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
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.