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Bob Carver - Page 4

post #46 of 68

These monoblocks are some of the best looking tube amps I've ever seen (at least on the outside).  I'd love to hear them.

post #47 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycalgary View Post

holographic equalizer?


LOL .... You mean phase box. 

post #48 of 68



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by downsize View Post


 


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.


It's interesting how after 25 years there's still no consensus about sound. Continuum (It wasn't renamed CODA until 89) was formed in 85 by a few Threshold alumni. Yes the Adcom 555 was considered bright compared to the best amps of the time (ML, Classe, Aragon, Bedini), but compared to comparably priced Japanese amps the 555 was a revelation. I always found the Auto-former based SS McIntosh amps positively dreadful, although they weren't really bright. The Threshold always sounded to me like a much better 555, and the Nakamichi which licensed the Stasis technology from Threshold was somewhere in-between. When CODA finally started producing consumer electronics in the very late 80's it was readily apparent that they shared some Threshold DNA, before that they were OEMing for other manufacturers (I believe Forte among others, but don't quote me on that).

 

I was never a fan of Carver's SS offerings (the Cube positively sucked), even the later Sunfire amps left me cold. The best Carver amp I ever heard were his 80's Tube mono amps. That being said I think that he's a talented engineer, and a great guy.

 

On another note; affordable HQ mid 80's amps: I always really liked the Bedini, Sumo, and Classe DR amps. To this day I still think that Classe has not bettered the DR series (but that could just be the fog of memory). Every now and then I am tempted buy a Bedini on ebay. Bedini is still servicing and even upgrading all of their amps. There's something about a True Pure Class A amplifier that has always sounded Right to me. It must be why I currently have the Parasound JC-1 Mono's (They run Class A up to 25 Watts).

 

Anyway... Carver's current Mono Tube Amps looks nice, I'd sure like to give them a listen.

post #49 of 68

Yeah - 80's SS amps were pretty grim, and probably one reason for the resurgence of tubes.  All through the 80's, including 4 years of college,. I used tube Dyna gear.  When I got married in 1992, my wife got irritated with my tube rig, and at the time we lived in a small place and there could be only one modest stereo, so I replaced the Dynas with a Yamaha receiver.  That was the low-point of my audio days, and my wife, bless her heart, could tell I wasn't happy about it.  So I bought a pair of Maggie SMG-C's and a some VanAlstine MOSFET stuff, and we were both happy :)

 

My first piece of Sunfire gear was his all-tube preamp.  While it sounded great, it seemed to burn through tubes about every 3 months, and replacing them was a 24-screw nightmare, so I ditched it in place of a Krell - and the Krell never sounded as good.  I really wasn't as happy until I went back to a tube preamp (Cary SLP-05).  That Sunfire tube preamp was really good!  That and the Sig II are the only Carver products I ever owned, but I have been impressed with both, mostly (other than the tube burn-up issue).

post #50 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post



 


It's interesting how after 25 years there's still no consensus about sound. Continuum (It wasn't renamed CODA until 89) was formed in 85 by a few Threshold alumni. Yes the Adcom 555 was considered bright compared to the best amps of the time (ML, Classe, Aragon, Bedini), but compared to comparably priced Japanese amps the 555 was a revelation. I always found the Auto-former based SS McIntosh amps positively dreadful, although they weren't really bright. The Threshold always sounded to me like a much better 555, and the Nakamichi which licensed the Stasis technology from Threshold was somewhere in-between. When CODA finally started producing consumer electronics in the very late 80's it was readily apparent that they shared some Threshold DNA, before that they were OEMing for other manufacturers (I believe Forte among others, but don't quote me on that).

 

I was never a fan of Carver's SS offerings (the Cube positively sucked), even the later Sunfire amps left me cold. The best Carver amp I ever heard were his 80's Tube mono amps. That being said I think that he's a talented engineer, and a great guy.

 

On another note; affordable HQ mid 80's amps: I always really liked the Bedini, Sumo, and Classe DR amps. To this day I still think that Classe has not bettered the DR series (but that could just be the fog of memory). Every now and then I am tempted buy a Bedini on ebay. Bedini is still servicing and even upgrading all of their amps. There's something about a True Pure Class A amplifier that has always sounded Right to me. It must be why I currently have the Parasound JC-1 Mono's (They run Class A up to 25 Watts).

 

Anyway... Carver's current Mono Tube Amps looks nice, I'd sure like to give them a listen.

 

Thanks for straightening out some of my foggy memory ..LOL   I absolutely LOVED the Classe DR amps as well. I should also concede the McIntosh amps I was referring to may have been an earlier vintage. I was never up perfectly current on McIntosh, as they were very prolific in putting out new stuff at that time.
 

post #51 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Yeah - 80's SS amps were pretty grim, and probably one reason for the resurgence of tubes.  All through the 80's, including 4 years of college,. I used tube Dyna gear.  When I got married in 1992, my wife got irritated with my tube rig, and at the time we lived in a small place and there could be only one modest stereo, so I replaced the Dynas with a Yamaha receiver.  That was the low-point of my audio days, and my wife, bless her heart, could tell I wasn't happy about it.  So I bought a pair of Maggie SMG-C's and a some VanAlstine MOSFET stuff, and we were both happy :)

 

My first piece of Sunfire gear was his all-tube preamp.  While it sounded great, it seemed to burn through tubes about every 3 months, and replacing them was a 24-screw nightmare, so I ditched it in place of a Krell - and the Krell never sounded as good.  I really wasn't as happy until I went back to a tube preamp (Cary SLP-05).  That Sunfire tube preamp was really good!  That and the Sig II are the only Carver products I ever owned, but I have been impressed with both, mostly (other than the tube burn-up issue).

 

Funny you mention Krell in that light .... I have always thought Krell gear sounds absolutely horrid in every way. I have never heard a piece that I liked, but unfortunately I had to sell it due to customer demand. I used to love it when customers would ask me what else I sold that was even better than Krell amplification .... I would take them into the entry level high end room and show them B&K reference amps, and they would look at me like I was crazy LOL.  I would tell them if they wanted better sound, even the B&K would give it to them. Krell always sounded cold and brash to me. And yes ... I even had their stupidly expensive reference line.
 

post #52 of 68

Tube PP is going to hell and handbasket, powered by the thurst for power to drive huge, multi-driver speakers that deliver organ jarring bass and highs that only dogs can hear, these amps are now reaching up to 400 Wpc. Vac, Bat, AR, etc are leading the way.  The other laggards will follow.

 

How many of you have heard an 2A3 or 300B PP amp running in class A?  Or a Class A triode strapped Kt88 or 6L6?  This is true PP tube magic.  The rest is noise.  

post #53 of 68
Thread Starter 

"How many of you have heard an 2A3 or 300B PP amp running in class A? " 

 

Better question is how many of you haven't?

post #54 of 68


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post



 


It's interesting how after 25 years there's still no consensus about sound. Continuum (It wasn't renamed CODA until 89) was formed in 85 by a few Threshold alumni.


Continuum is Doug's (Coda) lower line of products.

post #55 of 68



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post

Tube PP is going to hell and handbasket, powered by the thurst for power to drive huge, multi-driver speakers that deliver organ jarring bass and highs that only dogs can hear, these amps are now reaching up to 400 Wpc. Vac, Bat, AR, etc are leading the way.  The other laggards will follow.

 

How many of you have heard an 2A3 or 300B PP amp running in class A?  Or a Class A triode strapped Kt88 or 6L6?  This is true PP tube magic.  The rest is noise.  



Sure a nice 300B 12 Watt amp can sound sweet. The problem is that I have NEVER heard an ultra efficient speaker that does not have GROSS tonal anomalies. Horns all honk, and single driver systems are a joke. I tend to use SS Amps with tubes residing further up stream. As far as 3 watt 2A3 amps go, well their proponents are simply the Lunatic fringe.

post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Yeah - 80's SS amps were pretty grim, and probably one reason for the resurgence of tubes.  All through the 80's, including 4 years of college,. I used tube Dyna gear.  When I got married in 1992, my wife got irritated with my tube rig, and at the time we lived in a small place and there could be only one modest stereo, so I replaced the Dynas with a Yamaha receiver.  That was the low-point of my audio days, and my wife, bless her heart, could tell I wasn't happy about it.  So I bought a pair of Maggie SMG-C's and a some VanAlstine MOSFET stuff, and we were both happy :)

 

My first piece of Sunfire gear was his all-tube preamp.  While it sounded great, it seemed to burn through tubes about every 3 months, and replacing them was a 24-screw nightmare, so I ditched it in place of a Krell - and the Krell never sounded as good.  I really wasn't as happy until I went back to a tube preamp (Cary SLP-05).  That Sunfire tube preamp was really good!  That and the Sig II are the only Carver products I ever owned, but I have been impressed with both, mostly (other than the tube burn-up issue).



My current setup consists of the preamp you spoke of; the Sunfire Classic, a Sunfire 300 amp, and a pair of Carver Amazing Silver Loudspeakers. 

 

I never was much of a fan till I found the speakers on Craigslist for $200.  At the time, I owned AR9's and Dahlquist DQ-10's; both completely restored and recapped.  I used to always say that if someone could make a speaker with the all out balls of the AR9's and the imaging of the Dahqluist DQ-10's that it would be the speaker I would sell them both for. 

 

Low and behold, the Carver Amazing Silver has been that speaker, however these things are power hungry as all get out.  Users manual recommends up to 600WPC (not peak) to drive them.  So I did a little research, looked at big high current amps and quickly decided that for the money the Sunfire was a contender.  Also, I read a stoy that Bob used the Amazing speakers when he was voicing the Sunfire equipment so, voila, instant synergy.

 

Anyhow, thats my story and I must say that of all the gear I have owned over the years, ALL of these Carver pieces are keepers in a big way. 

post #57 of 68

Yikes, which Bedini models in particular are you looking for?  Some can go for pretty cheap.  I've got the 25/25 which can be a bit more expensive than the other Bedini's because they're all sought after by Quad owners. :(  I do like it though.

post #58 of 68

As you said the 25/25 I'd also consider a 100/100 MkII or 1 Meg. It really depends on price and my $ on hand. To rebuild and update them it runs from $450 to $725

 

The Bedini's were special. There was also a company in the late 80's early 90's that built some great (expensive) class A amps: White Audio Labs, I believe that they were out of Texas, but I wouldn't hold that against them

post #59 of 68

There is a listing on ebay now for a Silver Seven, complete pair.  Same guy also has a like new HEV90 and two HE90s.  The Carver Silver Seven is just amazing.

post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post



 



Sure a nice 300B 12 Watt amp can sound sweet. The problem is that I have NEVER heard an ultra efficient speaker that does not have GROSS tonal anomalies. Horns all honk, and single driver systems are a joke. I tend to use SS Amps with tubes residing further up stream. As far as 3 watt 2A3 amps go, well their proponents are simply the Lunatic fringe.

I find the 2A3 and 45 tubes to be the best sounding of all. But the speakers are a problem, I agree.  Parallel 2A3s, as in the Audio Note Neiro, do not require horns or single driver speakers.  Audio Note Es work very well with them.  My experience is that with 8W and up, PP or SET, there are many many nice 2-way speakers that work well. My LS3/5As (82dB 10 Ohms) work really well with all the AN 300B amps.  I also have a pair of AN-Ks that work better - more range, more emotion.

 

But you won't find many dealers telling you that as they edge you toward a 300W tube amp and 4-way speakers.

 

Think smaller.
 

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