Carver Reference System

dr k

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Aug 4, 2016
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Dr K, tell us more about the Silver 7’s. Curious why you went with KT-150s instead of KT-120s? The ALS is not a demanding load as far as I know so I’m wondering what you feel you get with that huge power? I use Bob’s Black Beauty 305s with my Magnepan 20.7s and they’re a great match. I do wonder though if another 400 or 500 watts with the Maggie’s would be a plus. I have a very large room (almost 7,000 cubic feet) and I’d like to fill it up with sound! Curiously, I’ve discussed this topic with the folks at Carver Corp. and they don’t seem to give the Silver 7s much credit in this area. Their thinking seems to be if the 305s work why would,you want to use the Silver 7s. Odd Marketing approach if you ask me.

How would you describe the Silver 7s?

Hi, the kt150s are better match for the custom output transformers Bob designed for this prototype amp. It’s not a Silver 7 per se because the circuitry is different. When you have 900 watts on tap, you have effortless dynamics. Compared to my Cherry 180 which puts out around 200 Watts, there’s a big difference in dynamics, bass extensions, sound staging. Also the prototype is smoother yet more detailed and has more natural timbre. It’s more extended in high frequency too. The cherry 180 sounds murky in comparison. But there’s little improvement to be had between the Cherry 180 and Black Beauty 350 other than about 2-3 dB increase in power.

Tbh, the people who work under Bob do not believe in parts quality improving sound. They haven’t heard their amps in my system so I can understand their view. But you have to give them credit for being honest and not sell you something more expensive if they don’t believe it’s going to make a difference in their opinion.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
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Dec 25, 2011
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The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
Yeah, I have never gotten that about Bob. The man is an audio genius. Not many would dispute that. With that said, I will not for the life of me figure out why his stance is parts are parts or why he would plug his Silver 7's. 9's or whatever tube amp he is running into cheap $4 Wal-Mart strip outlets along with all of the other equipment. I have heard a positive difference with just the addition of an outlet. I have spent over 14K on crossover upgrades using the same values. The difference is so overwhelming that an unborn child could feel the difference......but he still insists that parts are parts and a Wally World strip is perfectly fine.

Boggles the mind.

Tom
 

dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
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California
Yeah, I have never gotten that about Bob. The man is an audio genius. Not many would dispute that. With that said, I will not for the life of me figure out why his stance is parts are parts or why he would plug his Silver 7's. 9's or whatever tube amp he is running into cheap $4 Wal-Mart strip outlets along with all of the other equipment. I have heard a positive difference with just the addition of an outlet. I have spent over 14K on crossover upgrades using the same values. The difference is so overwhelming that an unborn child could feel the difference......but he still insists that parts are parts and a Wally World strip is perfectly fine.

Boggles the mind.

Tom

Tbh, Bob does believe parts can improve the sound, but not as much you and I believe. He’s propably 90% circuit design, 10% parts quality. I’m more like 50/50%. The people under him are another story.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,074
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Yeah, I have never gotten that about Bob. The man is an audio genius. Not many would dispute that. With that said, I will not for the life of me figure out why his stance is parts are parts or why he would plug his Silver 7's. 9's or whatever tube amp he is running into cheap $4 Wal-Mart strip outlets along with all of the other equipment. I have heard a positive difference with just the addition of an outlet. I have spent over 14K on crossover upgrades using the same values. The difference is so overwhelming that an unborn child could feel the difference......but he still insists that parts are parts and a Wally World strip is perfectly fine.

Boggles the mind.

Tom

Why do you assume that the strip is deficient Tom, is it the price? The ground can be and is an issue in many installations by plugging the system into one strip you avoid ground differences and possible resulting hum.

david
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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That is a very cool system, dr k. Thank you for posting about it!
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 25, 2011
4,896
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The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
Why do you assume that the strip is deficient Tom, is it the price? The ground can be and is an issue in many installations by plugging the system into one strip you avoid ground differences and possible resulting hum.

david

Hi David. No, it is not the price. It is deficient based upon experience. Would you rather have your high current tubes amp and all of your vinyl/digital gear plugged into 1 or 2 strips or dedicated circuits and audiophile/hospital grade outlets? This is assuming you don't have any electrical or ground issues to begin with.

Tom
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,074
1,913
720
Utah
Hi David. No, it is not the price. It is deficient based upon experience. Would you rather have your high current tubes amp and all of your vinyl/digital gear plugged into 1 or 2 strips or dedicated circuits and audiophile/hospital grade outlets? This is assuming you don't have any electrical or ground issues to begin with.

Tom
Hi Tom,

Of course dedicated circuits are preferable but that's always a possibility and that's also an audiophile thing none of the manufacturers I work with care for setup to that extent and since their systems serve for QC purposes mostly they prefer to keep things standard. That aside even with dedicated lines a good industrial strip can be sonically better at times specially with dirty mains. I've never come across an install without some kind of ground issues unfortunately including my own place that I worked on a lot, curse of the high end :)?

david
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Thanks. Glad you like the system. What in particular do you like about the system?

I like the dedicated room, the line source loudspeakers and the giant tube amps! The system seems to have been assembled very thoughtfully.
 
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dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
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California
I like the dedicated room, the line source loudspeakers and the giant tube amps! The system seems to have been assembled very thoughtfully.

Ah yes, the prototype amp that Bob Carver and I worked on over 5 years to bring to fruition. It was a long frustrating and fun journey at the same time. It looks like his classic Silver 7 amp, but the circuitry is new, and almost all the parts were chosen by me. The output transformers are custom designed by Bob with silver wire secondary windings. Custom paint job looks gorgeous in real life. It’s a piece I’ll talke to my grave. Bob actually voiced the amp and his line source ALS speaker together.

Btw, you have a fantastic system. Do you have any photos of your system?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
8,639
3,035
780
Beverly Hills, CA
Ah yes, the prototype amp that Bob Carver and I worked on over 5 years to bring to fruition. It was a long frustrating and fun journey at the same time. It looks like his classic Silver 7 amp, but the circuitry is new, and almost all the parts were chosen by me. The output transformers are custom designed by Bob with silver wire secondary windings. Custom paint job looks gorgeous in real life. It’s a piece I’ll talke to my grave. Bob actually voiced the amp and his line source ALS speaker together.

Btw, you have a fantastic system. Do you have any photos of your system?

That must have been a very fun and rewarding project!

What were prospective computer programs called at one point? Vaporware?

Presently I have vaporaudio.
 

RussR

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2017
28
11
68
Gold Coast ,Queensland,Australia
Hello Dr K,
I also have the Carver ALS ,mine are around 15 moths old without the space age footers that adorn your pair .I like them very much even though I am at the moment using a mixture of SS amps to drive them I do have a valve preamp as well so after moving a year ago and getting some time to start dialling it all in .
I have a Linn Klimax Katalyst DS as a source( Audioquest Diamond ethernet cables TP Link optical isolators battery powered ) SR Galileo interconnected to either a Sachem Pure preamp or an Ampzilla Ambrosia pre or a Lewitt Firefly Deluxe valve pre the either 4 x Sachem mono bloc amps or Plinius SA250 MK4 or Son of Ampzilla 2000 stereo x2 I have various SR power cables and the latest power power cell 12 conditioner Carver ALS 2 x Sub Rosa subs the Linn and preamp are isolated on AirPods (the design was sold to Clearaudio who refined it) and lead shot filled stands and Keruing ( a hardwood)Plywood shelves (the linn shelf is a mix of Ply 3mm lead and 9mm mdf) to stop any stray magnetic interference from the AirPods .My room is difficult and I have work to do getting that in some sort of control so I still on the journey as opposed to my previous room I had for 24 years.
I like the ALS a lot and can't think of changing in the foreseeable future .I have a friend with ML ESL15A and they are also a great speaker very transparent .I would one day love to hear these special Silver series amps with all the luxury bits inside ,I used valve amps for 20years and still miss some of the special things that only valves can do.
Dr K you have an awesome set up well done .
 

dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
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200
California
Hello Dr K,
I also have the Carver ALS ,mine are around 15 moths old without the space age footers that adorn your pair .I like them very much even though I am at the moment using a mixture of SS amps to drive them I do have a valve preamp as well so after moving a year ago and getting some time to start dialling it all in .
I have a Linn Klimax Katalyst DS as a source( Audioquest Diamond ethernet cables TP Link optical isolators battery powered ) SR Galileo interconnected to either a Sachem Pure preamp or an Ampzilla Ambrosia pre or a Lewitt Firefly Deluxe valve pre the either 4 x Sachem mono bloc amps or Plinius SA250 MK4 or Son of Ampzilla 2000 stereo x2 I have various SR power cables and the latest power power cell 12 conditioner Carver ALS 2 x Sub Rosa subs the Linn and preamp are isolated on AirPods (the design was sold to Clearaudio who refined it) and lead shot filled stands and Keruing ( a hardwood)Plywood shelves (the linn shelf is a mix of Ply 3mm lead and 9mm mdf) to stop any stray magnetic interference from the AirPods .My room is difficult and I have work to do getting that in some sort of control so I still on the journey as opposed to my previous room I had for 24 years.
I like the ALS a lot and can't think of changing in the foreseeable future .I have a friend with ML ESL15A and they are also a great speaker very transparent .I would one day love to hear these special Silver series amps with all the luxury bits inside ,I used valve amps for 20years and still miss some of the special things that only valves can do.
Dr K you have an awesome set up well done .
 

dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
181
80
200
California

Thank you for the compliment, RussR. I apologize for the delay. You have quite a system. Are you planning to post photos of your audio room? The Carver prototype amp is special indeed as only one exists at the moment. It's an amp I'll keep until I'm no longer on this earth.
 

RussR

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2017
28
11
68
Gold Coast ,Queensland,Australia
Thank you for the compliment, RussR. I apologize for the delay. You have quite a system. Are you planning to post photos of your audio room? The Carver prototype amp is special indeed as only one exists at the moment. It's an amp I'll keep until I'm no longer on this earth.
Oh I missed your reply ....sorry, I will put up some photos of my room once I get time to sort it out .The room is part of the family area so I would like to move the speakers 90 deg along the long wall but my lady is not too happy about that idea hmmm domestic bliss versus compromised sound ,the choices we must make also I have yet to install the 2nd subwoofer so that may help me decide which way to go .I hope you are happy with your new Alsyvox speakers they look awesome ,I will have to try and listen to them in the future .
 

dr k

VIP/Donor
Aug 4, 2016
181
80
200
California
I'm building a dedicated audio room for the Alsyvox. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to listen to them yet.
 
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RussR

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2017
28
11
68
Gold Coast ,Queensland,Australia
I'm building a dedicated audio room for the Alsyvox. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to listen to them yet.
Hello again....WOW is all I can say ,that is something I would love to build or have ( A dedicated room for audio ) .Please take photo's and update's when you can ,I know many of us are very interested in your journey WOW!
 
Hi Dr K,

I have several of Bob's vintage solid state amps and I'm drooling over your big tube amps. I've heard the Cherry 180's and also the Raven 350's driving the ALS speakers, which sound wonderful--- I can only imagine how those big 900's would sound like. The ALS is so efficient anyway; the headroom with the 900's driving them must be ridiculous.

I see you have one of the original model ALS (without the tweeter on top), which also had the Alien feet. And I've heard the newer ones with modded crossovers and plain base -- they both sound 'amazing'... effortless power and endless space.

LOVE your setup!
Charlie

Below: Me next to an ALS in Bob's cabin at Carverfest 2017:
als.jpg
 
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