Carver M1.5t vs. Krell or ML

Hello again. My screen name might ring a bell, as I recently initiated a discussion re updating my bookshelf speakers. For those keeping score at home, I’ve narrowed my search to Dynaudio Focus 140’s. Crap shoot without an opportunity to audition, but that’s the leap of faith I’ve got to take. We’ll hear as it goes.

So, I’ve got a Carver M1.5t, that’s literally still in the box, after a multi month sabbatical at Hi-tech Audio, Ltd. in WA state. Top to bottom refurb. I’d owned a Phase Linear 400 for decades, so the M1.5t was an easy choice when a very well cared for example became available.

The rub, is that after weeks of lurking about these parts, my long dormant interest to upgrade is making itself known again. Coming back to the fold as it were, I find there are older Krell and Mark Levinson amps that I could actually afford, at least pre-owned.

Obviously I’ll never be confused for a true audiophile, but I do value/appreciate good “stuff,” but only to the extent that it will provide at least some degree of sonic improvement over what I have now.

My preamplifier is a line stage CJ PV-12. My main upstream source is a semi-respectable, Adcom GCD-575.

Am I suffering from amp envy or is there a case to be made for an “upgrade?”
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I think maybe save your money and look for something much more modern.

That would certainly be my preference. Budget realities, however, dictate that in order to go high end, used—or in hipster speak—vintage is the only viable option. 

My understanding is that me pre, though over 20 years old, is still held in high regard by more than a few.

With regard to power amps in general, is that not so much the case?
So, let me get this straight. You have not listened to the reconditioned 1.5T amp yet. You have not received your Dyna 140 speakers yet. You have not heard anything yet, tweaked anything yet, determined what your likes and dislikes are. The Dynas have an 86db sensitivity, small woofers, and are rear ported. They should be on stands, imo. It will take time getting them set up in your room, as they are rear ported, and you will want to experiment. The 1.5T should be able to help you with this. You will discover power, damping, tone, dynamics, imaging, etc. from your set up. You might need new tubes for your preamp. My advice, get it all hooked up, let it all play for a week to allow for break in time ( specifically the rebuilt amp ) and take it from there. Enjoy ! MrD.
Wait for it: very sound doubt. 

Yes, I’m afraid I got a bit carried away there. Went back and took a look at exactly was done to the Carver, and for all practical purposes, it was pretty much a—to borrow a collector car term—frame-off restoration. Considering my listening habits and chronological age, that amp could very well outlive me.

To that end, the Carver’s a known entity. Any ML or Krell I could afford would be a bit long in the tooth and not likely to have just undergone a complete resto.

Best to stay with what I’ve got.

Thanks for talking me off the ledge...
I had a 1.5t when they first came out. A bad ass amp if you like loud. Should sound pretty good with the CJ. No worries with 86db, you've got lots of power.
I am with Mr DB!!!!sage advice
esp if your tubes in the preamp are long in the tooth 2

buy the book by Jim Smith - Get Better Sound 

work your way thru all the free stuff in that great book !!!!
Post removed 
Buy tubes from a reputable source

i frequent 

Andy at Vintage tube in Michigan for everything non-Russian 


RAM Tubes iF Russian


enjoy the music!!!
I agree, put it all together and then , tweek and listen.  Then decide where you stand.   The PV 12 is a very fine preamp.  I had a 1.5t and a 1.0t way back and both were solid amps.   Definitely retube,   if you do not listen to vinyl you can start with tubes V5 and V6, 12au7 type.   If you have a 12L linestage only there will only be tubes in positions V5 and V6.

Good luck and enjoy
Off topic, but what year is your 911?
@jtucker...2001, with the infamous IMS bearing issue. I’ve installed a Guardian, ferrous metal monitor. In theory, it goes ape $&*# just before the engine lunches itself, and provides a tiny window to shut down.

I just cross my fingers and drive. If it grenades, I’ll have a nice piece of static art in the driveway.

@oddiofyl...I have an outboard, Creek OBH-8 mm phono preamp, but have yet to put that in the loop.