Welcome to the Phase Linear History Reference Site
This website features vintage Phase Linear stereo equipment manufactured between 1970 and 1983. Brief descriptions of the components are given along with photos. Decades after this equipment was manufactured, Phase Linear amps, pre-amps and other components are still being sought due to their inherent excellence.
Phase Linear was founded by Bob Carver in 1970. He had grown up in Washington state, and had received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in physics after attending the university there. A brilliant and iconoclastic engineer, Bob Carver was also a lover of music, and had his own opinions regarding audio amplification. He had tinkered with amplifier designs all through college and was constantly prototyping his designs. Legend has it one amplifier he designed became known as the "earthquake amp" for its tremendous power.
Carver believed he could manufacture this amp. Like most pioneering entrepreneurs, Carver was able to put together a team of financial backers and engineering associates to realize his dream. With the help of Carver's partners Steve Johnston and Jack Goodfellow, Phase Linear was launched in 1970 in a small building at 405 Howell Way in Edmonds, Washington. The first component to be manufactured was the model 700 power amplifier, with 350 watts per channel. It turned the audio world on its ear, and it quickly became a reference amplifier used by recording studios, jazz and rock bands and discriminating--and power hungry--audiophiles. The model 400 power amplifier, with 200 watts per channel, and the famous 4000 pre-amplifier followed.
Demand for Phase Linear components grew dramatically as the company's reputation grew around the world. In August 1973 the 700 B was introduced. In 1974, the company moved into a new building on 48th Avenue West in Lynnwood, Washington. Several years later, however, Carver felt the urge to change direction. He believed the best way to do this was to leave Phase Linear in 1977 and launch a new company. Carver Corporation was founded in 1978.
A.P. Van Meter joined Phase Linear in 1974, bringing with him his design experience working at Macintosh and University Sound. When Carver left Phase Linear in 1977, Van Meter became the Chief Design Engineer and the Engineering Manager. Under his direction the Series II models were designed and built, and introduced in 1978.
Phase Linear was purchased by Pioneer Electronics Corporation in 1979. Pioneer choose to expand the Phase Linear line of components, adding a turntable, cassette deck, equalizers and new speaker designs. Pioneer then sold Phase Linear to Jensen in 1982. Jensen announced its decision to close the Lynnwood plant in December of that year, and production was moved to Texas.
Jensen's involvement with the traditional market niche Phase Linear had carved out for itself was short-lived. The last Phase Linear home and professional stereo component equipment was manufactured in 1983. Jensen moved Phase Linear into auto sound, where it remains to this day.
At this site you will also find relevant links related to Phase Linear components giving more detailed information, recommended upgrade modifications, even an interview with Bob Carver himself as president of his current company, Sunfire.
Anthony Young, Webmaster
Interesting facts/opinions about the man himself.
1 post • Page 1 of 1
- R.I.P. Friend
- Posts: 13360
- Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am
- Location: TN Native Languishing in VA
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
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)
RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.