Mrd....thanks for the correction, my staff always said I was getting ahead of myself :)
- 80 posts total
- 80 posts total
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!
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.
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.