Carver Research Lightstar Reference power amplifier Manufacturer's Comment

Manufacturer's Comment, March 1995

Editor: In spring of this year I wrote you to answer many questions which had been posed to us about the departure of Robert Carver from Carver Corporation, and the subsequent legal disputes that occurred. I am pleased to inform you that these disputes have now been settled, and in a manner that is very satisfactory to the company. The essential elements were reported in a letter to our shareholders as follows:

1) Both parties have mutually released any and all claims brought against the other party in the lawsuit.

2) Beginning in 1995, in installments stretching over four years, Carver Corporation will pay the Carvers the total sum of $300,000. No interest shall be accrued or paid on this amount.

3) In return, the Company has obtained a fully paid-up license on the portion of the Mag-Amp License that was in dispute. All of the Carvers' claims that the Mag-Amp License Agreement was terminated have been rescinded and withdrawn.

4) Carver Corporation has withdrawn its claim that Robert Carver is in violation of a non-competition agreement. In turn, Mr. Carver, who has since started an amplifier company, has for a period of time agreed to certain competitive restrictions, including: a limitation on the number of units he can produce; a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of not less than $2000 per product; and a wholesale price of 44% of the MSRP. Also, for a period of time, in the event the phrase "a Bob Carver company" or similar term is used to identify or describe any company owned by Robert Carver, that phrase must be accompanied by the phrase "not affiliated with Carver Corporation."

5) All future disputes which may arise from or relating to the settlement agreement, and/or the Mag-Amp License Agreement, will be settled through arbitration. If the dispute concerns issues of patent law, then all arbitrators must be licensed patent lawyers. The company believes this to be one of the most important aspects of the settlement agreement, as it should avoid the arbitrary and capricious risks and exorbitant expense that seem to accompany litigation.

Earlier, at the end of the third quarter, we had announced a tentative agreement and had recorded a contingent charge to earnings of $431,000 to cover not only anticipated installment payments to the Carvers for a paid-up license, but also legal and other settlement-related costs. Therefore, all of the costs associated with this settlement have already been reflected in our profit-and-loss statements, and will not impact future earnings.

The primary reason I wrote you in the spring was to respond to the rumors which seemed to emanate from a few of our competitors that the legal dispute was just one more piece of evidence that Carver Corporation was on a downward spiral and would not last the year. Well, the dispute is now settled, with little or no material impact on our finances, we have introduced many dynamite new products, we have moved significant amounts of our production back to the United States, and a lot of Carver equipment is moving through the channels. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of our imminent demise turned out to have been greatly exaggerated....—Robert A. Fulton, Chairman & CEO, Carver Corp.

Carver Corporation
Company no longer in existence (2018)

Bogolu Haranath's picture

"Blinded by the light" :-) ..............

georgehifi's picture

They've gota be the ugliest square waves I've ever seen from a solid state amp. With 1st overshoot ring on the trailing edge!!! What's that all about????

Cheers George

Anton's picture

I would be an avid reader of a column that “reviewed” vintage gear compared to current equipment. Yes, I know it would be tough making sure the gear was up to snuff based on age, but reading a comparison between a Sony CDP 101 and the current Rega would be fascinating.

Sign me up as a reader of the Anachrophile column!

Allen Fant's picture

Beautiful looking amp. While I never had an opportunity to demo a Bob Carver amp per se, I did have a wonderful audition, with his 1st Sunfire amp in 1996.