Are Carver amps worth a damn?

i have a system which I use for both home theatre (70%) and for music. It is comprised of a Theta data basic transport, a Nakamashi cr-2 tape deck, a Marantz AV-550 preamp /tuner, a panasonic dvd player and a proscan vcr. For amplification I have been using 2 Carver TFM-35's and a TFM-15 for the surrounds. I have an unpowered sub so I get 1 channel of 250w to the front 3 and the sub, and 100wpc to the surrounds. For speakers I am using Definitives all the way around. Are the amps my current weak link in this system?
In a word, yes. for a short money improvement buy used Hafler XL-600, DH500, 9500, or 9505.
carvers seem apt in your system. hard to tell what's the weakest link; none of 'em are of any strength. i'd burn it all & start from scratch. haflers will get you almost to mid-fi but i wouldn't count on it.
Sluggo take your Aiwa desktop "system" and jump in a pool. Oh and please make sure your Aiwa is plugged in. Gsxer your amps may well be the weak link in your system. The easiest way to find out is to demo something else and live with it for a while (if possible). I used to own Definitives and I had great luck with Rotel and NAD. Both are moderatly priced and can be found used quite often. I have owned both the Rotel RB-991 and the NAD 218THX. Both sounded good with the Definitives. Good luck. Thestryder
I think your amps are on par with the rest of your system. It seems to be a nice budget system. To move up, you will need to replace each piece, one by one, until you have a system of the next(or higher) level. Carver amps are OK, not great, but serviceable. And in a HT system, they are fine. The step up to their Lightstar/Sunfire products is a big one, if you have brand loyalty. But, if I was upgrading, I would explore everything to see what I liked, and go from there.
the receiver is the weakest link, imho - no way to get good *audio* out of a home-theatre setup. get a good audio-only preamp. if ya *have* to have a home-theatre setup w/yer audio set-up, get a preamp that allows one input to default to that input's controls, & plug yer h-t into *that*. linn, vtl, & sonic frontiers are three companies that make preamps that can do this, there may be others. also, no such thing as a hi-fi cassette deck, at *any* price. even the nak dragon is mid-fi... doug
I switched from Carver-Yamaha To Sunfire and have been very happy. Ive heard some of those Hi-Fi ($$$) systems that are no better than mine and I too listen to both HT and 2ch Stereo. The Cinema Grande can do both very well. What ever your direction you'll still have to test drive it in your system to see what works. Hafler is very good but I personally like my Cinema Grande and would buy another should I ever have the need.
Hello,I have a pair of Carver TFM-35 amps in my all Carver system.I just compared a Parasound HCA-3500 and even my son said that the Carvers sounded much better! Yes I have heard some amps with a little more detail but none compare to the dynamics and soundstage without the listener fatigue of some so called high-end amps.Also I would use the two TFM-35 amps in a vertical bi-amp setup and buy another amp for the sub and center channel.And the TFM-35 amps do not limit current like a lot of other amps do that is why they are so dynamic.If you have the upgrade bug I would try the Sunfire amps.Good Luck SonicBob
I had a TFM-35 in my HT setup for awhile. It got replaced by an Adcom GFA-585 limited, which just absolutely blew the carver out of the water. IMHO, The TFM-35 is definitely a weak spot in your system.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO... Oh, by the way, NO! Get a McCormack or Classe
I'm currently living in exile with only an outlaw audio receiver for company, we thought home theatre would help pass the time. (Not much to do here on Elba) Except for the semi-annual Armageddon type blockbuster, home theatre is still just TV. Recently fell off the wagon and bought a pair of Kestrel's. Now I'm wondering about outlaw front end and tube amp. Heard about the Arcam's with an HT input, but I don't know if I want integrated and with CD's, tubes seem attractive. Some of you seem to live in countries which have actual hi-end showrooms, hoping for advice. Only good ears need apply.
To echo some others thoughts....yes....If you consider Sunfire with the Carver line. I own a Cinema Grand and love it. I personally think it is one of the most flexible bang for the buck amps on the market. There are better sounding amps and more powerful amps but not both anywhere near what you can buy the Sunfire equipment for. IMHO your best upgrade would be to find a dedicated Pre-amp/ tuner that you like.
I don't think you amps are a problem. I second Trelja's comment that your system seems to be well balanced and any true improvement in sound quality would require a rebuild from the ground up. As such, I would suggest you stick with what you got. On the principle that a system is only as strong as its weakest link, simply replacing you amps will only marginally upgrade your system's overall sound quality.
If Bob Carver touched it,it's junk.
Brutus, You obviously have never listened to a pair of Silver 7's. I do not like most of Carver's stuff but your statement is wrong! I think most who have listened to the Silver 7's will agree that they were superb.
I tried a Sunfire; no sale.
regarding the silver 7's.
No I have never heard them,and if they are great then one
could use the analogy that "even a blind chicken gets a kernel of corn sometimes" overall I think most would agree
that Bob Carver cuts a lot of corners [typically on his power supplies] and his products leave a lot to be desired.
Carver makes gimmicks for Geeks. When I sold Hi-Fi the Carver amps didn't sound as good as NAD, much less the Naim gear we sold, But it was EXPENSIVE (For the Sound). The Bang & Olufsen gear had better value, which says a lot, since you pay for styling there. Other than the Silver 7's, the amps do not work well- especially on 15 amp circuits.
In your system, the pre, amp, and definitives are pretty level in quality. Changing the amps or the speakers, i think, would make sense. The pre and source units are good enough where they could hang around as you replace the amps and speakers. You could get a mid to early 1990s amp from a high end manufacturer which would be a big improvement. I had an NAD amp that i replaced with a classe audio 70 ($400 used), and found that the classe was much, much better, in every way for not much more money. Just an example.