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Carver Raven 350 Review (Tube Amp)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 260 82.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 29 9.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 15 4.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 3.2%

  • Total voters
    314

Calleberg

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Aug 23, 2021
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I really want to like Carver products, And the 8 Ohm power of this tube amp is impressive... And it looks good.
But that's about it. Why oh Why not just build what the specs says it is supposed to be? I´m sure some people would buy it even at the current price if it did what the specs says and the higher order distortion was much much lower. And why not give it fairly descent performance in the "high feedback mode" like -70-80dB Second order HD. It should be a piece of Cake for Carver.
 
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Killingbeans

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I'm sure your correct and it's meant to be this way... but why would one want a baked in sonic character that can never be altered?

If people are looking to play with distortion and noise levels, give this a whirl;
Much cheaper than this amp... or even a free one;


JSmith

And even if you absolutely want a hardware solution, why is this distortion profile worth $4,750?

I bet it would be possible to built an in-line buffer with a nearly identical distortion profile using a jellybean transistor and a few other dirt cheat components.

Or you could get a cheap second hand PA amp and d¤¤k around with a soldering iron until you get the same effect.
 

Lambda

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Mar 22, 2020
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For something "as bad" as this it would be interesting to see the transfer function / linearity.
I can imagine it's doing a lot of dynamic range compression with long time constants.
(if the tubes get hot the gain goes down.)

But im not sure whats the right way to measure and visualize this
 

AudioSceptic

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Jul 31, 2019
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AudioSceptic

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roog

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Feb 13, 2020
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I am amazed at the power available from this tube/valve amplifier. Just out of curiosity what does all of that grass sound like? I don't have a powerful tube/valve power amp to try.
 

JSmith

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Just out of curiosity what does all of that grass sound like?
That may depend on how much grass has been consumed. ;)

Bob Carver has some thoughts...
Even if there is only a questionable advantage in lowering distortion far below the level at which it is audible, what's the harm?" Well, there is harm if the product thereby ends up costing more than it really has to, or if the money spent on lowering distortion could have been used elsewhere in the design to produce some more practical user benefits.
... so where did the money go here?


JSmith
 

Lambda

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Mar 22, 2020
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Noise performance is decent for type of amp it is:

Carver Raven Monoblock 350 watts Amplifier SNR  Measurements.png
It would be helpful to give us a total noise figure in dBV or

the 5w at is at 4ohms? so 4.4721V?
so ~13dBV so the total noise is at -75,5dBV?
 

Blumlein 88

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Mulder

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Sep 2, 2020
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Gothenburg, Sweden
I see a lot in common with vinyl, although I've never owned a valve amp. There's a warm fuzz which strangely sounds like "richness" and "detail" instead of distortion. Look at the distortion results here <https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews...t-art9xi-moving-coil-phono-cartridges-review/>
I own a valve-amplifier from EAR. It must be a better designed valve-amp because I don't hear any nice warm fuzzy sound. No richness either. I only hear a folded relatively rumbling bass, less clear treble and generally a bit weak dynamics. And a tendency to mush the sound in intense and strong parts. Not that it sounds bad, but compared to my Purify class D it is kind of tired. But it cuts in a pleasant way. On the other hand my class D does not cut at all.
 
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tomtoo

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Nov 20, 2019
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Lets imagine you live in Norway and you are a Death Metal fan. Than this amp is not so bad.

Adding a liitel more crunch to the sound, while warming, in a cold norway winter, your feet on the tubes. Sounds not so bad. ;)
 

Lambda

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It must be a better designed valve-amp because I don't hear any nice warm sound.
How can you see you would hear "distortion" with this one?
maybe you would call it "folded relatively rumbling bass, less clear treble" or something like this?

How would "folded rumbling bass" look in the measurements
 
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