Author Topic: Carver TFM-55 power amp  (Read 2137 times)

Offline Magnaryder

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Carver TFM-55 power amp
« on: February 10, 2010, 05:10:48 PM »
I wrote this originally for Audioreview sometime earlier in the year, before I acquired Lightstar...I may need to edit it.

I'm running a Carver System comprised of a C-19 (tubed) Preamp, SDA/490t CD(tubed) player, TX-11 FM tuner, 2(a bridged pair) TFM-55 power amps feeding a pair of Silver Edition Amazing Loudspeakers. A DBX 120X driving a Carver M500t(700 watts bridged) to a pair of 18"subs in a dipole arrangement handles movie lows. Peripherals include a Technics SL-1900b turntable, a DBX 3BX range expander, Tascam CC-222 MkII CD/cassette recorder, Optimus DCC-2000 DDC recorder, and a Nakamichi Dragon.

Once I added the TFM-55s, my system came alive. Like on the street there is no sustitute for power, hosepower or watts. At 1000watts bridged, this is the BIG DOG set-up. Anything Power from the godz, dynamic, rhythmic, and precise. Depth of the TFM-55 soundstage is breathtaking, and the precision of the image has to be heard to be believed. Strings and female voices take on life.

If you have marginal source material(rap and other low-life (c)rap) this kind of quality amplifier with show it in grand detail. I have a Telarc LP of Eric Kunzel directing the 1812 overture. The cannon shots were recorded at Baldwin-Wallace and the TFM-55 take you there on that fine spring day. You can feel the shots deep in your chest...that's power and only the TFM-55 can deliver.

Playing a DCC LP copy of Van Halen(the 1st one) I can hear Mike's fingers on the strings of his bass and Eddie sliding the pick BETWEEN the strings during his hammer runs on 'You Really Got Me' and 'Running with The Devil'. Alex pounds the drums like a madman and Diamond Dave is out front and insane. A direct-to-disc of Girls, Girls, Girls, the Crue is at their best. Vince's voice is clear and stable in the middle of the room and Tommy Lee's drumming is off the hook, fast, hard and convincing. Nikki and Mik sound like they're in the room with you. The recording is melodic, articulate and well rounded. Imaging is stable and the soundstage is grand.

On Sentmental Journey, The Chairman does what Frank does best...voice a song. No one does it better and these are some of his best. He's fronting The Duke and they rock the house. His voice is great, out front....I can see him sitting at the mic with a Kool burnnig between his fingers. Carver's TFM-55 takes you there.

The TFM-55 only gets warm to the touch when they're pushed hard, that means more than 112db for a long time. If you can find them they are worth every cent paid. The Carver Amazing Loudspeaker is known to be a tad inefficient and a bit difficult for some lesser amplifiers. The TFM-55 was designed to run hard into low impedence loads with power to spare and it makes my Silver Amazings come alive. 5 stars very highly recommended.

POWER. POWER. POWER. great dynamics, imaging and soundfield depth. A real serious addition to any set-up. It can run any speaker you'd care to run and make it ROCK.

Carver is out of business. Repairs must be done by CCR or High-Tech Audio, They are getting more expensive as time goes on. A TFM-55 will get more on fleabay than it did new.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 10:34:11 PM by Magnaryder »
Magnaryder-EAR Yoshino V20 Integrated amplifier, Fosgate Signature Phono pre, Rega P3TT,SME 3009 arm, Grado Statement Master1 cart, CarverFest amplifiers Nos 50/51 Stax Earspeakers, Spatial Audio M3 OB loudspeakers and the Carver Research DarkStar sub.

Offline BB3

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Re: Csrver TFM-55 power amp
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2010, 05:59:50 PM »

Thank you again for taking the time to post that review. Much appreciated Sir and I for one could not agree more. ;)

Thanks Again Ray.--------BILL
Carver Gear : C-9, C-16, C-19, 4-TFM 55's, 2-TFM 35's, 1-TFM 25, 2- Silver 7T's, 490T

Non Carver Gear : Anthem AVM50V, Anthem PRE2L, Sonic Frontiers SFCD-1, Denon DCD1560, Sony PS3 & BDP-350, Nin.Wii
Speakers : Polk Audio--SDA-SRS, SDA-SRS1.2TL's, SDA-CRS+'s, RTA-15TL's and 3-Velodyne F-1500

Offline Kingman

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Re: Carver TFM-55 power amp
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 07:21:47 PM »
Great post Ray!!! Thanks!  8)

Offline thuffman03

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Re: Carver TFM-55 power amp
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 10:23:22 PM »
TFM-55 are very nice amps.  Lots of power.

Though I like my Sunfire 300's a bit more.  Even more power.  I think they will make your ALS's really sing.
Got Carver?

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Carver TFM-55 power amp
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2015, 06:58:13 PM »
Interesting that TH liked the 300x2better than the TFM-55 from a power point of view.

Spkr: Harbeth 30.1 on Sound Anchor 4 post stands
Pre: Rogue 99 Magnum
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo 203
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77