Carver TFM-55

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Magnaryder
SILVER-7 TUBE AMP
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Location: Bucyrus, Ohio

Carver TFM-55

Post by Magnaryder » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:03 pm

I wrote this originally for Audioreview sometime earlier in the year, before I acquired Lightstar...I may need to edit it.


I'm running a Carver System comprised of a C-19 (tubed) Preamp, SDA/490t CD(tubed) player, TX-11 FM tuner, 2(a bridged pair) TFM-55 power amps feeding a pair of Silver Edition Amazing Loudspeakers. A DBX 120X driving a Carver M500t(700 watts bridged) to a pair of 18"subs in a dipole arrangement handles movie lows. Peripherals include a Technics SL-1900b turntable, a DBX 3BX range expander, Tascam CC-222 MkII CD/cassette recorder, Optimus DCC-2000 DDC recorder, and a Nakamichi Dragon.

Once I added the TFM-55s, my system came alive. Like on the street there is no sustitute for power, hosepower or watts. At 1000watts bridged, this is the BIG DOG set-up. Anything less....is. Power from the godz, dynamic, rhythmic, and precise. Depth of the TFM-55 soundstage is breathtaking, and the precision of the image has to be heard to be believed. Strings and female voices take on life.

If you have marginal source material(rap and other low-life (c)rap) this kind of quality amplifier with show it in grand detail. I have a Telarc LP of Eric Kunzel directing the 1812 overture. The cannon shots were recorded at Baldwin-Wallace and the TFM-55 take you there on that fine spring day. You can feel the shots deep in your chest...that's power and only the TFM-55 can deliver.

Playing a DCC LP copy of Van Halen(the 1st one) I can hear Mike's fingers on the strings of his bass and Eddie sliding the pick BETWEEN the strings during his hammer runs on 'You Really Got Me' and 'Running with The Devil'. Alex pounds the drums like a madman and Diamond Dave is out front and insane. A direct-to-disc of Girls, Girls, Girls, the Crue is at their best. Vince's voice is clear and stable in the middle of the room and Tommy Lee's drumming is off the hook, fast, hard and convincing. Nikki and Mik sound like they're in the room with you. The recording is melodic, articulate and well rounded. Imaging is stable and the soundstage is grand.

On Sentmental Journey, The Chairman does what Frank does best...voice a song. No one does it better and these are some of his best. He's fronting The Duke and they rock the house. His voice is great, out front....I can see him sitting at the mic with a Kool burnnig between his fingers. Carver's TFM-55 takes you there.

The TFM-55 only gets warm to the touch when they're pushed hard, that means more than 112db for a long time. If you can find them they are worth every cent paid. The Carver Amazing Loudspeaker is known to be a tad inefficient and a bit difficult for some lesser amplifiers. The TFM-55 was designed to run hard into low impedence loads with power to spare and it makes my Silver Amazings come alive. 5 stars very highly recommended.





Strengths:
POWER. POWER. POWER. great dynamics, imaging and soundfield depth. A real serious addition to any set-up. It can run any speaker you'd care to run and make it ROCK.

Weaknesses:
Carver is out of business. Repairs must be done by CCR or High-Tech Audio, They are getting more expensive as time goes on. A TFM-55 will get more on fleabay than it did new.

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

angelod307
SILVER-7 TUBE AMP
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: manning, sc

Re: Carver TFM-55

Post by angelod307 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:45 am

as i have owned two tfm55's since new, they are powerhouses to say the least, yet stiil have the ability to deliver some delicate passages with such detail and presance that i have not heard by other companies. i have had the amp next to parasound amps, only to find that the parasound have a transistor sound to them. the carvers have a tight yet relaxed sound to them. a warmer sound for sure. 18 plus years of enjoyment, and now with rolland at high tech doing a refurb on one i will tell all what the differences would be as the electronics due have some age. anyone that has heard my system is just taken back by the life like sound that is acheived. so, that's it for now, more to come soon.
CarverFest: I just go for the arts and crafts

megasat16
TFM-25
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:13 pm

Re: Carver TFM-55

Post by megasat16 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:01 am

Nice post, OP! I used to have two TFM-55x but I thought they didn't do good justice to how well ALS Plats can sing. I have one pair of Plat (bi-amp posts) and one pair of MKIV.

I tried bi-amping to the Plats with TFM-55x and they seems to have ample power for the ALS. But how do I like the sound is entirely different matter. For sheer power, the TFM-55 are great amps. I have one dead TFM-55x that I need to send to Bob and Rita for an overhaul.

angelod307
SILVER-7 TUBE AMP
Posts: 2654
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: manning, sc

Re: Carver TFM-55

Post by angelod307 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:18 am

megasat16 wrote:Nice post, OP! I used to have two TFM-55x but I thought they didn't do good justice to how well ALS Plats can sing. I have one pair of Plat (bi-amp posts) and one pair of MKIV.

I tried bi-amping to the Plats with TFM-55x and they seems to have ample power for the ALS. But how do I like the sound is entirely different matter. For sheer power, the TFM-55 are great amps. I have one dead TFM-55x that I need to send to Bob and Rita for an overhaul.
yeah, i was considering going to rita's before the price went up for my 55, but even then rita only fixes whats broke and told me that they do not do a recap refurb like rolland does for the 175. and now, a year later, rita's service is 350, which is more than the 299 rolland is asking. i have read that both are the best at what they do, just seems rolland has more to offer when it comes to the life span of the amp and he goes the extra mile in bringing it back to par for another span of life to be enjoyed. to plus of course is bob signing the peice. well, i will go to the fest, and hopefully get mine signed as well.
CarverFest: I just go for the arts and crafts

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