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Crimson 275 ASR review


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25 minutes ago, jason str said:

Sanding would have helped, too late now.

 

Looking at the shots from underneath and inside the amplifier, it does look like they didn't prep that area at all as it looks like the paint didn't adhere good, this is where I can see the fish eye. The outside doesn't look as bad so they probably at least prepped that better but still sprayed unevenly given the orange peel look.

 

Looking through other pictures online it looks like quality control is bad, some units look a lot better than the one Amir tested but in many of the pictures I can see issues, just some worse than others.

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2 hours ago, captainbeefheart said:

Look at almost every piece of gear you have and it is UL listed to some safety standard because the company knew enough to first make the product safe to current standards and then have a third party confirm it adheres to safety regulations. If this product went out to UL for a safety certification it would have failed the way it is which makes them negligent.

Every piece of gear being UL rated? No not really. I was one step ahead of you and checked. 

 

It's too expensive for a small company to get a UL certification. You have to submit 6 units, some for destructive testing, and it takes a year. 

 

Klipsch's in-ceiling and architectural speakers are UL rated, for example. Probably because many building codes require some sort of certification like UL and so everyone in that business gets them rated. 

 

McIntosh amps, nope, no current listings. 

 

Yamaha, some products. 

 

Mesa Boogie guitar amps, Yes

 

Meyer Sound, Powered Subs, Yes. 

 

Onkyo YES

 

Marantz: Yes

 

Conrad Johnson NO

Audio Research NO

Mark Levinson NO

 

There is also a work around on this, you can purchase a UL rated component part, and if you put it in your product, under certain conditions, you can label it "UL Rated." I would venture to say, none of the boutique high end audio stuff gets UL rated.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, jjptkd said:

One thing I did notice was that in the ASR amp rating chart the Dynaco ST-70 rated only a few notches above the Carver (pretty poorly) for whatever that's worth-- have not read the review though.

No tube amp will every rate high on ASR will it?

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4 minutes ago, Travis In Austin said:

Every piece of gear being UL rated? No not really. I was one step ahead of you and checked. 

 

It's too expensive for a small company to get a UL certification. You have to submit 6 units, some for destructive testing, and it takes a year. 

 

Klipsch's in-ceiling and architectural speakers are UL rated, for example. Probably because many building codes require some sort of certification like UL and so everyone in that business gets them rated. 

 

McIntosh amps, nope, no current listings. 

 

Yamaha, some products. 

 

Mesa Boogie guitar amps, Yes

 

Meyer Sound, Powered Subs, Yes. 

 

Onkyo YES

 

Marantz: Yes

 

Conrad Johnson NO

Audio Research NO

Mark Levinson NO

 

There is also a work around on this, you can purchase a UL rated component part, and if you put it in your product, under certain conditions, you can label it "UL Rated." I would venture to say, none of the boutique high end audio stuff gets UL rated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not say you have to get a UL certificate, I only stated it will greatly help in a lawsuit. Your only obligation for anyone selling anything is to make sure it is safe. If you happen to make and sell a product that isn't safe and there is litigation, all the plaintiff has to do is show it doesn't follow specific safety standards and they will win the case. The safety standards are little harder to find but they are clearly defined.

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7 minutes ago, Travis In Austin said:

No tube amp will every rate high on ASR will it?

 

Going by the SINAD rating most tube amplifiers will not rate high. If someone sells one with low enough distortion to signal ratio it will rate highly. The thing is most of us that listen and design tube amplifiers (some solid state also like Nelson Pass) knows that THD isn't the end all in good sounding amplifiers, well to a degree. So most will have higher distortion vs your average solid state. The thing with transistors is their output characteristics aren't very linear but also they have very high hfe or current gain. So it's extremely easy to get extremely high open loop gain which allows for more feedback, add in the fact they do not have an output transformer which makes adding high amounts of feedback even easier so naturally they will test lower for distortion.

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3 hours ago, captainbeefheart said:

Look at almost every piece of gear you have and it is UL listed to some safety standard because the company knew enough to first make the product safe to current standards and then have a third party confirm it adheres to safety regulations.

I'm not trying to get in an argument with you.  What I just quoted up above, that's what you said and that's what I was responding to. I thought the same thing, any reputable brand would be UL listed. So I checked. They don't. It's too expensive to do it. 

 

Now, whether a rating by UL, or someone else will help avoid a lawsuit - that I do know a lot about. It might help on in a design defect case, but not in a manufacturing defect case. 

 

Failing a certification by UL or other similar certification isn't negligence, in and of itself, it's better than that. It's evidence of a design defect, which make a manufacturer strictly liable, you don't have to prove negligence, and you don't have to prove foreseeability of damages. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Travis In Austin said:

I'm not trying to get in an argument with you.  What I just quoted up above, that's what you said and that's what I was responding to. I thought the same thing, any reputable brand would be UL listed. So I checked. They don't. It's too expensive to do it. 

 

Now, whether a rating by UL, or someone else will help avoid a lawsuit - that I do know a lot about. It might help on in a design defect case, but not in a manufacturing defect case. 

 

Failing a certification by UL or other similar certification isn't negligence, in and of itself, it's better than that. It's evidence of a design defect, which make a manufacturer strictly liable, you don't have to prove negligence, and you don't have to prove foreseeability of damages. 

 

 

 

In this case we are discussing a design defect as it isn't designed to current safety standards UL 60065, there are other specific standards like CE  about consumer safety with electronics.

 

I am not trying to argue either and maybe I wasn't clear enough at first but I am in no way saying anyone has to get any sort of third party certificate but many do. The marking doesn't have to be directly on the gear, it can be on the owners manual, box it came in, or in any literature about it.

 

I can clearly see the 'CE' on the McIntosh 275 which means it meets that European product safety standard. Europe is stricter in that they by law require the certification which is why McIntosh probably put it on there. In the USA it isn't a law to have it certified but it's smart to to avoid liability. If you don't want to get it certified that's ok but it should still meet current safety standards or else you are asking for trouble.

 

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1 hour ago, Travis In Austin said:

No tube amp will every rate high on ASR will it?

Not by their rating methods, but there are plenty of tube amp loyalists on the forum who are happy to explain why they prefer the sound of tubes. It sort of keeps things in perspective.

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41 minutes ago, captainbeefheart said:

I am not trying to argue either and maybe I wasn't clear enough at first but I am in no way saying anyone has to get any sort of third party certificate but many do. The marking doesn't have to be directly on the gear, it can be on the owners manual, box it came in, or in any literature about it.

You can pivot all you want to, it's pretty simple:

 

This statement, by you, (which I assumed to be true also) isn't the case: 

1 hour ago, Travis In Austin said:

Look at almost every piece of gear you have and it is UL listed to some safety standard because the company knew enough to first make the product safe to current standards and then have a third party confirm it adheres to safety regulations. If this product went out to UL for a safety certification it would have failed the way it is which makes them negligent.

I didn't say you had to get a UL certificate, didn't mention anything about certificates. I was simply pointing out if you look at every piece a gear you have, very little of it is going to be UL listed, if any. I'm assuming you were referring to electronic gear. How do I know this, I went to UL and looked. Almost none of the high-end stuff is UL listed. 

 

So now, you are saying well McIntosh is CE certified.  There is a major difference between a UL certification and a CE (European certification). For UL, you have to go to UL and you have to pay what they charge. That's why it is such a valuable certification (and expensive). CE certification is done by 3rd party for profit certifying companies. It's like getting your car inspected. A CE certification allows you to sell your product in the EU, that's it, nothing else. Doesn't help you in a lawsuit in the US.

 

Most things that get installed into a home are all UL certified. There has to be a reason for this, and I'm assuming it's because building codes require some level of certification, or the the NEC does. 

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17 minutes ago, Khornukopia said:

Not by their rating methods, but there are plenty of tube amp loyalists on the forum who are happy to explain why they prefer the sound of tubes. It sort of keeps things in perspective.

Noticed that too, and it seems that they dance around it, not wanting to really say they believe their ears.

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21 minutes ago, Travis In Austin said:

Noticed that too, and it seems that they dance around it, not wanting to really say they believe their ears.

I've owned a ton of gear over the years and this little Carver amp is one of the best sounding I've owned or heard. Obviously its not just me I've read every review out there and not one has been negative or even neutral and none claim a lack of power or bass / distorted bass, which is pretty incredible given the measurements on ASR and the wide variety of speakers and room sizes in these reviews. 

 

It really is amazing to me looking at the parts used and QC in construction that the amp would sound so good and really emulate that of a 75 watt x 2 tube amplifier-- just think about how many 100's if not 1000's of people that were fooled over three years with no complaints-- it would be interesting to do a double blind test with this amp others with the same power rating.

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11 minutes ago, Travis In Austin said:

You can pivot all you want to, it's pretty simple:

 

This statement, by you, (which I assumed to be true also) isn't the case: 

I didn't say you had to get a UL certificate, didn't mention anything about certificates. I was simply pointing out if you look at every piece a gear you have, very little of it is going to be UL listed, if any. I'm assuming you were referring to electronic gear. How do I know this, I went to UL and looked. Almost none of the high-end stuff is UL listed. 

 

So now, you are saying well McIntosh is CE certified.  There is a major difference between a UL certification and a CE (European certification). For UL, you have to go to UL and you have to pay what they charge. That's why it is such a valuable certification (and expensive). CE certification is done by 3rd party for profit certifying companies. It's like getting your car inspected. A CE certification allows you to sell your product in the EU, that's it, nothing else. Doesn't help you in a lawsuit in the US.

 

Most things that get installed into a home are all UL certified. There has to be a reason for this, and I'm assuming it's because building codes require some level of certification, or the the NEC does. 

 

Don't you think I know the difference between CE and UL? In Europe they need to get the CE certification for sales. My point is that don't you think if a device exceeds the CE standard for being safe that it is a safe product? So although a product is sold in the USA doesn't have a UL certification they can easily prove in court that their device meets some sort of safety standard and most likely will also meet the local USA standard. More products are going to have the CE standard because it is the law for European sales.

 

Building codes have nothing to do with any appliance you purchase. The reasons you see the UL on appliances is because they are much more widely sold and so the company is covering itself legally getting a certification helping against liability.  Everyone has a microwave, washing machine, Television sets etc..., not everyone is going to have a Conrad Johnson amplifier, the sales pale in comparison compared to appliances. The smaller amplifier company makes the decision to not get certified which is fine knowing they will probably never be sued especially if their gear is safe which most is. 

 

 

I have no idea what the issue is here. Do you feel the Crimson 275 meets safety standards?

 

 

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7 minutes ago, jjptkd said:

I've owned a ton of gear over the years and this little Carver amp is one of the best sounding I've owned or heard. Obviously its not just me I've read every review out there and not one has been negative or even neutral and none claim a lack of power or bass / distorted bass, which is pretty incredible given the measurements on ASR and the wide variety of speakers and room sizes in these reviews. 

 

It really is amazing to me looking at the parts used and QC in construction that the amp would sound so good and really emulate that of a 75 watt x 2 tube amplifier-- just think about how many 100's if not 1000's of people that were fooled over three years with no complaints-- it would be interesting to do a double blind test with this amp others with the same power rating.

 

It proves sound quality doesn't necessarily equate to vanishingly low distortion and DC to daylight bandwidth. It also proves many people do not require the power they think they do. I don't think the actual sound is in question ever, it's more of a problem of price to quality ratio, lack of safety standards, and the grossly bloated specifications which they darn well know will greatly improve sales figures.

 

The issue with ASR rating system is they are basing it off signal to noise AND DISTORTION, so they are putting too much weight into distortion figures than I think is appropriate for sound quality. So as long as someone understands the data they can just dismiss the SINAD rating and read the remaining review.

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Audio related gear is no different than any other appliance you have in your home. I should reword my statement into "the majority of electrical appliances and products you own will have a UL certifications or a CE certification. It's just good business practice. Again by law this isn't necessary in the USA but it is necessary that you still meet the safety standards, if you don't someone can get hurt and if they decide to bring you to court of an unsafe device you will most likely lose. It wouldn't be very difficult to prove the Crimson 275 doesn't follow basic safety standards because it's enclosure isn't grounded to earth safety ground.

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I owned the Crimson 275 for a while. It is indeed a good sounding amp. At the time I had a pair of Spatial Audio X3 speakers that were supposed to be 96 db efficient. The Decware Torii II (another fantastic sounding amp) would not sufficiently drive the X3s. But the Carver did it without breaking a sweat. I brought in a VTL ST-150, which was twice the power and three times the cost of the 275, but sold it because the 275 sounded better to my ears.

 

I was always skeptical about those output transformers because my DAC weighs more than the Carver amp. And now there are issues with the grounding configuration too. I don't have a dog in the fight since I sold it long ago. But build quality and sustained power rating notwithstanding, it is indeed a fine sounding amp.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shakeydeal said:

I owned the Crimson 275 for a while. It is indeed a good sounding amp. At the time I had a pair of Spatial Audio X3 speakers that were supposed to be 96 db efficient. The Decware Torii II (another fantastic sounding amp) would not sufficiently drive the X3s. But the Carver did it without breaking a sweat. I brought in a VTL ST-150, which was twice the power and three times the cost of the 275, but sold it because the 275 sounded better to my ears.

 

It would be interesting to compile a list from user reviews of equipment tested against citing speakers used and room size if info available of course from what I've seen the 275 has bested a lot of high end gear costing a lot more including Prima Luna which was a brand I had considered at the time I purchased the Carver. 

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Hifi can be a maze or a jungle for the interested layman and potential buyer.
Fortunately, it seems that the Crimson 275 is not marketed in Europe. I have researched, it is not offered here.
Nevertheless, no less a person than Ken Kessler has been persuaded to test the amp.

 

https://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php/international/soundstage-uk/1572-ken-kesslers-new-stereo-system-part-two


How should the poor consumer orient himself if he has to digest such full-bodied marketing lyricism from a man like Ken?
In the US Stereophile, the data values are measured at least in a review afterwards by JA.

I also know that measurements don't mean everything but at least you have a basis as a layman. And if measurements show 120 hp instead of 300 hp, it's unforgivable and can't be glossed over by audiophile esoteric rhetoric.

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I kinda get a kick out of the subjective gear reviewers, they just haven't learned that price has nothing to do with performance. They are always going on and on about how much this costs and that costs and being confused when something less expensive bests something more expensive. They make the wrong conclusions about price to performance and haven't figured out yet that the audiophile business is one of marketing hype and BS most of the time with huge marked up price tags just to fill the need for people with deep pockets to get something 'poors' cannot afford.

 

I love music and I love electronics but the business aspect of the industry has always been bad and has continued to get worse. Same with record companies taking advantage of musicians and making it into the mess we see today. Making money from untalented one hit wonders, chew them up and spit them out and on to the next 'big thing'. There is hardly anything good about modern pop music, sorry to say.

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Looks like Bob Carver responded to the ASR thread:

 

"It has come to my attention that my amplifier design has come under sharp criticism on this forum. I am compelled to say that the 275 is safe as it is wired and assembled, and performs as it was designed. If a customer were to choose to utilize the earth ground pin of the IEC plug (to be connected to the chassis), this can be done at no cost. This design was well considered, and follows a long history of excellent products.

The 275 is a powerful, easy to listen to amplifier. I am happy with its design. In fact, this is one of the best designs I have produced. If for any reason a customer is disappointed in the performance or sound quality of this amplifier, they may return it for a full refund. The general reception of the 275 to date has been that of a high quality design, one that does not disappoint in any respect. The performance as it was measured by Amir does not do justice to the sound engineering of the 275.

I am not going to explain or attempt to refute the reasoning behind each criticism that has been made, the product speaks for itself and stands on its history of satisfaction. This amplifier was not designed to measure the best, it was designed to sound the best, and it does so at an affordable price in relation to products it might be fairly compared to. It is unfortunate for this type of bad press to make such an impression on people not directly familiar with the amplifier.

In conclusion, such criticism would be much harder to support in the presence of a 275 playing music. It would be all but impossible to argue that it’s deficient in any way when you experience the actual musical performance. I stand by that. The sound character of this amplifier is exactly what I wanted it to be. For any person with a 275 wanting to change the grounding or get a refund, email" info@bobcarvercorp.com.

Over and out,
Bob Carver

 

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