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Is it safe to use this amp?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This may be a silly question but I'm fairly new to this. A friend of mine recently gave me a mint condition Carver M-500t amp. He said that it was 15-20 years old (he purchased it new-he even has the original box and untouched owners manual) and hasn't been used much-not used at all for at least the last 6 or 7 years. I was told by another friend of mine that does home theater installs (he also used to work in the repair department) to defintiely not use it. He said the thing is a ticking time bomb. My current gear is an Onkyo 807 powering Paradigm Studio 20 v5 fronts, cc-590, adp-590 rears, and Def Tech Pro Sub 1000 sub. From a power standpoint I don't think I need an amp but thought that since I got it for free, why not use it and take some of the load off of the receiver. I trust my friend and usually go with what he says but I feel the need this time to ask around and see what opinions others have. Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Quote:


I was told by another friend of mine that does home theater installs (he also used to work in the repair department) to defintiely not use it. He said the thing is a ticking time bomb.

Did he give a reason why?

You've got the amp in your possession, why not give it a test run?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
he said that when he was in the repair department he saw many of them come through after going bad and said that when they would go bad they would also take out the speakers. That's the only problem I have-I don't want to have to re-buy or fix those Studio 20's.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by klasley590 View Post

he said that when he was in the repair department he saw many of them come through after going bad and said that when they would go bad they would also take out the speakers. That's the only problem I have-I don't want to have to re-buy or fix those Studio 20's.

I kinda doubt this, but I don't work in electronics repair either, and I don't know anything about the workings of that particular amp. I would think, though, that an amplifier's protection circuitry would do exactly the opposite of what he described -- in the event of a catastrophic failure (like a short), it'd shut itself down, not dump maximum power through the output section.

I've used amps for long runs with much success. When I had a two-channel setup, I used an Adcom GFA-555 (a classic stereo unit) for 14 years. When I sold that thing, it was as good as the day I bought it.
post #5 of 9
Any chance this repair expert offered to take the time bomb off your hands? I've never heard of an amp killing speakers, I myself would give it a whirl.
post #6 of 9
I have heard of amps killing speakers. I have not personally had it happen. But I have read about it.

For not too much money, Carver's company (Rita's vintage audio?) will look at the amp, and bring it to factory specs.

The flat rate is not too horrible, but you would need to factor in shipping as well, I guess.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shnapper View Post

Any chance this repair expert offered to take the time bomb off your hands?

no, he wants nothing to do with it.
post #8 of 9
I'd plug that sucker in and run it.
post #9 of 9
At this point it looks as if you really don't need this amp with the equipment that you already have. If you're going to experiment with it I strongly suggest having it professionly checked out by someone who really knows about Carvers, as Mr. Human suggested in his post.

Without a checkup, installing it into your system could be an expensive gamble. The words of Clint Eastwood (as Dirty Harry) come to mind -

"Do ya feel lucky .........?"

And yes, I've heard of some radically designed amplifiers taking out speakers in the past, and I remember a friend (who was a Carver dealer) years ago mentioning that some of Carvers designs could get really unstable. Bob Carver could be a genius, but some of his designs garnered a bad reputation. Heed the advice of your friend the technician on this one.

Cheers,
SB
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