Carver Audio Silver Edition Amazing Loudspeakers Floorstanding Speakers

Silver Edition Amazing Loudspeakers

48" ribbons and three 12" woofers per side

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
CarverFanNC   AudioPhile [Sep 28, 2010]

Carver's Speakers are truly Amazing - and I've had mine for over 20 years, other than blowing the slo-blo line fuses they've never diappointed. Great Bass extension and awesome vocals; the only drawback is a high treble resonance that makes some stuff sound great but others too harsh.

I run a pair of M-1.0ts in a mode that Carver himself told me works best - it's called mono-block mode. When you bridge a Carver M-1.0 you get 1000W @ 8 ohms, but each channel is really only seeing 4 ohms, and with the Carver Amazings probably closer to 4 ohms now you're down to almost 2 ohms on each side. You can run them that way for sure, but you're not really running the amp in its sweet spot. Carver's solution (I talked personally at length with him) was to give up a little power and run the amps in monoblock mode. You simply short out the right channel; by doing so the left channel now has access to the entire power supply and operates closer to its design load for the low impedence Carver speakers. Figure about 700W into 8 ohms, so probably around 1200-1400W per channel available to the Amazings if you can supply enough current to the amps.

The second thing that I did that REALLY improves the tightness of the bass is to provide more current to the amps. Bascially I had an electrician run a 50A 220V circuit into the listening room. If you know 220 you know it's 4 prongs, a +120V, a -120V, a common, and a ground. What I did is simply wire up a 4-outlet box with a 4-wire 4GA dryer cord as input and break out the +120V to one pair of standard 120V outlets, and -120V to the other pair of outlets. Obviously I run the left side on +120V and the right side on the -120V drop. If you simply run each amp into a single outlet 120V circuit they compete with each other for current. Using my method each amp has a separate independent 50A 120V circuit, so there's simply more current available to each channel. Of course the electrician was pretty mystified by my request - his comment was "Geez - you could run a 5HP motor off of this". So do the math; 1 HP = 745W, so 5 HP = 3500W.. yup, that sounds about right.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Magnaryder   AudioPhile [Mar 30, 2007]
Strength:

Flat frequency response. Rock solid imaging. Broad/deep soundstage. Female voicing and strings are of the gods. Excellent bass SLAM. This is a very articulate and revealing speaker. If you have (c)rap listening material, this speaker is not for you.

Weakness:

Heavy/Big might not be SO approved. Of course SHE can be traded for someone more reasonable. Power requirement is high. I have 1200 watts RMS per channel. That seems to be about right. You never run out of headroom.

I salivated over these speakers when I first heard them. I heard things on my reference discs I'd not heard before and realized some of them(the discs) were junk. I needed to upgrade soem of my listening material, but that's not a bad thing.

I live near Progressive Audio in Columbus,Ohio. They claim to have one of the 2 best listening rooms in the world. Back in the day they even ran ads in Stereophile. Yeah, they don't like Bob Carver or his equipment so I go there just to let them try to change my mind. I've been able to hear systems costing unpwards of $250,000 and have yet to hear something that is substantially better than the Carver system I have. Sure the Wilson X-1s have a wee bit more base extension, but for 70K more I'd like to get something. Theil, Vandersteen and the like aren't even in the ballpark with the Amazings.

I play some acoustic stuff and the articulation of the instruments and the solidity of the image in the soundfield is Amazing(thus the name). I heard some image {float} in the X-1s. While I have heard speakers with a wee bit more bass extention I don't miss it in the Amazing Silvers.

The tonal balance seems to be linear from high treble through the lowest registers of deep bass. Synthesizer classics from the '70s Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes
and Synergy have a punch nad gritiness on the recordings most speakers just gloss over. They don't seem to get it right, the Amazings do.

Vinyl sounds wonderous. My Rolling Stones, Beatles and Grand Funk Railroad LPs sound as big as the bands did. The Count , The Duke and the Chairman have taken on life again. Harry chapin sounds as laid-back as Harry did:-)

I have one of the original Telarc 1812 Overture LP discs from the late '70s. When those cannons go off you'd think you were at Baldwin-Wallace the day they taped it. This is the ONLY system I've ever heard that recording sound *right* on.

My system is composed of a Carver C-19 pre-amp, Carver TX-11 tuner, Carver SDA/490t CD player, Technics SL-1900b turntable, an Optimus DCC-2000 DCC machine, a Carver C-9 sonic Hologram generator, DBX-3BX range expander and DBX-120 Subharmonic synthesizer, a pair of bridged Carver TFM-55s feeding my Carver Silver edition Amazing loudspeakers.

Customer Service

This company is no longer in business,

Similar Products Used: Theil, Vandersteen, Wilson, Levinson, Krell.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ray Campbell   AudioPhile [Mar 30, 2007]
Strength:

Great image details. FLAT frequency response. Real bass SLAM/impact. Breadth/depth of Soundstage.

Weakness:

These speakers require alot of power. Placement is crucial. Heavy/Big. They are unforgiving of souce material. My 12 year old daughter has commented some of her music sounds terrible on my system. I have 1kW of power per channel RMS, and that seems about right. Replacement parts will not be available forever. Replace the ribbons and woofers, update the crossovers. Or, buy the parts now while they are still available. I think it'll be worth the $$ spent.

I've had these speakers for 13 years. For sh%ts and grins I'll go to Progressive Audio in Columbus, Ohio to listen to some of the Mega$$ Spectral/Levinson/Wilson stuff Stereofile has told them audiofiles want to own. Well, I'm still waiting for speakers less than 20k to impress me. Hey it's not like I could justify spending the
20k on something and not get my money's worth. I have yet to hear anything I'd even consider.

I take my fav recordings in hand and give them a listen in one of Progressive's great listening rooms. Progressive has one of the 2 best listening rooms in the world. I've compared my system to a Krell/Wilson /MIT system costing over $250,000 and only thought I was giving up a very little in the low end.

Bob Carver got these right. I'm running a Carver C-19 preamp, TX-11 tuner, an SDA/490t CD player, through 2 bridged TFM-55s to my Silvers.

The soundstage is wide, deep and well defined. Each instrument has it's own place and remains stable in the soundfield. There is an airiness to these speakers I have yet to find in any other design. I found I had to really spend alot of time 'voicing' the speakers into the room. More than other designs room boundries affect the room response. Once I got that right it was time for the Amazing part.

I wasn't disappointed. Female voices have that special something and strings sing. Gershwin, Hank Sr. Van Halen or Joss Stone these speakers ROCK!!!!! I'm currently replacing ribbon diaphrams and all of the woofers but that isn't alot considering what I'd have to sp[end tp replace these audio gems.I'm keeping them forever and my kids can fight over them when I'm gone.

If you can find a set of these speakers and have the system power to drive them you owe it to yourself to check them out.

Customer Service

Company went under. Sunfire has dropped Carver Service. There are Carver enthusiasts carrying the banner and the products are drawing big $$ on the auction sites.

Similar Products Used: Vandersteen, Theil, Wilson, Krell, Spectral and none of them are up to it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
nexus   AudioPhile [Dec 03, 2005]
Strength:

Real soundstaging, smooth response (in the right room)extended "musical" non-resonant bass, unbelieveable transient response in the midrange. you can listen for hours to any type of music on these, even hard rock (at a somewhat reduced level from a live concert!).

Weakness:

Delicate ribbons. Must be crossed over above 250 hz via bi-amping. The 7khz area must be tamed by eq and I would run these with a high quality 'safety capacitor' in bi-amping just to make sure.

I have owned these speakers for nearly 15 years. I first heard the "Amazing" loudspeaker demonstated at the 1987 CES in Las Vegas. Lacking funds at the time I waited and soon Carver produced this "Silver" edition. I heard it at the 1991 CES at that time it was available in an 'SE' versuion with a beautiful champaign finish and the gold ribbon. I bought mine shortly after and it has been upgraded about ten years ago with the newer AL-III ribbon which has a better longevity. I recently had to replace the woofers in my Silvers because of rotted surrounds. The replacements are actually better than the originals. Carver orginally had these square flat woofers that looked like some similar Sony units. He lost the supply of those and went with high Q 12 inchers with a nice long throw. They work as dipole subwoofers because of the high Q which compenates for the natural roll off of a dipole. These woofers are 'boxless' sounding and produce a very full bass with excellent extension and surprisingly good distortion. I am able in my smallish living room with a high ceiling to experience bass down below 19 hz! The ribbons are truly outstanding and the person who suggested reviewers here must be inexperienced, I would add that I am a former recording engineer for a commercial studio and have heard the best in speakers in to be sure. I attended many CES shows and the studio I worked at had a pair of excellent and expensive Dunlavy speakers which we mastered with. My Carvers sound superior in many respects as to the wide and incredible soundstage and detailed midrange. The Carvers play very loud without shouting as many conventional dynamic speakers do. I have heard the Platinum version of these and I must say the sound is very very similar, albiet with a little less volume capability. i considered replacing my Silvers for a set of AL-IIIs when they came out, but the dipole woofers just blow that version away. I have only heard better bass from very expensive transmission line speakers and some high-end systems. The ribbon is crossed over way too low. I have biamped it and it sounds much much better! I recommend a 300 hz third or forth order crossover. I have to say after all this that these speakers are VERY power hungry! I run bridged M400 Carver amps for over 500 watss per channel into the riboons and more power would be even better. Thats why Carver built amps with 750+ watts per channel. I would recommend a Sunfire amp with at least 1000 watts per channel. You know if your over driving them when you hear 'ribbon-slap' which sounds like a loud snap. Too much of this and you will torque-out your ribbons and they cost over $600 a pr. to re-build. If you buy these second hand, start to hunt about on the auction sites for another pair to use for parts. I got my AL-III ribbons this way. I bought a pair locally for just $200! There is a myth to these speakers and a loyal following. Some people think these are psuedo-audiophile speakers, in spite of the rave reviews they had in high end publications. The other myth is that they should really have had a ribbon supertweeter incorporated into their design. My Silvers are never lacking in high end, but as someone else mentioned here, they will reveal all the lousy recordings in your collection!! I have 'remastered' some of my CDs because they posessed flaws. I have the tools to do this kind of work and it reminds me how good the Carvers are. Funny thing is, some of my 'corrections'don't show up on some very expensive speakers! That's embarassing for them!

Similar Products Used: Magnapans, ESS.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
blacktomcat   AudioPhile [Apr 06, 2003]
Strength:

Transparent sound , very clear and hard bass. crispy high and mid sounds.

Weakness:

Needs very correct placement and exact seat position. Spare parts are very very hard to get. If you aren't very handy you should stay away from.

Perfect Speaker for Large Rooms and for Home theatre. Transparent Sound (Dipol). I'm very glad with the speaker, for over 8 years, the best amp i tried until yet (tried 5 systems in range 4-10T$) is the original carver amp TFM-25. The only problem is the female-compatibility.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
CJCOURT   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 27, 2002]
Strength:

Male and female vocals, Jazz. Great for action movies.

Weakness:

Need a lot of power. Parts no longer available.

Great speakers for audio or home theater. A couple of years ago, I was just about to buy a pair of Magnepan 1.6's, but was disappointed by what I perceived as a lack of weight in the lower registers of male vocalists such as James Taylor, Sinatra, Van Morrison, etc. Some might call it slam. It was also apparent in Saxophone Jazz. The 3.6's were much better, but also much more expensive. I then saw a newspaper add for these Carvers, used, and they had what the Maggies were missing, IMHO, so I bought them. The manual states that "the ribbon operates from 22Hz" on up, with the 3 woofers augmenting from 100Hz down. So only one driver is involved throughout the entire vocal range, and most instrumental ranges. I think that's why they sound so good. I've listened to many speakers since I bought these, up to $8,000/pair, and I've heard no reason to switch. One thing - they will bring out the worst in poorly recorded music. I have some CD's I cannot listen to on these, while they sound ok in my car. But on well-recorded stuff, like JT's or Cassandra Wilson's newest CD's, or Winton Marsallis, they sound, well, amazing. Like they're playing in my living room. The sound stage is huge, I have to get up every once in a while to make sure my surround speakers aren't on. For home theater, their power handling (600 watts), and my 280-watt amplifiers seem to result in absolutely no strain or compression on anything I've thrown at them. Recently bought a B-G 220 center channel speaker, which uses a 22-inch ribbon very similar to the Carver's 48. They sound good together.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bobsprit   AudioPhile [Sep 27, 2002]
Strength:

Full range concert levels on tap with proper power, HUGE soundstage, detail and more detail.

Weakness:

Can be too analytical at times, not forgiving of source material or associated electronics, small sweet spot, need lots of room

Someone here made the funny statement that good reviews of the Silver must be base on little experience. Hmmm. I guess that goes to The Audio Critic and $ensible Sound as well! They loved Carver's Ribbon design. I have extensive time with Royd, Heybrook, Freid, Snell and so on. The Silvers WILL sound bright and enjoy a host of problems when not properly set up. It takes real world experience and time/experimenting to know what a given design can do. Like many BIG speakers, it's tough to review them properly unless you live with them for a long time.

Similar Products Used: ML, Royd, Wharfdale, Freid, Snell, Spica, Canton....and so on.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob May   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 1999]

These are simply great speakers. I bought them in 1994 after auditioning many other speakers. They are extremely accurate and create a wonderful soundstage. No need for a subwoofer due to the 3 12" woofers per side. I love the ribbon sound - smooth and incredibly lifelike.

These babies need lots of power. I wouldn't recommend anything under 200w a side. I'm using a Carver 380w/channel amp.

Mine our finished in black lacquer, which required an extremely expensive manufacturing process. They must have cost Carver at least $400 just for the finish. No wonder they are out of business.

It's really a shame that the tweaks bad-mouthed these speakers along with other great carver products. Bob Carver's amps and speakers were always incredible values and outperformed most of the overpriced high-end stuff the golden ears loved.

The only problem I have now is finding a center speaker to match.

If you can find a pair in good shape, I would highly recommend them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brent   Audio Enthusiast [May 05, 2001]
Strength:

Crystal clear highs, powerful bass, deep precise soundstage

Weakness:

power hungry, delicate ribbon, imposing size

I've had these for 13 years and I'd never give them up. Without going to a $15K+ box speaker, you will never find a conventional design that sounds like these. Strings and horns are especially beautiful to hear on the ribbon drivers and imaging is incredible. The bass if powerful and tight - keeping up well with the lightning fast ribbons. They are currently integrated into my home theatre and reproduce soundtracks admirably considering they weren't created for that purpose and matching center channel speakers and hard to find.

They are extemely power hungry - I'm using two Carver amps bridged for 600W / side to really get the Silver's to open up. You can't skimp on power with these. They are also fairly large (although not deep) but currently flanking my 100" front projection screen they can look quite impressive. They are not however, very kid or pet friendly with the open ribbons and the VERY powerful magnets surrounding them.

If you can afford the amps to turn these over, match them with good cables and can find center/surround speakers that can keep up for home theater - I would highly recommend them.

Similar Products Used: B&W 802's, Infinity
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 30, 2001]

These are without a doubt the nicest speakers I have owned. For the past five years I had lived in a beautiful house that unfortunately was not able to accommodate these speakers, so they sat in a closet, and I would bring them out into the living room and hook them up to my equipment about once or twice a year. When these speakers are set up correctly, the lights are turned off, and you listen to them in complete darkness to classical music; the sound is simply amazing. Imaging and soundstage are fantastic. So this past September when I went house-hunting, I chose my new house with the #1 priority being that it had to be functional with my Silvers.

Back in January 1991 there was a great store, called the GoodGuys Clearance Center in San Jose, and I picked these up for $895. Other Carver purchases I made at the store are: TX11b tuner ($498), C16N preamp ($300), TFM45 amp ($400), two M200t amps (can't remember the price), and a ECSU sound processor ($105) that I use with the speakers.

I tried many types of speaker cables with the speakers and found the best match to be AudioStream. For my interconnects I use MonsterCable M1000 and Audioquest Topaz for the Rotel 955ax CD player.

Room placement is critical with these speakers. They always have to be placed on a long wall for best sound and pulled out into the room away from the back wall. What I have found works best is placing a large entertainment center between them (my oak center is 61"w x 67"h) or a bookcase.

As many have mentioned, they are power-hungry speakers, and I find that bridging my two M200t amps in mono (350w for right and left channels) works better than the TFM-45 amp (which is rated at 380wpc). It results in greatly improved imaging.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention! The best tweak of these speakers came when I visited the CES show in Las Vegas back in the 90's. When Hughes introduced the AK-100 Sound Retrieval processor, I decided to get one. It makes the most incredible difference with these speakers! I have tried it with other speakers (B&W, Kef, Dahlquist, etc.) and it doesn't add anything, but when hooked up to the Silvers, it makes them come alive. You can walk anywhere in the room and it seems that when playing instrumental music the instruments stay in their own defined space. (The same thing happens with voices.) You can walk up to a L or R Carver Silver, and it disappears acoustically; all you can hear is the other speaker! It is difficult to describe, but my friends who have heard the pairing of the Silvers and AK-100 are impressed. If you can find this discontinued device cheap, you just might want to try it with your Silvers. It is beyond belief what it will do for your music.

As for a center speaker that matches well to the Silvers, I tried many and found that the inexpensive B&W CC3 was a good match.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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