Q&A with Bob Carver

"The Sequel" Sep 10-15
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BillD
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by BillD » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:37 pm

You'd have to get someone familiar with Bob's leaving Phase to know for sure, but I think it's essentially a souped up Phase linear 400 B (more power). I believe Van "someone" finished the 400 B.
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by Robert R » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:24 am

Thanks for clarification, OBI56. I was interested in Carver stuff right from the start, but only from a distance; no chance of buying any, 'cause no money. Guess my memory of an earlier preamp is pure BS, composted by excessive years.

My first Carver purchase wasn't until August 1985, a C-1. Still couldn't swing a C-4000, and besides I had picked up a used Phase Linear 1000 that did two of the key things that the C-4000 did. But I wanted Sonic Holography, and the girl that waited on me (at Tart's, in Durham, NC) had never heard of it, but then pretended to know all about it; I had to show her how to try to demo it. Pretty sure she never had any idea what it was, but when I finally bought one, she said "y'all are gonna LOVE haligraphy". A few months later, when I went back to tell this tart that I did, she, and Tart's, no longer were there.

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by BillD » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:36 am

I bought my C-4000 and C-500 January 13, 1980, only a few months after Carver opened shop. Still, my C-4000 serial number is #2134 and the C-500 serial number is #1834.
It should sound like it isn't there!
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Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by lawdog10231 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:35 pm

Does it make me a heretic if I confess that I sincerely felt Sonic Holography was the only real mistake Bob ever made in his design of high end products? I always felt I could get more realistic imaging and soundstaging through treating the room and proper speaker placement.

That and the little light amp that put out hundreds of watts of power per channel. I felt that was a mistake as well. Was that the cube? I always thought that sounded like a Stereo Review favorite of the month. Very mid fi sound in a wierd looking package. :-#

First Carver product I owned was the Sunfire original Amplifier. Loved it so much I bought a second used and then fell into some Original Amazings. \:D/

I now recognize Bob for the genius he's always been.

He's never gotten the respect he deserves. [-o<

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by BillD » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:49 pm

You see, the cube is Bob Carver's favorite amp. The C-4000 is Bob Carver's favorite preamp. I hear he's shipping his to one of our members here to have it modded the way he did mine and his.

You basically really never owned a Carver amp. While I'll admit that the M-400 (cube) is no match for today's Sunfires, in it's day it was a frikin' miracle. As far a sonic holography goes, it was another miracle for speakers of the day. You absolutely cannot get sounds coming from where they appear to with sonic holography with simply stereo into two speakers and room treatments.

BTW, what didn't you like about the M-400 — its size or shape? Did you ever seriously listen to one?
It should sound like it isn't there!
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Making life enjoyable through expensive electronics.
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by lawdog10231 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:22 pm

I will admit that the size of the 400 put me off when it came out. I didn't see how that small little package could possibly provide an adequate foundation for deep bass. I had a friend who owned one for about 9 months or so and had a chance to listen to it maybe 25 hours total over a period of about 6 months.

It's been a long time, but my friend's other amp at the time was actually a Harmon Kardon 930 receiver he'd bought from me and when a-b'd I liked the bass better in the H-K as well as felt the soundstage and imaging of the H-K to be much better. The 400 seemed to lack coherence and had sound coming from all directions rather than from points in 3-D space. The thing I disliked the most was it's lack of speed in fast transients. Like it had some form of compensation taking place for the size and weight that had to work like crazy to keep up with any sound at all--but it was like it had a nervous breakdown when the sound became complex. That's a completely inadequate way to describe what I thought I was hearing--but it seemed like the amp had to work too hard just to make music to begin with and it wasn't doing well at all when the passages became complex and changed fast.

Hell, my friend didn't have his speakers set up very well to begin with and I was partial to the sound of the H-K which I'd lived with for several years and knew well. The 400 wasn't what I expected and reminded me of a transistor receiver made by Pioneer or some other Stereo Review favorite of the day in overall presentation. But I'd be the first to admit that I didn't really give it a fair evaluation. Just listened long enough to know I didn't want to buy one. I had highly modified Haffler gear at the time.

Now when I heard the Sunfire I had just the opposite reaction! I didn't expect to like it. In fact, I didn't think about Bob's stuff much at all one way or the other in general at the time. I never auditioned any of the Carver amps or the pre amp before Sunfires came out (probably due to my limited experience with the 400 and SH.)

With the Sunfires it was definitely love at first listen! I was completely blown away! That was back in 94 I believe. Then I practically stole a pair of original amazings off Craig's list which mated perfectly with two Sunfires and the combination knocked my socks off. I'v e been a fan ever since that first listen to the Sunfire back in 94.

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by stereo_buff » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:12 pm

BillD wrote:You'd have to get someone familiar with Bob's leaving Phase to know for sure, but I think it's essentially a souped up Phase linear 400 B (more power). I believe Van "someone" finished the 400 B.
A.P. Van Meter, I believe... He took over as chief engineer at Phase Linear after Bob's departure.

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by BillD » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:18 pm

That's the guy! He finished the B (or was it the Mk.II) while Bob built the C-500.
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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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by bigerik » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:09 pm

Bill,
Always meant to ask what that amp was in your avatar. Now I know.
One to add to the collection.... :)
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by Eddie » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:57 pm

Hey James is the anyway I cane email BoB Carver a Q about the crossovers in the original ALS's when they were upgrade in the kit they sold when replacing the ribbons from 4/30" ones to 2/60"
ones there is no info on that crossover that I can find any were? Eddie!
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by OBI56 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:36 pm

bigerik wrote:Bill,
Always meant to ask what that amp was in your avatar. Now I know.
One to add to the collection.... :)
That is the C-500 bigerik, the very first Carver amp ever built in regular production. It was introduced while they were getting the M-400 cube for production. It is basically a redesigned, more powerful and improved Phase Linear 400
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by bigerik » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:56 pm

OBI56 wrote:
bigerik wrote:Bill,
Always meant to ask what that amp was in your avatar. Now I know.
One to add to the collection.... :)
That is the C-500 bigerik, the very first Carver amp ever built in regular production. It was introduced while they were getting the M-400 cube for production. It is basically a redesigned, more powerful and improved Phase Linear 400
Very cool.
And I thought I was very savvy about old Carver gear. I would have gotten the question wrong in Trivial Pursuit:

"What was the first amplifier produced by the Carver Corporation?".
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by BillD » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:06 am

Most would have guessed the cube. I got one as soon as they came out.
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.)
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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by lawdog10231 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:03 am

I am curious. I own a pair of Original Amazings and they sound terrific vertically biamped with Sunfire 300 x 2 amps.

I thought that upgrading to Platinums or looking for the upgrade kit might improve what already seems like perfect sound. But I checked out the service manual for all the Amazing Loudspeakers and noticed that the main difference in the alpha and omega of Bob's loudspeakers has more to do with the impedance than anything else. The originals are wired with two 30" ribbons that are out of phase with each other and two pair of 4 ohm woofers wired in parallel and out of phase with each other. The platinum ribbons are wired out of phase at several points to provide a more real world load. The originals are 2 ohm speakers. But it seems to me that if my amps can drive the 2 ohm loads and there are fewer "out of phase" connections in the ribbons in particular, I really should have superior sound through more in phase generated sound an d the lower impedence giving me way more power.

Has anybody a-b'd the originals with the platinums or upgraded originals? (I aleady swapped out all the electrolytics and bypass caps in the crossovers to very expensive polyprops.) :shock:

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Re: Q&A with Bob Carver

Post by RichP714 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:41 am

lawdog10231 wrote:...... But I checked out the service manual for all the Amazing Loudspeakers and noticed that the main difference in the alpha and omega of Bob's loudspeakers has more to do with the impedance than anything else.
Toy maker is the guy to give definitive answers on this. There were several tweaks to the crossover and a move to one 60" instead of 2 30" ribbons, but I don't see them out of phase; on page 10 they're shown in phase, also on page 19......
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The woofers look like some are out of phase, probably by design due to the open baffle

The Platinum is one 60" ribbon, I can't see HOW it can be 'out of phase at several points'
Platinum woofers seem to be similarly wired, as in page 25

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