Carver C-500 High Slew Rate Laboratory Standard Amplifier

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BillD
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Carver C-500 High Slew Rate Laboratory Standard Amplifier

Post by BillD » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:39 am

As I appear to be the only active forum member that has one of these, I thought I'd give you a review.

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You are looking at the first power amplifier Bob Carver designed after leaving Phase Linear and forming Carver Corporation. Designed to improve upon the legendary Phase Linear Model 400 and 700 Series 2, the Carver C-500 Laboratory Standard Power Amplifier incorporates the latest technology of the time (circa 1980), including peak responding LED level indicators with adjustable sensitivity and the ability to hold peak positions.
I bought this amplifier new on January 13, 1980, and I have been using it as part of one of my systems since then. It was serviced once by Carver Corporation in January 10, 1985, where the defective (under-powered) 85 volt filter capacitors were replaced with 95 volt caps, resistors were added for display tracking (creep) and the bias was reset. At that time, it was fully bench tested to spec. It was serviced again in 1994 and re-capped in 2004 to keep it at spec.

You can see from the faceplate that it is very much a cousin of Phase Linear, and an exact match to the faceplate dimensions of the C-4000, which was introduced at the same time. That pair, along with a Dual 1219 turntable (Shure V-15 II cartridge) and a Kenwood KT-8300 tuner comprised my stereo system of 1980 driving a pair of DCM Time Windows.

Listening to this amplifier is effortless. There is absolutely no coloration to the sound whatsoever, which is borne out by the specifications below. I have used it in several rigs over time, most recently driving the ribbons of my Carver AL-IIIs. I originally had the C-500 on the woofers because of its incredible damping factor, but switched it with the A-500x, because I didn’t like the way the A-500x sounded on the ribbons.


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Marketing Techno-babble

Ultra-fast FET devices at the inputs provide high gain without slew rate limitations. All driver and pre-driver circuits operate in true Class A, so that voltage amplification is achieved with perfect linearity.

The power transistors in the output stages are ultra-linear, ultra-fast high energy guardband devices. Their power dissipation capacity is over 2400 watts – four times the amplifiers basic requirement.

Absolute stability and unmeasurable TIM are achieved with modest amounts of feedback, since residual distortion would be only 0.5 percent without it. And error-correction signals in the feedback loop operate in only 23 millionths of a second.

DC capability minimizes low frequency phase shift, and very low output impedance results in a damping factor greater than 1000 at 20 Hz – assuring taut, controlled bass response.

Massive positive and negative power supplies have tremendous voltage potential for musical peaks – 43 joules of energy are available.

A sophisticated internal computer monitors voltage, current, power, heat and ultrasonics oscillation. It also senses DC signal components at the input that, if amplified, could damage speakers. The computer can distinguish between musical bass notes and low frequency fault transients. When called upon, digital shutdown instructions to the amplifier’s input stage and power supplies take action in less that 1/1000th second.


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Pertinent Specifications:

Power Output: 250 watts per channel minimum power RMS into 8 ohms (454 watts per channel into 4 ohms) 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more than 0.05% total harmonic distortion. Typical harmonic distortion <0> 5% at rated power

Total Frequency Response: 1 Hz to 250 kHz

Absolute Maximum Slewing Rate: 80 v/µsec

Rise Time: <c1> 100 dB

Damping Factor: > 1000 at 20 Hz

Size: 19â€
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Carver: C-4000 & C-1 preamps, PSC-60 preamp/tuner, TX-11a tuner, M-400 (2), C-500, M-500, M-500t, M-500t Mk.II, A-500x, AL-III loudspeakers (2 pr.)
Sunfire:Theater Grand III processor, Ultimate Receiver, Cinema Grand Signature 400 ~ seven, True Subwoofer Mk. II, D-10 Subwoofer

AMV8
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Carver C-500

Post by AMV8 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:04 pm

Hi
You will be please to hear that I have aquired two of the C-500 power amps. Sadly they both need repair but are cosmetically good.
I will be repairing them shortly. Your photos and spec and review have pushed me to repairing now instead of in the future.
Do you have a schematic or circuit diagram. If not I will back engineer one. However having one to begin with helps. I have not been able to find one one the internet. The closest I have is the Phase linear 400 schematic.
Any help or advise appreciated.
Don
AMV8

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OBI56
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Re: Carver C-500

Post by OBI56 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:59 pm

AMV8 wrote:Hi
You will be please to hear that I have aquired two of the C-500 power amps. Sadly they both need repair but are cosmetically good.
I will be repairing them shortly. Your photos and spec and review have pushed me to repairing now instead of in the future.
Do you have a schematic or circuit diagram. If not I will back engineer one. However having one to begin with helps. I have not been able to find one one the internet. The closest I have is the Phase linear 400 schematic.
Any help or advise appreciated.
Don
Hello AMV8 and welcome to the Forum. We have a special section on the Forum for manuals as well as the rules governing them. Please read this section first. You will also find links to several sites for manuals that you might not have found with a simple internet search.

I'd also suggest that you go the the Forum's Read This First page and introduce yourself to the rest of the forum. Helps a lot with forgeing new friendships with a great buhcn of guys.

Good luck with your search
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.

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