(*Mandatory fields)*Name*Email Address (must be valid to post review)
* Value Rating
(worth your money)
 
* Overall Rating
(money doesn't matter)
 
* How long have you used the product?    * Style that best describes you?

* What is the product model year?

* Review Summary

Characters Left

Product Image
Carver Audio SDA 390t
4 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
Description: 5-disc vacuum tube cd player


Submit


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam OShaughnessy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This CD player, along with "The" Carver Receiver I purchased just a few months ago have transformed my music listening experience. My system up til now could not be considered the dogs knackers but none too shabby all the same, with Denon 3700 reciever, Philips 963SA DVD and Polk's awesome RT5000 speaker system (RT3000P, CS1000, F/X100)seving as the foundation of the audio/vidoe system. Now this system sounds good, largely because the Polk RT5000 system are some of the best ever made. The Philips does a very sound job of reproducing music, and the Denon has warmth and power. Gee, I thought, I really can't do an awful lot better than this... Well I'm still blown away by how much better in every respect my 'new' audio-only setup is, and thats just in two channel stereo. I am using the Carver DSP-33 Surround sound processor to drive my F/X1000s, but quite frankly, compared to the Denon's sophisticated rear channel circuitry, the Carver on this point (and this point only) sounds relatively crap. Driving my audio-only system is 'The' Reciever by Carver (always thought the name was a bit funny). The Denon is powerful..ish, but is is just not in the same league as the Carver were talking clean, we're talking cajones here. I have a the Carver CD3100 also, and let me tell you that this player is very respectable too, despite its age. Also have the Sonic Hologram generator which can range form sounding out of this world beyond brilliant to almost sounding a little vague in the mid-range with some tracks. Also have the Carver TD1500 tape Cassette - truly excellent. Which brings me the the truly sublime Vacuum Tube player 390T. I really mean it, this player is simply jaw-dropping. For me, the essential qualities that make this player so good are its abilty to extract every detail from the CD, and to do this with a beautiful airy openness, with a sound thats just spot on soft when it needs to be, and in your face when it needs to be. Whether playing classical, rock, jazz, Clannad or Zakir Hussein, the sound envelops you in all the right ways. It is simply in a different league to my A/V setup, even in 5 chanel stereo. If you are looking for one of the best ever products made, and truly exceptional value for the money, you cannot go wrong with the 390T. Those tubes and the 90's 'ultra sophisticated' soft EQ really do make a phemonemal difference. The player is also exceptionally well made particularly by today's standards where contemporary products seem positively flimsy by comparison. Finished in beautiful gun-metal aluminum on the face plate, this player is very good looking. Incidentally, the tubes are run at 25% of there actual capacity, to increase longevity. I also highly recommend Carver's 'The Reciever' as a truly exceptional power-partner for this player.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   EBay in September of



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon Laye a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2000

Bottom Line:   
First I need to point out that I own the SDA 490t which is the single disc version of the 390t.

The sound stange, depth and clarity of music coming from this player is simply beautiful. I was not expecting much of a change replacing a basic Yamaha 5 disc changer with a ten yr old CD player. I was wrong, thew difference in sound stage is huge. Music is opened up, sounds a lot more natural and realistic. Smooth and warm, a pleasure to listen to. Some CD's that sounded harsh, or dull on the Yamaha are now much more open and clean sounding.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   D&S Sound Labs



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Horner a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 23, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I have owned this machine for over a year now, and I have never failed to be impressed with it. I don't know if the sound is truly influenced by the tube output, or if it is just that this is a high quality CD player anyway, but the sound is first rate. The "soft EQ" function is pretty cool, too, it is useful for those early CDs that we all have where the mastering was real poor. This function emphasizes certain frequencies and cuts other, making older CDs sound much better. But beware, it can make any newer CD sound kindof muddy - it should not be used except when needed.

I must admit that I am still in love with that traditional Carver look - the wide black metal chassis with the rack handles. I hope that when Carver reorganizes they keep true to this style - I don't want to have to replace all my Carver stuff!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by John Piscitelli a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 8, 1999

Bottom Line:   
The Carver SD/A 390t is by far the best sounding and functioning 5-disc cd player I've had the pleasure of owning. The unit features linear single bit D/A conversion for increased sonic defenition and detail. It has two 6DJ8 vacuum tubes in the final output stage, providing very low static and transient distortion while providing extremely high dynamic headroom. Carvers "Soft EQ" circuit prevents the loss of front to back depth imaging as well as the extreme brightness associated with cd recordings. A "Level File" feature adds the convenience of memorizing up to 100 discs to play back at optimum volume levels.When the SDA 390's vacuum tubes warm up to their low 25% capacity, the music is incredibly warm and detailed. Nothing but stars for this one!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating