2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

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Magnaryder
SILVER-7 TUBE AMP
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2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:04 pm

I'd like to thank Bob and Jordon from The Bob Carver Company for making our project possible.



Thanks also go out to each and every CarverFest attendee that participated in getting the project on wheels. Successful completion of the project amplifiers wouldn't have happened without your invaluable help.



This review applies to the 2018 Carver 275 'CarverFest' build only, and has no direct correlation with The Bob Carver Company's production amplifier.





Associated Equipment:

E.A.R Yoshino V20 Integrated Amplifier
Carver Research Lightstar Reference Amplifier
AMD 9590 5Ghz based StormTrooper MSI 990 MB 64Gb 2133Mhz RAM 2- 240Gb Intel 850 SSD 2-Asus 290 R9 Graphix(a digital music source)
Schiit Ygdrasil, Modi2Uber, Modi3 DACs
Schiit Lyr, Magni3 Headphone amplifiers/Linestages
Tascam C-222MKII(CD Transport/player)
Lucas Labs CF2014 Preamplifier
Ariston RD-40, Linn Basik LV Arm Grado Statement Master1 LOMI cart
Rega P3(TangoSpinner, motor isolation mods), SME 3009TypeIII Arm Cardas rewire Grado Statement Master1
Fosgate Signature Phono Preamplifier-The Grail 6X4, Mullard 10M 6922a, Telefunken 12AX7s, IBM(RCA) 6211 Cardas Phono cabling
Audio Note AN-9 hand-drawn Silver Loudspeaker cables
CarverAudio ICs
Cardas Clear Speaker Cables
Silver HighBreed 8ga Mains Cords
Twisted Snake Mains Cords
AKG and Stax headphones

The Digital Side
Bob allowed me to borrow the 275 prototype for a day during CarverFest while we were building our amps. The first thing I noticed how the presentation differed in comparison to other amplifiers i'd heard at CarverFest. The overall soundstage spread across the entire livingroom in cabin12. A person could walk between the artists in the image. Talk about 'air'. Vocalists were surrounded by an ever so slight halo seemingly separating them from the other artists in the recording. The room was quite palpable, I could hear the confines of the walls and ceiling giving me a specific feel for the room where this song was recorded.

One of my goto recordings is Deedles Blues by D.Shuur and the Count Basie Orchestra. This disc shows just how good RedBook(CD) can be. You can hear the feet tapping, ice tinkling in glasses and practically smell the cigarette smoke in the tiny jazz club. The 275 was no disappointment, all of the aural cues were there and something I hadn't noticed in prior listening sessions, Diann's voice was elevated a bit. I mean further off the floor. Cool, I'll have to listen for this artifact when I get home.

The other thing that I noticed that other was the power and the difference 3 times the power makes. Leading edges of snare hits and horn notes are brought into bold relief. Bass drums, guitars and synths have a bit more authority. My listening position is much closer to my speakers at home but there is some engaging quality to listening to music played a bit louder when you're seated further from the source. The M3s respond to more power. Bob claims the 275 is stable to 2 ohms. I have to agree, as the M3s are nominally 4 ohm and dip to 3 on occasion. The 275 drives them to ear piercing volume in my 24x18x7.5 room with ease.

Once home I proceeded to put Yggdrasil through the 100 hour warm up(again) while getting some hours on my amplifier pair. I wanted to find tracks that when listened to by a CarverFest attendee or another owner of 'OUR' amplifier could replicate by selecting the tracks we've used to evaluate their findings to mine. You'll be able to listen to the tracks and see if your application of the 275 gets results similar to mine. This group of tracks can also be utilized to guage tube rolling(or other mods) to the 'stock' complement of tubes. I utilize Cardas' speaker placement formula as well Dave Wilson's set up technique as staring points with tweaks of my own as they apply to my room and preferred seating position.

After getting 100+ of Yggy, first up is 'Haunted' Track#6 on the CD The Moody Blues 'Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the New World Festival Orchestra'. A bell rings during the chorus, its located roughly 2 feet above and outside the speaker location left and right respectively. More on this later, it gets better. From 'The Story in your Eyes' on the same CD as the orchestra begins to play the image stretches across the entire horizon in front of the listener, yet behind the band...amazing.

Ventura Highway on America's History CD I found the bass textures to be fleshed out quite nicely. Roger Waters 'The Wall' Another Brick in the Wall pts 1&2 his bass has a really great growl to it that digs WAAY down and in 'The Thin Ice' there's a child crying that seems to come from all around the listener. 'People Lets Stop the War' on Grand Funk Railrtoad's 1971 E Pluribus Funk begins with Mel Schacher's bass has a rich gritty feel to it. Robben Ford and the Blue line's 'Mistic Mile' CD the soundstage is plainly articulated, deep and wide. Guitar can be heard to the left of the bass, vocals are centered with the drums plainly behind and off to the right a bit. Very nice.

I'll continue as tube rolling is getting fantastic results. With NOS valves the 275 really comes into its own. There is alot of amp to be tapped. RCA 6550s, Kevs 6211s and Tellys are the magic. More to come as we move to analogue. And I haven't begun to mod it yet.



ray



looking for Tesla E83CCs for the Fosgate...in case there ain't enough buttah
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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Ben D. Rinkin
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Ben D. Rinkin » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:00 am

Nice read. Thanks for taking the time to write that all up!

What an equipment list!

BDR
Socialism takes and Capitalism creates

UncleMeat
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by UncleMeat » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:07 pm

Nice review Ray!

I'm running a single CF amp with my ALS originals W/60" ribbons at the moment. Sound impressions are similar; but I'm also doing some processing/sonic holography to get the image extension. This is partly because my room does not allow for ideal placement, and I need room correction and corrections for losses induced by SH.

The ALS/60" will take all that the CF amp can give but it really does not start to show signs of strain until volumes are at uncomfortable levels. That's saying a lot for the little CF amp; the ALS are power hogs and running a M-4.0t has the meters flickering at mid levels for the same output. The CF amp out-performs the M-4.0t for SQ, bass extension, image within it's amplification range.

The pre-amps I've been using are the Counterpoint SA-3.1 and recently the Mark Lucas CF-14 Linestage. The Counterpoint with vintage Amperex tubes was seeming to be "it" in terms of image and overall sound until I hooked up the Linestage a couple of days ago. I'm running the MM section of the Counterpoint through the Linestage. HOLY COW! The image jumps way out of the speakers and fills the room! Yet again, I didn't think my system could improve for image/detail; yet it did!

If you've noticed my posts to the "what are you listening to?" thread you'll see that I've been listening to Tarantino soundtracks on vinyl. Those 'tracks are some of the best mastered recordings I've ever heard. QT is a known audiophile, and has a good ear for sound. I would venture to guess he had a hand in the mastering process for the soundtracks. The recordings have a MASSIVE image almost like what you hear in late 50's/60's recordings when stereo was a new format.

Magnaryder
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:55 am

GET you some of this!!!

Caveat, my Yggdrasil remains in the A configuration. I'm waiting on Schiit's proprietary USB implementation to take advantage of YGGYs upgrade path. Secondly, Bob noticed while listening to my rig it didn't sound like it has in past years. I modded my M3s with Mundorf Silver/Gold/Oil capacitors right before the Fest. I mentioned my thoughts on this in a conversation I had with Clayton Shaw. I felt my rig was capable of more depth in the soundfield and thought the SGOs while expensive, would get me where I wanted to be. Clayton agreed with my assessment. So at a little over 350hours on the SGOs I have DEPTH!!!! Bowling Alley DEPTH.
Woofreekinhoo!!

RCA6550s, Telefunken gray plate 12AX7s, IBM badged RCA 6211s...absolute magic

Here's the skinny. As you remember from my last installment I mentioned listening to tracks that are easily found and I made observations that are repeatable by anyone interested in doing so.

Tonight I'm listening to Page and Plant's 'No Quarter' , the sitar use is amazing as is the flute and 12 string guitars. I continue to be amazed by Yggdrasil's ability to render correct tonality and impact and generate a convincing recording venue. It really is a destination piece. On 'Since I've been loving you' the drum kit is clearly behind Plant. Wonderful One's kettle drums are in the room with me as are the banjos in 'That's the Way'. DAMN!

Stevie Rays chord changes on 'Texas Flood' are nothing short of guitar art as is his picking on 'Little Wing'. I did notice that while Tommy Shannon's bass image was tight and a little to the right of Vaughn, Chris Layton's drums extended beyond my speakers to the left and right at times. Must be a big kit:-)

Back to 'Live with the World Festival Orchestra' The Moody Blues cut 'Haunted' I mentioned the bells ringing were outside the speakers by several feet. Once the 6550s were installed the bells were now behind my listening position.

The inclusion of the 6550s really let the 275 shine. Looking back I guess I'd rate the KT120s as passable, an ok place to begin. Compared to the 6550s....well, its not a contest.
Bob was right. The 6550s are the tube to use in this amp. More to come. I have other tubes to roll in.

On the mod front, some other 275 owners have things well underway. Power supply mods have been made and an output transformer upgrade path is being explored also. Both have been engineered to fit in existing spaces. Great things in the works.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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oldtexasdog
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by oldtexasdog » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:53 am

Ray
Anymore feedback on the transformer upgrade path?
There are two holes in Daddy's head where all the money goes.

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kingman
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by kingman » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:11 am

oldtexasdog wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:53 am
Ray
Anymore feedback on the transformer upgrade path?
Martin has ordered the transformers but I don't believe he has installed them.
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!

Magnaryder
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:30 am

There is more to the upgrade than just installing the transformers from what I understand, the feedback loop may need some component changes. Proceed with caution.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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Don
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Don » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:41 pm

Very good review Ray. Thank you for taking the time. Let's discuss it more in detail at CF over your Carrot Cake! [-o<
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Magnaryder
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:56 am

That’s the least I can do for you Don, seein’ that TheFest is the only place you eat TheCake.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

Magnaryder
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:00 am

Look at begging or borrowing tubes to try or get to somewhere you can listen to another amp with tube changes. There is plenty of opportunity to taylor the sound to your liking.

ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

Magnaryder
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Location: Bucyrus, Ohio

Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:32 pm

The GRAIL of 12ax7s.....Is your wallet that kind of deep? You’re looking at the starting bid....sheesh
A8E4CAD6-BCE9-4001-8863-8A29AD8573F4.png
ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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kingman
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by kingman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:52 pm

Got some Genelex Gold Lion KT-88’s on the way. First up... swap small tubes for 2 RCA’s and a Telle in the middle.
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!

Magnaryder
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:00 am
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:57 pm

Starting to sound like you’re on your way down the rabbit hole Wayne. See you on the other side.

ray

Found the Tesla E83CCs. Should be here in a couple of weeks.
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

Magnaryder
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Posts: 3259
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Bucyrus, Ohio

Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Magnaryder » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:14 pm

Finally!!! They’re here, in the mail today came my Tesla E83CC. It’s the final piece of the puzzle completing the quest for my Fosgate Signature phono pre. Yesterday my Sel Lorenz 81 arrived. My current complement is a pair of Siemens 81s, the Sel Lorenz 81, Tesla E83CC, and buttah( the 6922 10Ms I got from MHRP). This tube complement should ring out every last bit of detail from my phono rig. I’m using the Sel in the 3rd position in the Fosgate because I notice it susceptible to microphonics and they built super low noise tubes. The Tesla 83 is said to be the same tube as the Telefunken ECC 803S. Folks that have heard both state that claim is valid. We’ll see. This is the deep end of the tube gene pool.



I’ll be left to my own devices for a bit allowing me the time for listening. I have the tubes running in now. Woofreekinhoo!



ray
Magnaryder

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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Ben D. Rinkin
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Re: 2018 Carver 275 Amp build review

Post by Ben D. Rinkin » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:53 am

Woofreekinhoo. A normal tube amp term. Should be a model name. :lol:

BDR
Socialism takes and Capitalism creates

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