I used to have Infinity Betas and mega expensive amplifiers to drive them but they didn't survive a divorce about 10 years ago. I found an original pair of Carver Amazing Loudspeakers--the ones with honeycombed woofers and two 30" ribbons per for $500 on Craig's List. I still had two original Sunfire amps so I vertically bi-amped the speakers after buying a second pair of crossovers on Ebay.
I swapped out all the electrolytics and bypass caps on the boards with real expensive polypropylenes from Spain some of which are so huge and heavy that they took a couple of weeks to fully charge and sound right. I also rewired the speakers with seven strands of audiophile cable 4 strands from Kimber 8TC anf three from an obscure audiophile interconnect manufacturer who uses three wires of pure gold, silver and copper.
For the woofers to the crossover I wound each wire back into the mass of wire counterclockwise and made seven winds-no matter how long the actual wire run was. For the ribbons, I twisted two sets of two Kimber copper strands and wove them together with the three gold,silver and copper strands which were already woven together.
I never could have accomplished this if I hadn't stumbled onto one of Carver's right hand men from the 80s who now owns a small manufacturing company that makes circuit boards in Arlington, Wa., who was willing to help since he helped design the Amazings way back when and he had a solder pot and was curious. He was a terrific person!
The rest of the system: Monster AVS 2000 and 5100 mk II which were aligned with each other at the factory, the two Sunfire Amps--one amp dedicated to each speaker with one channel of each dedicated to the ribbons using the high current taps and the other channel of each dedicated to the woofers through the voltage taps. I use the Audio Research LS-2 mk II pre amp, Marantz SA 8001 SACD/CD upsampling cd player, Denon DVD 3910 which is dedicated to DVD-Audio dvds, Revox B-77 two track 15 ips/ 7.5ips open reel, Revox A-77 mk IV 4 track 7.5 ips/3 3/4 ips open reel, Alesis Master Link 24/96 digital recorder and a Sony TC-K717ES cassette deck.
I also use Audioquest interconnects with the 36 volt batteries connected to to skins and top of the line Zu speaker cable.
Needless to say, the sound is the best I ever heard-- surpassing even what I thought might be possible in the heavenly realm.
It's like having the music of the spheres in my living room. It did take over 8 weeks for the speaker wire to break in. For the first week or two it sounded like an am radio that was very weak as well. Now, well, all I can say is if you haven't vertically bi-amped your Carver speakers you don't know what you are missing.
I have a slight problem with one of the ribbons (top right). It's intermittent. But occasionally there is a muffled spitting sound at a particular high frequency. This only occurs when the system has been playing music for at least an hour and it doesn't always happen on the same recording. It first surfaced about a week after a friend cranked the system up while I was fetching a couple of brewskies in the kitchen.
Even then, since I'd run back into the listening room and turned the system down after about 5 seconds of very loud jazz (of all things) I hoped and prayed there was no damage (and there appeared to be no problem until about a week later.)
I took a hospital grade q-tip and very gently flattened the area of the ribbon with a little bit of Tweak connecter cleaner and the problem seems to have gone away completely but I worry it will return. With the vertical array of Sunfires I figure I'm running 2400 watts per channel into a two ohm load.
Anybody have experience like that? Am I going to have to replace that ribbon and if so, will I just need to replace the one, or the complete set in one speaker? Anybody know where I can find used or new replacement ribbons. Also, at some point I'll likely have to recone the woofers although they still work fine at the moment? Anybody know a source for that?
I can't believe my good fortune in finding this board. I'm located in Lake Stevens about 15 miles from Carver's Sunfire factory in the state of Washington. If there are any posters in the Puget Sound area who would like to get together once in a while and compare notes and listen together--I'm open for such a gathering or a group.
Love these keen smilies! A picture's worth a thousand words--and I better end this if I want anyone to actually read it! Thanks for putting a resource like this on the internet for Carver-lovers like me!