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Dr K

Carver Reference System

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Long overdue photos of the Carver Reference System

 

 

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Holy 5h1+! That looks incredible.

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9 minutes ago, Sk1Bum said:

Holy 5h1+! That looks incredible.

Thank you.  Bob and I are very fond of the system.

A few closeups.

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10 minutes ago, BobSmi57 said:

Absolutely beautiful system!  Thanks for sharing. 

Thanks Bob.

The ALS speaker close ups.

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Wow! The only thing is that needs to be in a more expansive room with higher ceilings to let that baby rip IMO! The room is  without doubt a vital part of the system.

 

Can you give us the system rundown?

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I see you have some Quad 57s in the corner for sound treatment. Ha ha.  I heard the ALS’s at Carverfest two years ago when Bob brought them there. They didn’t have the nice stands like yours, though. Nice that the stands match your amp  platforms. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you very much for showing such a wonderful Bob Carver creation.. The build portion was also great. The work of Tubular Joe is art and watching your build was a joy. The current Crimson/Raven 350s are also hand built by Joe. The build quality is fantastic on everything Joe builds. True American craftsmanship, 2nd to none..

 

Thanks again Doc!

46 minutes ago, WJStephens said:

Wow! The only thing is that needs to be in a more expansive room with higher ceilings to let that baby rip IMO! The room is  without doubt a vital part of the system.

 

Can you give us the system rundown?

The ALS with tube amps has an amazing ability to "listen to the room" as Bob calls it, and correct, as magical as it sounds.. After experiencing this ability in a hotel room at Axpona, it was a joy and a great surprise.  In the Dr's room, that system would sound unhindered by room size. Close you eyes and the walls are gone.  I can't speak for the Dr but sure have seen the ALS at work, and it works like Bob says. 3 days in a small hotel room, watching people close their eyes and get big smiles on their faces. Bet DrKs room is breathtaking  to experience.

 

Edited by Ar9Jim
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That is amazing. I believe you and wish I could hear it! 

 

If I recall correctly Roy Alison designed and marketed his speakers as "room matched" and employed the "Allison Effect" which referred to the floor/ front wall reflection etc. I think he had the the term "Stabalized Radiation Loading" that suppossedly timed or synchronized the back wave so tha it did not interfere with the movement of the drivers. Regardless I had a pair of Allison: 1s back in the day and they were superb. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, WJStephens said:

Wow! The only thing is that needs to be in a more expansive room with higher ceilings to let that baby rip IMO! The room is  without doubt a vital part of the system.

 

Can you give us the system rundown?

According to Bob, the ALS due its height  and infinite line source design would work best with 8 foot ceiling.  Our reference room size is about 17 (w) x 22 (l) x 10 (h) feet. 

Primary source is the Aqua Formula DAC and Lampazator Golden Gate DAC.  Music server is the dB Audiolabs Mac Mini that has been totally reworked with rewritten OS code optimized for audio, battery power supply, gamer RAM, internal SD hard drive, and external Oyen hard drive, all chosen for their sound quality.  Audervarna music software is usded for playing music.  I use the USB connection with iFi iGalvanic and iUSB modules to clean up and isolate USB signal from noise.

 

The preamp is custom modded Aragon 18K.  I had the stock volume pot replaced with custom wound inductive dual mono volume control (autoformer), replaced all critical resistors in the signal path with naked Zfoil vishays and NOS Mills wire wound resistors, had the sound degrading input coupling cap removed to make it DC coupled, replaced old electrolytic caps in the power supply with Nichicons and bypassed with film caps, got rid of the input selector and balance pot, rewired with silver/gold hook up wire, and installed Furutech RCA sockets.  I essentially made this preamp as simple as possible.  You can follow my rebuild of this preamp here:

http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/ultimate-aragon-18k-rebuild.728479/

I compared this preamp with the current Audio Research Ref 6 preamp in our reference system. To my delight, my modded 18K was better in every category of sound I consider to be important:  Better transparency, more refined and extended highs, better defined bass, similar soundstaging but more defined imaging, more truthful tonality, etc.

 

The AC conditioner is the Giggawatt PC4 evo+.  It is by far the best AC conditioner/surge protector I have used.  It is passive and doesn't limit dynamics or squash soundstage like every other power conditioners I've tried, active or passive.  

 

Speaker cables are Ridge Street Audio silver ribbon cables biwired.  DH Labs Revelation silver interconnects and Red Wave power cords are used throughout.

 

Hew, I hope that covers most of what's in the system.

 

You are correct...the room is the most important component of the audio system.  This is why I spent 2 years tweaking the room with various diffusors and absorbers.  You can see the result in the photos.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, BobSmi57 said:

I see you have some Quad 57s in the corner for sound treatment. Ha ha.  I heard the ALS’s at Carverfest two years ago when Bob brought them there. They didn’t have the nice stands like yours, though. Nice that the stands match your amp  platforms. 

Yes, the Quad 57 are completely rebuilt with new transducers using original methods used by Quad.  They were done by Wayne Piquet who is considered the best in the business.

Edited by Dr K
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Posted (edited)

Dr. K.- It is great to see your fantasy system come to fruition. It has to be shared. Do you charge admission for limited discerning audiences to a concert played on your system?  

Papajoe

Edited by Papajoe

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Thanks for the detailed description Dr K!  I did notice with interest the room treatments. Congratulations on assembling such a unique and monumental system. We who are about to listen to vastly inferior sytems salute you!

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Papajoe said:

Dr. K.- It is great to see your fantasy system come to fruition. It has to be shared. Do you charge admission for limited discerning audiences to a concert played on your system?  

Papajoe

Hmm...that may be a great idea!  It will help me recoup some of the cost of this system. 😉

8 minutes ago, WJStephens said:

Thanks for the detailed description Dr K!  I did notice with interest the room treatments. Congratulations on assembling such a unique and monumental system. We who are about to listen to vastly inferior sytems salute you!

You be surprised how "inferior" systems can outperform megabuck systems shown in most audio shows.  Get the room correct, and you're 80% there to a great sounding "inferior" system.

 

BTW, our room is a medium sized room, but the massive Carver amplifier with its isolation stands and ALS speakers make the room seem small.  

Edited by Dr K
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Posted (edited)

Hi Dr. K,

You say that you are always looking for improvements to your system. Well, don't stop there continue to the next  level, a Surround Sound . Use your present system for the Front Channels and custom building the rest of the  11.1 Surround Sound to match.  Think, many more amps and many more speakers.  Each one can be an improvement on the previous one. Sound like fun to me.

Papajoe    

Edited by Papajoe

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Dr. K,

 

 You and I talked on the phone some time ago. We were discussing the C-9 that you have bought from me, and of course, many other audio subjects as well. I very much enjoyed our conversation. Had you tried the C-9 in this system or another system? I have always been curious as what conclusions that you might have had. Honestly, I can't imagine that a system of this magnitude wouldn't provide all the necessary audio cues etc, as it was designed from the bottom up with that in mind to begin with.

 

  I am happy to see this system that you had described to me. I am most pleased that it isn't just a pile of fancy sh*t laying around somebody's leftover room, but rather very well implemented from one end to the other.

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I notice you are using GR Research O.B. servo subs......I think, dont see the Rythmik servo amps anywhere.

How do you time align the subs with the mains when they're so far apart?

Where do you cross the mains and subs?

How do you like them?

Best musical sub system I've heard, I wouldnt let mine go for nuthin.

 

Beautiful......been fun watching the progress.....congrats!

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I don't know I think my old carver updated AL 3 with 60 inch sea ribbons with sunfire twin 600's could take it

 

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19 hours ago, Papajoe said:

Hi Dr. K,

You say that you are always looking for improvements to your system. Well, don't stop there continue to the next  level, a Surround Sound . Use your present system for the Front Channels and custom building the rest of the  11.1 Surround Sound to match.  Think, many more amps and many more speakers.  Each one can be an improvement on the previous one. Sound like fun to me.

Papajoe    

Funny you asked.  I told Bob I may want another pair the the ALS so I can use it as the "ambience" speaker that can be hooked up to the crossover.  That would be complete overkill.  I'm not a huge fan of surround sound as it sounds artificial to me.  I'm still a 2 channel guy at heart.   I don't have infinite funds for a full surround system either. 😉

17 hours ago, 4krow said:

Dr. K,

 

 You and I talked on the phone some time ago. We were discussing the C-9 that you have bought from me, and of course, many other audio subjects as well. I very much enjoyed our conversation. Had you tried the C-9 in this system or another system? I have always been curious as what conclusions that you might have had. Honestly, I can't imagine that a system of this magnitude wouldn't provide all the necessary audio cues etc, as it was designed from the bottom up with that in mind to begin with.

 

  I am happy to see this system that you had described to me. I am most pleased that it isn't just a pile of fancy sh*t laying around somebody's leftover room, but rather very well implemented from one end to the other.

Hey good to hear from you!   Unfortunately I have not had the time to hook up the C-9 yet. I don't have the right length cabling and space to set it up on my rack yet. I will try to set it up within the next month or so. Thanks for visiting my thread.

16 hours ago, PDR said:

I notice you are using GR Research O.B. servo subs......I think, dont see the Rythmik servo amps anywhere.

How do you time align the subs with the mains when they're so far apart?

Where do you cross the mains and subs?

How do you like them?

Best musical sub system I've heard, I wouldnt let mine go for nuthin.

 

Beautiful......been fun watching the progress.....congrats!

Yes, those are GR research subwoofer drivers in a custom built dipole configuration. You don't see the Rythmik amps because the subs are not hooked up.  The ALS is hooked up to the Sunfire Tabla Rosa subwoofer.  Bob did a fantastic job of integrating the Tabla Rosa subs to the ALS.  But I will hook up the GR research subs sometime this summer.

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8 hours ago, cuda said:

I don't know I think my old carver updated AL 3 with 60 inch sea ribbons with sunfire twin 600's could take it

 

We'll have to do a shoot out ;)

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2 minutes ago, RobertR said:

Looks like a lot of fun, but what the WAF factor?

Wife?  What's that?

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7 minutes ago, Dr K said:

Wife?  What's that?

He is probably married to his gear so does that put the WAF at 10?....😂😂😂😂

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Posted (edited)

My system never cheats on me, doesn't nag me, doesn't all of a sudden get  headaches in bed, and will never ask for child support or alimony!

Edited by Dr K
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