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How to kill a Carver amp

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TNRabbit

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 13292

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am

Location: TN Native Languishing in VA

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:27 am

How to kill a Carver amp

From anatech (member here), found this posted on DIY Audio & thought it would be good get here for posterity:

Ways to kill a Carver:
Run mids and or highs only (locks the commutators up).
Run an extension cord or poor circuit (voltage falls and supply draws more to compensate).
Run off a small gas generator. (love that, both amp and generator become extinct).
Plug into 550 VAC (flames will cut TO-3 cases and bottom cover)
Let moron service it. (most people refuse to read the service manual).

Carver amps have more protecton than normal amps and normally will simply shut down (except in above cases). I've seen racks operate flawlessly for years.

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The Carver type power supply does not hold a huge amount of energy in reserve. It holds just enough to do the job. Therefore the standby current is very small, little heat being dissipated. Once a signal comes along, the required energy is almost immediately draw from the AC supply. This is because the energy is regulated right at the AC input. As the regulating circuits sense a supply voltage drop, they increase the conduction angle on the triac which results in more current being draw. It does this very quickly in time with the music. The fans on a PM 1.5 sit on their own winding and unregulated power supply, so are speed controlled by how hard the triac is turned on. You can hear them going to the music.

What I'm getting at is that the current demands are very immediate from the AC supply. Most times people load these amps down at 4 ohms or lower (even though they shouldn't). Now, a gas generator's output is controlled a little by changing the field current in the generator. The problem is that it can't track the Carver's current demands because they are so quick. The generator overshoots (voltage too high). This tends to cause a decrease in current in the Carver. The generator then undershoots (voltage too low) so the Carver draws more current. The cycle is like a low frequency oscillation - depending on the generator.

At some point the voltage gets high enough to damage the Carver, or low enough to damage the Carver and generator (at low voltage the Carver draws much higher than normal current). How would you like to have a mixer on the same circuit for that ride? All source devices get severely abused as well. Anyway, anything can happen once this gets out of control. I have no doubt that there are generators that can put up with this. The problem is that everyone buys the least expensive generator they can find.

Extension cords are also very bad for these amps if they are too thin or the run is too long. High voltage drop = high current = blown fuse at some point. A possible shorted triac means that when the fuse is replaced the amp may go full current with extremely high voltages inside. This is not pretty.

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TNRabbit
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thall

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TFM-35

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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:04 pm

Location: Ohio

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Back when we were both younger, me and my M-500t made many road/house boat
trips to the Indy 500 and Lake Cumberland.
The stereo was on for all but a few hours for 2 to 3 days straight running on a generator.
Never had a problem.
It wasn't till a couple years back, it finally had to go to Rolland for some work. Not
bad for an amp with over 20 years on it.




Would I do it again?
Uh, no.
With age comes wisdom.....sometimes.
thall
__________________________________
I know what I like and I like what I know
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OconeeOrange

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 4482

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:24 pm

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:17 pm

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Have two playing outside in the Southern heat, the cold and the rain. It was 96 there today, and Bessie Smith still sounded like a teenager.
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anatech

Newbie

Posts: 17

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:13 pm

Location: Georgetown, On, Canada

Post Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:21 am

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Hi TNRabbit,
Thanks for posting that. No excuses now people!

Hi thall,
You were lucky and had a good generator. Keep this up and the end will confirm the post I made - at your expense.

Most Carver amps have long service lives, enjoy yours. BTW, I just tried some improvements on an M-500t, and it responded very nicely. This amp now has a delicate quality that is not normal for a Carver. The M-500t is also one of the very best looking Carver models. I wouldn't mind one myself, but the Bennytone ones look much better in my opinion.

Hi OconeeOrange,
Just 'cause it survived doesn't mean some heat damage didn't occur. If you like your amps, treat them nicely and they will keep on going. What I've seen over the years boggles the imagination. The bit that was posted really sums up the most common issues we see. Keep in mind that Toronto hosts "the Caribana festival". What happens to those amps isn't pretty and most die on parade floats running on a generator. This isn't good for any amp, not just a Carver.

-Chris
You did what???!
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OconeeOrange

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 4482

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:24 pm

Post Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

anatech wrote:Hi TNRabbit,

Hi OconeeOrange,
Just 'cause it survived doesn't mean some heat damage didn't occur. If you like your amps, treat them nicely and they will keep on going. What I've seen over the years boggles the imagination. The bit that was posted really sums up the most common issues we see. Keep in mind that Toronto hosts "the Caribana festival". What happens to those amps isn't pretty and most die on parade floats running on a generator. This isn't good for any amp, not just a Carver.

-Chris


Some buy to use and some buy to store and protect. I have a Carver inside, and it is seldom played -
My outdoor Carvers are sounding great, and replaceable on ebay.
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basspig

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TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:55 am

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Back in 1984, I auditioned a Carver M 1.5. My speaker load is 2.66 ohms per channel (at that time, was essentially six 18" woofers, 3 per side). Playing pipe organ music, it blew its 10A fuse. So I put in a 15. Blew that a shot time later. So I put in a 20. Eventually the amp shut down and would not power back up. The fuse was still intact. The amp went back to Sounds Incredible for a refund. What I think happened was the thermal overload device probably failed. The amp was pretty impressive for its size and weight. Though the lights flickered 16 times a second on the organ pedal tones.. very annoying with fluorescents!
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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angelod307

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 2693

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:56 pm

Location: manning, sc

Post Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:57 am

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

basspig wrote:Back in 1984, I auditioned a Carver M 1.5. My speaker load is 2.66 ohms per channel (at that time, was essentially six 18" woofers, 3 per side). Playing pipe organ music, it blew its 10A fuse. So I put in a 15. Blew that a shot time later. So I put in a 20. Eventually the amp shut down and would not power back up. The fuse was still intact. The amp went back to Sounds Incredible for a refund. What I think happened was the thermal overload device probably failed. The amp was pretty impressive for its size and weight. Though the lights flickered 16 times a second on the organ pedal tones.. very annoying with fluorescents!



hey there, some people pay extra for the light organ effect....
CarverFest: I just go for the arts and crafts
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basspig

User avatar

TFM-6cb

Posts: 271

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:36 pm

Location: Connecticut, USA

Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:18 am

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Ah, that brings back memories... along with the cheap 'quadraphonic' equipment they sold around 1973 in department stores like Grand Way.. but hey, I bought my Panansonic La Scala reel to reel in '68 in a Grand Way store. :)
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
http://www.basspig.com The Bass Pig's Lair - 16,500 watts of driving surround sound!

Business sites at:
http://www.ampexperts.com
http://www.mwhdvideo.com
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DigitalMan

Newbie

Posts: 8

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:54 am

Post Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: How to kill a Carver amp

Interesting, can someone elaborate more on the first line about running only mids and highs? I have a M1.5t i use on my Polk RT1000p mains, they have powered subwoofers in them so the carver only runs the mids and highs. Is that really bad?

http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/prod ... t/rt1000i/

they don't seem to have the 1000p model on their website anymore but the 1000i model is essentially the same thing.

thanks

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