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It all started in 1980...

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jt1stcav

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Location: Lakeland, inbetween Tampa and Orlando, Florida

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:39 pm

It all started in 1980...

While a junior in high school, I first became aquainted with Carver components while at a friend of my dad's house. And what a house it was...he was a doctor in CT who had his home built around his 1927 Marr & Colton theatre pipe organ installation!

With the organ chambers and console situated at the front of this enormous music room, in each four corners were these beautiful walnut Klipschorns, powered by two Carver M-500t amps, a C-4000 pre, and two Nakamichi 680ZX cassette decks that he used in conjunction with two Neumann mics and a tube mic pre that I can't recall. When he would "show off" his system to friends, he would slip in a master cassette tape that he recorded of his instrument and play it first with only the two front Klipschorns/one M-500t, and then for shits 'n' giggles fire up the second M-500t for the rear stereo pair of Klipschorns just to blast everyone out of the room! He wasn't interested in quadraphonic reproduction...this was just to show how impressive recordings of the very same pipe organ that was in this room sounded when played back thru his Carver stereo system (and to prove that he could, just because)! Sure did impress this teenager enough to declare that someday I too would own Carver components!

After I graduated in '81, I joined the US Army...in '83 I was stationed in Germany and had learned about all the great military discounts soldiers received on electronics. With $$ saved up, I decided to retire my Quasar boombox and head off to the local PX to their audio & photo department, and after several hours of auditioning equipment I returned to the barracks with a car-load of goodies...a Carver M-400t, C-1 pre and TX-11 tuner, a Nakamichi DRAGON and BX-1 cassette decks, and a pair of JBL L112 Century II monitors (I had no room in the car for Klipsch Cornwalls, and the PX was out of Heresys)!

Later in '84 and '85, I purchased the Carver DTL-100 disc player (when I saw that 1st generation player on the cover of Stereo Review, I knew I had to have one), a harman/kardon CD 491 tape deck to replace the BX-1 I sold to my roommate, and a Denon DP-62L turntable with a Stanton 981HZS cartridge. In the pic below (preparing for an awards ceremony), you can see some of the gear I proudly owned (the amp and CD player are on shelves behind me, and the JBLs are across from me)...ah, the good ol' days!
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Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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jt1stcav

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:49 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

I returned home in '86 and kept my current gear for many years. Later on throughout the '90s I added a TFM-35x along with a second (used purchase on eBay) M-400t; both cubes bridged mono for my DIY subwoofer. I replaced the DTL-100 with a new SD/A-450 disc player, and replaced my C-1 with another eBay find, a mint C-4000! The new Magnepan MGLR1 planars used up a lot of the TFM-35x's juice, but it never stuttered, got hot, or even blew a fuse...what a workhorse! ;)
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Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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jt1stcav

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:02 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

But, all good things seem to come to an end, especially if you're laid off and have to file bankruptcy (long, sad story). I eventually pawned off virtually everything I owned, so I no longer own any Carver gear (except for a baseball cap with "Carver" embroidered on it).

When I could eventually build up a new system for myself again (with extremely limited funds), I originally planned on buying more (used) Carver gear. But I went in a totally different direction when I came across a deal I just couldn't refuse. So now I'm into tube gear thru efficient Klipsch loudspeakers, and I don't regret it one bit (see my sig for my latest updates)! I do miss my Carver components...maybe someday I'll build a second all-Carver system again when my finances allow.
Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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jt1stcav

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:10 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Here's a closeup of my system in 2001...

The dbx crossover on top of the TFM-35x was for my DIY sub (again powered by the two cubes...perfect li'l power amps)! My so-called home theatre consisted of a Sony hi-fi VCR and a 20" mono JVC TV...no surround sound for me.
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Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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engtaz

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:41 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Very nice gear.
engtaz


Carver M4.0T in front channels to Caver AL VI's in SACD & 2 Channel setup
C 16, PT 2400, Slim Device, Carver TX-8, 490T and Rega TT w Grado Gold cart in the 2 channel setup
Bogen SRB20 is computer amp
Carver PM-350 donated for youth church use
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t-mitch4

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Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:57 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Interesting "Mini Audio Biography" jt1stcav.

Great photographs. Thanks for taking the trouble to share them.

Tom
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jt1stcav

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:41 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Thanks...it was great gear! I certainly miss it. Had I not gone the tube route in '03, I'd still be enjoying my favorite music with either Carver or Sunfire components in one fashion or the other (at that time my ideal setup would've probably consisted of McIntosh SS amplification and the Sunfire Vacuum Tube Preamplifier driving bigger Maggies).
Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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OBI56

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Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:23 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Thanks for sharing those stories jt1stcav. Seems like a lot of people went through the sort of experience; having Carver gear, loving it, losing it to different circumstances and coming back to it as soon as they could. My story is a bit different having only lusted after Carver gear in my youth but only recenly beng able to finally afford it. Very few people in audio have had the impact that Bob Carver has had on audio enthusiasts and thank god we have a place to finally all meet up here.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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jt1stcav

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Location: Lakeland, inbetween Tampa and Orlando, Florida

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Amen to that, brother! [-o<
Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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stevewithrow

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Location: Great NorthWest.....Carver Country..

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:35 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Thanks for the story and pics bro...!!!!!... :o
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docadillac

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Location: The wet coast of Canada

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:56 pm

Re: It all started in 1980...

Great story and pics. I can empathize with having and losing gear. It's remembering and having a longing for some of those good times with great sound in my book.
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jt1stcav

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Location: Lakeland, inbetween Tampa and Orlando, Florida

Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:11 am

Re: It all started in 1980...

True. I'm just grateful to have experienced and enjoyed Carver gear in my lifetime. Maybe sometime in the near future I may again.
Jim Tidwell...a current triode addict and former CARVER aficionado!

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TNRabbit

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Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:17 am

Re: It all started in 1980...

I joined the USAF in 1980 as well, but I had a wife & small child within a couple of years & while I lusted after Carver gear, I was never in a position to afford it until the past couple of years (I've made up for lost time!)...thanks for the story!
TNRabbit
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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SteveFord

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Location: Stewartstown, PA

Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:16 am

Re: It all started in 1980...

Great read, hope you get in a position to build your second system soon.
Upstairs:
VTL MB-250 Signature monoblocks, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, HHb BurnIt Plus, Well Tempered Labs Classic, Ortofon 2M Black, Jolida JD-9 Phono Preamp, Sherwood S3000-IV tuner, VPI-17, Jolida JD-100, AKG 701, Beyerdynamics 881, NHT SW1-P subwoofer and amp, Magnepan 1.6, APC H15
Downstairs:
VTL DeLuxe 300 Monoblocks, Harman Kardon F500x tuner, Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 preamp, Jolida JD-100, Oppo 981, Otari MX5050 BII, SVS SB-12 subwoofer, Magnepan 3.6
In Storage:
Stax Sigma headphones, signed DTL unit, Magnepan MMGs, Carver TX-11, TX-11a's
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lawdog10231

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Post Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:20 am

Re: It all started in 1980...

Welcome aboard! I probably have the exact opposite to your trioded tube sound. I'm driving original Carver Amazings (2 ohms) with two Sunfire 300x2 amps in a vertical biamp which gives me 2400 watts per channel and I'm able to use the high current taps for the ribbons and high voltage taps for the woofers. I can't imagine anything sounding better...

But I have friend who has those real expensive German horn speakers which he drives with a 10 watt triode tube amp and when I heard his system play chamber music I was almost converted.

This is probably the best board on the web. I think you'll be happy here. =D> =D> =D>
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