Carver A500x

Amplifier Reviews
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Carver A500x

Post by audioassassin77 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:51 pm

As of late there have been many questions regarding this amplifier posted on the board. In as such, id like to take a few minutes and share my impressions on this amplifier.
..please dont be offended by any poor spelling/sentence formation that may occur(the profanity check im sure will eliminate anything else that may offend).



To start let me say that this is one POWERFUL looking amplifier. All black chassis, large lighted VU meters, robust rack handles and classic understated white lettering.
The weight of this amplifier is also impressive. Shipping weight was stated at 39 lbs. when delivered. For a consumer of other amplifier brands this may be a little on the light side for a unit with 250wpc output into 8ohms. Tho for a Carver collector it was surprising to me that this amplifier weighs almost twice as much as the similar rated m500t.
Interesting also are the variable outputs located on the rear of the amp that traverse from the nill position up to "THX" at full out. Until it arrived I had no idea the A500x had this feature.

A couple of years back I had heard an A500x at the home of a friend. He was using the amplifier to power a middle of the road pair of Klipsch RF series speakers in a two channel setup. I was not impressed to say the least. This was the first time i had heard a Carver amplifier (played through decent speakers) that I absolutly disliked. Soundstage seemed very oddly presented. The high range was overly bright and not at all pleasing. Female vocals presented as harsh and biting with male vocal having an almost nasal quality. Mid range presentation was seemingly limited to the point of non-existance, while the low end was very pronounced.
At the time I figured I was perhaps not the most partial observer due to the newly added Carver ALIIIs/M500ts in my listening room.
When I came across a reasonably priced A500x a few months back I couldnt help myself. I just had to see if my inital impression based on a friends rig would hold true when tested in my more revealing(my opinion) setup.
When adding a new amplifier to my "critical" rig I always give it a chance to "de-throne" the m500t that is currently used to run the ribbon section of the ALIIIs. (aside. none has come close ;) )
After 10 min. I knew I would not be calling upon the A500x in this capacity again. Still in fairness I listened for an hour or so.
Again I found this amplifier to be sadly "cold".
Next. I hooked it up in place of the m1.0t that had been driving the woofer section for quite sometime and WOW!
I was very surprised to find the A500x outshining the m1.0t down low. Bass was to my ears much faster as well as being better defined. Passages on Dire Straits Brothers In Arms(especially Six Blade Knife) seemed much more rounded. Bass laden tracks on CCRs Chronicle had a far more boisterous, party like tone. Rage Against the Machines Renagades hit with far harder impact.
All round the A500x bested the m1.0t.

The A500x is most certainly an amplifier designed for use in a home theatre setup. when paired with the A753x it would probably shine(mereconjucture on my part as i have yet to aquire an A753x) as evidenced by its tonal qualities. H/T calls for bright voices and big ass bass.
For myself, I am quite happy using it as a lowrange amplifier in a bi-amp setup. To my ears this is where this amplifier not only works, it excels!

I am slowly going CRAZY 123456 switch..CRAZY going slowly am I 654321 switch.

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