Carver equipement good??

Wondering if Carver amplifiers and preamps were all they were *hyped* up to be back then?
I remember it being higher end stuff when I was younger (1980s, yes best of times!)
Anyway, was it "all that" ?

In a second system I am still using the Carver 15b amp. Nice features, clean sound. Also used the "Cube" amp to great effect. I really enjoyed the Carver products. Better than the run of the mill, gear from the far east IMO.
He is still at it. Check out one of his latest offerings:

In fact I just bought two Carver M 1.5t's and couldn’t be happier:

The first amp I use to drive the front channels of my home theater system. Tons of power and is a huge upgrade from the relatively weak output of my HT receiver. I picked up a classic set of ADS L-1230’s and the synergy is great. I can actually listen to music on that system now. I am looking for an older set of Altecs next (Model 19 with luck) and look out. I might even spring for the MKII upgrade. Overkill for movies but great for parties – just add beer. The second amp drives my computer's analog output to a set of Proac Tabletts. I have to say, for what I paid it's quite good. I added an older Yamaha sub and I can now really enjoy the output without having to fire up the main system. Maybe not the best match for the Tablettes – I’d rather find a vintage tube amp but for now it’s pretty good. There are technicians that will upgrade the older Carver amps with various arrangements of new, high precision critical components. I am considering it myself. Supposed to make a “good” amplifier very, very good. I have picked through lots of positive reviews. Are my amps as pleasing to the ear as a Pass Labs X-250.5, Krell FPB or Rowland Model 8? Will they have all the tubby goodness of an ARC ref 600 set or a fully restored Citation II? Probably not, but you are talking about two different leagues. You couldn’t buy the shipping cartons for one of the aforementioned amplifiers for what I paid for both of the 1.5t’s. I just love em and God bless bob Carver for making a line of very good audio equipment that was really quite affordable. My first “real” CD player was a Carver and I saved for a couple months to cover the $700 it cost me. I picked up a Carver pre and a pair of 1.0t’s – powered a set of Klipsch Heresy’s and a 12” JBL pro sub in a large concrete basement. I entertained the better part of a two mile radius with that system. I’ve mellowed a lot since then but I still appreciate the Carver amps; now for different reasons.

Where they “all that”? Matched with the right speaker and musical content : Polk SDA-SRS, Infinity Kappa 9’s, Klipsch LaScalla and good old rock and roll, they were about as good as it got without spending considerably more money and look a hell of a lot better than my mullet did.

(just kidding about the mullet ... no really)

Carver tubes and sunfire can be awesome. I got rid of my Carver solid state gear as soon as I compared it to true mid/high end gear. It can't touch amps such as Anthem or Classe let alone something like Pass Labs.

Basic Carver is extremely loud for the money, but no definition nor any quality highs.
The Sunfire Signature 600 amp is simply outstanding replacing both SS and tube amps costing up to $18,000 per set in my system. They can be found used for $1500. Send them into Rita's Vintage Audio Repair and Bill will go through them updating power supply caps he knows will need replacing and updating. He does much more assuring the amp will sing for another 12-15 years with no problems. Sunfire Signature amp can, over time, need their rail voltages looked at and adjusted for precise imaging.

I use one on my Soundlab M3 speakers. It puts out 2400 watts into 2 ohms and hardly gets warm. The sound is glorious and as good or better then any top dollar, high end amp I have heard.

If you have not heard one totally gone through by Bill at Vintage Audio Repair, then perhaps you might be inclined to doubt what I say. Once you do, you will be floored that such an amp can be had for $1800 or so once back from Rita's.

It is magic on my very hard to drive Soundlab speakers. Very musical and easy on the ears even at 95db plus volumes.Huge stage, smooth and relaxed highs, powerful bass and very dynamic. Great separation and on and on...

It has an input impedance of some 24K ohms so be sure and mate with the right preamp. I have used a Bel Canto Pre 3 and the amazing TRL Dude tube preamp with great results.

This amp was designed and built by Bob Carver with his signature on each one. So yes he can build an amp that competes with well regarded amps by both the big boys and small one man companies.