Carver Audio M-400a Amplifiers

M-400a

200 watts per channel switching power amp

User Reviews (40)

Showing 1-10 of 40  
Carl   AudioPhile [Aug 29, 2016]

I have owned and operated Carvers M 400a since 1881. In 1990 (approx.) I turned in to Carver to have volume nob cleaned (scratchy) 1 year storage while in Korea. Product was upgraded to M-400t model. I have never had 1 minute of doubt that when I cranked the power to my 1981 Klipsch La Scala's that I would receive anything less than perfection. My C-1 pre-amp and M 400t amp have been blowing other more expensive stereo's out of the water for over 35 years and have never hurt My La Scala's. So Golden Ears a AudioPhile how long do I have to wait for this amp to destruct? See me when your junk last that long. V/r BigC

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Miko71   AudioPhile [Aug 21, 2016]

"Golden Ears a AudioPhile" Does not know what he/she/it is blabbering about.
ANY vintage component needs to be serviced. Electrolytic caps dry out after a decade or more. It's truly sad when uniformed jerks can spew lies about a man and a company like this.

Go back to your mothers basement and stop showing the world how stupid you are Golden Ears a AudioPhile

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mactoad   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 01, 2013]

1st. I love all of the blowhards that immediately call this amp junk. They are Morons.
When the amp first came out, a friend bought four of them and ran them into four Ohm F speakers, driven by a Bose 4 channel preamp. Various sources included reel to reel, cassette, vinyl, etc. With those cube operating as 500W+ mono amps into the power hungry, but phase coherent & great fidelity, Ohm F's it was an awesome four channel system. I have always wanted one and picked about 3 years ago. I pump it into generic three way speakers with 15" woofer, 6 inch midrange and dome tweeters. Sounds GREAT. Also, works great for outside parties into PA monitors (We have a lot of property) at fairly high volumes. The little cube performs GREAT. Carver (as an engineer & physicist) is way ahead of most of his peers in the audio design world. His famous 'duplicate the sound of any amp' wager sure left those audio snobs with egg on their faces (or perhaps in their ears!)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Golden Ears   AudioPhile [Mar 30, 2013]

Cheap junk, Bob Caver is only good for best bang for the buck. Its hard to believe any of products still work. Carver amps will fry your highend speakers just before the caver amp dies. The the best bang for the buck amps turn out to be very costly in the end... If your still using a caver designed amp you should replace it, before it fries your speakers, Don't push your luck!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
R Michael   AudioPhile [May 17, 2010]

I have to say something here. In 1988 I had a pair of Carver M400s running in mono configuration with Phase Linear Andromedra III speakers (6 ohms, which equates to > 500 watts per channel), McIntosh M33 Preamp, Luxman L-100 power amp (rear speakers), Avent Soundspace Control (digital delay), B&O 4002 Quadradic turntable, and some other less important stuff (except the SAE Impulse noise reduction system). This system was so amazingly clear and clean it would make you float. It was not boomy and obnoxious like most of the systems I have heard in later years. It was simply amazing because you could listen to music at a level that some would say could be harmful and not realize it until you tried to talk to someone. Your mouth moved but you could not hear anything anyone was saying. This is when I realized how incredible this system was. Unfortunately, I had to sell most of it because the place where I worked closed and I needed the money. I still have the Phase Linear Andromeda III speakers and the B&O 4002 turntable. It seems that anything that comes close to what I had then is now unaffordable, but I guess that's the way it goes. I just wanted to say that I once was able to have an audio system that most people that I know now could never comprehend. My curse is that I cannot share it because it now exists only in my mind.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jhaan92   AudioPhile [Aug 24, 2009]

I bought my original m-400 cube off ebay a little more than a year ago, but I remember when my parents had the cube with the "t" mod. A fantastic little piece of equipment, it is always nice to see the dumb look on people's faces when you tell them that is the power amplifier, and it does 200 watts RMS. Most don't believe me, but they soon come around.

While I need to get mine rebuilt, I have heard other standard m-400 cubes, and they are a great amplifier, and do very little to color the sound. I believe that they easily exceed the rated specifications from Carver, and with such a compact size, and weigh very little (only 10 lbs), what is not to love? They don't require any real ventilation, have no noisy fans, and can handle very demanding power loads.

Drawbacks:

Spring loaded speaker terminals-should have used binding posts

Parts, like the Magnetic Field Coil-are extremely hard to come by.


Strengths:

Very compact

Weigh very little

Pack a serious power punch

Impressed Julian Hirsch of Stereo Review


Need I say more? They also make great mono amplifiers for subwoofer applications.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
automaticmojo   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 30, 2007]
Strength:

As mentioned earlier.

Weakness:

Spring clips, and RCA hookups, for an extra $, get them replaced. A new power cord helps as well.

To add to my earlier 2 reviews, I recently sent my M400t, to Hi-Tech Audio (www.carveraudiorepair.com) to have all the capacitors replaced, along with the triac, check for cold solder joints, and calibrated as well. I wasn't having any major probelms, but wanted to avoid then in the future. Not cheap, at $289 w/shipping-but well worth it. It takes about 20+ more hours for the amp to break in, they run it at full power for 24 hours before shipping
After this break in I can't believe how much this amp has opened up!! WOW is all I can say. The clarity in the midrange and highs is now truely astounding. The low end response was always good, but it is now truely amazing!! Even my wife, who is not by any means an audiophile asked what I had done to my stereo. She thought I had done something to the speakers. The bass control had to go down a notch!
Perhaps many of the earlier negative reviews had to do with a M-400 either not adjusted right, or some sort of componet failing, or failure. On my M400t, they did notice some slight leakage on one cap (channel, or supply, I can't remeber).

A friend recently brought over a recapped, and broken in Onkyo Integra M-504 to compare, and he was astounded. While the Onkyo had similiar mids and highs, the M-400 had a much cleaner and tighter bass response. He is now currently looking on Ebay for a M-400t to refurb/rebuild for his office system.
Hopefully, this may shed some more light on this small, but wonderful amp.

If you have a M400t (or otherwise) and really want to see what it can do, give HI-Tech Audio a try.!!

Customer Service

High Tech Audio is a saviour for Carver Audio Fans!!

Similar Products Used: Same as mentioned earlier
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
automaticmojo   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 17, 2006]
Strength:

Compact, toruble free for being 20+ years old.

Weakness:

Spring loaded speaker hookups.

I wrote a review on this amp in 2002, giving it favorable reviews. It still amazes me how many people don't understand this little amp, or perhaps more importantly the amp/speaker relationship. As with any purchase, you need to go into it with some knowledge of what you have as far as equipment, and how to best maximize their performance. If you don't know, look here, or get some knowledgable help. Obviously, given the sheer #'s that were produced of these amps, means the product has merit. And by saying "it's junk" it just plain ignorant.

My experience shows certain amps sound great with a particulair range of speakers, and sound terrible with other, regardless of who makes it. And with the Carver M400 (mines a "t"), it performs best with efficient speakers such as Klipsch, JBL etc. The one exception I have found are Maggies (and Wharfdales-strangley enough) , it really makes them come alive and sing! My freind, who has a pair, was so impressed with the M-400t when we hooked it up to his Maggies, he went right out and snached a M-400 on Ebay as well.
My point it is, if it doesn't work in your setup, either find some speakers that can get the best out of this amp, or sell it and find an amp that does work well with your setup, instead of calling something junk, because you weren't willing to experiment.
Audio enjoyment is a hobby, like anything else, and hit's and misses are all part of it. I wouldn't have it any other way!! Enjoy!!

Similar Products Used: To numerious to count.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Billy   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 2006]
Strength:

Everything.

Weakness:

None.

Purchased new in 1980, the first year they came out. Crisp, clean, clear sound no matter how high the power level or how inexpensive the speakers. A truly amazing design in a 7" cube box that emits no heat at all.

Sounds perfect after 26 years of heavy use, although my neighbors might have a different opinion of the sound level !

If you want small size, loads of power, clean sound, and years of trouble-free use, then this is a great buy.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
MJAB   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 17, 2005]
Strength:

It has 24 years old and still works...what else you want?

Weakness:

You can´t compare it with actual electronics, but maybe its 200w/ch are not so real...

Well, me again (saw my other reviews?)I do not pretend to be an expert, but what moves me into this "sound madness" is my passion for music (and sound, of course). Yes, it was a gift from my uncle (do not ask me where he got it). I using them with a pair of Polk RT25i (see Bob Reina review article in Stereophile), a NAD C521 CD player and a Creek OBH10 volume control in one of my house´rooms. As I have another two systems I was able to compare it with them, although it was an unfair comparison (Jolida 202A, Parasound HCA1000A and NAD T743 A/V receiver). But, at last, it is not so bad as many said. For a 24 years old little amp it sounds clear, well balanced an relatively powerful (but not so for a 200 w/ch spec). I have a Yamaha 12/4fx mixer and a pair or Shure KSM27, so I hooked the Carver to testing it as monitoring amplifier with the Polks, and I was surprised about its ability to bring clear sound, with enough detailed highs and low noise (apart from the normal "buzz" produced by the the amp power supply); it can not substitute my Roland active studio monitors but, in an emergency, it can be used for this task. On the technical side, a good technitian, friend of mine but not aware to good sound (in fact it doesn´t care about good sound) revised it and said that is an incredible piece of electronic engineering, despite of good or not good sound. In sum, just give it a break an you will find that this strange cube is not so crappy.

Similar Products Used: Jolida 202, Parasound HCA1000A, NAD T743
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 40  

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