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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Pre/Pro, Amplifiers and Separate Systems

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:13 PM   #1
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Default Upgraded My Carver M-1.0t Amplifier

I own three Carver stereo amplifiers (two M-1.0t and one TFM-45). I bought them in 1991 from a high-end audio store in Pasadena, CA that was going out of business. They were open box models and I paid less than $400 for each. I have used them in my HT and two-channel rooms in different functions. I found these pictures of the M-1.0t amplifier on Ebay.




The specifications for the amplifiers are as follows:

http://www.carversound.com/carver-amplifiers/m-1-0t/
Quote:
M-1.0t Specifications
8-ohm FTC rated power/ch: 200W
4-ohm FTC rated power/ch: 500W
Bridged mono power: 1000W
Dynamic headroom: 3.8dB
4/8-ohm rated THD: < 0.15%
Rated full power bandwidth: 20Hz to 20kHz
S/N: 110dB, IHF A-Weighted
Slew Rate: >200
Noise: -100dB
Dimensions: 95 x 483 x 343mm
Weight: 8.6kg

TFM-45 Specifications
8-ohm rated power/ch: 375W
4-ohm rated power/ch: 500W
2-ohm dynamic power/ch: 560W
Bridged mono power: 1000W
4/8-ohm rated THD: 0.5%
Rated full power bandwidth: 20-20kHz
S/N: 110dB
Slew Rate: 180
Many years ago, Bob Carver challenged the Stereophile Magazine that, given enough time to modify the amplifier, he can make his M-1.0t amplifier sound like any ultra high-end amplifier. The Stereophile Magazine took the challenge. Initially, they did not reveal the identity of the high-end amplifier, but later on after the test, they announced that the amplifier was the very expensive Conrad-Johnson Premier Four stereo amp. To make the story short, Bob Carver, being the genius that he is, won the challenge and they ended up suing one another. You can read about it in the following articles:

http://www.carveraudio.com/index.php...carver-history
http://carvermk2.com/docs/Carver%20S...0Challenge.pdf

Over a year ago, I found out that a person by the name of Richard Pecoraro has started upgrading the M-1.0t amplifier. He used to work for Carver and is retired now. He does all the upgrading work in his house. Being a crazy HT nut, I immediately contacted him to make an appointment for an upgrade on my two M-1.0t amplifiers. To my surprise, I found out that he was booked for almost a year. I finally managed to get an appointment for June 2012. The appointment for the second amplifier is in October 2012. He calls the upgrades MkII and MkII Opt 02.




Each amplifier goes through a two track process.

Quote:
TRAC I
  • Troubleshoot: Component level fault isolation.
  • Repair: Replace any malfunctioning parts; bring the amplifier to working status.
  • Align: Perform all published alignment and service bulletins.
  • Calibrate: Verify performance against published specifications.

TRAC II
  • Test: Check power diodes and resistors for drift in value due to age and use. Perform initial benchmark
  • Restore: Replace all electrolytic capacitors; power resistors and power diodes replaced as required
  • Augment: Replace all voltage rectifiers with higher current devices. Boost power supply ‘rail’ voltages. Re-design gain stage for new rail voltages. Replace all electrolytic capacitors and pre-drivers with higher voltage/current devices. Increase capacitance from 26000 uf to 43000 uf. Remove output transistor solder and replace using 7% silver solder. Install M-1.0t's infamous Turn on/off thump fix.
  • Calibrate: Benchmark to new specifications. Perform 96 hour burn in at 1/3 power into 4 ohms. Final alignment.

The result is an amplifier with a much higher power rating, more headroom, less commutation distortion, better current sourcing and performance into low impedance loads, as well as tighter bass and transient control.

Bonus upgrade:

5-way binding posts bring the amp into the 21st Century using 7% silver solder




Option 02

This option adds parallel (current sharing) transistors to the low tier rail, as well as higher current transistors to the high tier rail; parallel output devices help prevent the power rail from sagging under heavy loads.




As a result of these additional modifications, the M-1.0t Mk II opt 002 is the MOST POWERFUL Carver amplifier, excepting the Silver-7t/9t monoblocks (selling for $1,200 - $1,400), and the TFM-75 (very rare, selling for > $1,000).

More information about the upgrade is available in the following links:

http://carvermk2.com/
http://carvermk2.com/m10tmkII/m10tmkII.htm
http://carvermk2.com/pricing/pricing.htm

Obviously, I went for Opt 02 upgrade for an additional $50. What the heck? It is only money.

I have already received the first upgraded amplifier. I use it as the main amplifier in my two-channel room. It powers the two large DIY speakers that I built. Its performance has been vastly improved. It is as if my old and tired amplifier has been transformed to a $10,000 amplifier. It sounds richer and fuller, particularly in the lower frequencies. It plays the music with more authority. I can summarize all the improvements in one word, kick-ass. That is actually two words.

I am eagerly looking forward to spending another $360 to upgrade my second M-1.0t amplifier. The only bad news is that he does not do any work on the TFM-45 amplifier. I have to find somebody else to do the work at a reasonable price.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 02-17-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
crazyBLUE crazyBLUE is offline
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Glad the first upgrade is working out for you Big Daddy

With all the new toys/upgrades I need to ask how the wife is handling it ~ are you headed for the dog house yet

All kidding aside Have you got the new PJ yet?
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyBLUE View Post
Glad the first upgrade is working out for you Big Daddy

With all the new toys/upgrades I need to ask how the wife is handling it ~ are you headed for the dog house yet

All kidding aside Have you got the new PJ yet?
Thank you. I have a real kick-ass amplifier for less than $700.

I had two options. Either to live in a permanent doghouse or convert her to an audiophile. I believe I have succeeded in the second option. She is pretty much accepting and enjoying any crazy thing that I do. Of course, giving her a blank check and not questioning anything she wastes money on helps.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
Thank you. I have a real kick-ass amplifier for less than $700.

I had two options. Either to live in a permanent doghouse or convert her to an audiophile. I believe I have succeeded in the second option. She is pretty much accepting and enjoying any crazy thing that I do. Of course, giving her a blank check and not questioning anything she wastes money on helps.
Sounds like she goes with the flow & gets a blank check

Is the second Carver going to be in the HT room when you get it back?
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyBLUE View Post
Sounds like she goes with the flow & gets a blank check

Is the second Carver going to be in the HT room when you get it back?
The second upgraded Carver amplifier will drive the two 12" TC Sound drivers on the big and heavysubwoofer enclosure that has been sitting in the middle of my HT room for months. If you don't remember it, these are the links:

https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.p...postcount=1014
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.p...postcount=1050
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
The second upgraded Carver amplifier will drive the two 12" TC Sound drivers on the big and heavysubwoofer enclosure that has been sitting in the middle of my HT room for months. If you don't remember it, these are the links:

https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.p...postcount=1014
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.p...postcount=1050
I remember it. Has the Carver been driving the double sub all along Or is something else been driving the double sub.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyBLUE View Post
I remember it. Has the Carver been driving the double sub all along Or is something else been driving the double sub.
Nothing has been driving the double sub. It has to go where an upgraded Radio Shack subwoofer with a Pioneer driver is. It is behind a 65" big rear projection Mitsubishi TV. I need to get rid of both them to make room. Both of them are in working order. The Pioneer driver is brand new.

I am willing to give them away for free. The subwoofer can be shipped, but you need a crane to move the TV.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
Nothing has been driving the double sub. It has to go where an upgraded Radio Shack subwoofer with a Pioneer driver is. It is behind a 65" big rear projection Mitsubishi TV. I need to get rid of both them to make room. Both of them are in working order. The Pioneer driver is brand new.

I am willing to give them away for free. The subwoofer can be shipped, but you need a crane to move the TV.
Shouldn't be to hard to get rid of them I am sure. Plenty of time before you get the second amp back.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:31 AM   #9
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All I can say is wow!!! I'd call it a mini silver 7!!!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
All I can say is wow!!! I'd call it a mini silver 7!!!!
I agree, but I managed to the get the Silver at significantly lower price.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
I agree, but I managed to the get the Silver at significantly lower price.
Sure did!!!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
Thank you. I have a real kick-ass amplifier for less than $700.

I had two options. Either to live in a permanent doghouse or convert her to an audiophile. I believe I have succeeded in the second option. She is pretty much accepting and enjoying any crazy thing that I do. Of course, giving her a blank check and not questioning anything she wastes money on helps.
congratulations Big Daddy! oh and isn't it funny how letting your wife spend some money helps you when you want to upgrade your electronics
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman922 View Post
congratulations Big Daddy! oh and isn't it funny how letting your wife spend some money helps you when you want to upgrade your electronics
Thank you.

Another solution is to get your wife interested in audio/video. I did that a long time ago by taking her to high-end audio shows. Typically after the show, we would go to dinner and movies. As a result, she has become quite an amateur audiophile. She makes strong statements about audio gear and I don't dare to disagree with her because that means the doghouse.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:48 AM   #14
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Yesterday, I sent the second Carver amplifier to be upgraded to MKII Opt 2. The guy who performs the upgrades lives in Nebraska. Hopefully, the upgraded amplifier will come back in a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:54 PM   #15
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As usual you make some of the best and most interesting threads..

Your just telling us about your current upgrade and it was a learning experience for us at the same time.

Well, atleast for me it was an learning experience.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAMP View Post
As usual you make some of the best and most interesting threads..

Your just telling us about your current upgrade and it was a learning experience for us at the same time.

Well, atleast for me it was an learning experience.
Yep, I've learned I don't earn enough $ for this hobby
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
I own three Carver stereo amplifiers (two M-1.0t and one TFM-45). I bought them in 1991 from a high-end audio store in Pasadena, CA that was going out of business. They were open box models and I paid less than $400 for each. I have used them in my HT and two-channel rooms in different functions. Over a year ago, I found out that a person by the name of Richard Pecoraro has started upgrading the M-1.0t amplifier. He used to work for Carver and is retired now. He does all the upgrading work in his house. Being a crazy HT nut, I immediately contacted him to make an appointment for an upgrade on my two M-1.0t amplifiers. To my surprise, I found out that he was booked for almost a year. I finally managed to get an appointment for June 2012. The appointment for the second amplifier is in October 2012. He calls the upgrades MkII and MkII Opt 02.
I had a Carver M1.5t (and C-1 sonic holography preamp) back in the 80's, but it could not drive the low impedance of my Infinity Kappa 9's, so I sold it to get an Adcom 555 (which I still have). After reading about your M1.0 upgrade I wish I would have held on to the Carver, because that thing could output huge amounts of power.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #18
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Yep, I've learned I don't earn enough $ for this hobby
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAMP View Post
As usual you make some of the best and most interesting threads..

Your just telling us about your current upgrade and it was a learning experience for us at the same time.

Well, atleast for me it was an learning experience.
Thanks guys.

I believe Pentatonic got it correctly. My job is to educate and help you spend your money.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:16 AM   #19
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Bob View Post
I had a Carver M1.5t (and C-1 sonic holography preamp) back in the 80's, but it could not drive the low impedance of my Infinity Kappa 9's, so I sold it to get an Adcom 555 (which I still have). After reading about your M1.0 upgrade I wish I would have held on to the Carver, because that thing could output huge amounts of power.
I was a big fan of Infinity Kappa speakers. I used to go to a dealer that carried them and listen to them.

I still own a Carver Sonic Holography preamp. I don't use it very much anymore, but it was fun in the old days before home theater and all these DSP modes.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
I still own a Carver Sonic Holography preamp. I don't use it very much anymore, but it was fun in the old days before home theater and all these DSP modes.
From my experience, the hologram was fascinating when I got it to work, but it took a lot of effort. For weeks I could get the effect to extend 90 degrees on the left, but perhaps only half that distance on the right. Then one day I raised the window shade in the center of the room and the right channel was balanced with the left! Current 5.1 and 7.1 surround systems are a huge improvement!
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