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Jim Coash

Understanding Carver Technology: Keeping it simple!

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Greetings:  A big reason people buy what they do is because they are intimidated by the salespeople they meet.  Box stores sell plenty of boom boxes, rack systems and home theater in a box packages. That is simply due to the fact that they are not technically gifted, at least about home entertainment products, so they match their budget with something that fits, sounds OK to them and is, perhaps, "On Sale"!  It is not their fault.  They view the things we see in a much different way.  All components are just a box with some knobs on it.  They want to listen to music, not tell their friends how many "watts" they have or how many "ways" their speakers are.  So many salespeople lose the opportunity to make a sale as soon as they open their mouth.20140223060749397.jpg
 
We have all heard things like, "Keep it simple, stupid"! (KISS) and "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". The picture above is a simple solution.  My wife wanted to watch TV while she is cooking.  She doesn't care that I have to do some wiring to make it happen, she chose the size and said it must be white and it must get all the channels, including The Dish.  This solved the problem.  If you listen carefully, most people will tell you what they want.  If you can establish a rapport with them, you have a chance to make a sale and make them happy.  Along the way questions come up and depending on the person, there many be only a few simple ones or there may be a lot and some of them technical.  If at any time they feel misled, lied to or spoken down to, your "opportunity" has vanished.
 
I became a specialist by first finding a way to communicate sincerity.  I knew they would tell me "Just looking", but I did not walk away.  I found a way to start a conversation.  It might have been about them, the car they drove, their kids (who were trying to get the grill cover off of a speaker) or maybe just to speak slowly and calmly while I turned on the system they were looking at.  As soon as I got a response from them I had a shot and only one chance to get it right.  You must look for clues. They are always there if you pay attention and know what to look for.  Usually I could tell if they had been somewhere else. There are plenty of clues for that in what they carried, said or did.  Removing a grill cover was a sure sign that somewhere they had experienced someone do that.  I would ignore it until they asked a question.  Then, without being condescending, answer truthfully and confidently.  In a few minutes the real situation would become apparent.
 
Because both The Sound Room and Stereo Showcase were free standing buildings and not rented space in a mall, some assumptions could be made.  They had made an effort to find my store, park in front of it and come inside.  The mall stores never knew if people who wandered in had any interest at all.  I knew they had to.  I also knew what they had seen at the other stores and what the salespeople had told them.  Obviously, that didn't work for them and it was unlikely to work for me.  Rather than show the same kind of thing and then either not bother to play it at all or simply to crank it up and reel off some "specs", I wanted to show them something different.  We carried different equipment along with similar things.  I could always go backwards to a simple, inexpensive, recognizable name (JVC, Sony, Yamaha, Bose, Pioneer,etc.) but if I wanted to be different why not show them Carver?  Sonic Holography was and is a great place to start.
 
I always had at least one place to go.  It wasn't a low priced system, clearly, but I could always suggest that it might be interesting for them to hear "Sonic Holography".  It had a Star Trek/Star Wars sounding name and while I suggested they sit (in the chairs conveniently placed where the effect would be best) I would begin preparing the music and talk about stereo separation.  "We all know why stereo is better than mono.  Well, Bob Carver is an audio engineer and he found a way to make stereo even better.  When you play stereo there is some 'leakage' between the two channels that mainly comes from the turntable and stylus playing the record.  Carver found the way to eliminate most of it".  As I set the stylus on the record I would step back and ask "Can you tell me which speakers are playing"?  There were perhaps 20 pairs around the room connected to various packages.  Naturally it was only the two placed equidistant apart dividing the room into thirds directly in front of them that were on.  I liked DCM Time Windows for this demo because they worked so well.
 
As soon as I noticed them looking around the room and pointing to other speakers I would walk over and point "These are the two we are listening to".  Then I would turn off the Holography.  The image collapsed and it was clear that I was right.  I did that demo many, many times.  It was incredibly effective.  Usually they would begin to ask questions about the price and I would tell them that the C-9 Holography unit was less than $300 and that it came built in to many of the Carver components. I could easily turn them around facing the other end and demonstrate an MXR-130 Carver Receiver with a decent pair of bookshelf speakers (properly set up) and show the effect again.  It was still good "And very reasonable in price".  Often the next question was would it work on other sources so I would switch to the tuner, selecting a weak station, and turn that on.  They would notice the noise and static and look at me.  "Bob Carver also has an FM noise reduction system.  It's called ACCD.  When I turn it on (I did) it removes that noise. (It did)".  "Holography will work best on a good source but it will work to some degree on all of them"  They might say "Just what is this ACCD thing"?  Well,Bob Carver found a way to use the same technology NASA uses to receive tiny signals from spacecraft, like Voyager, which is millions of miles away and sends us information with the power of a 60 watt light bulb. By comparing the polarity, that is whether the signal is positive or negative, as it arrives from deep space, he can eliminate much of the noise from even very weak stations.  With a Carver tuner or receiver you will get more radio stations, clearly, than you ever have before.
 
These are some of the latest developments in sound quality and they are available to anyone who chooses Carver.  Yet, I haven't even mentioned Bob's greatest invention.  This receiver you are listening to is by  far  less expensive than any other stereo that can produce power over 100 watts per channel so you can safely use just about any loudspeakers and still have the power for crisp clean sound.  If you need enough power for a very large room, Bob makes power amplifiers that are some of the biggest and best sounding on the market and for less money.  The amplifier we listened to first is one of his best.  Do you ever like to turn up your music?  I would already be turning them around and starting the first system.  This is the volume control.  How about if you turn it up to whatever you like.  The amazing volume potential of a Carver 1.5 would stop their hand long before any clipping could occur, but I would be nearby just in case.  I would slowly turn it down and speak.
 
This Carver technology  is called, The Magnetic Field Power Amplifier.  Other amplifiers cannot offer this much power without wasting a lot of energy, weighing several times as much as this amp and costing at least twice as much.  Obviously, not everyone needs 600 watts per channel, but if you do, this is it.  Bob realized that those large, heavy, expensive amps were nice for people who need that much power but he found a way to solve all of those problems.  This amplifier is actually 3 amps in one box.  Most of the time all you need is a few watts for normal listening.  When you do, his amp uses a small amount of energy and does not waste unused power as heat like the others do.  When you turn it up, there is a second amp that switches on for the extra power needed and if you are in the mood for some party music there is a very large amp that comes on to produce the needed power.  He calls these three amps "voltage rails".  The music we listen to is made up of constantly changing peaks and valleys.  No energy is used or wasted when little is needed but when the guitar solo comes, or the drummer really hits the drum as hard as he can, the power is there instantly so that no distortion occurs.  That keeps the sound clean and prevents damage to the speakers.  Those short bursts of power don't last long but they do exist in music.  Bob Carver has found a way to give even someone on a budget plenty of power for sound quality and for volume when needed.  The amplifier just returns to the small one when extra power isn't needed.  It saves power, heat and money. 
 
But how much must I spend for speakers that can be used with an amp that big?  Well, notice these two small speakers right here.  I would place them on top of the DCM Time Windows, usually a  pair of KEF or Boston bookshelf units, quickly pull the banana plugs out of the big pair and place them in the small ones.  Then I would say "Shall we try these at the same volume level you just used a minute ago"?  Naturally they would be very interested and agree.  The look on their faces was worth it. Those little speakers sounded fantastic!  There is no danger to your speakers unless you run the amplifier out of power or boost the bass too much.  You can use any size or brand of speaker you wish as long as they are well made from a good company and you understand what distortion can do.  Even my largest and most expensive speakers will not play distortion for long.  Depending on the size of your room and your listening habits, Carver has the right components for you and his basic receiver includes all of that technology!  You can pay a little less for something that has none of them but this receiver will cover your needs for a long time.  It is even expandable.  On the back is a set of plugs that let you use this receiver like a separate power amp and pre-amp/tuner.  You could even use it with the Carver 1.5 if you find out you need that much power sometime in the future.  Using this MXR-130, a good pair of speakers and a nice, turntable like the one you just heard, the whole package is about $1200 including everything you need, delivery and set-up and full warranty coverage!
  
Carver systems are not expensive, they are cost effective.  No matter what you wish to spend on a sound system, if you don't like the way it sounds, isn't it a waste of money?  You would listen to a system like this nearly every day.  That is the real bargain in owning something nice.  You will find that even TV shows sound much better when you listen through your Carver.
Add a matching tape deck and/or a nice CD player and you will be able to make excellent recordings of any music and take it with you in the car.  Because we are talking about separate components you can add them when the budget allows. You can also upgrade easily, something you cannot due with a rack system or all in one package.  This is a system that will provide entertainment for years to come and open you, your friends and your children's eyes about good music.
 
I never found Carver hard to talk about or to explain.  That is why I sold so much and also why so much of what I sold is still working in the homes of my friends.  I had a procedure in the hospital just before Christmas and the anesthesiologist recognized me.  "Jim Coash!  It's nice to see you.  I still have that Carver system you sold me in 1981.  It still works perfectly".  I laughed and said, "My wife says that's my biggest mistake was selling people such good equipment.  They all still have it"!   I hope you find this interesting.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  Jim 
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Nice post Jim.

Steve Eberbach of DCM stated the top three favorites of his design were the Time Window 7s, the time Window 3s, and the Time Frame 600s. All three designs were a matched pair of speakers, and were designed with carefully 'time aligned' rear or side firing reflecting tweeters that spread the sound stage.

I have a pair of TF 600s (2 pair actually) recapped, on my M-500t, and when you pipe in Holography (especially from the C-11 hologram generator) the sound stage blows up. They are 6 ohm nominal, so they give the 500 a workout..

Now, if they would only handle 500 watts apiece.......

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Hi, nice post. Boy you can go on and on in a story . Hahaha.

 

Yeh that's what makes it a story!  I personally appreciate the time and effort Jim takes with his posts.

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