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Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

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sisu1a

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Post Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Well, I just bought a C-1 :) ($197 BIN w/free shipping on ebay...). It probably won't be here for a week or so if all is smooth sailing, which gives me a chance to get some prescription material together for my first foray into Sonic Holography. I have my usual suspects on hand (including Dark Side of the Moon...), but was wondering if there is any specifically recommended material that showcases the SH feature better than others, or if there's any to avoid.

TIA,
-Paul
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Mr. M-500t

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Post Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:16 pm

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congratulations on the C-1 purchase Paul. Have fun with the Sonic Holography. In time I think you'll learn to live without it. O:) I say this only because a certain someone who shall remain nameless for now, rebuilt my C-1 for me and it is sooooo quite between songs it'll blow your mind. *5* With the S/H engaged I hear hisssss and it drives me nutzzzzz ! :x I run without tone controls or anything engaged. I believe if you have a decent Preamp you don't need all those bells & whistles ! O:)
S/H does sound good with Dark Side ! \:D/
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engtaz

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Post Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:14 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congrats
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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helicopterpilotdoug

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Post Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:17 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congrats on the C-1. As far as music that will show off the Sonic Holography, here is a link to a thread on Club Polk which lists a lot of members favorites.
http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?22736-SDA-Playlist
The selections mentioned here show off the imaging you get from Polk SDA speakers. Sonic holography does in the preamp what Polk does in the speaker, so I would imagine they would be good for showing off what Carver SH can do. Hope this helps.
Enjoy :D
Sunfire: Theater Grand IV, Cinema Grand Signature.
Carver: TFM-45, PST-24 Cassette, Extra Carver Gear: CT-6, C-11 (S/N 00001).
Polk Audio: Mains SRS 2.1TL, Center CSiA6, Surrounds FXiA6 and FXiA4, Sub DSW MicroPro 1000, Extra Speakers SDA 2A, SDA 2Btl, Monitor 10A.
Turntable: Dual CS 714Q
Bluray/SACD: Oppo BDP 83SE
CD: Sony 330 300 Disk changer

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stereo_buff

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Post Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:50 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congratulations on the C-1! As to Sonic Holography, I have found that some material sounds great with it, some not so great. A lot depends on the recording venue (in the case of live performances, concert hall vs. intimate venue), the recording technique(s) used, the mastering engineer, and, of course, the source material. Listening to Bill Evans Live at the Village Vanguard, for example, sounds like you're right there. This album was originally recorded by two engineers sitting at front row center with the two microphones to their reel tape deck sitting on adjacent tables on either side. In addition, the Village Vanguard is a very intimate (read small) venue. In contrast, listening to just about any symphonic piece performed in a large concert hall does not benefit from SH. The best advice, however, is try it yourself, experiment with lots of different source material and compile your own list. After you do, I'd be anxious to see it!
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engtaz

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Post Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:41 pm

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congrats
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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TNRabbit

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Post Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:22 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Have you received your C-1 yet? What fo you think?

They are a fantastic preamp value; upgrades are available to make it a giant killer!
TNRabbit
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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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RevAmish

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Post Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Congrats, the C-1 is an excellent pre.
NOW PLAYING: Melos GK-1, Carver 305 monoblocks, FunkFirm Vector TT, Arcam DAC, MacMini w/JRiver, Philips CD-80, Revox B77, River Current AL-VIII speakers, River Current Cables
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sisu1a

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Post Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:00 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Have you received your C-1 yet? What fo you think?


Haven't got it just yet, as the seller was a little (just a little) slow getting it out, and it's USPS... Checked my tracking number, and delivery expected Nov 3. I will be sure to post my initial impressions after having a go with it, as well as at least one followup after I've had some time to get to know it better. Fun!

-Paul
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sisu1a

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Post Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:09 pm

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

I've had my C-1 for a little while now, but for the first several days I had little time to meaningfully listen to it, since between work and school, my only listening times were late at night and I live in an apartment. I've also had little time for long winded internetting, which seems to be the only type I am capable of managing. Pre-Preamble done.

Preamble: The seller packed my item so well, that despite not being the stock box, it's a keeper. Custom styrfoam etc. He also shipped it out reasonably fast, and I got it a day or two after my last post. I feel bad for the guy, cause he didn't want to sell, but medical issues forced his hand. I promised him I would take good care of the C-1 at least. End, Preamble.

The Amble begins... Very first thing I noticed when pulling it out of the box (forgot this step once, and have a 16 yr old son now...) was the solid feel. I like that, and even though I'm not picking it up and moving it about much, just knowing it's built like a tank makes my chair just a little bit more comfortable. My unit is very clean, and looks better than it did in the pics. Was not disappoint. Got it plugged in, turned it on and started pushing buttons and twiddling knobs. All felt OK. Put my ear directly to the chassis, and notice a faint, but familiar buzz :/ although not audible without my ear being in contact. I hate buzzing tranny's, and even though my ear is not in contact with it, like ever, it makes my chair slightly less comfortable. I hooked everything up, turned the gain all the way up and got my ears close to the speakers. Damn, this thing is effin quiet. Pushing the SH button makes it a little less so, but only a little and only noticeable with my ear at the speaker and the gain all the way up.

The Amble continiues... With my CD player (Sony SACD/CD/DVD) hooked directly to it, I fed it some music -HOLY BASS RESOLUTION BATMAN! had to dive at my Outlaw ICBM and turn the gain down on the low pass before the plaster cracked. Not really, but still... Ran more music through it, starting with Flanger Midnight Sounds and Templates, since I had listened to those several times recently and honestly it provides quite a dynamic range workout for any system, and is incredibly well recorded. So well, that the SH circuit has very little effect on the sound, but I couldn't stop listening. Incredible. More detail on those CD's than I realized. Lots of tinkly, shimmery, splashy stuff, over smooooooth loooooow deeeep cleeeeaaaan baaasssss. Me gusta. Started digging into my live recording pile of discs, to give the SH a whirl, but first things first. Got out my trusty old Stereophile disc with some test tones on it and pulled out my RS dB meter. Fuck me. Why, why were these things even invented. Without fail, pulling that thing out leads me to wanting to punch myself in the dick. It allowed me to at least get the low pass gain set right, which is why I had it out. It also helped me determine that the tone control circuit is rather noisy, since I spent an inordinate amount of time with test tones playing, and that brought out the worst in the tone controls, adding a faint but noticeable tearing kind of sound to otherwise clean warbletones, so like everyone else that seems to have one of these or one of it's cousins, tone controls are bypassed. Unfortunately it also reminded me that I have serious room response issues, which I had conveniently put out of my mind. At first I thought the C-1 was misbehaving or possibly just kinda sucked, but every configuration of speaker/amp/preamp revealed the same 80Hz boost (+10dB) and a 200Hz dip (-10dB). It should be noted that it may not be as bad once the correction chart for that meter is applied, but I'm kinda scared to do that cause likewise it might be even worse and I'm in no position to nurse a fresh case of upgradeitus. I think my speaker placement (Ohm 2XO) may be kicking me in the nuts here too. More work to do here. I always thought of them as insensitive to placement, however I will investigate further once I'm ready to endure another round of brain hemorrhaging, but I digress...

Continuing... Live music and Sonic Holography. Whoa! That's pretty fucking cool. And now I understand the hiss comments too. It's not so much that the SH itself is hissy (it is, but only minutely) it's that most any recordings that benefit from SH also tend to have their floor hiss brought up some. Not all recordings are created equal, so in some cases it's simply unbearable, while others it's hard to listen without it once you've heard it with it. It's more of a revealing hiss than a circuit hiss, which I'm OK with, as the things it sounds good on, it sounds really good on. The tone shift when switching from Stereo to Stereo+SH reminds me of the shift you get when switching from Mono to Stereo. It's like switching from Stereo to 'SuperStereo'! I feel the need to turn it on and off all too often though, which leads me wanting to be able to do that from my listening position, which means my honeymoon with the C-1 will be cut short. Amble ends.

Conclusion... I'm still gonna go for the C-2. After my positive experience with the C-1 might seem a bit strange, but here's the thing. I do like the SH, in fact I like it a lot. But I can't help longing to make it all look cohesive, and the fact that I want to turn SH on and off so frequently is what sealed the deal. The plan. I got a line on a C-9 locally, which I intend to mount to the wall behind my couch. I will then be able to engage/disengage SH from the shweet spot as desired, and then will also then be able to use those sexy little C-2's, with their perfect match for the rest of the rack (all 17" gear, with similar knobs/arrangement of C-2) without sacrificing SH. Unless the C-2 turns out to be sonically inferior to the C-1 (hence my posting about the comparison earlier), The C-2's will be my keepers.

-Paul

ps. Unintended benefit: with the second output of the C-1 going directly into my Jolida 502/302, allowing my to quickly switch from bi-amped fullrange (Ohm's+Hsu subs split by Outlaw ICBM), to single amp fullrange (502 has multiple inputs and a selector switch), providing an uncomplicated setup well suited to latenight/ 'simpler times' mode.
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stereo_buff

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Post Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:02 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

sisu1a wrote:I'm still gonna go for the C-2. ... Unless the C-2 turns out to be sonically inferior to the C-1 (hence my posting about the comparison earlier), The C-2's will be my keepers.

The C-1 was Bob's effort to clone the sonic performance of his favorite preamp, the Citation 1 (Get it? C-1?), and is a very good preamp, especially for the money, and has a very good phono section, if you listen to LPs now or ever want to in the future. The C-2, though a decent preamp, was a follow-on product, designed more to fill a price point. My suggestion: Don't rush out and sell the C-1 yet. Listen to the C-1 vs. C-2 thoroughly prior to settling on either.

Post Script: Thus far, I have owned a Phase Linear 2000, Phase Linear 3000 Series II, Carver 4000t, Carver C-16, and currently, a Sunfire Vacuum Tube Preamp.
Last edited by stereo_buff on Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TNRabbit

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Post Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:27 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

My first Carver preamp was a C-2. It was ok, but certainly not my favorite Carver product.
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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jjptkd

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Post Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:08 am

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

My favorite Carver pre (that I've owned) was the CT-7. Great sound, remote control, S.H. and a third tone control for midrange. I still have a C-1 and a C-4000 but no remotes! ](*,) Maybe I'm just lazy but I hate not having a remote. =;
Sunfire TGP-III
Sunfire 200x5
Klipsch KP 250 II
Samson SX3200 (750x2 Sub Amp)
(2) 18" Klipsch KP 480 Subs
Klipsch RSW 15
PS Audio DL-III DAC
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sisu1a

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Post Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Thanks all, for the sound advice. I will get a C-2 and listen to it and the C-1 side by side for a while before deciding which one is really the keeper for my getup.

From when I inquired about the C-2 vs the C-1 earlier, the biggest identified sonic difference seemed to be in the phono output, particularly the MC section. According to BillD, substituting the stock NE5532 op-amp for an NE5532 in the MC and OPA2134 in the MM addresses this shortcoming, which isn't actually an issue for me now as I have no turntable or vinyl collection. For now. That and I like to tinker... :rolleyes:

Ultimately my ears will have the final judgement, but if there are other deficiencies to the C-2 (lesser pots/caps/etc), I'd love to know all about them, as well as any prescribed fixes. I've searched for C-2 mod threads, but have only found ones about the C-1 so far...

-Paul
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BillD

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Post Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Just Pulled The Trigger on a C-1

Well, I've modded C-2s and they aren't as easy to mod as a C-1. The primary reason is that the circuit board that has all the pots on it up front, also contains all the electronics for the tone controls, which are UNDERNEATH the pots. So, not only do you have to take all the pots off the chassis, you also have to remove them from the board to reach the parts underneath.
It should sound like it isn't there!
There is a difference between hearing and listening...
Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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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
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