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?
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.
If the comment about, "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" was directed towards me, please note that I never stated what I use or how much I spent on equalization. The fact being (and we should stick to the facts, let's not read into things to make our own point) I use my pre/pro's equalization to correct for the minor problems that I could not fix with room treatment.

Also, the fact is that I spent almost $2,500.00 in room treatments. Not that much considering my room's overall response is so smooth. I hope that you are aware how much room interactions affect the overall sound of your system. I can't imagine that any of the AG forum members have not tried some sort of room treatment. In my opinion, fix the room before you fix the speakers/electronics. I'm sure almost everyone agrees with this however, it is usually too expensive to correct room anomolies and therefore ignored to some extent.

I'm sure my room could improve the sound of many audio systems out there. You should try fixing your room too.

And yes, the Carver amps still sound really good with my Carver speakers.
In response to your email question, I say that I cannot imagine what the DNA 225 would sound like with the Adcom preamp you have. One thing is for sure, the DNA 225 with the preamps I have used, which are as follows:
SUMO ATHENA (class A output stage) sounded jumpy and exciting. The bass was darn fast and powerful, but sometimes a little boomy...but I suspect this to be a problem with the speakers I am using, which produce too much base, as well as with the back
wall interaction(it makes standing waves and sounds, boomy.) Now, I have paired it with a FIRST SOUND PRESENCE DELUXE preamp. This is preamp is tubed and it makes the DNA 225 react when it is called
for. Less exciting then before, but let me say that my system has gained a little COMPOLSUREIf I had to classify from the lowest to the highest in the quality of sound....CARVER=sub
1K amp sound, mediocre at best, harsh sounding and pathetically weak in contrast to its high wattage amp produces 200 watts, but they are more powerful than even the 1000 watts that showed in the M 4.0 t Carver's led scale. What does that tell you about really watts? PARASOUNDS go between 1-2K range easily. They might compete with the likes of ADCOM, ARAGON, ROTEL? I have heard the 3500 has transformer humming issues....too big of a transformer, that is one of the trade backs. It supposedly produces oddles of current. The McCormack, even besides the DNA 225, which is priced a little above the 2K mark, takes the quality of sound
to levels between 2-5K (Like the SF Power 2 I had) is will give you a great sound, maybe you will not crave for upgrades anymore. Many AUDIOGONERS have McCormack
moded models as their reference, but can I say that they have PARASOUNDs or even CARVERS in the same rank? Never. The person you spoke to, he is simply trying
to defend whatever he happened to have experienced or owned. I cannot believe that anyone would keep a Carver especially the M whatever designations as their standard reference, if money was not in question.
I sold my M 4.0 t for $100 3 years ago. There is someone selling the same model for up to $400 in some sites. What a rip of an amp. I would rather run a pair of car
amps home than a Carver.
Regardless of what people defend, one needs to understand that it is all subjective. Some people favor BANG for the BUCK, and to those, a Carver might seem fine, especially if they see the wattage vs dollar ratio. Forget about Odyssey amps claiming the whole interesting article about weight/wattage/dollar calculation. Carver was at it way before....what about those Class A amps, like the Clayton that weight substantially and yet produce just 40 watts, but man, what type of 40 watts are those watts?
Having not too much money to spend, I would still skip Carvers anyday...rather fall into debt and get me something real. Never heard of the A series, but I know that thos transfer function amps were useless designs for real world purposes. Back in 1989, when I had a pair of Kappa 9, I have had the Carver M 4.0ts running monoblock, you needed to see how the Infinities ate them up for lunch. The lights would go to clipping and bang, nasty sound. Carver amps of those days were not well designed...thank God I got rid of those junkers, without damaging the speakers. Back then I did not know any better.
Guys, stop fighting over this amp, some designers are absolutely second class, older Carver corp amps are such designs that do not deserve another neuron and carpatunnel nerve injured for them.

Hope it helps.