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  12. #222

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    I am surprised you chose the SS over the tube pre's. Granted Threshold is a fantastic pre( amps are dam good also) but the audio illusions has some great reviews also. Did you go back and try it again with one of the tube preamps?



    Although.... hang on... on second though, you were using a tube phono pre anyway.... so you in a way were using the Threshold as a big volume knob!.... I am going to assume everything was flat yes? If so, then i guess it would almost at that point what had the better pass though on the sound not to color it then...

    Just thinking out loud LOL.


    OK so B&K was the winner? My friend mark uses a B&K on 1.2's with a scott tube pre. They do sound good!!!

  13. #223

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    Little surprise there, from what I gather, Dickey only respects tubes.
    Then "Dickey" (as you say) is a pretty smart guy!
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  14. #224

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    Quote Originally Posted by erniejade View Post
    I am surprised you chose the SS over the tube pre's. Granted Threshold is a fantastic pre( amps are dam good also) but the audio illusions has some great reviews also. Did you go back and try it again with one of the tube preamps?



    Although.... hang on... on second thought, you were using a tube phono pre anyway.... so you in a way were using the Threshold as a big volume knob!.... I am going to assume everything was flat yes? If so, then i guess it would almost at that point what had the better pass though on the sound not to color it then...

    Just thinking out loud LOL.


    OK so B&K was the winner? My friend mark uses a B&K on 1.2's with a scott tube pre. They do sound good!!!
    Yep one giant expensive volume knob
    I did try it without the tube phono for fun and it was pretty good. I did like like it better with the phono though.

    The B&K, to me, was the best of the 4. I did wish I had one of my old 555's to try out and see how it compared. I will soon have a Classe 70 at my disposal, so it will be nice to do some real comparisons.
    design is where science and art break even.

  15. #225

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    EDIT: and I think the Carver was the M-1.0t.
    I have one pushing the Polk 2.3's, with a Carver C-2 Pre Amp. sound great to me..

  16. #226

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    H9, if one had a system that consisted of only a CDP or some other digital source, a DAC, and an amp, would you recommend they get a preamp, or would you recomend they run straight to the amp from the DAC, given the DAC has line level control?
    I am, as I am writing this, running a audio output from my laptop which has an on-board 128-bit DAC for the audio plugged straight in to a tube amp that has a variable gain pot and that is going right in to the KLH 17's. The only "pre-amp" is the Winamp software running. This same combo was played a bunch at Polkfest 2010 and got lots of raised eyebrows and questions. I'm impressed. Pretty much why I call it the "giant killer". Any source too. A CD player, an iPod, a computer...whatever. Most stuff sounds pretty darn good running through this especially considering what it is.



    As far as Carver amps go, I have two. A pair of Silver 7t monoblocks. The reason I got them is because I really liked the sound and they have enough power (575 watts each) to drive Amazings. I may be unloading the Amazings but I doubt I will get rid of the 7t's. I wish I had brought them to PF2010 so I could hear the LSiMs hooked up to them. I think they would do spectacular driving a set of those. So much so, I'm considering them to replace the Amazings.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

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    Nice write up, newrival...

    FYI, I ran the variable output of my old Denon DCD-1500 CDP to my Carver M1.5t for a while many years ago taking my old Yamaha C-1 (?) pre-amp out of the path. Heard a big improvement and told me I really needed a new pre. Subsequent search led me to my first B&K pre, the AVP-1000, now semi-retired.

    Quote Originally Posted by FTGV View Post
    Apparently the same challenge was taken up by The Audio Critic with an ML as the reference.
    That's it... The Audio Cfrtic test was the one I remembered. Not sure I ever read the Stereophile article before a few minutes ago... thanks for the linky, fastz28. Funny how two successes = one failure...

    h9/ Jessie,
    Links to your quoted material, please...
    More later,
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  18. #228

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    IMO, the preamp has a more profound effect on sound than the amp does....

    BDT
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  19. #229

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    Default Carver amps

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Cheap alternative to raw power I guess. I've had some carver amps I thought were pretty good and some not so good, like everything else out there. People mistake current for watts all the time. Can't speak for everyone, but I never had a problem with bloated bass from a carver. Sometimes it's a synergy thing too, who knows, but as far as bang for your buck, just starting out, Carvers can get it done. Not the last word in SQ but not the worst either.
    Just go with the Krells....the best Amps in the world, RIght?... I love the built of the Krells
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  20. #230

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    Default Carver amps,and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    I keep trying Carver amps but they never float my boat.

    I recently bought a TFM-35, had high hopes, brought it home, hooked it up, and in a very few minutes (maybe moments) knew I didn't like the sound.

    Sounded thin and somehow "electronic", but it would play "loud".

    Tried it on SDA's, RTA12's, Magneplanar MMG's, Dahlquist DQ-10's, ADS-810's, and some others, so I think I gave it fair shake.

    On the other hand, I have (and instantly liked) amps like Adcom GFA-1, 454, 555, Citation 16's, Dynacos, Luxman, Quad, Rotel, and others.

    I can't figure it out. Maybe someone who has a system that sounds fantastic with a Carver amp, but they should try swapping in an Adcom, Rotel, or similiar "value" amp of similar power rating and see if it doesn't sound even "better".
    (I have the Carver Silver 7t's)I would love to try an Adcom power amp or a Rotel,but I don't think they could push my Infinity Kappa 9's that I'm getting soon.hey,they have a 1 ohm load drop.They are known to be Amp killers.
    PolkAudioClyde

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    [QUOTE=skipf;1484035]Since I have Carver ALS Platinum speakers, I haven't found an amp that has the power to drive them anywhere close to the price of my Carver Silver 9t's. The Carver 180W tube amps did sound better than the 575W 9t's, but they cost three times as much. Trying to compair SS to tubes is an apples and oranges thing though. Not counting tube amps, I'm very satisfied with my 9t's. Crystal clear mids and highs, and the bass will bulge the window glass with no distortion. The best bass reproduction I've heard from an amp/speaker combo.[/QUOTE

    When you are ready to sell the 9t's, let me know. :)
    PolkAudioClyde

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD View Post
    IMO, the preamp has a more profound effect on sound than the amp does....

    BDT
    Yeppers... and in general components dealing in mv's more than those dealing in V's... excepting speakers which are #1...

    Reminds me of an old, %-influence ranking thread from long ago...
    More later,
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    Yeah, I was thinking of that thread when I made the post.....

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    Well it sems to me that I was correct in my intial assumption that the OP didnt want help with making his carver gear sound better, he has simply re affirmed his intial post that Carver gear sucks for the money it costs is all.



    REGARDS SNOW
    Well, I just pulled off the impossible by doing a double-blind comparison all by myself, purely by virtue of the fact that I completely and stupidly forgot what I did last. I guess that getting old does have its advantages after all :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tour2ma View Post
    ... and in general components dealing in mv's more than those dealing in V's.....
    On the other hand the amp is dealing with low impedances that can vary widely with frequency and can present a reactive instead of a purely resistive load.The pre has a comparitively easy job of driving the >10k ohm typical input impedance of an amp.
    Last edited by FTGV; 01-01-2011 at 12:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow View Post
    Well it sems to me that I was correct in my intial assumption that the OP didnt want help with making his carver gear sound better, he has simply re affirmed his intial post that Carver gear sucks for the money it costs is all.



    REGARDS SNOW

    You have got to be freaking kidding me.

    Snow, apparently I gave you too much credit. I thought that when I wrote "Carver sucks... just kidding"
    you'd be able to understand that it was an obvious, blatant, unabashed joke. You do understand what "just kidding" means, right? I don't know what is up with you. Maybe the lack of sunlight, or cold weather, or who-knows-what has made you an insufferable wet-blanket of a human being. Lighten up and enjoy life, man.

    You weren't correct in any of your assumptions.

    You said I was just trying to brand bash and had no intention to find out how to make it better. There are 8 pages here proving you wrong.

    You said that I never had all the SDA's I had. Again you were proven wrong.

    You said I wouldn't try the amps again. You were proven wrong once again.

    You tell me I was just looking for a fight. Again proven wrong considering no matter how much you tried to instigate me with you're thread crashing and name calling, I never stooped to your childish level of behavior.

    You challenged me at every turn, and you were met with sound logic and more respect than you deserved.

    You accused me of being a troll, yet as others have pointed out, you were the only one exhibiting such behavior. You focused all your energy on me telling me what I was insinuating or what my intentions were, and completely disregarding my actual words. I never, ever said that Carver sucks (except in jest), but others did. Yet who's ass did you attempt to crawl up because of it?

    Obviously, I am not the only person that feels this way as over a dozen people have echoed my sentiments on this thread. Like I've said all along, if they sound good to you, great! I gave my opinion and stated that it was just that, an OPINION. I'm entitled to it, just as you are to yours, even if yours comes in the way of a childish tantrum with name calling. I have expended more patience on you than you deserve, and I'm done with the niceties. Faced with facts, you cross your arms and pout like some indignant child. The strangest thing about this is that I have a feeling you're twice my age.

    But I've given you more of a response than I should have.

    Sincerely, I wish the Best to you in the new year, and hope that you find some way to through whatever you're dealing with.
    design is where science and art break even.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tour2ma View Post
    Yeppers... and in general components dealing in mv's more than those dealing in V's... excepting speakers which are #1...

    Reminds me of an old, %-influence ranking thread from long ago...
    I never thought of it this way. That's interesting.

    On a side note:
    I was reading an article that touched on this issue. The author contends that they now prefer integrated power amps due the shortened and more direct signal path. Any thoughts on this?
    design is where science and art break even.

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    I'm yawning.....I'm yawning some more.....ZZzzzzzzzz......

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I'm yawning.....I'm yawning some more.....ZZzzzzzzzz......
    I'm failing to see the point.
    design is where science and art break even.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newrival View Post
    ... they now prefer integrated power amps due the shortened and more direct signal path. Any thoughts on this?
    By definition an integrated amp is a preamp and amp integrated into a single chassis.So other than eliminating the need for an extra set of interconnects the active circuit signal path has'nt been reduced.The exception is the rarity of an amp that simply uses a passive attenuator at it's input in lieu of the normal gain or buffer stage.

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