Carver AV 405 Review

izafarizafar Posts: 806
edited January 2003 in Electronics
I bought this from eBay last week and finally received it yesterday after a 3 day delay from FedEx. Eventually I have to pick it up myself from their warehouse. I got home late yesterday and couldn’t do detail listening, just hooked it up to check it is working fine. Today I did a serious listening session. Here are my impressions:

My equipment includes:

RTi70 mains biwired with Monster XP
CSi30 center with HD 12 gauge cable
RT25i Surrounds with Ratshack 14 gauge cable
PSW 250 with Ratshack gold series subwoofer cable

Sony NS415 DVD player (AR Coaxial digital cable and Philips Component Video Cable)
Technics 60+1 CD Changer (Ratshack optical digital cable).

Denon AVR 2802

Carver AV 405 (Dayton Audio interconnect cables)

The first things I noticed about this amp while unpacking it was that it is very heavy. The shipping weight of the package was 60lbs and the amp itself is around 55lbs. After hooking up the amp to check it is working fine, I did open it up to check inside. This thing has a massive power suply along with 6 large capacitor totaling 46400 uF of capacitance.

Next morning I calibrated the system using VE test DVD and ratshack SPL meter. Then I started the listening test with my favorite CDs. For 2 channel music I turned off the sub on Denon. The first thing I noticed was the sound is pretty warm as compared to the Denon's sound, the next thing I noticed was that midrange and highend are coarse and grainy but overall it is not bright as the denon. So it was a good news as well as bad news for me. I wanted to get rid of bright denon sound and was looking for more warmer sound. I got that but at the same time I lost the smoothness in mid range and higher end. I was thinking on these lines while changing tracks after track to confirm my observations. But after 20 minutes of listening I started enjoying the sound as it started to feel more smooth in the mid to high end and bottom end also improved a little bit. My first thought was that the current CD I am listening to has a better recording, but then I switched to first CD and found the improvement there also. It seems like that this amp takes some time to reach optimum performance. To confirm this, I later turned off the amp for an hour and did the listing test again. Again I noticed a very noticeable improvement in sound after 20-25 minutes. The high end is not very smooth but it does not affect most of the recordings that I have. On the other hand mid range and bottom is very rock solid and for most of the CDs I have, I don’t get an urge to turn on my subwoofer. The sound is very much more dynamic as compared to the denon and soundstage is much more wide. The best thing is that it gets better as I crank up the volume (as compared to the denon, which sound too bright at higher volumes and I never listened to it at more that -20 reading on the volume control).

After listening to CDs I moved on to my favorite DVDs. Here the most noticeable difference was that surrounds and center channels seems much more alive (which is a surprise as this amp is rated at 50w*2 for surrounds). The dynamic nature of this amp helped the movie sound a lot and I noticed quite a difference between the quite and loud passages in the movies. Over all I am very happy with this amp and it is very much worth the $300 upgrade to my system.

Following are the complete detail about the amp:

AV-405 Features:
• 2x100 watts per channel 8 ohms into front, 1x110 watts per channel 8 ohms into center, 2x50 watts per channels 8 ohms into rear
• Each channel protected by: Individual fusing DC fault sense Short-loaded sense Excess temperature sense Power-on delay
• Minimal signal path design, with on-card I/O connectors eliminating internal inter-connect cables
• Precision passive components used in all critical signal paths
• Fully-complimentary differential circuitry using low-noise, high speed transistors throughout
• DC Servo correction using BiFet operating point controller
• Oversized power supply
• Double-stage ground isolation system prevents ground loops and RF interference
• Triple-diffused planar high-current output devices with a combined output safe operating capability of 400 watts per channel
• Individual calibrated level trim controls for each channel

AV-405 Specifications:
• Power Output: Continuous Average Output Power
• Stereo Operation: 100 watts each channel into 8 ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz with no more than 0.08% THD
• Dynamic Headroom: 1.1 dB @ 8 ohms (all channels driven)
• Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (+0, -0.2 dB)
• Separation: >70 dB (@ 1 kHz)
• Dampening Factor: > 300 (20Hz to 20kHz)
• Input Impedance: 50K ohms in parallel with 120 pF
• Gain: 29.0 dB (+/- 0.5 dB)
• Input To Output Phase: 0º (+/- 10º) 20Hz to 20kHz
• Distortion: IM - <0.01% CCIF
- <0.05%SMPTE THD - <0.08% (@ 125W into 8 ohms)
• Signal-to-noise Ratio: >110 dB A-Weighted, referenced to power >90 dB A-Weighted, referenced to 1W into 8 ohms
• Rise Time: 2.2µS
• Power Consumption: 80W at idle 500W with musical program 900W at full power into 8 ohms

Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
Post edited by izafar on


  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,036
    edited January 2003
    Great review!

    I'm glad to hear the mids and highs smoothed out after awhile. My AMC preamp owners manual says the the sound will improve after about 1/2 hr of warm up. I can definately see this happening here considering the large caps on the Carver.

    How do you feel about the Dayton ICs? They sure look nice especially considering the price.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • izafarizafar Posts: 806
    edited January 2003

    Dayton ICs are very well built and also look very nice. I havent done any AB comparison with other cables yet therefore cant comment on their sonic qualities.

    Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
  • danger boydanger boy Posts: 15,888
    edited January 2003
    izafar, nice amp man.. what does an amp like that run? and maybe after it gets brokin in.. it will settle down and open up
    PolkFest 2012, who's going>?
    Vancouver, Canada Sept 30th, 2012 - Madonna concert :cheesygrin:
  • izafarizafar Posts: 806
    edited January 2003

    This is a used amp and I got from ebay for $300 (Including Shipping). I think it is atleast 4 or 5 years old so it must be broken in. Though it needs a settling time every time it is switched on.

    Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
  • jmasterjjmasterj Posts: 327
    edited January 2003
    I've started to listen to my RT1000i's with the internal sub off and my Yami sub on. Try giving a listen without the biwire. Try the top/and mid with the PSW 250 and see what happens. Let us know what you think.
    JmasterJ Polk to the Death
  • izafarizafar Posts: 806
    edited January 2003
    I have heard about using the sub's amp for biamping before. How does this work. Does each sub has a stereo amp to acomplish this?. Doesnt it affect the performance of the sub itself?

    Goldenear Technology Triton 1 - Benchmark AHB2 - Benchmark LA4 - Auralic Vega - Auralic Aries Mini - Marantz TT-15S1 - Clearaudio Nano
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