Planar/panel speakers to replace Carver Amazings


Hi All,

a while back, I posted a question titled “Secondary/“vintage” system speaker replacement options?” in this section. However, it didn’t get many responses.

However, perhaps the above simpler title will elicit more responses. Just trying again.

if you’d like more background info, please see the above titled post.

All the best and many thanks.
arsh
Somebody years ago was selling replacement ribbon drivers for the Carvers. Wish I could remember more! Why don't you call Madisound? Somebody there might be helpful!
Never heard the Carver Amazings but you should have a listen to the Sanders 10e system. Quick, transparent, tonally spot on.
My now-deceased friend had a pair of the Amazing Platinums. They did indeed sound awesomely good! Get yours repaired! The Sanders costs over $10K! The Carver ribbons are rather simple in design. A frame holding a front-and-back magnet array, with a Kapton plastic ribbon coated with a conductor sandwiched between! I'm in Florida. If I was closer I'd repair them for you!
You might have a wrinkled ribbon or a broken lead at one end!  Either is fixable! Don't throw them away!
Thanks guys! Robjerman, where is Madisound? My preference would absolutely be to have them repaired and just keep them. I did some research into that a while back, and I didn’t really get anywhere. Too bad you are not closer to MO. 
Madisound is in Madison Wi.
They are really good doing what they do.  Credible guys and worth doing business with if they can help you.  If not, then someone may want them to fix them themselves.  

To answer your question, I'd audition the Maggies, Vandersteen's, Quads and the Sander's system (you must buy them with his system though), depending on your budget.  Vandy and Maggies come in lower price ranges depending on what you can afford. 
Thanks again ctsooner. I’ll contact them and see what they can do. Thanks also for your speaker suggestions.
Everybody knows about and buys Magneplanars, and for good reason; they’re great and an excellent value, the best in a planar. EXCEPT for the Eminent Technology LFT-8b, the best speaker value in all of hi-fi. Just ask Harry Weisfeld of VPI, who described the midrange of the LFT-8 as the best he has ever heard, at any price. I wouldn’t go THAT far (the Quad 57’s are still unequalled in that regard), but for $2499/pr they can’t be beat. Add a pair of the Sound Anchor stands for a coupla hundred and you’re all set.
Thanks bdp24! I’ll check them out.
bdp24.  Please take this the right way.  Nothing is the best value or the best, unless the person listening feels it is. To you it is, but to many it's not. I have owned a pair for a short period of time and have heard the latest variant.  It's a great value and a good speaker to my ears too, but I like some others better. I personally don't care about what others think about a component as that's their ears in their system in their home.  That's the caveat about all gear obviously.   

There are many speakers in that price range that are outstanding and loved by many, but it's a great suggestion of course and most often forgotten by many of us.  I too would put that on my short list if I had remembered to.  It's a great option.  Again I hope I said that the right way.  Nothing negative meant.  Thanks.
From my memory: Boehlender-Grabner made ribbon speakers and offered drop-in replacement ribbons for the Carvers. 
surely a call to the wizard of Lake Stevens ( aka Bob himself ) might yeild a name of somebody supporting his old products ?????
There is a pair of Carver Amazings for sale on ebay a guy restored. It sows they would ship from Bowling Green, KY you might email him and see if he would be willing to fix yours. Not sure how far away you are in MO from Bowling Green. 
Thanks guys for all the helpful responses. Tomic601, I did in fact correspond with Carver himself many months ago, and in fact it seems there is no factory support for these speakers; he mentioned one person he knew of who might be doing repairs, but I think he had quit doing it. I found one other hobbyist (in NC if I recall correctly) who said he could try it but strongly recommended that if I could live with it he way it is to do so.

No offense taken ctsooner. Your point is a fine one, no argument from me. I guess I could have put imo after "the best speaker value in all of hi-fi", but I thought that was assumed! Of more interest to the op may be Harry Weisfeld's opinion of the LFT-8b.

The LFT-8b's only serious shortcoming is it's 8" dynamic woofer, but I don't use it. I use only the panels, with a pair of the Rythmik/GR Research OB/Dipole Subs in place of the stock woofers. I also use the subs with a pair of Quad 57's. Killer!  

Thanks bdp.  I know of a few folks who do the same thing.  If you have a chance, get a hold of a couple of the new Vandersteen subs for 2500 each and cross it over around 100hz or so.  Possibly 120hz and dial in the EQ to smooth the bass in your room.  I know of one person who did this and he said it changed the system greatly for the better.  This way you get the best of both worlds.
The LFT-8B is a great speaker at the price point. I reviewed it and use a pair of LFT-VI in my office with HSU subs. Imo the upper mid and treble of the LFT-8B is not in the same class as better ESL speakers. 

I also reviewed and own the Kingsound King III electrostatic. I called it a line source ESL, a different configuration than is typically seen in ESL. I find it to be marvelous and exquisite when set up well. It does take a lot of power/current, and responds readily to the upgraded VAC Royal Power Supply (also in review of the speaker), as well as power cords and speaker cables. To explain, I use Kevin Hay's Royal Power Supply as a regulated PSU to the external power supply/X-over of the King III. 

I run the King III with a pair of Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subwoofers, and most often send the signal to the subs from the preamp (bypassing the mains amplification) to the subs directly. If I need to use splitters to accomplish this, I will. FYI, I much prefer the nearly mid-room subwoofer placement as opposed to tucked in behind the speakers near the front corners. 

Imo, the King III is more advanced sonically than Quads (However, I believe there is finally now a truly large model of Quad) and has a greater frequency range. FYI, Magnepan 30.7 is not the only four panel game in town; Kingsound has this as well. If my room were not a bit small for that, no doubt I would review it. 

I have had some poor experiences with classic/vintage speakers and I would not pursue them at any cost. I know others find the value proposition and exploration enjoyable. 
Thanks all. A lot of valuable input here. I don’t know anything about Kingsound, but I will do some reading about them. I was listening to the Carvers last night, and they really sound good on most music. But I think repairing the problem speaker is just not going to be possible. I’m grateful for all the helpful advice as I seek an appropriate replacement.

@ctsooner, the problem with the Vandersteen sub(s) with the LFT-8’s is that the LFT m-p panels are good to only just below 200Hz (the x/o is at 180Hz, 1st order), so any sub used with them must play that high. Few do, but the OB/Dipole Sub plays up to 400Hz! And being a dipole, the blend with dipole speakers is superb.

Douglas, I agree---ESL’s are king of the hill to me. Unequalled liquid transparency and low-level detail, and natural timbre reproduction. The reproduction of vocals---solo, harmony, and counterpoint, is extremely important to me, and nothing else equals ESL’s in that regard. I’ve had Quad 57’s for a quarter century, but they, as everyone knows, are SPL and bass limited. The LFT-8 provides an acceptable compromise for lots of Pop music, the recording quality of which is often really, really bad. The transparent reproduction of it’s sound often leads to less musical enjoyment and involvement, not more.

Damn Doug, you have a pair of LFT-6's?! I looked for a few years, but gave up and bought some LFT-4's. Cute little speakers. I've heard the Sanders and loved them (the Sound Labs too), and am planning on hearing Roger Modjeski's ESL's with direct-drive tube amps (no power amp output transformers, no ESL input transformers!) real soon.

bdp24, thanks for the complement and perspective. Yes, I happened across the LFT-VI when I was looking for something else. A guy had them in the background of an Ad to sell LFT-4's. I contacted him and asked about the LFT-VI. He seemed happy enough to get to sell them, too. That was several years ago. I don't see them around much now.

I guess the nomenclature and style is changed; my model is now the KS17. If you want a close approximation of the King III, the Prince III is seriously good. The new version, the KS16, looks like it's full range line source type.

Well Doug, if you ever decide to sell the LFT-6's let me know! Have you seen the posting from the guy who, like you, doubled-up two pair of LFT-8's? But instead of placing them side-by-side, he removed the LFT drivers from ET's panels, and installed them in his own steel frames. He arranged the midrange drivers two-wide and two-high, with a pair of the tweeters right next to the mid panels, one atop the other. Under each frame is an ET woofer cube. Brilliant!
Have you guys heard or owned the Carvers? I’m wondering how the other speakers we have been discussing sound in comparison? Thanks. 
I have owned Accoustat 2 + 2 s, Maggie 3.5Rs and now the bargain tat is not a room divider- Emerald Physics KCIIs (with wireWorld OCC upgrade). They throw an incredible soundstage, as well as excellent bass. Hard to beat for ~$2K 
Hi Doug, I am a proud owner of LFT-VI as well, and surprisingly I also bought them used in a completely random manner when I was shopping for another pair -- I saw a pair of transmission-line speakers on Craigslist, went to the guy's apt for an audition, and found the LFT-VI just standing there. Apparently the guy had not had the time to put an ad for the VI yet. I knew nothing about the ET at the time, and but a quick listen confirmed that these LFT-VI are special. I offered $450, and the guy accepted. It took me two trips to get them home.

I am now having upgraditis. Could you be kind enough to offer your professional opinion on the LFT-VI to reinforce my loyalty to the VI, or alternatively point me to worthy alternatives that hopefully I can get inexpensively in the used market (preferably below $3k)?

Thank you!
IIRC, BG used to make a drop-in replacement for the Carvers in their RD series, but since the company was sold they seem to have stopped selling the RD's to the public.

If you're considering vintage speakers, I'd recommend that you go with a brand for which there's good support. Magenpan still supports their old models and you can rebuild them yourself with a kit or send them to the factory. And there are people that rebuild Quads. Not sure what the story is with the LFT-VI, but of course the company is still in business. Acoustats are pretty much indestructible and Apogees can be repaired with parts from Graz in Australia, but it will cost you an arm and a leg, making it a less economical option.
 Thanks everyone for the continued discussion and input. Very enlightning. As I keep listening to the speakers in the context of this system, I keep marveling at just how good they sound. I really am very happy with them other than the occasional vibration at particular high frequencies. It’s a frustrating situation! On top of that I like the way they look. And, mine are in really good condition. 
Just go to thecarversite.com and ask or look for Ed (username Sea) he will rebuild your ribbon better than the originals, Bob even is exited about the new kapton he had made and the recent tests comparing to original ribbons. I myself bought some and did it myself but the hardest part is removing and not breaking the magnets then gluing them back in and in the right phase. I forget what his charge is to do it for you but I know it was a real bargain.
Post removed 
Wow, phaselinearguy! I will do that. Thank you!!!
I say dont replace the amazings fix them.

possibly invest in an active crossover.
i have 2 pairs of amazings the platinums and the silvers.
I also have many other speakers, but i dont plan to sell the amazings or my dunlavys....    i still try new speakers, but like these 3 pairs the most.

Thanks Batman. I’m enjoying them very much. I think  getting them fixed is not going to be easy; I tracked down all these leads and the upshot is that I won’t mess with them unless the issue gets worse. The fix could make them worse. I am interested in the active crossover. How would one implement that? I don’t intend to part with mine either!
Look at the threads in DIYaudio . com in the multi-way forum, I think you'll find plenty of technical advice there, and a couple of possible sources.

I've seen long threads on discussions about the ribbon, who actually designed it, and who was making good replacement versions.