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Bob Carver - Page 3

post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikongod View Post




Win.


Man ... I just would NEVER argue with Ari about amp design !!!  That tube amp he designed and built is just CRAZY good !!!   Ready to be build me one Ari ???   C'mon man ... don't make me hurt you .... PUHLEEEEEEEZE  !!!!!  Wah----------------  

post #32 of 68

LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE ROUND 2

post #33 of 68

Naw .... These are just opinions. Everyone listens differently, and has different tastes. While I wouldn't own Carver, Skylab enjoys his. One of the things that makes audio equipment enjoyable.

 

In my many years of selling audio, I have only experienced a FEW things that nearly everyone agrees on sounds great.

post #34 of 68

Ain't THAT the truth!

post #35 of 68

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by downsize View Post

By the time he offered the Sunfire products, he had really went crazy for poor sound to me. The Cinema Grand products are among the brightest, strident, and edgiest gear I have ever heard. .... and his subs ?  Boomy as hell.

 

So in my opinion, Carver products should be considered mid-fi at best.  JMO


I had a Sunfire Signature II for a short while in a 2ch rig. While it's hard to point fingers at one piece since that whole system was a failure, the sound with the Sunfire tended towards what you describe - strident, bright, edgy, unmusical. I went back to a PS Audio HCA-2 and the sound improved noticeably (but the system still wasn't great). These days I prefer tube amps, so it's true that I'm not a SS kinda guy. Chalk that whole thing up as a big learning experience.

 

The rest of the system was Legacy Signature III, BAT VK-5i, Meridian G08, LAT and HGA cables, in an apartment with flimsy construction. NOT recommended. Yes the room did suck and that is hard to discount. While I'm sure most of those components are quite fine (heard the Sig III speakers sound good in a friend's system, Meridian G08 is decent), the Sunfire did stand out for me a bit as the wrong component in the wrong system.

 

These Carver tube amps however, look like a totally different beast. I can't even begin to speculate what they sound like or what's going on under the hood. I think they look bad-ass, I would like to hear them, and compare them to the bad-ass Rogue Apollo tube monoblocks I currently have in my system. So far I am definitely a fan of the "gobs of tube power" amps (> 200 Watts/ch with much higher transient capabilities). It's made a BIG difference in my system coming from ~25-70 Watts/ch tube power.


Edited by mulveling - 5/14/10 at 6:48pm
post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Ain't THAT the truth!


Oh yes it is ... LOL

 

We used to have "Vandersteen Wars " in my store !   That's a speaker line most people either love or hate ... No middle ground. On the other hand, a properly set up pair of B&W 801 Matrix 3 on Sound Anchor stands ..... I don't think I can remember ANYONE ever not falling in love with them .... But major caveat :   They were STUPIDLY picky to set up and system match !   Once you did though ... They would take you there !

post #37 of 68
Thread Starter 

Stuble

"Basically what your post says is "I know absolutely nothing about circuits or components for building an amplifier in general, however I've seen many other innards of amps with prettier, more colorful, blingtastic looking parts so therefore this amplifier can't possibly sound that good because the innards aren't shiny and big."

 

Stuble I feel sorry for you. Not sure if you are suffering some kind of brain damage or something but my writing does not match what your opportunistic mind is trying to twist it as. From the simpleton replies I am probably right about there isn't much new about these amps as a circuit as the other fellow was trying to make them out as. I use to look at tube amp schematics as a hobby even have most of the parts for one that I have yet to build. If you want an example of a tube amp schematic that is a cut above I would be more that happy to show you one.

 

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=tubediy&n=10439&highlight=metalman75


Edited by jaycalgary - 5/14/10 at 7:15pm
post #38 of 68

I'd say the hand wound traffos are 60% of the cost of these amps (the 5 previous failures should be chalked up to R&D costs). I'm guessing that Bob did not include that cost in these amps...as for better parts I'm of two minds on this...while high quality ordinary stuff will be reliable and stable and perfectly fine I have to wonder what what the best parts made today might do for these amps....you have to admit it's a question worth asking (at the very least) and IMO exploring for those with the means to take these amps way way over the top.

 

 

That being said 7500USD for a pair of custom tube mono blocks of this power output level is a bloody steal.

 

Peete.

post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post


I had a Sunfire Signature II for a short while in a 2ch rig. While it's hard to point fingers at one piece since that whole system was a failure, the sound with the Sunfire tended towards what you describe - strident, bright, edgy, unmusical. I went back to a PS Audio HCA-2 and the sound improved noticeably (but the system still wasn't great). These days I prefer tube amps, so it's true that I'm not a SS kinda guy. Chalk that whole thing up as a big learning experience.


One thing is that you do have to use the Sunfire Signature 2 in bi-wire mode, as you need to wire the current-source output to the mid/tweet and the voltage-source output to the woofs.  This is required in order to have the thing sound right.  It doesn't work well for speakers that can only be single-wired.

post #40 of 68

Funny thing about talking about the price of these amps... Bob only set the price at $20....  good man bob.

 

The buyers did all the rest...  and cudos to the winner, the amps sold what they were 'worth' to him, not what was set by the maker.

 

I know I would like to hear them.. maybe not own them, but at least hear them.

 

Cheers,

post #41 of 68

The eBay auction had pictures of Bob Carver.  He looks different (certainly older) than I remember from other pictures.  So I googled for some recent pictures of Bob Carver to see if that was really him. Found some pictures of him at a CarverFest meetup in 2008.  The interesting bit though is that there is a picture of his mono tube amp just like the one in the eBay auction (scroll down to about the middle of the linked page).  Neat.  He gave away the tube amps at the CarverFest meetup.  That was a nice little drawing prize.

 

An unbiased impression of the tube amp from CarverFest says "it sounded fantastic".  Of course.  :)

post #42 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

One thing is that you do have to use the Sunfire Signature 2 in bi-wire mode, as you need to wire the current-source output to the mid/tweet and the voltage-source output to the woofs.  This is required in order to have the thing sound right.  It doesn't work well for speakers that can only be single-wired.


Yes - I only ran it from the voltage-source taps, when I should have tried it as you've described. At the time I thought the low impedance outputs would be objectively superior and didn't explore further. I even had the bloody bi-wired LAT cables on hand! Ah, the impatience of youth :)

 

So, my sonic impressions of this Sunfire are from running out of the voltage source taps only. Not a rigorous evaluation for sure - your experience with this amp trumps mine by far - but I've since moved on to enjoying tube amps much more than SS anyways. Yep, I know the current-source taps were Carver's offering for a more tube-y sound. I actually don't like tube-y sound. I do love tube amps that are as linear as possible. Which the amps under discussion in this thread may be - who knows :)

post #43 of 68

And that is precisely where Carver did himself a DISSERVICE.  The Current-source output doesn't sound tubey to me at all - like you and downsize, the sound is too bright/crisp up top from the voltage-source outputs.  It sounds great from the current-source outputs (again for the mid/tweet section only).  Carver shouldn't have described it that way.

 

Bob Carver once staged some crazy public demo where he attempted to prove that he could make a SS amp sound exactly like a tube amp.  I think a lot of people think he succeeded as far as the test went, but I'm not sure what that really got him.

 

I love tube amps, but not for speakers.  Preamps, headphone amps, and in DACs and phono preamps - but I need SS for driving my B&W's.


Edited by Skylab - 5/15/10 at 11:16am
post #44 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

And that is precisely where Carver did himself a DISSERVICE.  The Current-source output doesn't sound tubey to me at all - like you and downsize, the sound is too bright/crisp up top from the voltage-source outputs.  It sounds great from the current-source outputs (again for the mid/tweet section only).  Carver shouldn't have described it that way.

 

Bob Carver once staged some crazy public demo where he attempted to prove that he could make a SS amp sound exactly like a tube amp.  I think a lot of people think he succeeded as far as the test went, but I'm not sure what that really got him.

 

I love tube amps, but not for speakers.  Preamps, headphone amps, and in DACs and phono preamps - but I need SS for driving my B&W's.


Wow Skylab .... I had forgotten that. You really brought back some memories. I was at one of his demonstrations where he did his whole Carver SS amp demo. The demo amazed some, and left others scratching their heads. He simply rolled off the highs, and brought forward the mids to try and accomplish this. Taken in context though ; At this time in high end audio, circa 1984-1985, literally ALL solid state amps sounded very mid 80's solid state .... That is, edgy and harsh to some extent. So literally ANY change from this was easily perceived as "tubey" sounding at that time. Even then, he was trying for something new and exciting.

BTW Skylab ... FWIW, the best sound I ever heard from a pair of 801s came from a monsterous Classe CA-400, with all Naim front end and Tara Labs Decade wiring. It was a customer's system that was truly, truly amazing. Just perfect synergy in a also great sounding listening room.

 

Edit : Carver demonstrated his amp against two other amps ; An Adcom GFA-555 and a big Yamaha. Both very bright and edgy amps.  At this particular time in high end audio, the solid state amps that were creeping towards tube sounding, were McIntosh, Luxman, and Nakamichi in the more affordable high end price brackets .... With Coda and another who's name eludes me in the high priced bracket for great solid state amps. Luxman was just tubey sounding enough back then, to be very sucessfully mated with Klipsch's horn speakers. Even though I never cared for Klipsch, this actually made for a very nice listening experience.


Edited by downsize - 5/15/10 at 1:34pm
post #45 of 68
Thread Starter 

holographic equalizer?

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