I have owned carver products before myself & was rarely impressed with any of it except the Silver seven which I actually never owned but did get a good listen to. I liked the silver seven but it was definately colored. It had a slightly rolled off top end that was sweet but still reasonably detailed. I heard the silver seven t as well in the same setting & it was terribly bright in the lower treble & very hard sounding as a result. I got a chance to hear the lightstar amp after Carver left Carver corp & in that particular setting the lightstar amp was amazing but I couln't afford it.
I had one of his preamps & the carver silver addition amazing loudspeakers. I was not happy with either. The amazing loudspeakers were definately constricted by the cloth bound rear opening & you could actually hear the noise of the air trying to go through the cloth & the associated reduction of bass as a result. These speakers had to move an incredible amount of air to reach 20Hz. I stripped away the cloth & the noises & bass reduction went away but they were still too polite with my other equipment.
The preamp was really sad. It was the one with the built in tuner. The sound from it was very very bland & constricted. My midfi Onkyo preamp is worlds better than it. It sent the sound though so many bad coupling caps that the only way you could get any sense of soundstage was to turn on the sonic holography circuit & then it was an unnatural sounding one as now instroments were huge beyond belief. I went through & DC coupled everything & that definately improved things durastically but still not to the level of my Onkyo preamp. Each opamp that the signal went through there was 2 electrolytic coupling cap between it & the next opamp in the series. One sitting at the output & anouther one sitting at the input of the next stage. There was several of these opamps in series between the input & output. I checked the D.C. offset & it was very low so I determined that they weren't needed. At least with this mod I could listen & have some sense of a realistic soundstage without having to use the sonic holography. Sound were more real now but still could be bettered by other equipment that was cheaper.
In my opinion the only thing highend to come from the carver corperation was the silver seven vacuum tube amp & given my singular experience with the lightstar amp possibly it as well in the right setting. All his transister power amps were terrible & not only were they terrible but introduces huge amounts of noise into the houshold wiring that made it though all the other sound equipment in the house due to what he called magnetic field power supply which essentially put an triac in front of the powersupply transformer so he didn't have to use suct a large & costly standard transformer. At one time to test my theory I went into Magnolia Hifi & turned off all the Carver power amps (it was a non carver sysem powering the speakers at the time & I tried several different non carver amps at powering the speakers & none could effectively rid the speakers of the buzz) After turning of all carver poweramps the buzzing noises went away. These noises were quite loud with the carver amps on even though no carver amps were actually in use. Just the fact that they were on was doing the damage.
Edited by germanium - 10/4/10 at 5:02am