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Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

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tinpan

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TFM-45

Posts: 532

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:48 am

Location: Spotsylvania, VA

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:37 pm

Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

I received my indoctrination to this community back in the late 70s with my buddy's Phase Linear 400 and a pair of La Scalas. I managed to procure my own Phase Linear 400 but never acquired the La Scalas until a couple days ago. You may or may not have seen that post on the Klipsch forum.

For many years I was happy with my Phase and the Klipsch KG4s. I had a few issues with the Phase stuff, the preamp went into a local repair shop a few times and they would breath life into for a couple more years. The amp would lose a channel now and then and since i only knew one local shop that would even work work on it, that is where I would take it. They would in turn resurrect it for a couple more years.

With the addition of Dishnetwork and Dolby Prologic it became apparent to me that I would need more stuff.

Being one to like bells and whistles and IMHO the level meters on the old Phase were the coolest thing since sliced bread, I started looking around for a Prologic set up.

I ended up buying a brand new Carver CT 29v for a pre amp and a pair of TFM 15 cb amps. Since the flame...I mean Phase was working at that moment I used the Phase to drive a new pair of Klipsch Epic CF-3s for fronts, I bridged one of the TFM 15s to drive a new Klipsch KV1 and I used the second TFM 15 to drive the KG4s for surrounds.

I also added a Pioneer SW-1000 for a sub.

That worked very well for a couple years. I had Klipsch speakers all the way around (except for the sub); I had 280 watts going to the center speaker, 200 to each of the fronts and 100 to each of the surrounds.

Life was good, I had a jammin stereo and surround sound system with plenty of those cool level meters that were as much fun to watch as the 35 inch TV.

As you know all good things must come to an end. Eventually one of the cool level meters went dark on one of the Carvers and then one of the channels went out on the Phase again.

To be honest with you these amp failures really started to get annoying so I bought an Onkyo TX-DS575X receiver and thanks to the simultaneous divorce proceedings, the Carver and Phase stuff ended up in my storage unit where they have been for the last five years.

You'll probably notice I am one who changes very slowly. So it should be no surprise to find that I migrated from Dish to Direct TV and resisted upgrading the DTV receiver to HD, until the DTV receiver died a few months ago.

I hope you guys like long stories, I like to write.

Anyway, about a month ago my 35 inch TV finally died, I'm pretty sure it's an HDMI conspiracy perpetrated by Direct TV. I mean they had to kill my TV, my dads went a week later.

So, I bought a new Sony 42 inch LCD tv and hooked it up to the old Onkyo. Funny thing about that Sony, it had these things called HDMI inputs. Another funny thing is I also got a Sony Blue Ray player and it also had those HDMI things on it.

As you can imagine this created a real quandry for me, now my Onkyo was old. I'd have to buy a new receiver to use my HDMI thingies.

So I bought a pair of Yamaha RX-V765 receivers, one for me and one for son. I also bought a Klipsch SW-12 sub woofer to replace that POS Pioneer SW-1000.

Boy let me tell you, my speakers really started sounding good now. I mean, really, it was fun to listen to music and watch movies again. It's amazing what a decent sub can add to the mix.

Well, one thing lead to another and a couple days ago I ended up buying 3 La Scalas for my three front speakers and moved my CF-3s to surround.

Man, let me tell ya those La Scalas reeeeaaally make things sound good.

I even re arranged the furniture a little so i could see those old La Scalas and admire them.

As i pondered my latest acquisition, it occurred to me that the Yamaha, as good as it sounds, just doesn't look as cool as the speakers. I mean, where are the blinking LEDs or level meters to watch?

So I went to my storage unit and retrieved my old Carver and Phase stuff, which you can see on the attached photo.

I wonder if i should dust these things off and see what works

Maybe i could ( gasp) unload them on ebay and use that money towards something like the Emotive Amps I've been reading about

Maybe I could use my Yammy as a Preamp and resurrect the Carvers

Maybe I could find a cool preamp that is 7.1 or 7.2 capable and upgrade with refurbished bigger Carver Amps.

Don't know, lots of different directions to go here.

Any ideas?

I have to admit, I find my self looking at a TFM 6CB for sale locally for 50 bucks and to answer this question, I do finding self running "Carver amp" and "Phase Linear" searches on craigslist frequently :-s


Man that TV dying is going to be expensive.

Here's my stack as it now looks:
Image

Hee hee, here's the unintimidating looking yamy:
Image

Oh yeah, howdy to everyone

Tinpan
Tinpan

HT - Sunfire TG IV, Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig. 400 x 5, Oppo 93, Klipsch LaScala (3), Cornwalls (2), SW-12, Sony 60" LCD

2 channel - AN L2 Pre-amp, Carver Cherry 260's, AN 2.1 DAC, Oppo DV-981HD, Klipsch Epic CF3

2 channel - AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, AN Sig. DAC 3.1 , AN Sig. Phono Stage, Sota Comet TT, Lowther Medallion Speakers PM5a driver, Rythmik F15 Sub

2 channel - Carverfest Mono Blocks, Grant Fidelity DAC, Klipschorns

2 channel - Audio Note Kit 1 300b SET, Audio Note DAC 2.1, Lowther Allerions DX-65 drivers
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BillD

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 7295

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:29 pm

Location: The west's most mid-western town, Scottsdale, Arizona

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:15 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

I've never played an amp on its side unless I was troubleshooting :lol:
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
_________________
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
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thuffman03

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!! CarverFest Evictee !!

Posts: 2692

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:07 am

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:10 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Welcome to the forum! Nice story.

I would try to get all those amps up and running. I like to see needles bouncing to the rythm of the music. It just looks so cool IMO.
Some cool Carver stuff!
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kingman

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(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 5528

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:10 pm

Location: Upstate South Carolina

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Get the Carver stuff to running and send the 400 to ME!!! 8) 8) 8)
In reality, it only matters what it sounds like to YOU!!!
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TNRabbit

User avatar

(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 13258

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am

Location: TN Native Languishing in VA

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

You just need what's in my signature line~
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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engtaz

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"TAZ"

Posts: 5163

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:43 pm

Location: Tampa, FL

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:48 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Welcome
engtaz


Carver M4.0T in front channels to Caver AL VI's in SACD & 2 Channel setup
C 16, PT 2400, Slim Device, Carver TX-8, 490T and Rega TT w Grado Gold cart in the 2 channel setup
Bogen SRB20 is computer amp
Carver PM-350 donated for youth church use
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Jag_97470

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 3380

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:06 am

Location: Oregon

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:43 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Thank you tinpan for the story, I really enjoyed reading that > and you are a funny person! Love your set-up and those speakers are very cool! Bob Carver and Rita do service in Washington, also Rolland in Oregon. You could sent in your Carver stuff if you really want it fixed like NEW! I agree with Rabbit > look at the Sunfires, you will be glad you did and not necessarily the newer ones. Your speakers will love you for it. Welcome to the forum! Look forward to more of your stories. =D>
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Breaking Glass

M-400t CUBE

Posts: 113

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Location: Missouri

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:26 am

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Welcome!
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tinpan

User avatar

TFM-45

Posts: 532

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:48 am

Location: Spotsylvania, VA

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:42 am

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Thanks for the welcome folks. BillD, I have found that my Phase, in it's current condition, works equally as well in the horizontal or vertical position. I do need to get both the amp and pre-amp serviced, would Rita or Rolland work on Phase stuff?

Kingman, i was all prepared to send the Phase to you but I couldn't find a box to send it to you in, so I guess I'll just hang on to it. ](*,)

TN Rabbitt & Silver7t, Jeez o' flip, 7 channels @ 4oo watts each? Wow, I could surely be satisfied with one meter to watch. You guys are a bad influence and killing my budget. I remember Bob with PL and Lighstar, but I lost track of the industry after that. I had no idea Sunfire was around and another incarnation of Bob.

I'm kind of with you guys on not buying new. It looks like I'd have to pony up about 8K for new Sunfire gear. I do, however, think that I could get reasonably Sunfire outfitted around 3K and that is obtainable.

It looks like I could go with Sunfire TGP-5 for a pre-amp and that would give me 7.1 which I really like. I do see a couple for sale on ebay that look like a factory close out for around $ 1,500. I wonder if that guy is a reliable source?

I still have to sort out the amps. What does the SF 400 by 7 go for, around $ 3,500 ?

I wonder if I can get there around my budget with a 5 channel and a 2 channel amp?

Oh man or man, my head is starting to hurt.

I'll dust off my Carver and Phase stuff this week end and see what is working. Are the TFM 15cb s worth spending $ 300 to get them refurbed? I do really like them and could see acquiring another carver amp to complete the Carver set up. Then I could use the PL 400 with it's pre-amp, assuming I can get them re-furbed.

Thanks

Tinpan
Tinpan

HT - Sunfire TG IV, Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig. 400 x 5, Oppo 93, Klipsch LaScala (3), Cornwalls (2), SW-12, Sony 60" LCD

2 channel - AN L2 Pre-amp, Carver Cherry 260's, AN 2.1 DAC, Oppo DV-981HD, Klipsch Epic CF3

2 channel - AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, AN Sig. DAC 3.1 , AN Sig. Phono Stage, Sota Comet TT, Lowther Medallion Speakers PM5a driver, Rythmik F15 Sub

2 channel - Carverfest Mono Blocks, Grant Fidelity DAC, Klipschorns

2 channel - Audio Note Kit 1 300b SET, Audio Note DAC 2.1, Lowther Allerions DX-65 drivers
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TNRabbit

User avatar

(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 13258

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am

Location: TN Native Languishing in VA

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:05 am

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

There are a few folks on the forum with TGP-1,2,3,4 & a couple of 5's. No complaints from anyone thus far. They are an exceptionally clean, low-noise pre-pro. None of them pass audio through HDMI, but you can run it via TOSLINK (optical), Composite (digital), or 8 channel analog, which is less subject to the "whims" of the market like HDMI.

The 400~7 amps come up occasionally on the used market, & are scarfed up pretty quick. They go for around 1600 (lowest) to as high as $2400 (not lately, though). The 400~5 is only slightly less rare, and have sold in the $1200-$1600 range on the past year or so.

The new 400x7 amps have a different look, which I don't like (I prefer the old, rounded corners), and are also Chinese-made (as well at the TGP-5). If/how much that affects the quality/longevity is yet to be determined--the jury's still out.
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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ArthurFromCanada

Newbie

Posts: 36

Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:24 pm

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:27 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

TNRabbit wrote:The new 400x7 amps have a different look, which I don't like (I prefer the old, rounded corners), and are also Chinese-made (as well at the TGP-5). If/how much that affects the quality/longevity is yet to be determined--the jury's still out.


The new Sunfires are made in China? That's really disappointing since the only things that are made well in China are the bird flu and SARS.

So any Sunfire products post Bob Carver era are pretty much dead to me now. Sad sad day folks.

Art
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TNRabbit

User avatar

(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 13258

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am

Location: TN Native Languishing in VA

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:37 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Everything past the TG-IV and Theater Grand round corner amps are made in China.
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
<<

Jag_97470

SILVER-7 TUBE AMP

Posts: 3380

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:06 am

Location: Oregon

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:06 pm

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

It sounds like we "got you thinking" Tinpan!!!! Get used to it, might want to pick up some aspirin!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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tinpan

User avatar

TFM-45

Posts: 532

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:48 am

Location: Spotsylvania, VA

Post Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:52 am

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Yep, ya'll definitely have me thinking. It's a bummer to find out the new stuff is made in China. Right now I'm reading the manuals for the TG III and IV Pre/Pro. They are full of a lot in information.

It looks like I would want a TG IV if I want Dolby PL IIx, which I think I would.

It looks like I can run the video HDMI from the DVD Player and Sat receiver to the TV and run the audio through the Pre amp. The only reason I liked the HDMI was it made it easy to hit one button and get picture and sound through the system.

I do have one question though. If I go the pre owned route, what is the reliability of these pre-owned Sunfire units and what are the repair options?

For $ 300 or $ 350 bucks sending my old Carver amps to get them re-built is a little pricy, but fairly reasonable. You basically get a rebuilt amp back that you can confidently run for many more years. The confidence factor is worth $ 300 to me

Hope you don't mind all of the questions

Thanks

Tinpan
Tinpan

HT - Sunfire TG IV, Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig. 400 x 5, Oppo 93, Klipsch LaScala (3), Cornwalls (2), SW-12, Sony 60" LCD

2 channel - AN L2 Pre-amp, Carver Cherry 260's, AN 2.1 DAC, Oppo DV-981HD, Klipsch Epic CF3

2 channel - AN Interstage Mono Blocks 300b PSE, AN Sig. DAC 3.1 , AN Sig. Phono Stage, Sota Comet TT, Lowther Medallion Speakers PM5a driver, Rythmik F15 Sub

2 channel - Carverfest Mono Blocks, Grant Fidelity DAC, Klipschorns

2 channel - Audio Note Kit 1 300b SET, Audio Note DAC 2.1, Lowther Allerions DX-65 drivers
<<

TNRabbit

User avatar

(pair of) SILVER-7 TUBE AMPs

Posts: 13258

Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:53 am

Location: TN Native Languishing in VA

Post Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:54 am

Re: Dusting off the ole AV equipment Part II

Unless they've been beat to hell (& sometimes even if they have), the sunfire amps/preamps are damned bulletproof. I shipped a 300x2 amp to a forum member about 2 1/2 years ago & UPS put a forklift arm THROUGH the amp case (looked like they hit it with an ax!), but it still performed flawlessly. UPS ended up shipping it to Sunfire, paying for a complete overhaul, and shipping it back (@ $480), so I got my insurance money back on that shipment~
TNRabbit
Image

From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.
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