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Old 01-18-2008   #12
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kloneman's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 161

I love my Sunfire Theatre Grand II preamp/processor and Cinema Grand Signature amplifier. I have placed the amplifier in several head-to-head listening tests against some much more expensive equipment and found that it more than holds its own. It appears to capable of driving demanding loads that seem to bring out audible stress in other equipment.

My preamp/processor is a bit dated. I do wish the current Carver offering had HDMI inputs for each A/V inputs. I believe that they should remove the composite video jacks from all A/V intputs and offer a set of S-Video-to-Composite adapters for anyone who needs composite input. The recovered space on the rear panel could then be used for the HDMI input connectors. (I would also want scan format conversion and Onscreen display available on any output, if they don't already do it.) If Carver offered something like this, then I would probably more serious about it as a replacement for my TGII, when I do finally go HD, and HDMI.

Carver Customer service has been very responsive in the few times I had problems over the years:

I bought a Carver Sunfire sub at a junkyard for $75, and called Carver Service to see about shipping it back to have the driver repaired/replaced. They sent a new subwoofer box for me to ship it in, and returned it with a manual, and updated it the current configuration for $150. Turn around time was pretty fast too.

The illumination lamp in the Cinema Grand Signature amplifier front panel meter failed. I called them and they asked me if I were handy with a soldering iron. As a former tech, I said I have no problems with soldering it in. They sent me a pair of lamps at no charge.

Something in the Cinema Grand Signature amplifier popped, but all channels continued to function. I was concerned and I sent it back. They repaired it within two weeks, and its been working flawlessly since.

I have an electrical engineering background, as well as a musical background, and appreciate the technical approach that Carver has taken to provide efficient, powerful amplifiers, that are both very cost competitive and highly enjoyable to listen to.

The Carver cube was an amazing amplifier, and its "trick" was the power supply. Carver has written some white papers that describe this, and his desire for something better that was not possible with the components available at that time. The power supply that replaced the one in the cube, for his "LightStar" and Sunfire series amplifiers is his best achievement yet.

Originally Posted by deacongreg View Post
In college, "Crazy Eddie" carried deejay equipment. The amps that impressed me the most were the Crowns, Dynaco`s, and Phase Linear. Phase Linear, way ahead of its time with the 3 - dimensional "holographic circuit in the preamp. Now Carver/ really Sunfire, known for making some of the best preamps and amps with controversial, but effective technology that worked. And well. Remember the 205 watt per channel Carver cube amp?
And also making the the AV crowd angry with a reasonable price point.

But why does it seem to me that Sunfire products do not get the same respect? You guys gave great reviews on the Sunfire. It almost seems like his competitors are jealous that Bob can create the best for less!!?
Any opinions about this?
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