Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) by JCC
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Model: ZR1600 Category: Amplifier (SS) Suggested Retail Price: $1100 Description: Tripath semiconductor controlled digital amplifier Manufacturer URL: Carver Professional Manufacturer URL: Carver Professional
Review by JCC ( A ) on June 03, 2004 at 10:11:54
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
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for the ZR1600
Some of you might have read my previous reviews and comments on the Carver ZR series amplifiers. Anyway after multiple modifications my system has reached new heights. I recently added a set of Daedalus Audiophile speakers. A review is coming, however, these are the most dynamic speakers that I have ever heard (96 DB efficiency with the ability to take 600 watts 8 ohms per speakers).
But these comments are about one of my Carver ZR1600’s. One has been modified by 8th Nerve. Reference Audio Mods (RAM) recently modified the second. It is the RAM modified Carver that I am writing about.
After a day of listening, I will put my RAM modified ZR up against any amps that you might have, and you will likely go home envious.
Clarity, sound stage, individual instruments nicely spotlighted with natural "natural" tonal color. Woodwind, brass, bowed string, plucked string, voice and so on can now be heard with unbelievable clarity and specificity as distinct entities, not merely homogenized into an aural soup...
No weak spots at any frequency, clarity (double what it used to be), musicality, dynamics the very best, possibly the best that has ever been produced. The noise level is so low, that I can hear quiet passages, that were formerly inaudible. An almost silkiness and musicality throughout the audio range – 20 cycle to 20,000 cycles. It is that good.
When you listen to a symphony orchestra and find realism that was formerly unachievable with electronic reproduction. Unbelievable, almost like being in the concert hall, and the ZR1600 is not even broken-in. Yes you need the dynamics and clarity of the Daedalus or another great speaker system to fully experience it, but now with the newly modified Carver, you can very nearly experience concert hall realism. I'm listening to Mahler Symphony No 2, 1st movement Sinfonte Orchestra Frankfurt on Denon GES-9515. Sound stage, size and depth and clarity formerly unachievable. Or Hyperion SACDA67270 Gustav Holst the Planets by The Halle’ Orchestra – You can actually delineate the orchestral soundstage, even with multiple sections playing together.
So what did RAM do - The list of component modifications includes the following:
Removal / modification of both input and output circuitry.
6 Jensen Electronics 6800uF 100 V Four Pole Radial, Asym Pin Cfg
2 Jensen Electrolytic 10000uF 25V Four Pole Radial, Asym Pin Cfg
2 Harris High Speed Soft Recovery (FRED) Diodes (TO-251) 6A 1200V TRR <65N
1 15V Neg Q-Power Regulator
1 5V Neg Q-Power Regulator
2 4uF 400VAC film & foil, paper-in-oil NOS capcitors
2 Black Gate N 10uF 50V
2 Black Gate NX 0.47uF 50V
3 10W Heatsink for TO-220
2 11Hy Silver/Wood Inductors
30ft Audio Consulting silver wire.
Talk to Kyle Takenaga at RAM for additional specifications. They will be offering the mods commercially.
You might have spent $10 grand or more on your amp, but my new RAM modified Carver ZR is likely a whole lot better. You can see a picture of it on AudioCircle at http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/viewtopic.php?t=10678&highlight=zr1600
Product Weakness: None Product Strengths: Extremely detailed presentation, sound stage is detailed wide and deep, very low noise level, musicality and warmth
Associated Equipment for this Review: Amplifier: Carver Professional ZR1600 RAM Modification Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Sony TA-P9000ES Modified by Stan Warren Sources (CDP/Turntable): Philips SACD 1000 Modified by Stan Warren Speakers: Daedalus Audiophile Speakers Cables/Interconnects: Goertz Alpha Music Used (Genre/Selections): Classical & Jazz & Popp Room Size (LxWxH): 15 Ft x 23 Ft x 9 Flt Time Period/Length of Audition: 2 Weeks Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
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Topic - REVIEW: Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) - JCC 10:11:54 06/3/04 ( 27)
- Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) - JCC 16:52:12 06/19/04 ( 0)
RAM ZR1600 Breakin - JCC 08:10:35 06/5/04 ( 2) Cost of tweaking is more than cost of the original equipment? Not that uncommon - porky_pig_jr 17:16:50 06/4/04 ( 0)
$1500 seems like a frightful amount - Kristian85 09:20:01 06/4/04 ( 3)
- Re: $1500 seems like a frightful amount - JCC 13:38:36 06/5/04 ( 0)
Re: $1500 seems like a frightful amount - iza 10:38:16 06/5/04 ( 0)
Re: $1500 seems like a frightful amount - LoudandClear 10:33:25 06/4/04 ( 0)
Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) - JCC 20:51:23 06/3/04 ( 7)
- Then the stock amp should cost about 450 bucks? nt - Tromatic 19:21:43 06/4/04 ( 0)
Re: Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) - Jack G 04:48:02 06/4/04 ( 0)
Re: Carver Professional ZR1600 Amplifier (SS) - AbeCollins 21:16:58 06/3/04 ( 4) re:You might have spent $10 grand or more on your amp, but my new RAM modified Carver ZR is likely a whole lot better ? - Triodeuser 18:51:20 06/3/04 ( 1)
- What he said! nt. - Kristian85 14:23:51 06/4/04 ( 0)
there are other options - young-chang 18:41:36 06/3/04 ( 0)
Weaknesses: None - E-Stat 15:40:33 06/3/04 ( 1)
- Agreed - plantsman 02:46:00 06/4/04 ( 0)
A $1500 mod for a sub $1000 amp? - AbeCollins 10:59:38 06/3/04 ( 2)
- Re: A $1500 mod for a sub $1000 amp? - iza 15:51:33 06/3/04 ( 0)
Re: A $1500 mod for a sub $1000 amp? - LoudandClear 11:16:43 06/3/04 ( 0)
pros & cons - rhyno 10:44:20 06/3/04 ( 1)
- Right on! - Nietzsche 13:05:26 06/3/04 ( 0)