The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

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treitz3
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The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by treitz3 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:41 am

I thought it might be a great idea to post your observations on how good the 20 watt tube amp that we built at Carverfest challenges other amps you all have in your collection. This challenge can be from any amplifier you might have in your collection and there are no restrictions.

I'll go first. I have heard this amp up against an excellent sounding amplifier I have had the pleasure of auditioning in my rig.....A Cary tube amp. I have also heard it up against a VTL tube amp, both of which had the best sounding tubes in it at the time. The 20 watt tube amp we built at CF amp blew both of them away. In many aspects of the sound reproduction and we are talking about tube amps at 2 to 4 times the power. While I would recommend the 12AX7 tubes over the 6 AX7's, any and all challenges are welcome.

What say you? Would you care to offer your own observations when challenging Bob's measly 20 watt tube amp up against what you have?

Do tell......Inquiring minds want to know.......
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Eddie » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:21 pm

Sorry to say it doesn't hold a stick to my Black Beauties which I will call it's big brother but the sound from the little guy does put alot of other amps to shame! Just my 2 cents!
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Chauss » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:35 pm

Sounds much more musical than the Cary ST120.....
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by kingman » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:17 pm

Very pleasing sound. I'm running it right now in my extra system. Have yet to put it up against the heavy hitters but am more than pleased with the quality of sound. Rich, enveloping, and ...TUBEY!!! 8)
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by treitz3 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:42 am

Chauss wrote:Sounds much more musical than the Cary ST120.....
Dan, if this is the Cary you have in your listening room sitting on the floor, then that is the Cary I am referring too. We heard this amp go head to head at Carverfest in Jerry's cabin on a pair of Dalquist's, fed by the Jolida CDP. All we did was swap out the Cary with 2 mono-blocked CF tube amps and the CF amps smoked the Cary out. We had tried the Cary in both pentode and triode mode and the CF amps just plain sounded better, more musical, quiet, detailed and the overall sound became very pleasant to listen too.

This past weekend at Jerry's house, we had the same CDP, your old Apogees and we took a pair of mono VTL's and put them head to head with only one stereo CF tube amp. The sound from the VTL's was clouded, bloaty, less detail, veiled and definitely not as musical. Everybody there agreed that the CF tube amp was more musical and better sounding. All this on a pair of speakers that Jerry had mentioned is a hard to drive load.

Every system I have heard this little tube amp in, I have been nothing short of pleasantly impressed with the end result as to what hits my ears. IMO, Bob did a damn fine job in designing this amp. It would be interesting to hear of more stories, whether good, bad or a lateral move that this amp provides folks. I look forward to finally getting my pair built and doing an A/B up against the Sunfire 600x2, the Musical Fidelity AC3r, the Anthem1 tube amps, the Radii tube amp and any other amp that just so happens to fly through the house.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by mbskeam » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:50 am

get to buildin
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by treitz3 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:56 am

Eh, we were doing just that this past weekend. That was the whole point of me going down to Atlanta. Jerry and I had everything all set up and I made the "joke" that we had better make sure that we had the correct transformers. The moment I said that, I just so happened to look down, only to discover that I had 2-5 pin transformers and 2-3 pin transformers.

](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

We stopped the build right then and there and we will resume ASAP. The CF amps we had there at the time were the 6AX7 based amp that I believe was Dan's and the 12AX7 based amp that was the donated amp that was presented at CF to Niki and Jerry for their anniversary.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Snoop65 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:21 pm

T3 what model were the VTL's?
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by treitz3 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Snoop, I am definitely NOT the one to answer that question. Jerry will know and George Daniels might know but I do not. I just know that they were VTL's. You'll have to wait for one of them or maybe Dan [Chauss] to chime in.
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by kingman » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:52 pm

The Carverfest amps will hold their own in the class they are in...and probably more! The best investment you can make..... 8)
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Zoot Horn » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:16 pm

Snoop65 wrote:T3 what model were the VTL's?

VTL 100 monoblocks--100 watts--EL 34's

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Snoop65 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:19 pm

Zoot Horn wrote:
Snoop65 wrote:T3 what model were the VTL's?

VTL 100 monoblocks--100 watts--EL 34's
Thank you very much Zoot! 8)
CARVER LIGHTSTAR REFERENCE+SUNFIRE CLASSIC TUBE PREAMPLIFIER+JBL XPL200+MUSIC HALL MMF-9.1+GRADO REFERENCE MASTER 1+Cayin CDT-17a =WOW!!!!!!

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Zoot Horn » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:29 pm

You are welcome sir,,I have a pair of the VTL Compact Mono 100's that are having the iron repotted

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treitz3
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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by treitz3 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:36 pm

So that's the same model you mentioned last weekend? Dang, I hope it's worth the wait, I really do. BTW, that Dared you brought over was smokin' hot sound-wise. It left a very good impression on my sonic memory. Job well done, George. Job well done!
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to a good analogue reproduction.

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Re: The Carverfest tube amplifier challenge.....

Post by Zoot Horn » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:48 pm

treitz3 wrote:So that's the same model you mentioned last weekend? Dang, I hope it's worth the wait, I really do. BTW, that Dared you brought over was smokin' hot sound-wise. It left a very good impression on my sonic memory. Job well done, George. Job well done!

Yes sir--thanks for the compliment about the Dared--I upgraded the caps and got lucky with the tubes.

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