Carver Audio C-4000 Preamplifiers

4.64/5 (14 Reviews) MSRP : $1100.00


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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wilson Boozer a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2013

Bottom Line:   
I am not a rich man, so the selection of audio components has always been with this in mind. I bought the C-4000 over thirty years ago, and then it was a significant outlay, but I have never regretted it!

Last summer I completed my "dream" system by adding a couple of Bohlender Graebener RD-40s, along with the a couple of Carver AL III+ bass units with crossovers, so in essence I have a biamped Carver AL III+ system driven by two Carver M1.0t power amplifiers. Another amp, a Carver M0.5t drives a Yamaha YST-SW216 subwoofer. This handles <80Hz through a Carver DPL-33 Dolby processor. For five channel listening, I have added a Martin Logan Encore TF center speaker that shares the subwoofer amp, and a couple of Bohlender Graebener NEO-8 rear speakers that are driven by yet another M0.5t.

The C-4000 at first glance seems to have a bewildering array of knobs and buttons (I counted 'em, and there are 32!), but most are of the "set and forget" type. I bypass the tone controls entirely, and after setting the Sonic Holography and Peak Unlimiter levels, I hardly ever touch the thing except to alter the volume. For flexibility and durability, this thing simply cannot be beaten! I have spent hours listening to my favorites, and have never experienced fatigue. I favor Baroque, especially Vivaldi and Bach, and for sheer frequency response and dynamic range, nothing will test a system more than having to handle everything from recorder to bass organ pedals. Except that after thirty years the volume pot has picked up some noise that my laziness has prevented me from fixing, I could not be happier. If this preamp wears out before I die, I will seek another.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gray.scott@live.com a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 9, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I purchased my C4000 in 1984 and have been using it ever since paired up with a m500t amp and a pair of DCM time window 1A's. This combination has such a wonderful musicality at the price point. I have friends who can't believe this technology has been around for so long and still sounds so wonderful. Thank you Bob Carver!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jhaan92 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2009

Bottom Line:   
The Carver C-4000 preamplifier is probably well known by this time, and in line with the other reviewers, it is an outstanding preamp. I bought mine for a song, and have enjoyed it immensely. It has a high level of flexibility, and when you toss in the Autocorrelator, Sonic Hologram Generator, and the Peak Unlimiter (Carver's response to the dbx dynamic range expander), you get one fine piece of equipment.

It is also one of the few newer (under 25 years old!) preamplifiers that use dual tone controls for left and right, allowing you another degree of flexibility. Other nifty features also include the buttons for adjustable treble selectivity (8 kHz or 2kHz), which are great when you have a recording that just needs a little more open sound in the very top end, but won't affect the mid treble. I don't really use the tone controls that much, given the fact that I have a Technics SH-8020 EQ, but there are some times when all you need is just that little push, and that is where the Carver comes in handy. I like the effect of the Sonic Holography, but specific room placement makes using it difficult, which is why I use the Lexicon CP-1, which can correct for offset listener position, as well as room depth. All in all, the Carver C-4000 is a fine preamp for those who like controls, but not for those who see things from a minimalist approach.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tomcam a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2004

Bottom Line:   
The C-4000 now is 25 years old, but still a masterpiece, not only for Bob Carver, but also in comparison to other gear. A good and versatile pre amp hith a lot of possibilities, controls and phono jacks. I own two of them, one silver, the other black.
The by far most interesting feature of this pre is the sonic holography. It widens the stereo panorama and sounds much more 3d than stereo alone. But I don't use the "theoretical" amount of it, that's too much for me. I use the first step of it only and take the C-4000 to switch between sources and to drive my power amps. I am not so convinced by the phono stage (noise) and some other features like "auto correlation" or "peak unlimiter", I don't use neither the tone controls besides the infrasonic filter or "-15 dB". Still a very good allround preamp!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $165.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bryan Hunt a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Great control preamp. Very Versatile.

I understand the audiophile's need for total clarity in their music, and I enjoy that, too. But I also need tone-shaping capabilities for those less-than perfect recordings. I believe I've achieved the best of both worlds--read on.

I have two fairly high-end two-channel stereo systems. One has a Rotel RC-995 straight line preamp running into a Rotel RB985 mkII 5-channel amp, which I use to bi-amp (I only use 4 of the five channels for this) a pair of B&W CDM 9 speakers. The other system has a crystal clear McCormack ALD-1 straight line preamp running into a Rotel BX880 amp powering a pair of B&W CDM 7 speakers.

So where does the Carver come in? I use a C-4000 on the tape-out/in loop of the McCormack preamp (and a Carver C-1 on the tape-out/in loop of the Rotel preamp) for those times when I want to hear the recording differently from how it was originally recorded. (Let's face it--all audiophile snobbery aside--some things are just not recorded well. The recording may be tinny, or bassy, or whatever. Maybe the engineer was drunk that day--who knows? But if it isn't recorded well to begin with and all you have is a straight line preamp (essentially, only a volume control), then you'll never hear the music at it's best. This of course doesn't apply to music that IS recorded well and demands sonic clarity--thus the reason why I have straight line preamps on each of my systems).

So if the sound I'm hearing on the straight line preamp isn't what I think it could be, I switch the controls to the tape loop, and the Carver C-4000 is activated with all it's tone-shaping capabilities. It is a noiseless setup, works beautifully, and doesn't compromise the sonic clarity of the straight line preamps at all--it's comletely out of the circuit when the tape loop is deactivated.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $330.00

Purchased At:   E-Bay




Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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