Carver Power Amps

Even though the Carver A-760x magnified current power amplifier was rated at 380 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 600 watts per channel into 4 ohms and lab tested at 500 w/ch at 8 ohms at clipping and 725 w/ch at clipping by Audio Magazine in 1997, it sounds gutless, especially in the bass, compared to a Parasound HCA-3500,etc!
Any opinions on why this is so?
Paulwp: I dont think anyone here was trashing it to begin with. But the ORIGINAL THREAD STARTER asked a question about why the amp sounded weak and thin. Myself and a few others who have actual experience with Carver amps gave honest opinions. Or in this case I should say honest facts. First off, its not a true 380 watts per channel amp. Its more like a true 100 watt per channel amp. Lacking bass? Could be depending on the reactive load. If Carver is going to exaggerate its true RMS output, whose to say he isnt going to exxagerate of performance aspects as well?? Then you get a guy who comes onto the thread up in arms about how great the Carver product is, but at the same time that same poster has more money invested in EQ's and sound shaping equipment than proabaly the rest of the BB combined. I dunno bout that.........
Danvetc: "typical audiophile bullshit".

Typical audiophile bullshit is in fact a company like Carver. They are almost soley responsible for leading the pack on false advertising,super point markup and "power ratings". When I used to work for Lechmere back in the late 80's we had alot of Carver products for display and sale. We used to get bonus spiffs everytime we were able to sell a Carver product to the tune of an extra 15% on an items retail tag(if we sold a $1000 Carver amp we got an extra $150 in our paycheck). We even had a rep. come in who distributed Bob Carver products to help us sell the stuff. He was doing a demonstration on some of their amplification and pre amp products and told one of the employees to get a Similiary priced Sony(Sony recievers were big into "effects" and "surround modes" at the time, probably still the same way) receiver to show the difference in clean power output between the 2 products. The salesman wouldnt use an Onkyo product though when one of the older salesman offered him to use that. We later found out why when the Rep. left. A small basic no frills Onkyo reciever rated at around 60 watts per channel was able to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers with a much fuller sound and with much better output than a Carver product that was 4 times the price with an advertisement of 10 times the output power into the same impedance. That Philosophy still holds true today folks. Something I dont buy into. And people here know that I have no problems with amplifiers with "lower price tags" over alot of the Mega Buck Levinson or Rowland equipment. Im the first to admit that pricetag doesnt mean jack and that great sounding amplifiers can be had more minimal money, but Carver isnt one of them. Least not with the Audiophile speakers I have alot of familiarity with. Fast forward 10 years to when I worked with the Tweeter Home Entertainment Group. Our store was the first to get a pair of Sonus Faber Amati Homage speakers in the country. We had just sold off our last floor demo Adcom product, and a B&K amp we had had some serious noise in one of its channels(Typical for B&K)and needed to be sent out. So the Store Manager actually pulled down a Carver amplifier that was up in the luch room to temporarily power it for the evening until we could get a transfer in from another store. The amplifier was rated for around 4-500 watts into 4 ohms. Once hooked up to the speakers, we were more than dissapointed. The amp could barely drive the Amati's to normal room volumes. And it did it with an "out of phase thin sound". Very poor to say the least. I always question a product though when on the back of the unit it states maximum power consumption of about 3-400 watts, then has power ratings of at least twice that per channel in the manual. If something consumes only a few hundred watts of power going into the amp, how does it produce more than twice or 3 times that amount coming out of the amp?? Gotta love Carver......... If Im going to get into Proaudio gear, Ill stick with companies like Ampeg, or Line6. If Im going to stay in hifi audio, Ill keep to my guns and stay away from Bob Carver products.

Put up a similiar priced and "rated" Rotel RB-1090 against ANY current Carver product with similiar designations, I know which I would choose....
Ritteri, with respect, and I'm just trying to give you some information here, you are trashing a product that you apparently know nothing about. The A-760 was rated, after considerable testing, at 380 wpc, rms, both channels driven, into 8 ohms, from 20hz to 20khz, 600 into 4 and 1150 into 2, rms under the same conditions. And the person who headed the design team and was responsible for the rating and marketing of the product is a real straight shooter. There is no basis for your assertion that it is really like a 100 watt amp.

I think your confusion stems from a simple misunderstanding or two. The first is that you seem to believe that Bob Carver had something to do with this amp. He didn't. The second misconception seems to be that the A series amps are similar in design to Bob Carver's designs. They aren't. Bob Carver's earlier amps were high voltage amps that were marketed with unrealistic power ratings. The A series Carver amps were designed after Bob Carver left the company, using the basic high current design concepts first implemented in the Lightstar II. They are robust, good amps.

Charlie ("danvetc") doesn't need and no doubt never uses the power the A760 is capable of delivering. REG recently measured his A760 putting out 175 wpc playing orchestral music at about 94 db through his Harbeth M40's, and has no doubt about the A760's ability to meet its specs.

As far as Charlie's "sound-shaping" equipment is concerned, REG recommended the Z systems digital equalizer preamp to use in eliminating room effects, and if you don't appreciate Charlie's investment in dealing with peaks and nulls created by interaction with the listening room, then I'd recommend doing a little research. For myself, I've used Stereophile test discs and a Radio Shack spl meter and find that I can get reallly accurate response from my speakers (same as Charlie's) without equalization, but my room is larger and the ceiling is much higher.
Paul, a Radioshack SPL meter is a really crude tool at best and is nowhere near a flat reading response. It requires a few mods just to get it to within +/- 3db which is still in my opinion very crude at best.

But to the subject, from many sources from what Ive dug up research on, the 760 cannot physcially output 380 watts continuously full spectrum, 175wpc isnt barely half that, and I bet those are peak measurements at best. THe fact that Charlie "measured" 175wpc on a pair of limited bandwidth monitors means absolutely nothing(plus I would like to know how he actually did measure the output to begin with)at all. Those monitors never drop below 6-7 ohms from my research. Regardless 175wpc is a far cry from 380 or 600wrms for that matter as the claims are. But again IHF ratings are 100% useless and that amp cant put out that type of wattage at any impedance full bandwidth. It doesnt even draw half that power.

As for my comment on the soundshaping equipment, you obviously didnt read my sentence. It all could have been done with diy home treatments.WHy spend $5k(or whatever)on putting more circuits in the signal path to color sound that you cant get right with the current equipment used? Backwards thinking from this perspective. With room treatments I am able to get a natural spectral curve without any type of tonal control, and I dont have any dips or valleys in my speakers spectral output.
Ritteri, I see this is a worthless exercise. Here I am, trying to help you, and you ignore much of what I say. First off, the Carver A760 puts out 380 rms continuous wpc, with both channels driven, from 20 hz to 20khz, regardless of what you believe to be true. You have never used it or tested it, and you have no way of disputing what I just said. I said that REG, Dr. Greene, who writes reviews in TAS, measured the output with his Harbeth Monitor 40's, hardly a "limited bandwidth monitor." You might do a little research on the speakers.

You can't do what the Z sytems preamp does with diy home treatments. And your belief that "more circuits in the signal path" color the sound is just sad - audiophile nonsense.

And, btw, the RS meter is very predicatable, and after correcting for its well documented deviations, is good at plus or minus 1 db. Good enough for me, but the only point was, I don't use the Z systems, but you simply display your ignorance by criticizing someone who does.