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New Carver Friday: I now have a C-1


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As most anyone who reads my spectacular rail accidents we might call 'posts' may know, about a week ago I acquired a Carver M1.5t in a bit of a spontaneous action. The only issue I saw was that my only Carver preamp, my CT-3 (properly a preamp/tuner, I know, you detail oriented gits) was already spoken for, having been betrothed to my TFM-25 in an odd ceremony that shall be henceforth known as "thats all what I had on hand".  This goes doubly so, now that Kev has pronounced his doom upon the CT-3. 

 

Not wanting to mix any of my other components with the new amplifier (to do so would be as dogs and cats sleeping together), it behooved me to obtain an appropriate playmate for this new iron.

 

Behold, the C-1 atop its new mate (er, sorry):

 

19dds1.thumb.jpg.c145824bbd9d90df04ec5b9b5eafa44f.jpg

 

 

The Carver bits are the grey ones in the middle, never mind the rest of it. 

 

I imagine now, I'll go down some dank coney warren, and look at all the bits and bobs that can be soldered into these two to attempt to pull every bit of sound from their being. 

 

 

Edited by Butcher
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Just now, RodH said:

Is that a dbx CD player???

 

But of course. I've mentioned it before. Its a wonderful oddment here at the Schloss. It has a proprietary 14 bit DAC, working remote, fully functional. At one point I considered disposing of it but its turned out to be a wonderful player. 

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I have one as well. No remote though.

 

AND it did come from that certain Kevin.....

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2 minutes ago, RodH said:

I have one as well. No remote though.

 

AND it did come from that certain Kevin.....

 

Kev the Grump? Do tell!

 

I imagine he did that because he had a choice between selling something or having to construct a new outbuilding at his residence. 

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3 minutes ago, RodH said:

Stock C1? Time to solder!!!

 

Yes of course it is. And I, with a freshly sprained ankle, will now have time to attempt it. I found the information on the C-1 readily enough - instructions, service manual, BillD information. Yet another order from my parts vendors. 

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Keeping the electronics suppliers alive in stressful times. Bless you!

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40 minutes ago, Butcher said:

 

But of course. I've mentioned it before. Its a wonderful oddment here at the Schloss. It has a proprietary 14 bit DAC, working remote, fully functional. At one point I considered disposing of it but its turned out to be a wonderful player. 

If you decide to dispose of it again, my house would make a great disposal site......grin

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Posted (edited)

Today I struggled to the top of the central spire of Schloss Butcher, atop which one might find that rolling siege tower of hifi in the first snap I posted. My ankle, freshly twisted, screamed out for mercy but I had none to spare, as I was about to ....

 

<forboding music swells in volume... ravens cry out... lightning strikes several times in the same place... votes are audited...>

 

AUDITION MY NEW CARVER PURCHASES!

 

<thunder peals nearby... a window blows open... drapes struggle in the chilling breeze... wait, I own no drapery, what is this nonsense? SET DECORATOR!>

 

I limped into my audio chamber and shut the non-existent door (the millwork order is delayed, blast it), then for possibly the eleventeenth time this month and sixtieth of the past year, I hooked up cables. My first impression of the M1.5t : where is the bloody power switch? My first impression of the C-1 : nary a CD-designated input to be found, but tape inputs, outputs, throughputs, shot-puts and stock puts abound. How quaint. I'm sure the capacitors will give up the ghost on this one in short order. 

 

Upon connection of my perfectly fine B&W 602 speakers and the above mentioned and apparently highly-coveted DX-5 player, I see no reason to delay. Insert Chicago 17 (spectacular test CD) and away we go. 

 

My first impression: my, this sounds positively decrepit. The speaker output seemed to be on the verge of dropping out for several seconds, as if the amp was playing on capacitor reserves and the power supply wasn't doing its job. The controls were a bit crackly too. I set the tone circuit to <in> (might as well give this thing every chance to cock up the sound and see where we're at with it). I listened through several songs. 

 

After a bit of what I imagined was a waking period the crackling ceased, the output became stronger, and therefore I resolved to actively wait for further improvements. I passed quickly through the testing high points of the CD, astonished at how fatiguing and unsatisfying the sound was. Oddly reminiscent of a very sophisticated but ultimately MIDI synthesized version of the album. I then switched to Flim & the BB's Tunnel CD. As I listened to it the sound gradually improved to the point where I didn't want to leave the room, but there were still some notable nastiness, particular in certain vocal ranges and woodwinds. 

 

I then resolved to switch out the C-1 and see if the M1.5t could hold its own with the NAD 1240 preamp in place. In short - it can. While the sound was nowhere near as developed as my new best amp the NAD 2150, it was impactful without sounding overly digital. Still not as crisp or spacious as I would like, and there was no depth to the soundstage, but curiously it had more width than I had expected. 

 

On the positive side, there was no noise from the outputs. I could actually hear dark space in between the instruments. This is a plus, to me and my inadequately educated mind, as it shows the inherent design is a good one, and despite the caps being ancient they're not exhibiting any susceptibility to vibration.  They're just failing is all. 

 

It appears that my path forward will be two-fold:

 

recap the m1.5t

 

full BillD mod on the C-1

 

I also have a bit of a lark under my cap, a surprise that I feel might take the C-1 farther than anyone has done previously. We shall see. 

 

<forboding music intensifies... thunder...>

 

Edited by Butcher
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Tread lightly sir. Your problems/concerns with the units may take some time. In the end it turns out to be a great journey. I would be recapping the amp first and then see/hear what happens.

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B&W 602's? With an M-1.5t? Were you trying to hurt your ears? Bathe every switch and pot in the C-1 in some DeoxIt, for Bob's Sake!

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, kve777 said:

B&W 602's? With an M-1.5t? Were you trying to hurt your ears? Bathe every switch and pot in the C-1 in some DeoxIt, for Bob's Sake!

 

Kev old chum, I've loaned out my lowly Polk RT5 test & demo speakers, my KEFs are down for refurbishment, and if I overlook the 602 then the only other speakers in the room were my Cantons. As I cherish those speakers and they are near impossible to find in new condition as mine are,  should the M1.5t happen to force their drivers across the room or otherwise damage them, I'd have been left with no choice but to take the amp out for pistols at dawn. You may notice it lacks opposable thumbs so the advantage would have been mine. Better to do it this way as I've DM602s to spare. The Series 2 and Series 3 are a wonderful monitor and sound good with everything here:  Sumo, Adcom, Proton, Nakamichi, NAD, and my other Carver amps. 

 

I will, however, attempt the Deoxit. I've been itching for a look inside that one. Or perhaps thats from the weeds in my backyard. Either way, I'll be on that project later today. 

Edited by Butcher
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I understand completely. Still, not a match made in heaven. Maybe an EQ would allow them to behave well enough. The M-1.5t is a difficult amp to match with, speaker-wise. 

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On 4/23/2021 at 9:24 PM, RodH said:

Keeping the electronics suppliers alive in stressful times. Bless you!

 

We all must do our part. I accept my duty with a solemn bow. 

 

On 4/23/2021 at 9:28 PM, Dadvw said:

If you decide to dispose of it again, my house would make a great disposal site......grin

 

From the responses and requests I'm receiving of late, one would be led to believe this cd player is the early-80s hifi equivalent of bitcoin. I shall most likely sit upon it as I took ownership for what in retrospect appears to be a ridiculously small sum. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, kve777 said:

I understand completely. Still, not a match made in heaven. Maybe an EQ would allow them to behave well enough. The M-1.5t is a difficult amp to match with, speaker-wise. 

 

Ah, the amp challenges me then. This is more my brand of mead. The glove is dropped, and I look forward to experimentation. 

 

In your opinion, do you feel this amp would pair well with my Polk SRS? They're now being vastly under-driven by a 120wpc Hafler. I would think the extra current from the M1.5t would extend the bass well beyond what the SRS are producing with the Hafler. Yet I would shy away from any brittleness introduced, as the Hafler amps are sharp enough and then some.

 

Edited by Butcher
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Congrats on your new toys!  I'm sure both will benefit from some serious TLC, as would yourself, by the sounds of it! 

 

Take care, and get well - no more injurious (mis)behavior!

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It appears my mention of the lark in my bonnet as to this C-1 upgrade has already been considered here - the Burson op-amp upgrade. I had no idea the OP2134A in the BillD list were for the phono section, which is a complete waste of a Burson product. I will look elsewhere for amazement. 

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You could always delve into improvement of the power supply section if you were looking for a challenge.

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On 4/25/2021 at 8:58 AM, Butcher said:

 

Ah, the amp challenges me then. This is more my brand of mead. The glove is dropped, and I look forward to experimentation. 

 

In your opinion, do you feel this amp would pair well with my Polk SRS? They're now being vastly under-driven by a 120wpc Hafler. I would think the extra current from the M1.5t would extend the bass well beyond what the SRS are producing with the Hafler. Yet I would shy away from any brittleness introduced, as the Hafler amps are sharp enough and then some.

 

I have a 1.5 and a C1 behind my SRS’s and I like it a lot. 👍

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There is an M1.5 (not a T) for $100 CDN* 3 hours from here.

 

$74.51 US$

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On 4/25/2021 at 8:58 AM, Butcher said:

 

Ah, the amp challenges me then. This is more my brand of mead. The glove is dropped, and I look forward to experimentation. 

 

In your opinion, do you feel this amp would pair well with my Polk SRS? They're now being vastly under-driven by a 120wpc Hafler. I would think the extra current from the M1.5t would extend the bass well beyond what the SRS are producing with the Hafler. Yet I would shy away from any brittleness introduced, as the Hafler amps are sharp enough and then some.

 

In a word, YES.  You may be very pleased with that combination. 

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1 hour ago, RodH said:

You could always delve into improvement of the power supply section if you were looking for a challenge.

 

Aside from the related capacitors and perhaps installing fast recovery diodes where before there were lazy, ne'er do well diodes, what else concerning the power supply deserves consideration?

 

6 minutes ago, kve777 said:

In a word, YES.  You may be very pleased with that combination. 

 

I am doubly intrigued now, for it has the blessing of The Kev.

 

If one were to compare the M1.5t to my fully recapped TFM-25, using the SDA SRS, which one would receive the accolades?

 

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