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New Carver Black Magic 25 EL-34 Based Tube Amplifier $1995


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 Just seen these this morning been talking with Jim Clark think I'm going to order one up and see what's up.






The NEWEST Bob Carver Amplifier.

This amp just debuted at Axpona this year.

Circuit Description

The input stage consists of a 12AX7 current
sourced long-tailed class A amplifier, which is
direct coupled to a long-tailed balanced pair
comprised of a 12AT7. The 12AT7 drives the
grids of the EL-34 output tubes through a pair of
coupling capacitors that provide low frequency
loop-gain stability. A dual-diode DC restorer
ensures that the bias voltage remains correct over
the entire audio signal cycle.

The output tubes are arranged in push-pull
parallel, four in all. The screen grids are operated
at approximately 340 Volts provided by a separate
power supply formed by one- half of a voltage
doubler supplying the plates with 685 Volts.
The power supply consists of a large power
transformer, with energy storage that is far greater
than necessary. AC fi lament voltage is biased to
approximately 60 volts. Multiple decoupling filter
sections are used with load regulation obtained
through constant current loading.

Turn-on in-rush current limiting is provided by
a thermistor, bias voltage adjustment by a bias
control, and bias current is measured by a meter
that simultaneously senses current for all four
output tubes. A tube fuse is mounted on the rear
apron and provides protection for the output
section in the event of a catastrophic vacuum tube
failure. Additionally, a rear mounted power line
fuse provides overall protection for the amplifier.


Gain 29 dB
More than 24 Watts Per
Channel, both channels
driven at eight ohms
with no more than
1% Total Harmonic
Distortion. Distortion
decreases at lower levels
4Ω Power 25 watts
8Ω Power 25 watts
16Ω Power 25 watts
Better than 100 dB below
25 watts, A-weighted
Frequency Response
+0, –2 dB from
20 Hz to 20 kHz
Distortion Less than 1%
Source Impedance 1.7 ohms
Input Impedance 100 kΩ
Vacuum Tubes
EL-34 (optional 6550,
KT88, KT120) 12AX7,
AC Power
120 Volts, 60 Hz (US)
240 Volts, 50 Hz (EU
Weight 19 lbs / 8.61 kg
Satin Textured Black, Chrome,
Natural Aluminum
Country of Origin USA


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  • jjptkd changed the title to New Carver Black Magic 25 EL-34 Based Tube Amplifier $1995

Some info from my email exchanges with Jim Clark for those interested:


"Its similar to the 275 that Glass built. Same basic Bob Carver circuit, optimized for EL-34s.

We bought the remaining parts from Glass Audio. They had the 75 watt power supplies built, some transformers, chassis that needed powder coat etc..
There was a Black Magic amp many years ago, that sold well. It was 20 watts. Bob is resourceful used the parts to make a better Black Magic..
This version has the DC Restorer and the latest features that the original didn’t have.
The satin finish looks great and has less QC rejects, so this change also helped reduce cost.
It sounds awesome with the EL-34s. Basically a 25 watt amp, with a big *** 75 watt power supply that never works hard and has huge relative headroom. Extremely musical and effortless sounding.
The EL-34s sound even better than the KT-120s to me.
With KT-120s it should sound and perform very similar to the 275, and will still perform great driving loudspeakers. It will still make 75+ watts @ 1K.."
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On 6/10/2022 at 4:45 AM, Shakeydeal said:

I look forward to your thoughts on this amp. Looks interesting and might even sound better than the Crimson 275 with the right speaker.



Can't wait to get it I've missed my 275 since I sent it back that amp with my custom 335's was the winning ticket for me that stereo was the best I've owned which made sending that 275 back kind of an emotional experience for me how do you part with the holy grail once you've finally found it? Is there better out there? I'm sure there is but for me that combo was just sweet and for the first time I felt content with my system I'm hoping this new 25 is at least as good as the 275 was if its a little better great. 

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On 6/11/2022 at 8:42 AM, jjptkd said:

Can't wait to get it.


I looked at the picture again and noticed the meter appears to be screwed to the chassis, not glued on like the 275. That's probably a good sign as is the change to, IMHO, a "realistic" finish. We'll all be awaiting your thoughts.

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34 minutes ago, michaelwjones said:

 We'll all be awaiting your thoughts.

I've had this guy running now for the last half hour my jaw is on the floor right out of the box! I love it already plenty of power it really drives these 396's I'd say better than my Sunfire 200x7 I'll post more later after a bit more time with it.

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17 minutes ago, John Warren said:

The build "quality" on the Crimson-ring thing was absolutely, decided garbage.  


Why would anyone give these clowns a penny?



 I've been a die hard Carver fan just as long as I've been a Klipsch fan to put it simply I love the sound of his products paired with Klipsch speakers, this new amp included possibly one of his best sounding amplifiers yet.





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New listing by Jim Clark:




"New Black Magic 25 Amplifier. Using the power supply from a 75w design, the Black Magic 25 is the most musical and dynamic EL-34 amp we know of. The Black Magic gives an effortless, dynamic and never fatiguing performance. Soundstage detail resolution is excellent. Try one with our Satisfaction Guarantee for 30 days."

Frequency Response +0,-2db 20Hz to 20khz.
Gain -29db
Power -More than 24 Watts Per Channel, both channels driven at eight ohms with no more than 1% Total Harmonic Distortion. Distortion decreases at lower levels
4 ohms -25 watts
8 ohms -25 watts
16-ohms -25 watts
Noise -Better than 100 dB below 25 watts, A-weighted
Distortion -Less than 1%
Source Impedance -1.7 ohms
Output Impedance -100 kΩ
Voltage -120 Volts, 60 Hz (US) 240 Volts, 50 Hz (EU
Weight -19lbs/8.61kg
Color -Satin Black, Chrome, Natural Aluminum
Country of Origin - USA

Call Jim. 815-985-3557
e-mail jim@bobcarvercorp.com

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Thought I'd update this thread been really busy at work so really have not been able to spend as much time with the amp as I'd like. 


 I absolutely loved my 275 and really like this new amp as well but I will say cosmetics are not as good IMO, flat black chassis with semi-gloss transformer covers and the smaller tubes not a big deal and for the price difference I'm OK with it. Also the EL-34's run considerably hotter than the 120's did-- I asked and I guess that is normal. When I originally inquired about the amp I asked if I could get the 120's instead it was a $120 upgrade cost but they convinced me to give the 34's a shot kind of wish I hadn't now, for heat reasons.


 As far as sound goes immediately it sounded much better to me than my Sunfire 200x7 and Carver VTA-20; smoother, bigger more life like sound voices just stand out front and center and sound so real, kind of addicting. Bass isn't quite as present and depth of sound stage isn't quite what I remember from the 275 but the amp and tubes are still basically new, no where near broken in it took 100 hours for the 275 to smooth out and 200 hours for it to really sound its best so I'm hoping this amp will be the same although like I said out of the box it bested what I had on hand.


 Power wise this little amp is amazing. My 396's were very hard to drive, too much for my VTA-20 by the time the speakers were warming up and starting to sound good that little amp was running out of juice. Even my Sunfire 200x7 would start to level out when I tried to push the 396's, it got them loud but could tell it wouldn't really drive them anywhere near their limit add in this new amp and wow, it just keeps getting louder seemingly un-phased to the point I have to worry about the neighbors while never sounding strained at all pretty amazing. I'll post some pictures here later today.

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  • 5 months later...

 An update on these amplifiers turns out my suspicions were correct the original BM-25 was basically a rebadged 275 with some of the build quality issued fixed; screwed in meter and power supply board and ground attached. Now that the amp has been out awhile they have reworked the circuit to better optimize the EL-34 tubes- Jim Clark has offered to update mine free of charge if I send it in right now I'm using it as a mono block along with an original 275 and wow what a difference that made, guessing it's a glimpse at what the much larger 350's sound like. 


 So many people liked the sound of the 275 that Carver has now reintroduced it as well for $500 less than the original Crimson 275. I love these amps each on their own sound wonderful and now with a pair running mono it is just incredible all with the advantages I've come to expect from Carver; light weight low heat no fuss bias set and forget and seemingly gobs of power reserve with huge and deep soundstage. I think I'm done in my quest for amplifiers unless a great deal comes up on a set of 350's.










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2 hours ago, avguytx said:

Are you still liking that Schiit Freya+ preamp?  I still think about the Freya S but then I'm still stuck with having to have DAC's and a Phono preamp.  That in comparison to being able to buy a Parasound P6 and calling it good in a single chassis.  


 If I were in your shoes I'd probably go with the P6, considered it myself at one point. The Freya is a great preamp, very detailed and dead quiet plus the tube goodness is what sealed it for me since you're not interested in tubes I'd have to think the Parasound will deliver equally well in detailed presentation plus with all the features you need in one package is always nice. 

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I'm a bit confused with the Carver275 being a good amp.  I had it on my list of amps to purchase and after more research including a thread on here, i found 1 long positive review on it and a bunch or really bad reviews.  A glued in meter, an output transformer no bigger than an autoformer and an output of about 20w/ch after testing.    Rated at 75/ch, so i moved on to looking at the Ayon amps once again.      so can someone clear this up as to the 275 being a good amp or a not so good amp?   After reading this post it has me wanting a Carver again, just need to know the  outstanding models to buy.   I'll keep on eye on your post for awhile.      Glad you got a good one.

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1 hour ago, mopardave said:

 so can someone clear this up as to the 275 being a good amp or a not so good amp?  


 In terms of sound quality it is easily one of the finest I've ever owned, absolutely love these amps. Power rating was exaggerated at 75wpc 20hz-20khz with the original- true rating is 75 watts at 1khz. The new versions have bolted on meters and power supply boards now plus grounded chassis. With the speakers I've powered with these amps (Chorus / Cornwall variants around 101db at 1 watt) there is plenty of power and very strong bass response, I have not come close to running out of gas with these things.  

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