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Bob Carver

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   LarryAlan



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Posted October 06 2004 - 11:59 AM

I am just getting into HT after purchasing a 62 inch Mitsubishi DLP Tele. While technology has pushed on since the days when I was a pseudoaudiophile, it has left my old equipment out of the loop for HT, although it still would be great for good old stereo. Anyway, I have several pieces of Carver equipment, including amplifiers, pre-amp, and tuner. Back when Bob Carver was reinventing the amplifier I though his pieces sounded very good. I now find he's the Sunfire company and I've read he has designed some wonderful pieces. I think I'm at the point I would consider a good receiver vs. separates, and wanted to know of anyone's experiences with specifically the Ultimate Receiver and the True Subwoofer Signature. Some people used to consider Carver's designs gimmicky (like the magnetic field amplifiers) and I wondered how he is currently regarded in today's equipment market.

Thanks for any input you can provide


#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted October 06 2004 - 12:39 PM

Overhyped? The "Ultimate" receiver is certainly powerful, but you shouldn't expect a real-world 200watts/channel. Power issues aside, the SUR will usually get a "very good" write up. But at that price level, you might want to consider seperates anyway.

As for the True Subwoofer: Overpriced. Its a good $900 subwoofer regardless.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted October 06 2004 - 01:42 PM

I owned lots of Phase Linear stuff when he designed that. I used to own the outboard Sonic Halographer and actually bought 2 of the units used to use off the analog outs of LD players for fun. Once a long while back, I borrowed one of those cube amps that was supposed to be 200W and it sounded awful vs. one of those big old receivers I had laying around (not Carver - forgot which brand). Smart and innovative power supply but not good what I would call a good amp. I have a Sunfire, Jr. sub in the bedroom system that does not get used much and for what I got if for as a floor demo,and its compact size it fine. I am a fan of his innovative stuff but most things I have seen today at their price points I would probably look at other things, especially for music playback. So it depends on what your goals on in the particular system in which it will sit (e.g. big room, small room, home theater, audiophile music system, ltd. space for components, what speaker it will be used with, etc.).

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted October 06 2004 - 01:56 PM

The "Ultimate" receiver is certainly powerful, but you shouldn't expect a real-world 200watts/channel
It does produce that or more. It actually produces more than its rated for. Do I like the sound? That's another story.
Overpriced. Its a good $900 subwoofer regardless.
A personal opinion for certain. Overpriced that is.

FWIW, I have rather extensive experience with Carver Amps. IMHO they are POS's not built to last. They are always in the shop. Then we might want to talk about his DSP mode he came up with. Personally I'd never buy another Carver product again and when the TFM 15 I own goes, I'll move on and that will most likely be shortly..

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   LarryAlan



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Posted October 06 2004 - 03:11 PM

Why do you think his products seem to get such good reviews? I've never seen anything published about longevity with respect to Carver or any other manufacturer. I have suspicions about magazine reviews anyway because of their tendency to never bad-mouth advertisers, making them less than unbiased. In my experience with my own Carver equipment, it never had a day of downtime. It's been relegated to the basement simply because I've had no place for it yet in my new home. I'm certainly not set on getting anything by Bob Carver. Quite honestly, with my budget, I would probably get a much less expensive receiver, and put more money towards the speakers. Therefore, realistically, I may only be looking seriously at the True Subwoofer. I haven't heard one yet, but have listened to the B&W (700 series) and a Velodyne SPL1200.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 07 2004 - 04:02 AM

I think Bob Carver is one of audio's most fascinating personalities and minds. His storied career is full of milestones: the Phase Linear 700 and 400 power amps, the Carver "sonic holography" series and magnetic field effect amplifiers (remember that crazy little cube of an amp that weighed only a few pounds and put out 200 watts per?), the "Amazing Loudspeaker," the outrageous Silver Seven vacuum-tube amp, his "transfer effect" of making cheap amps "sound like" Mark Levinson equipment, etc., etc.?

The world is a more colorful place because of him. I'd hold on to any of the classic Phase Linear stuff (and keep it in mint condition).

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   ChrisHeflen


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Posted October 07 2004 - 05:37 AM

I agree with Jack.
Bob gets a bad rap in some circles, but I think he is a great mind too. Maybe his stuff could use little more refinement, jack up the prices and then maybe he'd get some respect. It's funny to me how after the Sunfire sub came out it seemed like alot of other companies started putting out tiny subs that had long excursion drivers and big amps. Then companies like Def Tech started using his amps in their powered towers cause they are efficient, cool running and powerful. I'd say he's a first class nut job after all that. What a fool! Posted Image

I'd hold on to any of the classic Phase Linear stuff (and keep it in mint condition).

Really? I'd better get mine outta the garage and clean it up.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   toddLE



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Posted February 18 2006 - 02:59 AM

I own the Ultimate receiver. Trade off my Sony STR-D5000ES. It's a beautiful thing. The sub's are in a different class. I own a True. I am very happy with both. The receiver has the best fireware upgrade system. You just hook it to your computer. Thru the rs-232 port with a serial cable A couple of clicks and your done.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   RussD



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Posted February 19 2006 - 01:20 AM

I also own a true and it is a potent little sub. That said, i'm getting the upgrade bug and plan on a larger addition.
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