Industry Insider: Dinner with Bob Carver

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Industry Insider: Dinner with Bob Carver

There's Hope for Our Youth After All

I was having dinner with Bob Carver in Austin, Texas,the other night when a funny thing happened. As you probably know, Bob Carver is the founder of Carver, and more recently, of Sunfire. What you might not know is that Bob Carver is one of the truly innovative thinkers in audio design. Many designers have created great-sounding circuits, but very few have invented entirely new circuit topologies (and loudspeaker concepts) from a clean sheet of paper.

Carver's innovations include the first high-powered solid-state amplifier (the 350Wpc Phase Linear 700 in 1972), the Auto-Correlator circuit, Sonic Holography, the Magnetic-Field Power Amplifier, and the Asymmetric Charge-Coupled Stereo Detector, a circuit for improving FM reception. Carver's ingenuity extends to loudspeakers as well. His Amazing Loudspeaker, introduced in 1986, employed a 60-inch ribbon with four 12-inch woofers in a large, open panel. When set-up correctly, the Amazing lived up to its name. And before Carver, you simply couldn't get low bass from a small subwoofer. Introduced in 1994, the True Subwoofer delivered extremely high levels of very low bass from an enclosure about a foot square. The True Subwoofer was nothing short of revolutionary.

Anyway, back to my dinner story. The young waiter overheard us talking, and asked incredulously, "You're Bob Carver?" Bob modestly replied that he was. After dinner, another waiter, who must have been about 22 years old, approached the table and told Bob that his father owns a pair of Phase Linear 700s that he bought in 1972, and that he still listens to music on them to this day.

How gratifying it must be to know that something you created 34 years previously is still being enjoyed today and to be recognized by a generation who wasn't even born when some of your creations were developed.

It was a wonderful moment.

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