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)

Showing 3 responses by joecollege

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
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.

@technick thanks for the mention. I would never bash anyone's product if I didn't own or have first hand experience with the product, not a hypocrite. I love guns, I'm not a Glock fan, but I own one. They're reliable but kinda simple and generic, but I keep it just so I can complain about them lol. And to jpwarren58 I don't think their service is good anymore, but I'm sure the new Bob Carver line is excellent! I don't think to my knowledge that they ever built integrated amps, although they made a helluva receiver back in the day. All the Carver products I've owned, I never had 1 single service or repair issue. Everybody have a great day!