Carver logo
  • Sunfire Corporation
  • 5210 Bickford Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290, USA
  • Official website
  • No email adres available
  • +1 (425) 335-1978
  • No fax number available


Equipment[add model]

Carver manufactures or has manufactured the following equipment (click to expand models list):

Dynamic Speakers
Ribbon Speakers
Solid State Amplifiers
Tape Decks
Valve Amplifiers

General information [contribute]

SEATTLE, WA, May 19, 1999 -- Carver Corporation today announced that on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11, in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. The case number is 99-05793.

The cause of the filing was an accumulation of unpaid debt and resulting legal actions filed by creditors. These actions created the prospect of an inequitable distribution of payment to creditors and prevented the Company from being able to operate as a functioning business entity. In October of 1998, the Company ran out of working capital and laid off the remainder of its workforce. Subsequently, at the invitation of the Board of Directors, Robert W. Carver, the founder of the Company and former CEO, stepped in to take over.

The Board of Carver Corporation found it necessary to seek protection under federal bankruptcy laws in order for the Company to move ahead and reestablish itself as a viable entity in the marketplace. The Company intends to reorganize for the long-term success of the Carver brand name, profitability for shareholders and quality audio product for its faithful customers.

CONTACT: Carver Corporation, Bob Carver, (425) 335-1978

Carver web site (April 2001): Message from Bob Carver, Date unknown As you may know, I lost control of the Board of Carver many long years ago, 1987 to be exact. I became only a figurehead at the company I founded, and after watching the actions of the Board from up close (more on this later), I decided enough frustration was enough and I left. Since then I've watched from afar as a once proud company has gone down. As the years trolled by and the company's valuation trickled away, I made it clear that I was always available to help. I repeatedly asserted that I could stanch the losses in excess of $3,000,000 per year and put the company on solid footing. I shared my plan, yet the Board wanted nothing to do with me. I was persona non grata. I was the Evil Founder. In the meantime, I founded a new company, Sunfire, salted it with two inventions and a small capital infusion, and off it took.

Sunfire's growth has been strong, with sales revenue nearly doubling each year. Ditto for earnings. If all goes well, and that's a big if, I intend to combine Sunfire and Carver approximately 15 months from now, thus forging a larger and stronger public company. (Sunfire is at this time privately held.)

Back to Carver. By the end of 1998, Carver had spent all its money and then some. Carver Corporation reminded me of the 1950's science fiction movie in which an H-bomb has been dropped on New York. What used to be a beautiful city was shown with only the wind blowing through a dusty and empty town, and only the occasional tumbleweed rolling along deserted streets. No cars, people, or anything. Empty! This was the state of affairs at Carver when the Board of Directors finally called me. Carver Corporation literally had a mere seventeen dollars in the bank. They had managed to develop a negative net worth of over $1,000,000. I visited Carver and found nobody home. The assembly line had been shut down and the workers had gone. Carver hadn't been able to pay salaries. There were empty desks, empty cubicles, blackboards with writing on them, and no one around. It was as if everyone had just left on a moment's notice. My Carver was a thriving, bustling place. This was surreal.

I was witnessing the complete and unmanaged collapse of the company, like an imploding star, into an uninhabited black hole. Carver had no money, no employees, no plan, no technology, and no manufacturing. Carver did have roughly $1 million in lawsuits, $1.6 million in unpaid bills, and a practically nonexistent Dealer network. Through a series of disastrous sales and marketing tactics, Carver had angered its Dealers, who had resigned the line in droves. Carver retained a few factory Representatives in name, but these were ineffective and without action. The primary lending bank had informed Carver it would seize all remaining assets unless the outstanding loan balance was immediately paid in full. I was informed the landlord was in the process of acquiring a court order allowing him to padlock the building. I knew Carver didn't have a legal leg to stand on, and the landlord would indeed prevail and shut the doors. The Board asked me to step in and save Carver. I jumped at the chance, and put my years of passion and experience to the task.

Those years have taught me that at a minimum, a Board of Directors owes a company a capable and competent leader. In my opinion, Carver's Board failed miserably in this regard by repeatedly appointing leaders with absolutely no audio industry experience. As incredible as it seems, after each CEO would in turn fail at the job, he was then given a seat on the Board of Directors! Ultimately, the Board was almost entirely comprised of former failed Carver CEOs! Decisions at the very top of the ladder were being made by men who had failed to pull the company out of its downward spiral. Unbelievable! All I could do was watch from afar as decisions made in ignorance and arrogance relentlessly hammered your company into the ground. Forgive me, for I digress!

To begin, I quickly cut a deal with the bank, paid off the debt, and effectively became the secured creditor for everything Carver owned. Every computer. Every table. Every pen and pencil. Indeed, every roller track, power tool, assembly line, jig, fixture, copy machine, all assets including the patents, trade marks, and the very name of the company. We got word that the landlord had received his court order, effective on the first of the coming month, just days away. My Sunfire employees and I rented trucks, leased numerous storage sites throughout the area, and cleared space at Sunfire in preparation for a very hurried move. During the course of several arduous days and nights, we loaded everything up and moved it all out. You can believe that Carver again has a responsive leader, and one who truly cares. I'm back. Carver now has a fighting chance.

Prior to doing all this, I signed an agreement with the Board of Directors (see "The Operating Agreement"). Inked just prior to the Consumer Electronics Show, this agreement galvanized Sunfire's engineering department. We designed five new products, including two brand new technologies and one clearly in a class by itself through the use of existing Sunfire technology. We worked around the clock, from the crack of dawn to late in the morning, night after night, day after day, and finished just in time to go to the show. We showcased five new products sporting the Carver Logo. Our goal was to generate excitement for the New Carver Corporation, and to sign up 100 new retail Dealers. It was also our intention to sign up 18 new factory Representatives at the top level of the new revitalized sales network for Carver products.

As we all know, trust is something that is earned slowly and is difficult or impossible to regain once lost through an unfaithful act. When a company is placed in what I call 'the penalty box' for such a loss of trust, it often remains there indefinitely. At best, it's very difficult to get out of this 'box.' We fully expected the Dealers would be extremely wary of the Carver brand. We're proud of the trust Sunfire Dealers have in us, and we knew that they would at least listen. Carver had lost the trust of its dealers, and in turn lost its way. We had much work to do.

We asked Dealers to look at the new products and talk with us. To our great pleasure, the Dealers loved the products. On the basis of the new products and my personal commitment to the Dealers (most of whom I've known for many years), their wary attitudes faded significantly. I gave them a solemn pledge, "Even though Carver used to be bad, it will now be good." One by one, we managed to sign up 100 Dealers, exactly our goal. We also signed up an entire factory Representative network. This new network of Dealers and Representatives is simply waiting for the new designs to be finished, put into production, and distributed.

We've replaced Carver's dysfunctional infrastructure with the healthy corporate systems in place at Sunfire. We have an exceptional sales force, a world-class engineering department, and above all, new technologies. Sunfire has assumed all the functional and operational elements for the Company. Everett Audio Repair, an independent repair shop in Everett, Washington, has assumed responsibility for warranty service. Things are looking up for Carver. Carver now has Dealers and factory Representatives who are firmly committed. Carver now has new technology, and hope to go with it.

It's been a wild ride for all of us. We're packed to the gills with twenty years worth of Carver stuff sitting around everywhere. It's like a submarine ready to put out to sea; one can't even walk through the isles because there are so many stores, provisions and other gear. Carver was once following a death spiral to its doom, and now it isn't. We have a chance. That's where we are today. Sincerely, Bob Carver

SNOHOMISH, Wash - Feb. 1, 2000 - Carver Corporation today announced that it has executed an agreement with Robert W. Carver, its founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of its Board of Directors, and with Mr. Carver's privately-held Sunfire Corporation for Sunfire to:

As consideration for such services, Mr. Carver will be granted an 80% ownership interest in Carver Corporation, subject to shareholder final approval. In addition, a repurchase option will be granted to the Company, which may be executed under certain specified conditions. As previously announced, the Company and Sunfire may merge within 18 months, again, subject to certain criteria and Mr. Carver's discretion. The shareholders of Carver Corporation would retain a 20% ownership interest in the combined entity following such a merger. The terms of the operating agreement and granting of ownership interest to Mr. Carver are subject to shareholder approval, and shall be presented in a proxy package in advance of a shareholder meeting to be scheduled as soon as practicable in early 1999.

In response to the execution of this operating agreement, Mr. Carver stated, "I am very excited to have this opportunity to rebuild the Company I founded so long ago, and am confident that the independent dealers will be receptive to Carver Corporation's new products. Sunfire and Carver products serve distinct segments of the market, and should complement each other extremely well. The Board of Directors and I share a desire to maximize value for all shareholders, and believe that the opportunity presented in my business plan will evidence this upon receipt of the proxy package that will be distributed to them"

From a Canadian distribution standpoint, Mr. Saxe Brickenden, president of the Evolution Group, a division of AC Simmonds & Sons, Carver's Canadian Distributor says, "I'm delighted with the outcome of the Carver & Sunfire negotiations." Mr. Brickenden says his 20-year association with Bob Carver, since the inception of Carver Corporation in 1978, has been a positive and prosperous one. "Bob Carver is an outside-the-box thinker and this situation is a classic example of what happens when a visionary is lost. And with the new deal, they have found the vision and direction again. I'm really looking forward launching our new products".

The Company also announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Fred Grund and one of its directors, James McCullough have resigned. Prior to Mr. Carver's arrival, the Company had previously announced certain other operating strategies, including distribution of products through the Internet, but was forced to seek alternatives due in principal to a lack of operating capital and a lack of new products and technologies.

Bob Carver recently introduced a number of new Carver-branded products including a 200-watt per channel five channel Dolby Digital/DTS receiver, a high pressure, high back-emf subwoofer for home theater, a 300-watt miniature (the size of a pack of cigarettes) amplifier for automobile subwoofers and two companion subwoofers. These were shown at the Consumer Electronics Show that was held in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this month. Brickenden comments, "our demonstrations were dropping jaws throughout the Consumer electronics show. Bob's magic is back at Carver Corporation." Each of the products contains new technology; an exception is the receiver, and it stands alone in the marketplace as the most powerful five-channel receiver there is.

Forward Looking Statement Statements in this news release looking forward in time, including those concerning development and delivery of new products, are forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other expressed or implied by such statements. These risks include the effect of changing economic conditions, trends in the audio components market, product demand and market acceptance risks, and other risks including those described from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other communications.

SOURCE Carver Corporation /CONTACT: Sara Potgieter of Carver Corporation, 425-335-1978/ (CAVR) [Copyright 1999, PR Newswire]

Robert H.Lever (November 2001): Contact Carver Service (now a part of Sunfire Corporation, Bob Carver's new Company at +1 (425)335-4748. They can provide service or schematics on most ol Carver Models, even some Phase Linear.

Matthew Anker's website (November 2001): Older CD players, such as the Carver TL-3100 shown above, can drastically improved by upgrading two key areas of the unit--the analog output stage and the master clock. These upgrades can totally eliminate the harshness associated with digital audio devices. In order to perform a successful upgrade, I would recommended that you purchase a service manual from the manufacturer or a service center.

The Carver TL-3100 shown above is a unit that I purchased used for $75 from a friend. The unit originally sold for 430 dollars when it was new in 1989. Although it was an older unit, it was in perfect condition and has the capability to play CD-R discs.

After obtaining the service manual, I found several non-polarized electrolytic coupling capacitors in the signal path. Upon opening the case, I found 12 yr. old "dime-a-dozen" Rubicon electrolytics. Their values were C555,6- 10µF 25V; C509,10- 22µF 25V; which I replaced with 10µF 50V and 22µF 6.3V non-polarized Black Gate capacitors. I also located two mylar caps, C513,4- 0.22µF 50V; which I replaced with 0.22µF 400V Hovland Musicaps. The sonic gains were tremendous, with tighter bass and crisper highs.

I also decided to change the op-amps in the output stage. These I upgraded with AD-825 op-amps arranged in 8-pin Single-In-Line modules by LC Audio in Denmark. Their type-2 module also improved the sound all over the audible spectrum. The midrange improved especially.

It soon became apparent after the capacitors and op-amps broke in that the sound was "hot" (exaggerated high frequencies to the point where you can't stand to listen). A person can assume that a superior output stage will only amplify and output whatever signal it is fed, therefore after doing research on jitter and the LC Audio LClock XO2, I decided to upgrade the master clock. The clock frequency of 8.6436 MHz was unavailable, and LC Audio informed me that many older CD players used a faster than needed clock to make the sound seem thinner, livelier, and more transparent. Manufacturers no longer use faster clock speeds on modern CD players. The LClock XO2 uses a 8.4672 MHz frequency which is "correct" for this CD player; other frequencies are available.

The LClock draws 12 volts off of the power supply, but it has its own on-board precision regulator. In the TL-3100, the easiest way to obtain a power source is simply to connect the clock to pin-1 of the 7805 regulator IC. The clock signal is connected to the nearest solder pad at IC402, available since the old oscillator was removed (installation instructions). LC also says to remove two 10pF ceramic caps (C401,402) near the oscillator, then connect the ground of the LClock where the two capacitors share a common. The LClock must be mounted on the rear chassis of the CD player. No further adjustment is necessary.

The Hovland Musicaps can also be seen rising above the rest of the components. Two of the Black Gates are also visible on the DTL riser card (red caps). The blue caps to the bottom-right of the riser card are also Black Gates. LC Audio AD-825 modules also visible.

Although the upgrades cost nearly 225 dollars, it was well worth it to revitalize a great old CD player. I would be willing to boast that my unit sounds as good as or better than a $2000+ modern unit. The sound is simply incredible, with no digital harshness.

Darlene (November 15, 2009):So off base yet relevent found by by neighbors to be throw out: a Carver SD/A 360 5 DISC PLAYER. I saw it..and thought wow its a carver it very good and expensive. Plug it in fantastic!

History[contribute] site (July 2002): Carver started out in about 1986 making "The Amazing Loudspeakers, and at the time the design blew people away. (2) 30" "full range ribbon drivers" and (4) freeair 12" subs. The ribbon design was what sold the speakers. To this day, the Carver ribbon drivers are still a hard full range speaker to beat! When Carver introduced TAL, the ribbon drivers used a dual strand Kapton membrane.

After about 3 years in production, Carver came out with the new "Platinum" and "Silver" ALS's. In these models, the new single 60" ribbons for the "Platinum's" were 1st seen, as well as the new 48" ribbon for the "Silvers" In the new designs, a few crossover changes came about, and the Kapton now had (4) aluminum strands on it, and was crimped to slow down the response to where they needed it to be.

In 1992, the AL-III "Amazing Loudspeakers 3" were introduced. This new speaker design used the 48" ribbon driver and a new 10" ported subwoofer. In these speakers, they stooped crimping the Kapton, because they realized that in crimping the membrane, it was adding that much more material to be allowed to stretch, so in the AL-III's the ribbon is smooth. Either way it can't be seen on the AL-III's, unless you take the ribbon out of the speaker.

1995 brought on the AL-III Plus. Same basic speaker as the AL-III, with a few mods...

KEVIN (January 17, 2009): Correction: The AL-III, and AL-III + used the exact same ribbon as the Silvers. I've had at least 30 sets, and they all had crimped ribbons, and all measured the same as the Silver ribbon units.

External links

Carver Audio Stereo Repair Information [Everett Audio Repair] Fort Myers, Florida
Carver Ribbon Project #2 by Gary Sanford

Forum topics on Carver

The following topics regarding Carver in general can be found in the forums. Topics about specific models can be found on the model pages. If you want to start a new topic, click here.