Carver Audio ALS-III Floorstanding Speakers

4.83/5 (41 Reviews) MSRP : $1990.00


Product Description

2 way ribbon w/ 10in ported woofer, 48in ribbon


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

Reviews 1 - 5 (41 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BernieD a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2013

Bottom Line:   
Really, it's what you like that determines if these are the speakers for you.
For me - the bass is a bit overwhelming, the lower mids are outstanding, the mid range somewhat congested, and the highs are less than transparent and revealing. They are a little shrill, or even fizzy, but then roll off to early. This compared with much more expensive panel speakers, Quads, Martin Logans, higher end Magnepans, as well as good quality dynamic types, B&W, Proac, etc., so perhaps not fair. I only mention it because you read these rave reviews about the best speaker ever made, etc. and I disagree.
They don't have "pin point" imaging, but rather as alluded to in other reviews, more of a The Sound is Everywhere, type presentation. If you prefer that - great! If you prefer to be able to pick out where an instrument was in an orchestra, how far back or in front of the string section; that sort of thing - well these won't make you happy.
The image tends to be BIG and vague.
what they do right - One of the best lower mid range, and outside of the bass being disconnected from the ribbon in sound, are quite homogenous from low to high. Vocals are close to being right on in mass, but not quite open sounding on single vocals. Danny Boy on The Best Of Groove Note, for example is just not HER(Jacintha Abisheganaden), it's harmonically just slightly off. Jacintha Abisheganaden....what a vocalist!
What they do wrong - thumpy bass and they roll off too early. Pretty much your old poorly optimized bass reflex sound, and overbearing for dipole ribbon type panels.
The highs, despite all of the response shaping attempted by Bob Carver and his crew, were never very good. In fact, and imo, a good quality dome tweeter will be lower in distortion, smoother, faster, and more extended.
The upper mid range is also a little off. It's hard to be specific, but it's as though the response has some aberrations that have not been resolved, and also as though there are some time domain issues, the sort of thing that would show up on a waterfall plot. This comes off as a less than open and natural sound. See above comment about vocals.

Taken as a whole - they can be visually stunning(as long as you can't see the backs), they have a massive presentation, they are fairly accurate, and do a fairly good job in larger rooms. They are NOT a speaker for everyone, and really accomplished listeners may become annoyed by their shortcomings, even though they do some things so well. If you listen to mainly Rock, Hip Hop, etc. You'll be happy. If you listen to background type music, you'll be happy. If you listen to jazz Quartets.... You will likely want something else. Large orchestral works.. some happy, some not.
I give them a 4 star value, and a 3 overall. BernieD.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sb6 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I bought these about 3 years ago and was awestruck when I heard them demoed. Between the clarity, spaciousness of sounds, clear articulation, and ample bass, it tool me about 10 minutes to fork over under $1,000 for them. Please be warned, they do require lots of power, but when you give them what they need, they sing like non other for the price point. Truly a steal that's rare to find nowadays!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim and Tootie a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I have always been impressed by plannar speaker sound so when I stopped in at my local audio store they had the Carvers on sale and took my Paradigm monitors on trade for what I paid. So I only had to pay $1100 for a brand new pair in 1993.I agree with all the comments about these speakers. My electronics at that time were very high end. Audio Research D90B modified tube amp and a SP9MKII preamp. While this amp was only 90W/RMS it produced massive current due to huge capacitors and transformers. Theses made the Carvers sing. So better amps will only make them sound better. The bass is excellent. You do not need subwoofers. One more note. This product was named as one of the top 50 speaker designs of all time. So they are rapidly becoming collecters items. Currnet ribbon speakers are cost prohibitive and do not sound much different than the Carvers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Hawkeye Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Anthony Luke a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2003

Bottom Line:   
great speakers. Hands down one of the best for the money. Paired up with good cables and a great cd player one is in sonic nirvana. The open natural sound is intoxicating. Martin Logans are only slighly better... but for a whole lot more. Oneis able to pick out each intrument and there location within the sinic field. Amazing!! Get kimber silver streak cables. They are a perfect match for the carvers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   toronto



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jay a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I've owned speakers from a variety of manufacturers over the years ... Pinnacle, Polk, KLH, AR, Realistic, and so on. Never had an electrostatic or a ribbon, though I've heard Martin Logans and Maggies, and like their transparency, among other traits. Recently purchased a set of the ALS III+'s and all I can say is "wow". I read EVERY review I could find before deciding this would be my next set of speakers. I bought them without even hearing them based upon what I had read. There is very sound theory behind using a minimal number of drivers to cover the entire audible range. No phase shift between drivers. Smoother response. Less glare, etc, etc, not to mention the dipole radiation pattern gives a nature 'air' as it most closely approximates the way sound emanates in a live environment. All of it simply makes sense. In a nutshell: The Carvers are awesome. They're also hungry, feed them sufficient good clean power and they will reward you with the sound you've probably been looking for. They sing like angels. These ARE the real deal. I think I'm in love~!! (lol)

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   via internet




Reviews 1 - 5 (41 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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



PSB Speakers:



Magneplanar: