Archive- Carvin DCM3800L Ultra Light Linear 3800W Power Amp


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adobe pdf icon      Carvin Amplifier Design 

adobe pdf icon      DCML-Series-brochure.pdf

adobe pdf icon      DCML-Series-manual.pdf

If you want an amp that delivers exceptional sound/reliability, ultra-light weight, models from 200w to 3800w and made in the USA quality, Carvin's DCM-L Series is the answer. You should seriously consider the ultra-light feature, which comes in part from its heavy-duty aluminum frame. Aluminum is more expensive than steel, but worth every penny to keep your rack as light as possible. Expect 2/3 to 3/4 savings over conventional amplifiers - 50 lb to 60 lb amps becomes 15 lbs. High power, uncompromised sound and maximum reliability is at its best for both touring systems and fixed installations. Each amp is Audio Precision™ tested, which includes a burn-in under full load to assure reliability & specs. The concert stage is the ultimate test of professional audio and for the last decade the DCM has made its mark serving top artists and concert venues night after night, year after year. The DCM is a proven American made workhorse backed by over 60 years of manufacturing excellence. 

DCM3800L Features
- Ultra-light 15 lbs
- Highest value, lowest priced lightweight amp
- Power supply designed for superior bass
- Go "Green" - save energy and cost
- Quiet hum-free operation with noise less than -106dB for studio applications
- Ultra-low THD: 0.03% at 8 ohms
- Handles difficult mismatched or reactive loads
- Soft-start power-up prevents tripping AC breakers
- Speaker Guard™ protects from harmful DC
- Multi speed fans - rear to front flow for cooler racks
- Distortion-free limiters to help protect drivers
- Independent thermal overload protection
- Recessed front to prevent control damage
- Percentage of power, clip, bridge, protect and power indicators
- Balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs
- Speakon™, & Binding Post outputs
- Convenient Ground Lift & Parallel Input switches
- Shock-proof SMT reliability
- Heavy-duty galvanized steel chassis
- Fit all racks - only 266mm (10.5-inch) deep
- Full 1-year warranty (USA) - Made in the USA 

Applications: Mains/Monitors/Subwoofers, Concerts, Events, Houses of Worship, Clubs/Restaurants, Auditoriums, Convention Centers, Mobile DJ's 

SERIOUS POWER - The CLASS A/B linear topology features high current bipolar output devices that reduce distortion to a near theoretical zero limit while delivering high slew rate performance for crystal clear highs and chest pounding bass - every note is vibrant, pure and natural. The DCM's headroom reveals its high dynamic power from the Switchmode power supply that operates at 130,000 Hz. Extreme currents are delivered to the most demanding subwoofer system, which are driven under 4 ohm bridge - 2 ohm operation. Every DCM easily handles the most difficult mismatched or reactive loads and is AC generator friendly. 

COOL EFFICIENT DESIGN - A high efficiency heat transfer system offers the most advanced cooling, which is one of the keys to reliable power. Five high ratio 6063-T5 fl ow-through aluminum heat sinks remove heat fast with multi-speed fans that runs quiet under 2 ohms loads. Air is pulled from the rear and exhausted to the front to keep the rear of your rack cool. R & D designed a "direct mount" system for the power output devices to be directly mounted to the heat sink, which eliminates any thermal barrier to keep your amp running cool. 

ACCESSORY GROUP - The accessory group features recessed front controls with status indicators that won't get bumped or easily moved. A rear "Ground Lift" switch eliminates ground loops. A "Parallel Input" switch eliminates the "Y" adapter typically used for paralleling channels. The mono "Bridge" switch delivers the full power of the amp (both channels) into one output. The limiters are available at the push of a button to help control peaks protecting your drivers. Connecting is done with balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs. The soft-start circuit gently turns the DCM on to prevent AC breakers from tripping.


- Built-in limiters help protect drivers
- LED indicators: Power, Clip, 3 levels, Protect, Bridge 
- Balanced XLR and 1/4" inputs
- Twist-Lock output connectors
- 3rd Twist-Lock connector for bridging
- Heavy-duty output binding posts 
- Rear switches: bridging, limiter, channel paralleling, ground lift
- Recessed knobs offer better protection against damage
- Each amp is Audio Precision™ tested, which includes a burn-in under full load


1 CHANNEL RMS continuous
- 8 ohms: 750 watts
- 4 ohms: 1225 watts
- 2 ohms: 1950 watts
BOTH CH RMS continuous
- 8 ohms: 700/700 watts
- 4 ohms: 1150/1150 watts
- 2 ohms: 1800/1800 watts
BRIDGED RMS continuous
- 8 ohms bridged: 2300 watts
- 4 ohms bridged: 3800 watts

Peak Power: 5000w (2 cycle pulse power) 

- Frequency Response: +-.5 dB 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- THD< 0.03% @ 50% output, <.1% 20-20 kHz @ 90% output
- Output Topology: CLASS A/B
- Power Supply: Switchmode - 60% reserve - see kick drum test
- Damping Factor: >500
- Slew Rate: bridged mode >50v/µs
- Sensitivity (@ 8Ω): 1.4 Vrms
- Signal to Noise Ratio: Greater than 106 dB
- Input Impedance: >20K ohm balanced
- Speaker Guard™ DC production for drivers
- Soft-start power-ups: prevents AC breakers from tripping
- Over-Current: protected
- Under-Voltage: protected
- Thermal: protected
- Fan: variable speed
- Shock-proof SMT construction
- FR4 fire retardant circuit boards
- Aluminum chassis
- Air Flow - "rear to front" for cooler rack
- AC generator friendly
- AC Input: 120VAC 60HZ
- Fuse: 25 amps
- 2RU rackmount 
- Dim: 19" (48cm) wide x 10.5" (26.6cm) deep x 3.5" (9cm) high
- Weight: 14 lbs (6.4kg)
- Made in the USA 
- 1 year warranty


Vinny Nigro Accord, NY 
"WOW!! What can I say, just when I thought that Carvin couldn't make anything sound better than the DCM2500. I bought the DCM3800L with 2 LS1523s and 2 LS1801Ns. I used the 2500 to drive the subs and the 3800 to drive the 1523s and the sound is simply incredible. I've been using Carvin sound for my DJ business since 1989 and every two years I become more and more impressed." 

Rick Soron Derry, NH 
"I Love this amp!!! I finally have the headroom I need. I am using this 4ohm Bridged into 4 cabs through a speakon splitter sending 950 watts to each cab. I am also using a pair of 2570's for my subs. What a full sound." 

Randy Clark Warren, MI
"This is the best amp I have ever heard. If you want the best buy Carvin." 

Brent NJ 
"I just got one of these and the weight and power is amazing! I have several other power amps (including theDCM2500 and TA1400) and I wouldn't give this thing up for any of them. I love how I can get more power from less space and weight, and the THD and other specs speak for themselves (they beat out several other much more expensive brand name amplifiers that are very popular). Simply put, I'll never own another brand of power amps, period." 

Jon Menger Ohio
"First time buyer with Carvin. I bought the DCM3800L to power my 4 folded horn subs (two per side.) Massive headroom, great punch and clarity. You can't find an amp of this quality and price anywhere but Carvin. I certainly plan to purchase much more gear from them." 

Josh Molchen Chico, CA 
"WOW! I got one of these to power 2 LS1503's. The sound is simply amazing. I had a crossover set to cut everything below 80hz and they still shook the concrete floor in my garage. Pure Glory without a drop of distortion. I love this Amp." 

Jack Warwick, RI 
"I recently did a DJ gig at a social club hall for about 100 people withe the DCM3800L and two LM153's. A few people came up and said they couldn't believe how the PA sounds and they would promote me greatly but asked me to turn it down. The kicker was that I was @ only 40% on the amp and the room was of decent size. I went to the back of the room and all sounded crystal clear. My point is that it was a biker party, 30 to 50 year olds, 70's/80's rock and I had to turn it DOWN!!!" 

Rob Vanvoorst Bonfield, IL 
"Kills on 4 big subs! Only flashes 40% led! We love it." 

Duke Freeman Martinsville, IN 
"I've been carrying a Crown XTi2000, a QSC RMX2450, a power condition and a crossover in a small rack. This what we've been using for our mains and it's really been doing the job allowing a lot of headroom. I've been in groups where the amp racks were about 150 lbs or greater. Even though our rack weighed about 82 lbs, it's still a heavy piece for one person to handle. As a result I decided to replace the QSC RMX2450 with something lighter. After researching many manufacturers I noticed that many of the light weight amps had a bit of a slow recovery time with rapid bass drum kick. I decided to purchase a Carvin DCM3800L because of price and it's quick recovery time. I not only liked the idea of a lighter amp and a lot of headroom, I thought it would be a great match for the TRx118N subs we had recently purchased. The amp really kicked and had a tremendous amount of headroom, not to mention a reduction of about 30 lbs in the rack. This amp "didn't miss a beat!" To put it mildly I'm extremely impressed."