A Hobbyist's View

Carver Home Audio (Stereo) Discussions and Questions
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A Hobbyist's View

Post by Magnaryder » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:36 pm

When I was in high school I used to build speakers for myself and some of my friends. Before I became gamefully employed I would go from place to place and beg, borrow or plead for parts. I got them from hi-fi repair shops, scrap yards searching thru old TVs and radios folks left out at the curb. I built some stuff that's still in use today. It was all kinda crappy but I had fun doing it and my friends and family were really impressed. When I found a job I could afford the 'good stuff'. I would walk home from school and peruse the Lafayette Electronics store and once in a while get one of their catalogs and look thru the amplifier and speaker ads. I built bigger and what seemed like better speakers and the execution of my ideas got better. I built speakers for myself when I was in the service and really enjoyed the whole process.

As I've read the threads on our forum and other forums I've found several schools of thought on the pursuit of High-Fidelity. Advances in radio and Hi-fi were in the early days pushed by hobbyists. Guys and probably gals in their garages and basements building the new great thing. There were alot of next great things early on. AM. FM. HiFi Stereo. Color TV. Most of which came from the minds of folks working on their own projects, on their own time trying to solve some problem.

Lately I've had a great time modding my little CarverFest amps. I've found the improvements to have been dramatic. Sherry asked me to let you know she can hear things now she didn't hear before I made the modifications.
I have 2 other projects I plan to start and working on the amp mods has helped me work out some kinks I thought I was going to have on these projects. The beauty of projects like the CF amp is there is room for interpretation. The interpretation in a tube project come from selection of parts and circuit topologies. We can make the piece perform like anything we can visualize in our heads. There is no limit to experimentation.

I remember reading in some hifi rag thirty years(or more) ago that with the coming of CD the 'fiddle factor' in stereo was going by the wayside. You'd just put a CD in the player and let it play. No more fun playing with stuff.
That's what I like about what I do here at home and what we do at CarverFest. We get to play with our stuff and get other like-minded souls to do the same thing.

When I lived in Arizona I had a 1968 427 Corvette convertible and a 1973 455cuin Pontiac Trans Am. Weekend evenings I'd take out one of the cars and go cruising in Mesa and Phoenix. I'd return to the base through Chandler and hang with some of the Low-Riders in downtown. I didn't care for the style of the cars but I did appreciate all of the hard work and dedication these guys put into their cars. They were true artists. They'd look my work over, we'd talk engines, suspensions paint and stereo. Everyone appreciating each others work. I learned about sweating the details from these guys. George says it's the tone man...these guys said it's the details man:-)

I think High-fi in general is alot like that. I come to the Fest to learn something new...if I'm lucky..and awake.

I was having a discussion with James one afternoon at CarverFest. He had mentioned his ideas for the design of a new amplfier and how HE wanted it to look. It took me a while but I finally realized it. This tube stuff is just putty in our hands, we mold it, style it or form it into anything we want. I can take my idea for my simple pre and add anything I want and make it look like anything I want. I have NO LIMITS!!! Model T or the Enterprise. Something in between.

Fiddle Factor!!!

.... This is waay cool shit, I like playing with the tube stuff!!!!


my .02 cents

Its going to be used equipment when I sell it, so it may as well be used equipment when I buy it.

"Racing is life, the rest of the time you're just sitting around."-Steve McQueen

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Re: A Hobbyist's View

Post by frenchguy » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:48 pm

Great read Ray, enjoyed reading it!! =D> I want to hear your CF amp @ next fest! 8)
Carver Silver 7t mono blocks, Carver M-4.0t & 2 tfm 42,s. ct-6 & ct-17, sda390t,TX11 tuner, jolida jd 100A. JBL L96 & JBL 4401,s W/Ribbon Tweeters, Dared SL-2000A tube preamp, Dared MP-5BT Integrated vacuum tube amp, 2 sets of Carver Amazing Silver speakers, oak & black. Carver Cinema 5.1 subwoofer & Tesla audio Carverfest satellite ribbon speakers & stands & Douglas connection cables

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Re: A Hobbyist's View

Post by nooshinjohn » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:49 pm

Well said man... I love playing with tubes too.

I am currently laying out my next effort, which will make my first endeavor look like it was done by a third grader. \:D/
The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, Triangle Art Reference SE prototype, with Walker Precision speed controller and Origin Conqueror tonearm and Dynaudio 20x2, Pass Labs Xono twin chassis phono preamplifier, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Oppo BDP-93

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