M1.0-t MkII Mod review

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Erik Tracy
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M1.0-t MkII Mod review

Post by Erik Tracy » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:30 pm

I was a happy owner of one of the Carver M-1.0t amps - bought back in the early 80's - in fact I have serial number 098 - not that that is any note of worth.

Well, my amp had been part of my 2-channel rig for years until I made the switch to "Home Theater" - where it served as the amp to drive my front mains.

I do quite a bit of 2-channel listening still, and put the amp to some extensive use for CDs, LPs, and digital cable music.

But, seeing as my Carver has been in service for some 20 or so years, it was time to have it checked out and tuned up.

I had read that the typical service life of capacitors in amps was about 20 years, and I had also read some good 'buzz' about the work Rich has done on other Carver amps - and was interested in getting my amp back to specs with service updates and the mods Rich does to get even more power out of this amp.

I opted for the 'standard' MKII mod package:
http://carvermk2.com/m10tmkII/m10tmkII.htm

Rich was easy to work with - responsive to emails and questions - and the price seemed reasonable compared to buying an new amp. So off it went for the service checkup, and mods.

I got the amp back just after 4 week with the standard MKII upgrade package with replaced capacitors and other parts and checked out to specs. Rich found an op amp that was troublesome and wanted to replace it, but was worried about the delay in order new parts - so he actually cannabalized another amp he owns for the part so that I could get mine back with no further delays. I thought that was a step above and beyond - and much appreciated so I could get my amp back in my setup.

Here's a shot of the new internal parts:
Image

With the amp back in my rig, I decided it was worth some extra brass to upgrade the ICs, so I got some Audio Advisor(Quest) Black Mamba IIs to go from my AVR preouts to the Carver.

I've had the amp going every day for several hours a day for well over a week - movies, tv, lots of music - but not pushed too hard. This weekend I decided to put it thru some paces - CDs and LPs with dynamics and range - up to "Reference Level".

I recalibrated my AVR by running YPAO with the amp in the rig and the new cables to establish a fresh baseline of settings, then plopped down on the couch with the remote and the music playing.

Music Selections:
LPs
Allman Brothers: Win Lose or Draw
Steely Dan: Aja - Side II

CDs:
Peter Gabriel: So
Bryan Ferry: Bete Noire

Digital Cable:
Time Warner Cable: Chnl 929 Smooth Jazz

Results:
=D>

Ok - aside from the smiley - in 'technical terms'....
This amp is a BEAST! And dangerous.

With my RTiA3s and Epik Valor, the sonic qualities are more open, more spacious, more relaxed at reference volumes. This amp does not strain, sound stage stays open and does not 'collapse' when pushed. Bass response seems to be a bit tighter - probably due to the better dampening factor that is part of the MKII mod.

The danger is that with power rating of 400 watts per channel into 8 ohms, the response is so clean that it is now important to be wary of what the power rating of the speakers are.

My RTIA3s are 'only' rated at 125 watts per channel. The M-1.0t MKII has a dynamic rating of 670 watts, 450 watts at clipping

During my listening, I went up to -3db on my AVR after running YPAO, and the M1.0-t Leds were dancing and jumping up and down to the music - reaching just above their 50% mark - no where near approaching the Limiting Led mark.

The 'dangerous' part was that there were NO signs of straining, harshness, or collapsing of the sound stage - and the volume was deceptively loud because of the sonic clarity. I was tempted to go more - but was concerned I would push the RTiA3s beyond their power handling capacity - not out of concern of distortion or clipping from the amp - but that the power was just beyond their ability.

Clean....sonic....goodness.... not bad for the lowly regarded M-1.0t

Erik

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HRDROKN
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Re: M1.0-t MkII Mod review

Post by HRDROKN » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:03 pm

Nice...... =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
HRDROKN
MC-7P tube preanp, BBE2002R, Marchand XM44, TFM-35x .002, TFM-35x, M1.0t MKII .002, M500t, Silver 7t's, SDA-360 and Klipsch KLF-30's w/crites crossovers...

weitrhino
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Re: M1.0-t MkII Mod review

Post by weitrhino » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:16 am

I've not heard the M1.0 MK II but I have heard Rich's M500 Mk II. It's just amazing what Rich has been able to coax from a 20 year old amplifier. Anyone who owns one of these who has not had basic restoration done to it yet would be mad not to consider a Mk II job.

I said it. I stand by it.

angelod307
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Re: But what about the white-gold ring

Post by angelod307 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:14 am

pang55215 wrote:Removed...SPAM [-X

wtf? who are you, and what is the point to these posts.
CarverFest: I just go for the arts and crafts

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Re: But what about the white-gold ring

Post by TNRabbit » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:45 am

angelod307 wrote:Removed...SPAM [-X
wtf? who are you, and what is the point to these posts.
It's SPAM. Report the post to Toy Maker/DaveS with the exclamation point button at the bottom right of the post. If you reply to it, it can't be deleted~
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
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Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

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