Carver, THE standard of excellence IMO


I have read many discussions on these forums and others about many people having difficulty getting hold of or information from the manufacturers or dealers about problems with their gear.  Some wait weeks,months or forever for a response.Yesterday (Sunday) I thought I was having a small problem with my Carver Crimson 350 amps and I did some tests described in the manual to check the KT120 tubes.  I was getting some strange meter readings and couldn't understand why.  So I went to the Carver site and wrote a detailed email at that site, expecting to hear back sometime this week.  At the time I did not know it went straight to the president and co-owner Frank Malilz, but it does. Frank marked it "very important" and forwarded to Bob Carver who at 9:15 pm (my time) sent me a detailed answer that solved my problems.  Are you kidding me!!!! straight to the pres and then to the designer (we all know who is a legend) and back to me within 6 hrs ON A SUNDAY!  To paraphrase a truck commercial....Carver doesn't raise the bar, it sets it.

I know not everyone can afford a set of $9500 monos but I am sure the service would be the same on Carver's new 275s at less than $2800.  I have heard the 275s at Axpona and they are voiced extremely close to the 350s just not as much power.  For most set ups they would be magnificent.  Who else gives the amp AND tubes a TRANSFERABLE 5 yr warranty?  Both the 350 and 275 play for hrs and never get hot.  Handmade in the USA and signed by the legend himself.  If you are looking for a tube amp in this category that plays far far above it's price you owe it to yourself to check out the 275 (or the 350s if you can go that way financially, 10 yr warranty on everything, if you talk to Bob he would probably give you a 50 yr warranty on amp AND tubes, I am not kidding in the least.)  I have no interest in any way with Bob Carver Corp other than a love of it's products and service.  I've posted some here before so you know I'm not a shill. I just wanted to educate some on this forum about my experience, about a great product and outstanding service from the people who make that product.  I believe they really care about audio and their customers.
DrMark  (Doc from MI on some Carver sites)
drkingfish
Amplifiers designed, manufactured, and marketed by Bob Carver have started so many fires that probably the company is in a settlement agreements with insurance companies to be responsive to reports of equipment malfunction. 
could you please give me specific examples of those amps
I am a fan of Bob and his designs also.I know some people are irritated by the fact of Bob selling several of the companies and moving on to something new.They seem to hold him responsible for any bad experiences from corporations that he's no longer associated with.I don't know any specifics at all,just what I've read here and there.
@clearthink I did a web search on fires from Carver amps and not a single thing  came up. Please site examples.
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I am using 2 Carver M500t stereo amps built in the 1980s and I have bought 4 Sunfire subwoofers.

None of these has caught fire.
Carver’s company, back in the late Seventies/early Eighties, attained variations of, ’PHLAME or FLAME Linear’, as it’s moniker, among the electronics repair community. That was the result of the frequency, with which they(400s and 700s) showed up on our benches, with their outputs totally/dramatically fried. We usually got whatever was connected to the outputs, in for repair, also. Obviously; what units got to the shop hadn’t burned anything down, or they would have been consumed as well. I never heard of his later designs exhibiting like tendencies. If some of those early models didn’t burn something down, as a result of flammables in close proximity, I’d be surprised. Any records of such fires(IF ANY) would be hard to recover, having occurred way before the ’Net existed. (Just my observations)


When I had issues last year with the Bob Carver Amazing Line Source speakers, Bob Carver himself flew out to my house and spent a few days! I even have some pictures of Bob and I at my house!

ozzy
I guess that Sometimes clearthink doesn’t think clearly before he hits post. 
It's time for me to jump in. I have to warn you that I'm rather upset. I've been accused of being overly sensitive but it's primarily because of so much incorrect mythology about my partner; I find myself defending him far too often and it's always false. For clarity, I'm Frank Malitz, Bob's partner and close friend, and I'm the chief executive officer. Bobby's the president. We own the company and have a junior partner named Jordon Gerber who has been drafted by Philips Medical. Both Bob and Jordon are engineers, degreed physicists, with a background in physiology as well (all products are designed around the ear-brain interface). We are based out of Washington state, the product is handmade there but I run things out of Chicago. Bob only designs. With Jordon preoccupied, I'm left with the task of running the company alone.Of course I have a staff, but I always dumped anything I didn't want to do on young Jordon! It seemed there was nothing he could not do and nothing he did not know. He was Bob's apprentice for 10 years. Jordon's contributions cannot be minimized. He remains, thankfully, a part-time principal. Here we go:

1) Everyone is entitled to an opinion. It's one of the great things about this country. It's also educational and fun to talk about these things--especially when we disagree. Certainly, I might feel bad if someone says something negative about my company or our products, but if it's an opinion, that's too damn bad for me. I have to accept it and move on. But when someone makes the following statement: "Amplifiers designed, manufactured, and marketed by Bob Carver have started so many fires that probably the company is in a settlement agreements (sic) with insurance companies to be responsive to reports of equipment malfunction." That's a statement-- not an opinion. It's also a bald-faced lie. Then again, it's only my opinion and the law is even more arcane than designing amps (maybe not preamps or speakers :-)) so I'm forwarding his statement over to our attorneys-- Arnstein and Lehr in Chicago. We will be prosecuting clearthink to the full extent of the law unless he prints a retraction in the next 10 days. Conversely, he may choose to present solid evidence to back up his absurd and false claim, and make no mistake: whatever evidence he offers up will be examined in a court of law. I will keep you guys posted unless my lawyer tells me not to. If my lawyer says he's entitled to this as an opinion, I will accept it and apologize. It's still a lie.
2) Bob has sold only one company in his entire life-- Sunfire. The rest is a lie. He was fired by the Board of Directors at Phase Linear which was becoming a car audio company and he disagreed. He was fired by the Carver Board of Directors because they wanted to go down-market and he wanted to build the best products he knew how. Bob can be stubborn, never backs down, and they fired him. The thing with the Emotiva was stillborn. No one got fired and no business entity was sold; they just gave up-- quickly. Bob was not running that business; he was only designing but it lasted barely a few months. He sold Sunfire based on an offer of millions of dollars (who wouldn't?) and the purchaser went bankrupt on part of the debt. During the ensuing years, Marantz had seven owners. In this difficult industry, we find ourselves with only three major receiver suppliers left-- Sound United, Sony and Yamaha (If you guys are unfamiliar with the recent situation, let me know and I will provide more detail). Ironically, the remaining small receiver suppliers-- Bel Canto, Arcam, Anthem, Rotel and NAD-- position themselves as a high-performance alternative to the major brands but their numbers are far smaller. We're still here! I have no idea what the future holds but I can tell you that any manufacturer building inferior products will suffer in the marketplace. We are not suffering we've grown exponentially and have experienced shortages from the very first day and even now, there's a waiting list on most models. Our product owners seem very happy. We must be doing something right. Incidentally, when Bob bought the Carver name back, so we could build Carver branded products at Sunfire, he covered the warranties on all Carver products despite not being legally obligated to do so. He felt with his name on the product, he owed it to the people who supported him.
3) I competed against Phase Linear in the early 70s and we called it, "flames linear" but the truth is, it was only the first production run that was unreliable with a very high failure rate. We have a little axiom which is somewhat exaggerated. We claim that no two amplifiers built by Bob are identical. None of you have any idea how many upgrades have been instituted through the years on every brand and every model. It drives technicians nuts because the schematic diagrams may be out of date because of the many revisions. He kept it quiet so existing owners would not feel cheated, but with Sunfire, at least, he called these units Mark II or some such. He even did the same at Carver by adding the "T" to the units designed for the Carver challenge. I run the only Bob Carver service center that does anything Bob has ever designed, with or without a schematic diagram, and in the last five years, we've only seen three Phase Linear products. We see the Sunfire subwoofers weekly! When I was the senior manager at Onkyo, and we were doing $30 million, Bob was doing $65 million at Carver and those products likewise rarely come in for service. Only lately, are we seeing more because of the age of the capacitors. The product was amazingly reliable. Phase Linear was good enough for the Grateful Dead to bet their livelihood on the brand in their concert set up and the photographs of the stacked Phase Linear amplifiers is something we cherish.
4) to the best of my knowledge, and to the best of my memory, I can only think of one 350 series failure since we started this company about four years ago. But the 350 is based on earlier designs that were equally reliable. Music Direct said they never had a failure even back then. The Sound Lab distributor in Connecticut had a 350 with a bad capacitor. We don't make capacitors but we managed to repair it over the telephone! We have no service department. We have no failures.
5) I respond to inquiries seven days a week. My phone number is published in multiple places including our website; it's my personal phone number. Here it is again: 847-668-4519. Try calling the CEO of McIntosh or Audio Research!

Bob is essentially retired, hopefully continuing to design for me, but if he sees a real problem, he too will respond seven days a week. He loves you guys. He loves his heroes-- Arnie Nudel, Harry Olson, Stu Hegeman, and so many others. He always gives them credit when we speak. I don't know what else we can do.

Please forgive me for the length of this statement and forgive the tone if you found it to be excessively negative or inappropriate. I've worked very hard on this endeavor for several years and yes, I suppose I'm a bit too sensitive. My apologies to all.
this is all I could find.............." It sounds to me like these clubs of legend were driving an amp hard without properly ventilating them, so any fires or problems resulting from failure due to overheating would seem to be more the fault of the club rather than the amplifier or its designer. The owner's manual does have a mention of 'adequate ventilation.'
I worked for a touring sound company that used Phase Linear 200's, 400's and 700's exclusively into the 90's. Yes, we had amps fail but rarely in the manner of the 'Flame Linear' legend, more due to thin sheet metal chassis coming apart because they weren't designed for touring use or stagehands pushing transistor covers onto transistors between the fins of heat sinks and causing shorts or bad power blowing fuses. With about 35 Phase Linear amps we'd have maybe four channel failures a year due to causes not related to operator error, and we worked 'em hard. We had many more problems related to band engineers who associated distortion with loudness and stagehands who think they're airline baggage handlers. Amps these days are loaded with protection circuits the PL's didn't have and designers have much better simulation tools available, Carver did an excellent job given the era he did it in."
Take care,

Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
So from someone who did the walk (Mark and Mary) "operator error", abuse, and being used for something they weren't designed to do and even so doing it for a long time and that's just 3 of his designs. 

One more thing....have you ever seen the voice coil of a woofer glow cherry red.  I have.  Take a woofer not designed for a lot of power and with poor ventilating qualities, hook it up to a powerful amp and push it as hard as you can and you can heat up the voice coil tremendously.  If the woofer catches fire, as it can, it's the amps fault???? I've heard these stories about blaming Carver amps for that.
Please research your postings before you
1) perpetuate a myth and less knowledgeable audio people trying to find good info here think it's true2) insult a great man who pioneered much of what we use today, is still designing and working at 78, and who has forgotten much more than you will ever know about audio. 
As a disclaimer.... I know Bob Carver, have spent a number of days with him, own some of his equipment, have discussed audio with him, most of which was beyond my comprehension, and women and football which I do know something about and have even examined him for what HIPAA.  rightly denies me mentioning.  In addition I found him to be a very nice, friendly, generous, humble man.  In my profession I do occasionally meet men and women who could be called a "genius".  Certainly not all, but a higher proportion than would be normal for people you meet or deal with are conceited assholes, smart as they are very few people like them, tolerate would be a better word.  Bob Carver is far, far, from that. I don't do "internet war" and this is the last I'll post re the person who made such a disparaging remark w/out any proof about Carver amps. (not R9s he just talking about his experiences, he could have been working on something M&M were using)

Doc from MI
Also - the title of this thread should be clarified as "Latest-Gen Bob Carver Vacuum Tube Amps" (in order to avoid ambiguity with "legacy" Carver products)


First of all, many thanks to @fmalitz for joining the conversation. I'm a Carver fan, Phase Linear was before my time. I've owned a couple Carver components and an excellent Sunfire amp.

I believe the member who used the term "starting fires" was not being literal. He was talking about controversy and innuendo. Thanks to Frank for chiming in.
Never heard of any of Bob's amps catching fire. Kudos to him for his innovation and quality products.


Thank you for jumping in Frank and Doc.Your detailed factual information is very much appreciated!
We will be prosecuting clearthink to the full extent of the law unless he prints a retraction in the next 10 days.


Could you please just go ahead and sue him anyway? I will be happy to chip in. I will be watching and eagerly awaiting the post where either he eats crow big time with a real and complete and believable retraction, or the clock runs out and he at last gets served his due.

Served. Heh. Good one. We can only hope.
fmalitz
It's also a bald-faced lie ...  I'm forwarding his statement over to our attorneys ... We will be prosecuting clearthink to the full extent of the law unless he prints a retraction in the next 10 days. ... I suppose I'm a bit too sensitive. My apologies to all.
I don't blame you for being annoyed, Frank. There's ugly language on this group sometimes, and anyone who's been here for a while is likely to be an eventual target.

I suggest you mitigate the damages. Flag the post for deletion by the moderators and send them a note asking that "clearthink" be warned or - better yet - given a little "time out." That should solve the problem. I've faced similar nonsense here and have found the moderators quite responsive.
I myself have used the phrase, "putting out fires" for years. As the founder of Onkyo and Integra in the United States, imagine what I went through when they started using cheap power supplies in the early 80s and suddenly the most reliable products in the world were shutting down! I know that the term can be used figuratively.

But lowrider, the poster referred to litigation and negotiation with insurance companies! Could this possibly be more literal?
No, and its clear he meant actual fires. If he meant figuratively, then "fires" would be his way of saying "controversial design". But what he actually said was, "Amplifiers designed, manufactured, and marketed by Bob Carver" leaving no doubt he means it literally.

Probably his best defense would be to say that "designed, manufactured, and marketed by" is a nervous tic he has where he just always has to repeat, regurgitate, and re-state everything he says over and over and over again, and without ever giving any thought to whether or not what he is saying bears any relationship with reality. In other words he could say hey look I'm a bloviating buffoon, and everybody knows it, so no harm done.

Any judge or jury would then just look at his posting history, throw up their hands and say, "case dismissed."

Or at least that is my opinion.
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Nobody says "fires" and then references "insurances companies" without being literal in the chosen words.  That was disgraceful.  I'm surprised the Mods haven't removed his post yet so it doesn't cause further harm to the manufacturer.
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Geeqner,I'm sorry to disagree.  My OP was directed to and at the great customer service I received from Carver Corp.  The fact that I mentioned my 350s was only incidental to the topic.  This was not a post of the pros and/or cons of any Carver amp new or vintage.  It was a post about how I felt of them going the extra mile on a Sunday to make sure my problem was taken care of.  Any company doing what they did yesterday would meet a hypothetical standard of excellence.  I doubt few exist outside of  Carver but I don't honestly know.  Text from me 3:15 EDT Sunday 09/11 directly to Carver CEO/part owner (which at the time I didn't know) in Chicago relayed to Bob Carver marked "very important", replied to me at 9:15 EDT 09/11 by Bob Carver who lives in Seattle that tells me how to accomplish my task, not we will get back to you, I'll call you later in the week, etc. which would have been very acceptable on the same day I asked them.  The problem came in when "amps on fire" came up and IMO had to be addressed.  I hate to repeat myself but this was about a company responding to a customer in a very unusual amount of time on a weekend day to make sure the customer could take care of the problem.  Carver decidedly deserves kudos for how they took care of me and I truly believe it would be any of their customers.  I don't think Frank knew me from Adam when he received the text and the fact I did a few things with Bob last year was not within his memory bank.  My only intent was to tell this forum of my great experience (and I was impressed) and perhaps motivate them to take a look at Carver knowing it was a company who truly cares about the people they serve.  They've already got my money yet they make sure I'm taken care of. As kren006 said pretty cool!
@viridian 


I think @fmalitz Frank's post is highly appropriate given the malicious nature of clearthink's post. If clearthink has an attorney, his or her advice would be to make an unconditional apology and take responsibility for saying something so false and blatantly careless. He might, just might, be forgiven.  I actually thought Frank's post was infused with a genuine kindness and his repeated apologies lend credibility.

Its ok to not like something, its not ok to lie and fabricate. I'm actually glad Audiogon hasn't taken it down. Its important for our community to stand for something and clearthink's post crosses the lines of good taste at a minimum and certainly crosses the legal threshold of not if clearthink will owe damages but how much he will owe in damages. The longer he waits to make this right, the deeper in the excrement he will find himself.
@fmalitz
My bad. When I scrolled back to reread clearthink's comments, there can be only one meaning by the poster. They are without a doubt defamatory comments. Sorry for any misunderstanding due to my speed reading.


I would rather not dominate the thread but I thought you might like to know that I scrupulously avoid talking about the performance of our products on these types of forums. I think that’s for you to discover. That’s why I stuck to the legal issue and not Bob’s remarkable record of accomplishments. I’m delighted to answer technical questions. I’m delighted to debunk myths and I’ll throw one out for fun in a moment. I’m delighted to speak about the technology of our products. I have no problem discussing legacy brands and models because I enjoy the romance. I really like this stuff. In this case however, the mythology was acrimonious, aggressive and blatantly false.

Okay, here comes my controversial myth busting statement (I was soundly attacked on the AVS forum with this): nearly all specifications available to all of us as consumers are bull----! I just combined two TV shows into one-- MythBusters and Bull----.

A statement like that can hijack a thread so suffice it to say, in my opinion (ha!), since there are no hard and fast definitions, legally, for any of this stuff, or, for the regulations we do have--IEC, DIN, FTC, etc. there is no accountability. We can say and print anything we like with impunity. Furthermore, how many times have we seen identical specifications on products that sound completely different? Even frequency response is meaningless because some companies lie, some companies measure in strange ways, and frequency response in isolation does not tell us much. Here are the specifications that I tell people to pay attention to:
1) the sensitivity of the loudspeaker (you may rest assured that our measurements often disagree with manufacturers claims but it could be important and usually is)
2) the cost of the product so you can afford it
3) the weight of the product so you can move it around to a good spot in your home
4) the size of the product so it will fit into your lifestyle
I think these are the most important specifications.

Okay, I hope I haven’t hijacked this thread and I’ve reverted having fun with it since I’ve already received phone calls from forum members offering me gracious support. Please, let us continue pursuing high fidelity but combined with fun! I hope my four specifications were entertaining. Now everyone go have a good dinner.
Yep, I have a crimson 275 and am a fanboy myself....Looking forward to new Carver products.
So which one of us is Bob?
@davekay-  Ever heard of Bob Carver?
My first thought on reading the OP was to chime in with that's great, doesn't surprise me, and then give my own Bob Carver story. But before I could even get that far I came across clearthink and his awful post and Franks perfectly appropriate response.

Another perfectly good thread hijacked to no good end. All in a good days work for clearthink. I sincerely hope he does get sued, and good, and that he learns from it.

And now, back to the OP.

The first powerful and really good sounding amp I had was a Phase Linear back in about 1973. Being kids we had a party and my friend brought his JBLs and I hooked up mine and pretty sure being know just enough to be dangerous kids we hooked em up 4ohm style to get more power and ran that amp so hard you could hardly stand to touch the heat sinks. Being around Christmas time it was snowing and so obviously only one thing to do, fill a bag with some snow and put it between the heat sinks.

Yeah. No kidding. 

That was actually my brothers amp so who knows what other abuse that thing got but one day he says oh its gone I got these Carver Cube amps now. What? Yeah this amp that had stood up to mega abuse didn't die and was way out of warranty but somehow something happened and Bob Carver replaced the one Phase Linear with two of his much better Cube amps. I want to say it was something stupid, like a meter quit and they didn't have an exact replacement so Bob.... whatever. Point made. Man stands behind his work.

But wait- I got more! Been mentioned Carver's in Washington. Lynnwood, WA, to be precise. Or at least was back when I first met the man giving a talk introducing Carver's Amazing Loudspeaker. Being a starving college student no money for speakers or anything else but it was a great talk and clear the man is some kind of genius.

His genius showed up again some years later when he came to Mercer Island, the Seattle audiophile club to talk about and demo his Sunfire sub. The first time I was young and didn't know that much and recall even less. This time though he talked about speaker cabinet resonance and electromotive force and how the incredible current required to get a freight train moving would pretty much reduce the whole thing to a slag of molten rubble except for the way they use this resonance which is what he does in the Sunfire. Okay so I reduced an hour talk to one sentence how much sense is it gonna make? Then after explaining design principles he fires the thing up and demonstrates it does in fact work - by shaking the living daylights out of our great big meeting room.

That's four stories over 30 years, every one nothing but positive. Carver amp takes massive abuse keeps on running. Carver standing behind his designs- even when no longer his company and no longer under warranty. Carver graciously educating, explaining and answering questions.

Integrity. Genius. Enthusiast. That's my experience of Bob Carver. 
Great story millercarbon!Snow?!
Frank Malitz - what a class act; a gentleman of the first order.
To the OP...yesterday was 8 / 11, as an fyi, and I enjoyed your posts..... As far as Phase Linear, Carver and Sunfire. I sold the original PL 400s and 700s, and owned them as well. Many of my clients were DJs, and never did I experience a reported problem, or a return, that I was aware of. A common system I sold, were a pair of Bose 901s, and a PL 700 to drive them ( I managed an install team, and we hung the 901's from the ceilings, and the systems sounded awesome ). Later, I owned, and sold, Carver, and Sunfire, and again, awesome stuff. I recently conversed, through email, with Mr. Frank M, about a situation I needed to discuss. As I recall, I contacted Frank, late on a Sunday evening, and I received a response, early, the following Monday. Bob Carver created ( creates ) great, evolutionary, and revolutionary audio products, has wonderful and professional partners, and with the continued success, after all of these years, is proof that Bob and Frank, are doing the right thing ! Clearthink's post is ridiculous, and should be removed. Enjoy ! MrD.
I swear, Bob Carver is the kicking boy of the industry since he dares to do things differently.  I have gladly owned a Sunfire Amp for 15 years.  In fact, it is the only piece of equipment I haven’t replaced in 15 years.  Instead, last year, I had Bill Flannery, a former employee of Bob Carver, that has Bob’s blessing, service and perform all the updates on the amp to ensure it keeps chugging along.  If Bob decides to build another solid state amp, I will be in line.  Thanks for the wonderful products. 
I met Bob Carver at the 2017 RMAF where he was demoing his large tube mono blocks.  They sounded  excellent and when you take in the low price of them, the sound is even sweeter.  I owned a Phase Linear 700B back in the 70's driving a pair of large Rectilinear 7 speakers.  The sound was quite effortless considering my speakers needed minimum 100 watts to really come alive.  I never had a fire or any such nonsense.  I found Bob Carver to be a very gracious host and he spent a considerable amount of time speaking with my wife and I about things other than audio.  Like I said earlier, Clearthink was not thinking.
hi guys, I'm a rare contributor to th ag forum. I was a close friend of paul of trl. had great dinner conversations with albert porter and Ralph of atma sphere, spent several days with dr west of sound labs. I do follow the current conversations of our audio community.  but this poster that is throwing bob under the bus with no cred just infuriates me! I checked his ag bio, member since 2017. hasn't sold anything ever, hasn't bought anything  ever. I'm betting a troll and hope ag will cooperate with the legal to teach this pos a lesson for all of us that love this passionate hobbie that I call audio. I love this magical persuit!!!👍 the best to you all!

A tube amp with potted transformers that produces 75w/ch from a pair of output tubes each, on a modestly-sized and nicely-finished chassis, designed by one of the industry's leaders, for less than $2800? How do they do it?! The amp weighs only 19 lbs., which concerns me (see thread on the subject for a discussion of that topic). A comparable McIntosh costs FAR more.
The Op’s experience makes me want a Carver Crimson setup!  Frank’s post is lovely. 

I owned two Carver Corp pieces in the 90s. After about a decade of use I sold them for 65% of my outlay. I miss them today. 
First off, I freely admit to being a Bob Carver fanboy. Also, I think the MUCH overused term ‘genius’ truly applies to Mr. Carver — as he has introduced, not one, but SEVERAL innovative products in the audio industry (anybody remember his ‘Sonic Holography Circuit’ from way back in the eighties).

However, as the owner of three Carver amps (an M-500, an M-500t and a TFM-15CB [all purchased new, when they came out]) that have ALL FAILED, I can’t say anything positive about the reliability of his products!


Do they sound great? ABSOLUTELY! — when they work, that is. I’ve talked to a few other Carver solid-state amp owners, and have heard the same story: They sound FANTASTIC — when they work! I don’t know if I was driving them too hard (the M-500’s were each driving a pair of Acoustic Research AR98’s which I ran stacked, and cranked VERY loudly), or what. But, eventually they ALL three failed! (And, the TFM-15CB was only driving a pair of Acoustic Research 8" two-way bookshelf speakers!)


Having said all that, would I still buy a Carver solid-state amp (if he were to start making them again): YES (EMPHATICALLY)! If fact, I’ve been thinking seriously about getting, at least, the two M-500’s fixed — because, I DO love how they sound!

Anyway, just my two cents.

BTW, I have a Pioneer SPEC-4 amp (which is what the first M-500 replaced) that STILL works! (Admittedly, I didn’t push it as hard as I did the M-500’s — but, still, it works!)
In the past, I owned the (2) M-500,(2) M-400 and my brother owned the Sonic Holography Preamp. 
Today, I still have one of the M-400 (it needed new caps) but it still sounds great and is used in my rec room daily.
As I stated previously in this thread, I now own the 350 tube amps. And yes, Bob Carver himself visited my home last year when there were issues with his speakers.

I view Bob as a creative genius that truly thinks outside the box.

ozzy
FWIW, during the early to mid-1980s I purchased several Carver Corporation products, namely the C4000, TX11, C79, M400a, and M400t. All of them were 100% reliable during the years I owned them, and in fact the M400t is still going strong in the home of a relative, after about 35 years! The others I sold after several years, as I moved on to more expensive products.

My sonic favorite among those products, btw, was the M400t, which was the version of the cube-shaped amplifier that was designed to emulate the sonics of the legendary Mark Levinson ML-2. From a sonic standpoint I found it to be a considerable improvement on its predecessor model, the M400a. Despite their diminutive size both models seemed every bit as powerful as their 201 wpc rating would suggest, and although I found the dimensionality of the image the M400t projected to seem slightly constricted it was an excellent sonic performer in pretty much all other respects, at least with the easy to drive speakers I was using at the time. And it was certainly an outstanding value, given its price and its power capability.

To the OP, thanks for recounting your great experience with Bob & Frank.

Regards,
-- Al

bob carver designs are still used by many manufactures at least the concepts are. they have done many modifications but if you trace their original inspiration it will probably have been a bob carver design!
the only tube amp i ever owned was a clone of a sunfire audio 2a3 amp. the sunfire was using an old bob carver design from 40 years ago. so a copy of a copy! its safe to say the amp did not run very hot and would have never started a fire.
ps. this isn't the first time i've heard of an older bob carver amp starting a fire. it was a thing, but its honestly completely irrelevant as safety standards have changed and such an amp that could start a fire would never make it to market. i wonder how much truth there is into the idea that bob carver designed his new amps to run less hot BECAUSE of insurance claims, but that does seem a bit far fetched and is probably conjecture and/or facetiousness of the poster who brought it up.
Mrd....thanks for the correction, my staff always said I was getting ahead of myself :)
I rarely join in the discussions, but when it comes to the legend, Bob Carver, it's my turn. My first foray into high end was with Carver back in the mid - late 80's. I had been using the higher end products made by Pioneer, Technics, Onkyo, Sansui, etc. A McIntosh dealer in Tampa, where I had purchased my Klipsch Chorus and JBL 240Ti speakers pulled me off to the side like a carnie and said "Pssst, come check out this new equipment we started handling!" I had been dreaming of Mac equip for years but it was out of my $ reach. What he demo'd me was my first, what I considered "high end" system consisting of a C-2 preamp, M200t amp and a TX-2 tuner, all for about $1k total. Another point that I really liked was that they were made in the USA, although I think the tuner may have been made in Japan, which wasn't a bad thing. The sound of this system played over a modest pair of Mac speakers blew me away and I was stuck like Chuck after that. Over the next few years, one by one I upgraded the components with the newer and better Carver offerings. The last tuner I purchased, TX-11b was not only a piece of art, it picked up stations miles and miles away I never knew existed and with clarity I had never heard other than vinyl. 

Fast forward to the late 80's. Big box stores, not sure if mentioned names are allowed, but we'll call them CC, like credit card, started selling mega volumes of products. They handled Krell, B&K, Aragon and Carver and the price of the Carver equipment blew everything else away, and the sound quality was excellent also. Unfortunately with exploding sales and manufacturing requirements, now comes the scurry to capitalize on that dilemma. Enter the TFM amps made in Taiwan with most the rest of the Carver line shifting production overseas as well. Bob Carver, the genius engineer and designer, marketer and pitchman, also ain't no dummy in the economics department. He made millions $ I'm sure and deserved it, but the quality went down the drain. At one time I heard the phrase "Quality control means it fits in the box!" and a friend of mine that was a manager at CC said their warranty and return rate was like around 25% or higher.

 After the closing of the original Carver, and the startup of Sunfire, and now the new Carver, his older, original products are still being used and raved about, 30 years later. Hell, they have a Carverfest where enthusiasts come from all over the country to meet and show off their gear, I don't think Mac or AR or Krell have that. You probably won't have to filter thru endless glowing reviews of the later Asian offerings, but nobody can deny the quality and value of his older equipment. 

Back in the late 80's I had a technical question about the amps and speakers I was using, or a recommendation and they said they would have a "tech guy" call me back. The "tech guy" was Bob himself. Now today, I own Bryston, Classe, Magnum Dynalab, SMc Audio and the only designer / builder / owner that will do the same is Steve McCormack, who I've owned many of his products and upgrades. 

Eric Alexander of Tekton shame, I mean fame, is trying to be the new Bob Carver of loudspeakers with his claims and patents and unpublished specs on his diy design speakers, but there will NEVER be another Bob Carver. God bless the man!

Rant over.












Having owned and enjoyed a Fuzzlinear 700B for many years I guess entitles me to make a comment or two. I never managed to destroy that amp. I sold it because the next pair of speakers I bought had their own built in amps and I could not afford to own both. But I have managed to destroy several other amps including a Krell KMA 100. Actually, you can destroy any solid state amp if you put your mind to it. That may be one of the reasons Bob Carver greatly prefers tube amplifiers. I would love to hear Silver Sevens driving SoundLabs speakers.
Frank, although I know his comment really pisses you off and I have to admit he has pissed me off on several occasions, you can't take clearthink seriously. None of us do. 
Joecollege, Tekton shame is fine. Bob Carver always made the best products he could keeping them at prices us commoner music lovers could afford. He shied away from glitzy face plates and gold screws but never intentionally compromised the performance of his designs. He never threw crap at us just to make money. Great run Bob. Please keep it up as long as you can. 

Mike 
@d2girls

"it was a thing". Do you have direct knowledge or are you repeating something you think you heard from someone who may or may not had their facts straight? It matters.

@clearthink

You are being conspicuously quiet when, in fact, you owe an apology.
Drkingfish -

I do not argue with your point that their service went "Above and Beyond". THAT is something that I would classify a REALLY COOL and refreshing in today’s world.

What I MEANT was that this service came from the CURRENT ITERATION of the firm (but then again, I guess there would be no logical way of getting in touch with the previous Carver companies as they no longer exist, but their founder still does).

Up until recently, I had not followed V-Tube electronics to any extent - because I grew-up in the "Transistor Generation", where "Solid State" was a plus and learned to shrug-off the antiquated technology of the past.

Up until quite recently, when I thought of products with a Carver nameplate on them - I (and I am certain many non-Audiophiles) fondly remember the AWESOME (probably now considered "mid-fi" by the snobs) stuff like the beefy sold-state component amps that friends and their parents had back in the 1970’s & 80’s. Stuff that could REALLY "rock the house"... I was blissfully unaware of the design notoriety that Mr. Carver had in Tubes.  That particular ignorance on my part been corrected recently.
fmalitz
We will be prosecuting clearthink to the full extent of the law unless he prints a retraction in the next 10 days.
Good luck with that, Frank. The promotional benefit Carver has received from this thread far outweighs any injury he may have suffered from clearthink’s silly single-sentence post. Moreover, you’ve allowed clearthink’s post to remain - rather than have the moderators delete it - so you haven’t mitigated your damages.

I’m not defending clearthink, who I consider one of Audiogon’s class clowns. But the indignation over his single post isn’t commensurate with whatever harm he may have inflicted. Sorry. Clearthink may have been offensive, and even unreasonable. But it doesn’t rise to the level of libel, which is what I’m sure your attorney will advise. millercarbon
Probably his best defense would be to say that "designed, manufactured, and marketed by" is a nervous tic ... In other words he could say hey look I’m a bloviating buffoon, and everybody knows it, so no harm done.

Any judge or jury would then just look at his posting history, throw up their hands and say, "case dismissed."
Quite likely that clearthink could invoke satire as a defense. That’s protected speech (in the U.S.) so, yes, case closed.

None of this is to excuse clearthink, or any of the other handful of posters whose argumentative, insulting, confrontational posts sometimes infect this group. (Oops! That’s a threepeat, a clearthinkism!) They really detract from the conversations.
@joecollege
What exactly is your problem with Tekton?
Have you ever really heard a pair of speakers Eric has designed?
Eric is another CEO which you can call and speak to directly, btw.
I certainly don’t want to take away from this thread, but have to ask that. 
@technick
No problem with Tekton. I heard a pair of the original $2000 Impacts that blew me away. My reference was comparing Eric’s pitching of products to Bob’s back in the day with the patents and excitement that we all want to hear! The "shame" part, which was just joking, was because everytime someone makes a post about Tekton it becomes an all assault, no holds barred steel cage match of wits, or lack thereof insulting or praising his products, and 99% of the time having nothing to do with what the OP posted about in the first place. And you are absolutely correct, I called Tekton and spoke to Eric one time about some mods and upgrades to his older Impacts and he was awesome! I may own a pair, if I can get grills with them (Here we go again) lol