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Butcher

I just landed in the Carver patch...

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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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Welcome Butcher!

 

I like the BillD C1 preamp with the m500tmkii combination. Also, I am fond of the A400x and the TFM-45 amps.

 

Enjoy your Carver journey.

 

-PhilDent

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Greetings @Butcher and welcome to Carversite.  That's nice collection of gear you have so far; some pics would be nice if you can as we always love 'em...I prefer the BillD C1 + M4.0t/TFM-42/TFM-45/M1.0T MarkII opt002 amps but you really can't go wrong with any of them if they've been restored...

 

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Welcome @Butcher - nothing like diving into the Carver wonderland with both feet!  That's quite the short term OCCD collection of gear.

 

I'd warn you of the addictive nature of collecting Carver gear, but, um, well, methinks it a we bit too late for you - you'l fit in great!

 

I do love your analogy to the NeXT cubes - I dare say they were also pretty tightly packed inside.

 

If, unlike Yours Truly, you know which which end of a multi meter probe goes forward, there are lots o folks here who can help guide you through the PM-900.

 

The SH is definitely still a valid unit, both from the purest sense, where you are trying to achieve the absolute sonic hologram effect, and for the overall effect it can have on sound (I' sure 'll get arguments on that, but I do't care - I never turn mine off, aside from a couple of tracks I've found that it somehow interacts badly on).  Many of the preamps will already include it, or there are separate units like the C-9, as you noted.

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Welcome to Paradise, @Butcher.  Carver components of yesteryear live on - and don't be afraid to refresh, or have the units you have, refreshed.  The 900 is a bit newer, and post-Bob-Carver w.r.t. the Carver Corp..., it may not be as nostalgic as the line that has his design and engineering fingerprints clearly visible... (hence all the references to the M1.0t and it's mods, above).

 

I love my M1.5 (no "t") for crisply blasting the center channel on my HT.  That amp, refreshed with new caps and full adjustments back to better than original (new capacitors are higher quality than those available 30+ years ago) just rocks, in my opinion.

 

You have a nice collection that will take you far on your OCCD (obsessive carver collecting disorder) journey!  Welcome to TheCarverSite, our own little slice of paradise.

 

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Hello Butcher, and welcome to thecarversite.com. We're glad you're hear. ;) There is a lot of information here, much technical know how, and a pretty good bunch of folks that are happy to help.

 

That's quite a collection and a great jumping on point. I've owned eight M400ts over the years, bought, sold, gave each of my daughters one, and I still have a couple. They're a fine amp, and the output is surprising given the size. My personal favorites are the M500t and the M1.0t. There are several outstanding techs here that can refresh your amps, guide you through the refresh if you want to DIY, supercharge those amps with mods that will improve them several times over, or guide you through the mods if you want to DIY.

 

We all like pics of all kinds of audio gear, so please consider uploading some pics of your gear once you get permissions. Start a new thread in the Members Systems area and post the pics there.


In the meantime, kick your shoes off, turn up the music, and welcome aboard.

 

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8 hours ago, Brian_at_HHH said:

Welcome.jpg

 

Welcome @Butcher - nothing like diving into the Carver wonderland with both feet!  That's quite the short term OCCD collection of gear.

 

I'd warn you of the addictive nature of collecting Carver gear, but, um, well, methinks it a we bit too late for you - you'l fit in great!

 

I do love your analogy to the NeXT cubes - I dare say they were also pretty tightly packed inside.

 

If, unlike Yours Truly, you know which which end of a multi meter probe goes forward, there are lots o folks here who can help guide you through the PM-900.

 

The SH is definitely still a valid unit, both from the purest sense, where you are trying to achieve the absolute sonic hologram effect, and for the overall effect it can have on sound (I' sure 'll get arguments on that, but I do't care - I never turn mine off, aside from a couple of tracks I've found that it somehow interacts badly on).  Many of the preamps will already include it, or there are separate units like the C-9, as you noted.

 

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. 

 

 

2 hours ago, Sk1Bum said:

Hello Butcher, and welcome to thecarversite.com. We're glad you're hear. ;) There is a lot of information here, much technical know how, and a pretty good bunch of folks that are happy to help.

 

That's quite a collection and a great jumping on point. I've owned eight M400ts over the years, bought, sold, gave each of my daughters one, and I still have a couple. They're a fine amp, and the output is surprising given the size. My personal favorites are the M500t and the M1.0t. There are several outstanding techs here that can refresh your amps, guide you through the refresh if you want to DIY, supercharge those amps with mods that will improve them several times over, or guide you through the mods if you want to DIY.

 

We all like pics of all kinds of audio gear, so please consider uploading some pics of your gear once you get permissions. Start a new thread in the Members Systems area and post the pics there.


In the meantime, kick your shoes off, turn up the music, and welcome aboard.

 

giphy.gif

 

 

;) 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. 

3 hours ago, compwaco said:

Welcome! Pull up a chair and enjoy your stay. 

 

3 hours ago, dennismiller55 said:

Welcome.

 

 

9 hours ago, Zenith4me said:

Welcome to the land of Carver!

 

Thank you, gentlemen!

 

 

6 hours ago, Dennis47 said:

WELCOME @Butcher!  Glad you found us...~^

In lieu of acquiring a M-1.5t you might want to read up on the MKII mod for your M-1.0t. :-k

 

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. 

 

10 hours ago, Charlie said:

Greetings @Butcher and welcome to Carversite.  That's nice collection of gear you have so far; some pics would be nice if you can as we always love 'em...I prefer the BillD C1 + M4.0t/TFM-42/TFM-45/M1.0T MarkII opt002 amps but you really can't go wrong with any of them if they've been restored...

 

Welcome-03.gif

 

Pics forthcoming after the threshold is crossed. 

 

 

11 hours ago, PhilDent said:

Welcome Butcher!

 

I like the BillD C1 preamp with the m500tmkii combination. Also, I am fond of the A400x and the TFM-45 amps.

 

Enjoy your Carver journey.

 

-PhilDent

 

The C1 seems to be the goto here and elsewhere. I'll be on the lookout for one. 

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4 hours ago, AndrewJohn said:

Welcome to Paradise, @Butcher.  Carver components of yesteryear live on - and don't be afraid to refresh, or have the units you have, refreshed.  The 900 is a bit newer, and post-Bob-Carver w.r.t. the Carver Corp..., it may not be as nostalgic as the line that has his design and engineering fingerprints clearly visible... (hence all the references to the M1.0t and it's mods, above).

 

I love my M1.5 (no "t") for crisply blasting the center channel on my HT.  That amp, refreshed with new caps and full adjustments back to better than original (new capacitors are higher quality than those available 30+ years ago) just rocks, in my opinion.

 

You have a nice collection that will take you far on your OCCD (obsessive carver collecting disorder) journey!  Welcome to TheCarverSite, our own little slice of paradise.

 

giphy.gif

 

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.

 

 

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The welcome, here is pretty amazing.  I'm a recent arrival, and still can't get over the acceptance, here.  This isn't just a group of audioheads, but an all around amazing group of people.  

 

Many of us tend to gravitate towards the C1, because it's just a good balance of function and form, and lends itself very well to doing fantastic upgrades to.  It's not the only choice, as others have noted.  Keep in mind, many of the preamps, including the C1 have SH built in.  That said, I have both a C1 and a C9 in my system.  My C1's SH has had the Gundry DIP mod, while the C9 is stock.  Not sure which I prefer. :-k

 

The PM series of amps are all too often overlooked and undervalued, compared to the consumer series.  I think too many people get turned off by the fact they have fans.  There are certainly folks, here, who have veritable farms of PM amps driving their audio systems.  As for suitable threads, \i'll have to leave that to the more technically adept, while I go try to get my multimeter probes out of my nose.  😉

 

BTW, I admire folks like you who are willing and able to take on your own work.  I think you will find that you are not considered annoying,here, but your efforts and questions will be embraced and welcomed.  I've seen some cases where people have gotten truly amazing help to guide them to solving problems.  

 

Don't be fooled that the M1.5t is a step up from the M1.0t.  The M1.0t  appears to have been depowered for marketing reasons, and can easily be modded into a monster.  I can't get mine to flash the meters above the 2nd LED without blistering my ears.  That said, there aren't many ways you can go wrong with these amps - they all date from a time when gear was meant to be repairable, unlike today's equipment.

 

Don't forget to take time to enjoy the music, and remember to let us know what you like!  d:b

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Welcome Butcher! Great start to the world of Carver (can't wait to see pics) I also love the M-500t mkII paired with a Billd modded C-1 and I also own an un-modded M-1.0t and un-modded M-1.5t. You'll have to ask the technically savvy among us how the mods alter the original transfer function, but I'm a big fan of the power and sound!

 

 

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19 hours ago, Butcher said:

 

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?

 

 

It's hard to pinpoint - unless you were there when it happened.  I was not.  I don't think there is a clear and definitive numbering schema change that can be identified as the dividing line.  There are some members here that have more close ties with former employees, and the politics of the end of Bob's participation at Carver Corp.  

 

To my knowledge, he left just before the TFM-75 was launched..., and it's design is largely Bob's, but had to be "finished" and delivered by his engineering team that he built..., so his finger prints are on that amp.  Over the next many months..., Bob started Sunfire, while the people that took over Carver Corp ran it into the ground.  The assets and designs for amps and such were sold to an organization called Phoenix Gold, that produced more pro amps... using the brand Carver, and many of the core designs.  You'll find some amps were "re-launched" with some changes over those that were launched during the time Bob Carver was at Carver Corp..., like for example, the TFM-35 and TFM-55 amps.  That latter amp is more rare, both are highly coveted.  Post-Bob-Carver, they were redesigned adding THX technology for movie sound reproduction to meat the THX theater sound specification.  The latter versions of these amps lost their gain control (on the front face) and to many, were harder to work on because the chassis design was changed so that the bottom panel did not reveal the board..., making disassembly necessary to work on and service the amps.   The later versions were branded model "TFM-35x" and "TFM-55x."  They are still very respectable.  And have Bob Carver's legacy in them from their ancestor, but are different.  That is just one example that sticks in my limited memory.

 

I don't have a specific time-line of what were Carver designs, and what were post-Carver designs.  Others may pipe up with more data.  We (generally speaking) as members of the site, like the earlier amps and preamps.  (Many of the other components, CD players, etc. were outsourced to Japanese makers - still good).  Later, much later, there were some Chinese-made integrated amps as the owners of the brand tried to cut costs and meet needs of a changing consumer retail market - like the 1090, 1050 and 1020, less common - but look like Carver branded gear.

 

Wish I could be more helpful ...and I may have some of the above wrong, too - I just don't have the historical data to answer your question, and the separation occurred before the Internet was the force it is to document things like this in real time..., It is pretty cool that Bob published much of the documentation on the amps he designed into the public domain... There's a VAST library here on the site that has been collected over the years - but alas, the site just migrated to a new host/platform and that section of the site is still under construction.  

 

Stick around on this site as people share new stories and read the past threads, and over time, you will pick up a lot of this folklore and stories that shape our perspectives on the bits of wisdom and history that do exist!

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