Monday, November 20, 2006

The Receiver

My short play in the Field of Stereo Gods ended yesterday with the heave-ho of my 18 year old Carver Receiver 900. When Bob Carver, audio equipment madman extraordinairre, left Phase Linear and formed his (first) company in 1979, folks on the edge of really hi-fi were encouraged. His madness always seemed to benefit those of us low in cash and high in hopes. If a Mark Levinson amplifier cost $10,000 (in 1985), Carver duplicated the feat for $1,500. Great news to those of us in need of hearing pin pricks on our recordings. I'd been getting by on Sherwood, TEAC, and Kenwood equipment for quite a while, simultaneously paging through Stereophile magazine, the ogled king of stereo porn, for the real equipment.
Then one day in the mid 1980's, Mr. Carver, expanding into a new product line, came out with a receiver. Specifically, The Carver Receiver 900 with the patented Magnetic Field Resonator. Wow. It wasn't a; it was The. And a Magnetic Field Resonator, to boot. Had no clue what fields I'd be resonating but if Mr. Carver felt a need for some magneticism in his resonator who was I to feebly protest.
The receiver served me quite well for 15 years and then one day its right channel output went out. The left sounded beautiful, still. I held on to the 20 lb monstrosity for another 3 years, unplugged and silent. Hopes for repairs were quickly shot down.
The cleanout this past weekend had a broad broom and The Carver Receiver was swept up with the other detritus.
I offered a feeble excuse. "Look", I implored pointing out the finely tooled control knobs,"I am getting older and my hearing's range is decreasing. Who knows, I may go deaf in one ear?!"
"Hopefully my right ear", I muttered to no one in particular.
"Then what? I won't need a stereo receiver; I'll do well enough with The Carver Left Channel Only Receiver with Magnetic Field Resonator!"

My family looked at me as if I was boarding that last train out of town. They shook their heads and left me alone to bid adieu to The Carver, but I don't think it heard me. I was speaking to the wrong channel.

Coincidences the stuff of life and all that! I've got the same amplifier, same vintage, and same problem. Sure looks nice, though.
Heh, heh - I feel your pain. It seems like only this spring since I finally removed my defunct NAD receiver from the trunk of the car and gently laid it in a Costco dumpster, to make room for all my new groceries. I've just about reached the "Acceptance" stage.
Yes, beauty does make up for lack of function. It's a shmae it was the same channel that went out on yours. I could have sent you mine and you'd be the only guy on the block with 2 The Carver Amplifier 900's stacked on tpo of each other. A lot of electric juice sucking, but at least you' have some sort of stereo happening.

Whisky Prajer, as we've discussed before, there is no more sacred place in a married man's life than his car trunk. It is Unfortunate that the space is limited and we are, yet again, forced to deal with the jettisoning of another of our previous life's souvenirs.
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