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Butcher last won the day on January 4

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About Butcher

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  1. Thats a really nice piece. dbx things always look so purposeful. You just made me realize there's one thing that proves my cartridge setup is knackered: in the flat black places between songs, my turntable has very little hiss. That plus the compressed feel of certain albums tells me this thing is off.
  2. I know what you mean. I had a deal working with a few clams regarding some vintage gear. Those guys tried to mussel their way in. They almost had me hooked. Something about the whole thing seemed fishy, so I walked away from it.
  3. Clams? Are they particularly the problem or is it mollusks in general? I was warned by my nutritionist to avoid filter-feeders, so this won't be a problem for me.
  4. I really got into the fossil... record... in my vinyl dig. I started out with topsoil in the form of Van Halen's Women & Children First, then got into a layer of clay, which was a replay of yesterday's War album. Then it got interesting. Under a layer of strata which was mostly volcanic schist I found a record of a previous civilization - Martin Denny's Exotica. Unfortunately it was badly scratched and dirty, and I no longer have access to a VPI record washer. After the first few times my needle jumped that scratch like an airboat hitting river logs I had to admit defeat. The consolation prize was a wonderful LP from the Ahmad Jamal Trio, which apparently was made in the days before albums were titled. This one just has the track list on the front, superimposed over a lovely miss. On the back is what seems to be Epic's entire catalog at the time. What an interesting time that was to buy music. I find the last album to be especially interesting. I could bring this up on Youtube and listen to it in all its 384k glory without pops and scratches, but I doubt I would make it through that. I'm rather enjoying these 30 minute slices of pleasantry, static crackles and all. I've come to the growing realization that these past 30 years of digital have potentially harmed my music appreciation. I really don't think I was experiencing the music as much as I was just getting through it. I'm now actively considering cartridges, because as it stands my deck is putting out a compressed sound on some albums, and I know there's a lot more information available to me, I just can't get to it the way things stand. I'm certain that a simple alignment would probably do wonders, but I'm going to do the rewire and change out that cartridge. As a friend of mine in the platter business recently told me - don't ever buy a used cartridge. Of course, many of us entering the lacquer jack market do that "just to get going" - and thats fine - but there's nothing like that fresh little diamond tool to pick the fruit from those vinyl valleys. So... Grado, Shure, Ortofon...? I have experience with all of them and I'm cartridge agnostic. If we were talking headphones, different story. No one gets in between me and BeyerDynamic. But what cartridge?
  5. It was just a few days ago that I purchased a fine retro table, a Thorens TD165. Sadly, my Nakamichi preamp phono section had decided that it wanted a raise if I wanted it to talk to any vinyl that happened to cross that way. I don't have time to learn all 87 switches and play with resistor values inside that recalcitrant box, so I decided to repurpose a Marantz 11.2 Atmos receiver I've had sitting around doing nothing (thats how things are here, really - this stuff just shows up and starts lurking in corners). So I prodded the Marantz out with a sharp stick, fought with all the weird settings to make this thing run in stereo only ("You want me to do WHAT?!" it screams, like I told it to wear knickers to a church social), and put it in between the turntable and a brilliant pair of KEF 103.2 I've in reserve for just such an occasion. If you spend any amount of time listening to separates, you know exactly what the result was by having a modern "all-in-one" attempt to send LP info to a pair of speakers: lifeless mumbling. No detail. Poor response especially at the extremes. In short, the receiver was playing that game where one friend tells another friend a story, who tells the next friend. By the time it got from the first (the vinyl) to the last (my ears), it sounded like a bunch of Ringwraiths ordering tea in a train station cafe. Then I realized this misbegotten, current-deficient AVR could do a preamp-out act for me. I ran upstairs, barely slowing for the turn on the landing, and picked up a "spare" (really) TFM-25 and a set of ancient, directional Monster Cable interconnects. I ran back downstairs, this time using the facing wall at the bottom to stop my joyous momentum. Brushing off the drywall dust and leaving a bloody handprint on said wall, I added the box of Carver inspiration to the chain. Now it was complete: Thorens TD165>Marantz AVR>TFM-25>KEF 103.2 I haven't had my vinyl out of lockup since the early 90s, so this was a real expedition. Music started with Blue Oyster Cult: Secret Treaties. Then on to WAR: Greatest Hits. Next up was Chuck Magione: Feels So Good. Right now I'm on Tom Petty's wonderful Southern Accents. "Don't Come Around Here No More" has a very different character on vinyl, believe me. This definitely does not have the attack of a digital source, and its obvious my ears are spoiled by that. Yet it has a wonderful, rounded sound that does not fatigue me, being at first startled by and then strangely comfortable with pops and bits of static. Even better, freed up from having tens of thousands of songs on a hard drive, I can't be tempted to flip around constantly, looking for musical highlights that exploit the capabilities of my particular bit of kit. With vinyl its too much effort to get a record loaded and cleaned to start pulling it right back off and loading another just because I want to hear the "cool parts" of a given track. So I get to sit here listening to the entire thing, respecting the music and the artist's idea of a theme, not that its much of an issue because a typical record has around 30 minutes of music on a side. I found my ancient Nagaoka record care kit, everything still in place, cleaning fluid still in the bottle. I wish I had bought the record static killer they had sold way back then, and also one of the Thorens center weights. The former is no longer available and hard to find, but the latter is still in production and widely available. So thats today's experiment, and I'm happy to report the results: once again, a Carver amp made it happen.
  6. Yeah, its that whole "sort through it all for a few weeks" thing that gets me, though. Theres a few hundred pages of info here, once you condense out all the hugs 'n arguments and all. Agreed there. Much of it seems like alchemy to me. I can hear the difference between zip cord and heavy gauge wire - many people can - but I can't hear the difference between heavy gauge wire and oxygen isolated triple aught braided large mouth bass fur. Maybe someone out there can, but it isn't me. (Then again, there was at least one gent I read about a few decades back who could look at a given LP and based on his recognition of the groove pattern he could tell you what music was on it. He could tell you the composer, the movement, etc. He was getting to the point to where he could tell you where the performance occurred and what orchestra played it. Bloody brilliant, and it shows you that there are some very odd superpowers out there.) As for the esoteric resistor and capacitor wizard you speak of, that sounds like a certain geezer in the Hafler world... See, that's the thing I speak of: how does one know? Some of us just want to get on the horn and order a pile of replacement parts and clean up the sound where it's possible. I have a rudimentary lab here, with a scope and meter, but I don't have things like IM/THD measurement gear, and I wouldn't know how to use it if I did. I sit (not stand, I'm tired) in amazement when I read about people like Bob Carver or Nelson Pass. Carver because he loves playing component games to make things do what people say isn't possible. Pass because he wakes up every day and says "how can I do more, with a simpler circuit". If those two guys ever put their efforts together - and it didn't cause a cataclysm - they would rule the audio world. Like I said, bloody brilliant.
  7. The interiors of Carver amps can seem like a nightmare but if you have those decent skills I wouldn't worry much about it. Take photos and notes, and pull the main board out if you can instead of working on it in place. You probably know what to do : pull your bad electrolytics, insert the new ones with a bit of tension spread on the leads, flip the board over and lay it component-side down on a large terry towel. The weight of the board will make sure everything sits peacefully, the towel keeps it from sliding around as you work on it. It also adds a bit of fun risk as you try not to set the towel on fire. But thats just how I am. YMMV. Thats simply people trying to make the amps "theirs". Changing lights, needles, faces, etc. Bum speaks the truth. The person you refer to offers a solid kit, but he's using middle of the lane parts, and he's making a profit on that. (Nothing wrong with the profit part of it, I'm simply pointing out that you're paying for him to gather the parts up as well as the parts themselves, so his margin at the retail you're paying indicates he's selling you parts that are cheap enough for him to make a decent cut. You could spend the same money on better parts if you do the source work.) His kit is good for a person who wants to refurbish to average spec, but you're in there doing the labor, so source better parts and put them in. What I'd really like to see here is a discussion of mod parts and how one should know one is getting a better part. I've grown up around machinery, where you would know for a fact that higher tolerance is generally better. In audio however, I've seen plenty of people offering 1 percent carbon resistors to replace 5 percent sand cast resistors, but I've also known plenty of people to warn others against replacing those parts without a plan, lest one affect the final sound and not in a good way. I tried replacing some ICs on a preamp a few years ago. At first I looked at surplus replacement parts but I was told that there were newer production similar parts that would be better. Then I was told that I shouldn't do that because the original preamp was designed around those old parts and "upgrading" would be detrimental. In the car audio business, a well-known repair instructor basically disowned me for suggesting that car amps could be modified for better sound. So how would you know that a 1 percent would work and sound better? Where would it / wouldn't it matter? Where would a bigger capacitor help vs hurt? Where would input/driver/output transistor replacements help/hurt/not-do-a-damned-thing? Enquiring minds, and all that bother...
  8. A great film, great music. Wave of Mutilation stands out, but my favorite song is missing from the official soundtrack for some reason that has never been explained:
  9. Keep what you have, buy the other Carver system as well. And for good measure, buy that second TFM-15CB. Thats how it goes in the beginning stages of OCCD.😁 Seriously, if finances permit, get the whole kit, everything. You already have the right speakers. While your amp is in for service, look for another pair of those SDA speakers, maybe you'll score some Signature Series. There is nothing as magical as listening to a pair of mono-bridged Carvers driving a pair of SDA SRS2 Polk towers, with James Newton Howard & Friends on the turntable. And, btw, welcome to Carver Paradise.
  10. Thanks for the reply, David. I really wouldn't be interested in Roon. I'm not comfortable with either subscription software or with stuff that sits behind the firewall and opens ports/sends info to who-knows-where, and its all a lot more complicated/expensive than I need. I have a bunch of wifi speakers to play around with for that and the list is growing. Sonos, HEOS, and now B&W has Formation, Foundation, Inflammation, whatever it's called. None of it works perfectly or even hits most popular standards, so thats all just casual listening and TV sound. What I really need is just a box that gets in between my analog 2ch preamp and my source drive (whatever that may be, from a lowly USB3.0 up to an actual laptop sitting there with a drive full of music and a software interface) and makes sure everything matches. Digital needs to become analog, maxed out bitrate needs to be sweet music, and impedances and sensitivities must be at parity. A remote vol would be nice too, because while we were sneering about cheap Magnavoxes and Panasonics with their plastic remotes back in 1985, all those high end preamps we used to push on customers then didn't have any remote at all. "Why would you need to keep changing volume? The preamp is ten feet away, get up and do it, don't color your signal path with remote nonsense!"
  11. At $3k for what I'm sure is a good player, I think I'll pass on those Oppo(rtunitie)s.... My Marantz was $1k new, and its an excellent player. The other $2k would be best spent buying a big pile of Sumo gear, plus all the mods I'd need for the Carver stuff I currently have. I just noticed that link you put at the top of your post, Bum - thats some pretty neet stuff there! I wonder how it compares to the stuff MassDrop keeps emailing me about.
  12. I came to the pure digital folder to post up a question that may be answered in part by your investigation, David. Namely, how might us guys who have awesome two channel analog setups get around to playing our extensive digital libraries through our ancient equipment? I have an AppleTV, it'll stream audio happily to anything that its connected to, via HDMI or optical. Not one single bit of my ancient audio collection can handle either one. I have a great Marantz Blu-ray/SACD, but it doesn't accept outside audio sources, its output only. It does have a "network" port on it, so I might be able to hook it to a drive via a router, but thats a bit too involved for what should be simple. It has a USB port on it, but since its from 2014, thats for playing .mp3 not for lossless files (which is what I have). What I really need, apparently, is something that hooks into an AUX or TAPE input on a typical 2 channel preamp, something does D/A conversion and gives me a high quality analog source. Something I can plug either a USB3.0 drive into, or attach it to a cheap NAS. Have you found anything that does that?
  13. Thanks muchly! What is the dividing line as far as pre-departure and post-Bob equipment? Was there a change in nomenclature, something obvious? Or did CarverCorp change internals but not the chassis names for a while? I really dig manufacturer-specific forums like this. People who are hear to enjoy their gear by understanding what it does, posting experiences, and checking out refreshes and upgrades. By reading threads here when I was in lurk mode, you guys actually saved me from some eBay mistakes before I even got here.
  14. Excellent! I think I'll pick up the C-9 at the earliest possible junction. I have a line on one locally. Can you point me to any good threads on the PM-900? I understand that thing is absolutely bonkers with power, like if the 1.0t is Richard Dreyfus taking over a small Central American dictatorship, the PM-900 is Sean Connery posing as the direct descendant of Alexander the Great and taking over Kashmir/Nepal. I'm fairly proficient at using the multimeter; at the very least I don't put the probes in my nose, so I've got that going for me. I have a few projects in the design phase (meaning I'm being the irritating mosquito in the ear of some people with a higher skillset than me) and some simple refurb/upgrade work with my Carver gear would be great for skill-building. Hifi at large is an addictive hobby. At some point in the future I'll post up some images of what I'd accumulated prior to starting my trip down Carver Lane. Its not as crazy as some people, but I've accumulated a bit from a lesser known manufacturer, and I'm continuing to do so before the general hifi public finds out what they've been missing. I see what you did there... I sincerely appreciate the electric welcome mat. I plan on posting pics when I get this stuff sorted out. By then I'm sure I'll be over the 10 post threshold. Before I start hot-rodding things, I would just like to do whatever refurbs are necessary and make sure these amps are posting good numbers in stock form. I'd take the time to get a feel for the sound as Bob intended, and then get on with mods. I know my question could be solved through judicious search, but if you have any favorite threads regarding refresh and/or mods, please post them here for me. That could cut through a lot of chaff. Plus I'm lazy, and tired from carrying all this gear into the house. Thank you, gentlemen! I will. You're far from the only person to say that. I've read hundreds of threadposts elsewhere It seems that while the 1.5t has a following, its put in third place after the 500 and 1.0. Good to know. Pics forthcoming after the threshold is crossed. The C1 seems to be the goto here and elsewhere. I'll be on the lookout for one.
  15. Greetings to all, and welcome to my introductory thread! I used to sell Carver back in the 80s, but oddly I don't remember a thing about it, other than I always wanted to have some myself but always got distracted by other stuff like Nakamichi or Sumo. I recently, suddenly, very quickly - and a few other adverbs may apply - acquired a bunch of Carver stuff in seperate* buys. I'm the proud owner of the following: TFM-25 M1.0t PM-900 MXR-130 CT-3 I've tried the first two amps out so far, and had good results with a range of different preamps before settling on a Nak 7A, sourced with a Marantz SACD player and driving various speakers. I'm currently on the TFM-25 but I switch back and forth on random occasions. Either amp certainly plays better than the old Hafler I had in there, which sounded like a box full of mud compared to the Carvers. They're very clear and strong, surprising for amps of that age. I figured the smoke demons would get released as soon as I plugged them in but they've been doing great. The amps, not the smoke demons. The PM-900 is DOA, but I'm eventually going to get around to repairing it after I find out how. I know the circuits inside are quite a bit more involved than the simple Class AB amps I've messed with prior to this. And by "messed with" I mean "tried not to spill my drink inside while I looked at them with the cover off". The other two I haven't messed with yet. I always wanted a "The Receiver" when I was early in the business so I was happy to get the MXR-130. I think it would be great driving a couple of bookshelf speakers for my workshop. The CT-3 I know close to nothing about, except that it's black, its lightweight, and thats about it. If I keep the TFM-25, maybe I'll put them together with some old B&Ws or whatever I happen to have around. Stuff I'd like to get: a few M400t - they remind me of the old NeXT Cube, and I understand they're pretty good amp, coincidentally M1.5t - because you always need more power maybe a C9 Sonic Hologram? Is there a point to that anymore? If anyone has opinions about the gear collection as it sits, or can offer advice on capabilities, trouble spots, mods, please let me know. *intentional mispelling** ** so was that
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