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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:43 am 
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Location: Wpg, MB, CA
A friend of mine owned a Lightstar at the same time I did. He also owned a Ml 23.5. He always commented the Lightstar was voiced similarly to the Levinson. He sold his ML before he sold the Lightstar.

Yes. Chris had a hand in stabilizing much the same as he did with other amps like Counterpoint.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:08 am 
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Location: portland, OR, US
mitcho wrote:
Having owned both, I would prefer the Lightstar amp together with it's matching preamp. It did not produce a lot of heat. I owned 2 of them. Build wise, they were top shelf. It was not your average Carver amp. Bob Carver had little to do with the Lightstar. He had left the co. and was starting to develop Sunfire. His Sunfire amp was to compete against the Lightstar. I did not feel they sounded similar. A few reviews comparing them agreed with that assessment. They felt the Lightstar was a better sounding amp. The build quality of the Sunfire is far from what the Lightstar had.

Jim Croft designed the equipment and Carver Corp spared no expense on these products. I kick myself for not being around the computer or I would have asked to purchase. Regret to this day selling them. They were excellent together. You could alter the gain to match active preamp or switch it to match a passive preamp which is what the matching preamp was.

I had a few techs look under the hood and they were impressed with the build. If you ever required repairs, Anatech was/ is the chief repair person for these products. You would have no fear of having it repaired.

I really enjoyed the sonics. I owned Bryston BP26 MM/MC and 7B SST2. Little or no difference in sonics (Carver a little warmer) and a large difference in $. The preamp is a joy as well.

Oh well. It's gone anyway. I doubt there have been many sold on CAM since I sold mine a number of years ago. It's a trophy but could be used daily. I would have no qualms using it to this day. The build was second to none. 85+ lbs. The Lightstar 2.0 was 1/2 the weight. Gone were the dual power cords, dual meters etc. The Lightstar had 2 complete power supplies in it. Completely dual mono. I used one breaker at home for each channel. It's power reserves were unbelievable. It's power doubled each time to 0.5 ohms. It was 300 wpc @ 8 ohms, 600 wpc @ 4 ohms, 1200 wpc @ 2 ohms, 2400 wpc @ 1 ohm and 4800 wpc @ 0.5 ohm. I had it drive some Apogee Duetta's at the time. What a combo!


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 7:00 am 
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Location: London, ON, CA
Interesting to read this 1992 white paper from Bob Carver on the technology used in the Lightstar and Sunfire amplifiers:
http://www.vxm.com/21R.69.html

The designs use a conventional linear power supply feeding a switching voltage converter/regulator for the output transistors.
Explains why these amps run so cool.

This mode of operation is now known as Class G or H operation that is used in some high power Pro amps.
https://www.audioholics.com/audio-ampli ... er-classes

Definitely a designer at the front of the field!


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 8:50 am 
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The apex of Carver's amplifier line was the Lightstar, which is now a collectors' item. Only approximately 100 of the amplifiers were made. The original Lightstar amplifier, called the Lightstar Reference, featured a dual-monoblock design, with separate power cords for each channel. A later version, called the Lightstar 2.0, featured one power cord & other cost-saving measures to shave approximately $1800 off the retail price. The two are reported to be sonically identical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/opinions-on-sunfire-carver-lightstar-amps
http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_2/carverlightstar20.html
http://www.regonaudio.com/Lightstar20.html
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?1491-Carver-Lightstar-reference-and-I-am-freaking-out
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/carver-lightstar-reference?highlight=carver%2Blightstar
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/carver-audio/lightstar-2-0/prd_115668_1583crx.aspx


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:37 am 
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ELOS wrote:
The apex of Carver's amplifier line was the Lightstar, which is now a collectors' item. Only approximately 100 of the amplifiers were made. The original Lightstar amplifier, called the Lightstar Reference, featured a dual-monoblock design, with separate power cords for each channel. A later version, called the Lightstar 2.0, featured one power cord & other cost-saving measures to shave approximately $1800 off the retail price. The two are reported to be sonically identical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carver

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/opinions-on-sunfire-carver-lightstar-amps
http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_5_2/carverlightstar20.html
http://www.regonaudio.com/Lightstar20.html
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?1491-Carver-Lightstar-reference-and-I-am-freaking-out
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/carver-lightstar-reference?highlight=carver%2Blightstar
http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/carver-audio/lightstar-2-0/prd_115668_1583crx.aspx

+1
The Lightstar is a very impressive performer yet it has a design feature that may shock many here on CAM:

The dreaded switching power supply :twisted:

To be entirely accurate, these amps had a hybrid linear/switching power supply design,
possibly because the technology for today's high power switching power supplies were not available at that time :?:

A moderately heavy, cool running high power amplifier 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:34 am 
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Location: Brampton, ON, CA
Hello folks - I am the proud owner of one of these 100 (or so claimed) Lightstar Reference amps - the dual mono block with the dual power cords. Bought the amp approx. 14 years ago off a trade-in shelf at a highly reputable audio shop in Toronto. I am sure the original owner is kicking himself now.....
I've been searching for years for the matching preamp specifically designed for this amp, but to no avail...... settled for the CT-17 sonic holography preamp & tuner which runs clean, and quiet. As a set, hard to beat....
This amp runs "warm" pending the music being driven, and the volume, but never hot.

Am driving older Focal Electra 937s (not the "be" tweeters); needless to say, the sound is outstanding. CDs are played via a simple Rega Planet, which delivers a sweet, warm, clean & very detailed sonic experience.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the matching preamp, would love to add to the Lightstar (have other amps that would be happy with the CT-17).


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:28 pm 
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And this is your first post by reviving a 2 year old thread.
Why don't you just place a WTB ad on Cam.
Cheers

_________________
"You don't know what you've got 'til its gone
..........JONI MITCHELL.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Chipmunk1957 wrote:
And this is your first post by reviving a 2 year old thread.
Why don't you just place a WTB ad on Cam.
Cheers


The guy posted about his experience with a rare amp. Sure he revived a necrothread, but why so negative? Enjoy the long weekend.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:14 pm 
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Location: Airdrie, AB, CA
the boy wrote:
Hello folks - I am the proud owner of one of these 100 (or so claimed) Lightstar Reference amps - the dual mono block with the dual power cords. Bought the amp approx. 14 years ago off a trade-in shelf at a highly reputable audio shop in Toronto. I am sure the original owner is kicking himself now.....
I've been searching for years for the matching preamp specifically designed for this amp, but to no avail...... settled for the CT-17 sonic holography preamp & tuner which runs clean, and quiet. As a set, hard to beat....
This amp runs "warm" pending the music being driven, and the volume, but never hot.

Am driving older Focal Electra 937s (not the "be" tweeters); needless to say, the sound is outstanding. CDs are played via a simple Rega Planet, which delivers a sweet, warm, clean & very detailed sonic experience.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the matching preamp, would love to add to the Lightstar (have other amps that would be happy with the CT-17).


Welcome to the Forums. Instead of a WTB ad you could always setup a "Saved Search" in the CAM classifieds that can alert you to an ad that meets the criteria you set. That matching preamp must not be too common.... you can also check out hifishark.com for an international search.

Good luck with your search, and if you're successful - we always like pics !


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:24 pm 
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zhenya01 wrote:
Chipmunk1957 wrote:
And this is your first post by reviving a 2 year old thread.
Why don't you just place a WTB ad on Cam.
Cheers


The guy posted about his experience with a rare amp. Sure he revived a necrothread, but why so negative? Enjoy the long weekend.

Oogachaka ooga ooga!
Actually im very happy for the poster as it is an exceptional amp.
I just bought two Carver a500x amps designed by the same guy who built the Lightstar Reference.
I hope he finds a matching preamp!

_________________
"You don't know what you've got 'til its gone
..........JONI MITCHELL.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:30 pm 
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Location: Georgetown, ON, CA
Hi Guys,
If anyone did end up with the Lightstar, I can still repair them. You shouldn't have any worries though as they were pretty stable. A ton of power though.

I had a series 1 Lightstar amp for a while, but had to sell it when I was buying a house. It was one of Carver's better sounding amplifiers. The TFM-75 is another lovely amplifier.

I'm still getting back on my feet with some long standing health issues. I do get reply notifications from CAM in case anyone needs to reach me. I'm not active enough yet to keep an eye out for new threads, but anyone who knows me are welcome to pass along my email address. It's still the same.

Counterpoint. I have redesigned the SA-5000 and SA-5.1 preamps so they are reliable and sound tons better. The SA-100 redesign is coming along with one prototype running for 10 years now. I can repair Counterpoint also, but rebuilding SA-12 / 100 and 20 / 220 with mosfets is not economically feasible due to the number of mosfets you need to buy in order to get matches close enough, not to mention the labour! That's why I'm working on BJT upgrades that also improve the sound quality of these amps.

Best, Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 am 
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Location: Hicksville, NY, US
The Carver Lightstar must hold up their value.
I saw someone on Ebay selling it for 3,450 dollars.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carver-Lightsta ... SwlMFZNDLe


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:19 am 
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Wow, old thread.

I haven't had to repair any for many years, so they seem to be standing up pretty well up in Canada. They are pretty cool with the touch power switch and skinny meters. The original Lightstar sounds pretty good as well.

-Chris


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