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!)