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Which version of c4000 to buy?


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The early version is the champagne color with phono input 1 and 2.  The later version is a darker gun metal grey with one MM phono input and one MC input. Apparently the time delay is shorter on the later version. Are there other differences?   Which version should I get and then have it restored ? 

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@740carver Very Interesting Question, and this response is only focused on the original question of which 4000 to buy. 

 

For a few months I was able to listen to the handy work, and the magic it produced when Nelion restored a very early version of the 4000. I just wish that I had spent the time to read the manual in detail to find out what the full capabilities were.

 

Download the two manuals that are available on this site if you haven’t done it already.

 

The 4000 has the Time Delay; Ambience Reproduction System, whereas the 4000t has what the manual calls a Digital Time Lens.

 

The Time Delay; Ambience Reproduction System, has 20-watt amp(s) built in that can power “small speakers” scattered around your room. The explanation of this offering in the 4000 covers about 5 pages starting on page 24 of the 4000 manual.

 

A special note on top left of page 27 of the 4000 manual said that the delay switch range was changed from 35/50 to 16/25 ms for better sonic performance. I would note this when looking at different candidates.

 

The 4000t's Digital Time Lens is explained 0n page 13 of the 4000t manual.

 

I would also take the time to look at page 4 of the 4000 manual and page 4 of the 4000t in particular the explanations of buttons 22, 26, 27, 28, and 29.

 

I get the feeling that the 4000t “Digital Time Lens” was designed around what sounds like were the shortcomings of the digital reproduction of Analog material. And the internal amps were taken out to allow room for this new circuitry (Only speculation on my part). With the internal amp(s) taken out this allows for the addition of more Carver amps to help drive this feature.

 

So, which one to choose? Door 1 or Door2?

 

My experience was with the 4000 and I enjoyed every minute of listening in just the two-speaker mode. I can "only assume" that the 4000t will be as good if not better.

 

Your choice but let Nelion @Nahash5150do his magic and restore it to better than new condition. Ask about having the phono amps, time delay, auto correlator and sonic holography circuits tuned and calibrated. Money well spent in my opinion.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Edited by BobTFM35
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All great points.  The 4000t is not an option as it doesn’t have the auto correlation and peak unlimiter which I need for an all analog tape and vinyl system. 
    However it does look like there were two “versions” of the c4000 itself.  Both have the time day output/amps, SH, and AC/PU. 
     The earlier Version 1 has a 35/50 time delay switch and has a phono 1 and phono 2 inputs.  It has the champagne faceplate color.  Probably manufactured from 1979 thru 1982. 
     Version 2 has a darker faceplate , almost black , with a gun metal outer plate. It has the shorter 15/35 time delay and has phono input labeled MM and MC.  Probably manufactured 1982 to 1984. 
     so question is which phono section of the two versions better ?  Is the AC  or SH circiu better in the earlier  or later version ?

Anyone know if the build quality etc was different or changed during those different times?    Yes, planning on having Nelion restore it?  Also , Thoughts on doing a BillD update on a c4000?   Thanks all. 

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To me, the C4000 with its internal amps, confuses things..., 

 

I have and use daily a 4000t.

 

The surround channels are driven by proper external Carver amps, e.g., when set up for that purpose, I have an M4.0t on main L and R, an M1.0t on surround L and R, and C is driven by a power-steered m1.5.

 

In addition to the technical thoughts above, this for me is Just how I like it..., YMMV.

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Another option which would allow for your peak limit & auto-correlation needs

would be to add a Phase Linear PL-1000 series II Noise Reduction component to

use in conjunction with a Carver 4000t preamp.

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The 4000 that I was using was returned to my son after I got back my Sunfire TGIV from restoration.

 

I did like the feature on the 4000 for the AC PU especially when button 19 is engaged. This is the Correlation-Automatic Threshold system that self-adjusts. Everything rolled into one unit which was kind of nice. I can see why you are leaning toward the 4000.

 

With the Sunfire back in the system I introduced a PL1000 Series II to take care of my Vinyl and tape collection just as @Dennis47 suggested and has worked just fine.

 

I don’t use the built-in phono preamps in the Sunfire because of the distance of my TT from the Sunfire. I employed a Bellari PA550 3-Channel Phono Preamp into a switch box. The Cassette decks also go into that same switch box and then the output from the switch box goes into the PL 1000 II before going to the Sunfire. Sounds like much but it works just fine.

 

For my case this is how I incorporated the feature that I liked in the 4000 into the Sunfire. Not everyone will like this system but for me it’s how I blended the old with the new, or not so new.

 

As @AndrewJohn pointed out there is a distinct advantage of having proper external “Carver Amps” for the surround mode when set up. For one thing you can mix and match amps as they are acquired and placed into your system. For my current system I have a similar arrangement in that I have a dedicated amp for each of the five speakers. Two 35 and three 15’s.

 

I ventured down my road a little different than someone else. I kind of like separate units that just do one job and hopefully do it well. With my present equipment, and if I did not have a preamp, I would lean toward the 4000t.

 

But then again if a good 4000 crossed my path I would be hard pressed to resist it, saying this will work just fine in the “D” system that I can build upon.

 

In the end no matter what you choose, you will enjoy the music that it produces.

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@BobTFM35 The Carver C-4000 we share is #0639. It is one of the earliest examples around. It has the Peak Unlimiter option. It seems the 4000t did away with that. I use that 100% of the time with vinyl, cassette and cd listening.  It's like a dynamic range expander of sorts. I like it. 

 

Another benefit of #0639 is that is has Holographic Listening Angle adjustments, which I haven't got around to testing just yet but I'm looking forward to doing so. 

 

My vote is for the earlier C-4000!

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Very early versions of C4000 (typically under SN#1000) had sonic hologram A board which did not use the Pade delay lines.  There was a factory upgrade to fix early C4000 bugs for $67.  I know BillD sent his in, because I fixed and modded his C4000.  SH upgraded to version B was the biggest fix.  Upgraded early units have a "C" written in black felt pen in front of the serial number.

The champagne units (and I think some of the early anthrocite units) used 4136 op amps in the phono stage, and were not as quiet as higher serial numbers which had transistor front ends.

Units with 35/50 ms rear channel delay most likely will have the delay ICs burned out.  They were fragile chips, and low serial number C4000s had a higher voltage power supply in them to give the rear channel amp higher power.  But that higher voltage caused reliability problems.  Later versions use a lower voltage power supply board.  Anthrocite units (gun metal) usually have working rear delay channels.  The champagne units are beautiful.  You can read the faceplate, unlike the dark anthrocite units.

 

There were many changes vs serial number, and I have cataloged all of them.  I have not looked at the notes in years, and they are in storage.  Any C4000 with MM phono input will have most of the latest fixes.

 

All versions have a not great correlator design, and the balance control does not work with SH.  I redesigned my C4000s to fix all those problems.  I'm working on another multi-year project but when finished will resume my C4000 project.  The C4000 is by far my favorite preamp.  It is the Swiss Army Knife of preamps.  My latest changes blink the correlator LED when the gates open and shut.  I've also reconfigured the SH unit to cancel the cancellation signals, not just the first arrivals.  It gives a very different open sound.   That automatic threshold for the correlator is a lie.  It's a fixed resistor voltage divider.

 

The problem with the 4000t is the SH is stuck on wide mode, which does not image as well.  And Carver deleted the dynamic range expander and substituted the time lens gimmick. The rear amps are missing, but you can use external amps.  The correlator is better, though.

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  • 2 years later...

I’m very new to this sight, so please forgive me if I’m a little nebulous on your conversation. However, I am in the market for a new preamp, or upgrade, as my unit ( I’m the second owner) is experiencing a drop out in the left Chanel when balancing. I have a C-1 but I’m looking into getting a c4000t. Your conversation is very interesting but I’d like to experience the hardware prior to purchase; but this is impossible now a days.

what are your thoughts about the C-1 vs C4000t?

thanks…

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13 hours ago, Lyn said:

I’m very new to this sight, so please forgive me if I’m a little nebulous on your conversation. However, I am in the market for a new preamp, or upgrade, as my unit ( I’m the second owner) is experiencing a drop out in the left Chanel when balancing. I have a C-1 but I’m looking into getting a c4000t. Your conversation is very interesting but I’d like to experience the hardware prior to purchase; but this is impossible now a days.

what are your thoughts about the C-1 vs C4000t?

thanks…

 

Hello Lyn and welcome to the Carver Site.

 

In my experience, both the C-4000 and C-1 can be excellent sonic performers, but of course this assumes properly restored, repaired, and functioning systems. The C-4000 does have a lot more control options as described throughout this thread which some users like whereas others prefer a simpler setup. I suppose a good question to ask is what are the factors that are leading you to consider the C-4000/4000t ?

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If a turntable is to be used, I'd get the earlier version. I have one.

 

If you are going to do more CD and digital streaming, get the later with the Time Lens.

 

I paired a Time Lens with my early 4000 and I love it. 

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Hi @Lyn, and welcome aboard.

 

I have a BillD modded C-1, and a Bonzoro modded 4000t. I prefer the 4000t about this much >||< over the BillD C-1. It's just slightly warmer sounding to me. I also may be partial to the 4000t because it was a karma gift from one of the members here. Both preamps are dead silent with power on and no source. 

 

The BillD C-1 is in a bedroom system with a M1.0t mkII opt002 amp.  It's a great pairing

 

The 4000t is part of my main stereo rig with M500t mkII amp. It's also a great pairing. 

 

So, to your question, I don't think you'll go wrong with either choice. (I love it when there's no wrong choice) :D 

 

Keep in mind that whatever you choose, it's going to need refreshing at the least, and to unlock it's full potential, upgraded. When mine were worked on, the C-1 was less expensive to upgrade. I've not researched pricing in a few years, so I don't know about upgrade costs now. I would assume the 4000t or C4000 would still be more expensive due to their complexity. Some of the techs here my be able to expand on that.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Lyn First, think about posting your introduction here

https://thecarversite.com/forum/142-the-welcome-shop-please-read-first/

as it will help you to advance past the "inbound" status.

 

The following is just one option that I know of.

Add to the cost of a 4000/4000t the following

 

For the 4000/4000t

Restore Price: $450

Gundry Filter for Sonic Holography: $60

Signal Path Upgrade: $100

LED color change: $50

Remote control Volume: $175

IEC socket: $50

Comes with Nelion Audio 3 year parts and labor warranty.

 

As you already have a C-1 add the following

C-1

Restore Price: $250

Restore Price with BillD upgrade: $420

Remote volume mod: $175

Gundry Filter: $50

IEC socket (polarized C8): $50

Custom LED color: Free 

Comes with the Nelion Audio 3-year warranty.

 

 

This information comes from here,

https://nelionaudio.com/index.php?/services.html/carver/carverpreamps/

 

Plus any shipping costs.

 

Edited by BobTFM35
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If basing the decision on cost..., good info above on the refresh costs..., but I imagine you would like the "best sounding" with the "most flexible" preamp.

 

The C-1 is a workhorse, and for many that "set it and forget it", it is a great, low-noise-floor preamp.  I have several, with the BillD mods.  A couple for my kids, and one or two in the house.

 

The C4000 vs the 4000t dilemma requires a bit more complex analysis.  The C4000 seem to be more common, and available.  It preceded the 4000t.  both look very similar on the faceplate, but have significant differences.  both support "surround" configurations, but the C4000 has internal chip-amps driving speaker-level outputs (see the back faceplate, or go to the manuals library here on this site, to review the controls and hook-up configurations for both these).  the 4000t, has line-level output for the surround channels, and many just use the main L and R channels in a 2-channel configuration, which is just fine (and to my liking as well).  I have a Bonzoro 4000t, like @Sk1Bum mentioned..., it's really just refreshed, and a few tweaks. 

 

To be sure, neither the 4000t nor the C4000 have "dolby" surround, it predates the mass adoption of "Dolby", and is Bob Carver's "derived" surround implementation, which is quite good.

 

Since the 4000t came out later than the C4000 preamp, it has a few of the "fixes" in it, that come from lessons learned in the original C4000, some of the old-timers here have commented. 

 

My personal preference for a 2 channel setup is the 4000t from the list of options you are considering.  Although, if you have a fully refreshed C-1 or a 4000t or a C4000, they all are recognised as outstanding options for a preamp.

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