Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mach5, Mar 3, 2008.
The Legacy or V3?
I have posted this long ago, but out of the whole line, I really wanted to like the Legacy, but the amp was just too dark for me.
I had the old Vintage 33. It sounded better when I put jj power tubes and a Jan 5751 in the pre amp overdrive slot and I changed the speaker to a Weber Ceramic 12" 50 watt. After I made these changes it sounded very good. After I bought a Bad Cat I sold all my other amps so I don't have this any longer.
I prefer the legacy.... but i'm not into the chugga-chugga stuff.
one caveat is don't go combo and don't buy carvin cabs.... they are nasty. 7-ply cabs are just as thin as they sound.
I think Carvin amps are pretty darn decent. I don´t think that I would buy one today, though, except maybe the Legacy head.
I've had three. Two Vintage 16's and one Vintage 30. The Vintage 16's sound sweet with a Tele. Some of the best OD tones I've ever had. I wanted to be able to channel switch and get those same tones, so I sold the 16 and got the 30 which is a two channel. The day it arrived from Carvin there were several problems and I wound up sending it back. There were a couple of cosmetic issues (not bad) and a terrible noise that sounded something like tube rattle, but it wasn't. I wound up sending it back for a refund and got another Fender. If they work properly, they are good amps.
I have (one of my first amps when I got back into electric years ago) a Carvin MTS3212 (which is similar to Legacy, but has diode OD) and I loved and used it fro a couple of years. The cleans are very nice, lots of power, they are made EXCELLENTLY, in design, I mean
- Seperate EQ for both channels
- Output impedance selector 4, 8, 16 ohm.
- Nice Effects loop.
- Decent footswitch, channel and reverb.
And I occasionally return to the MTS3212. I hadn't played it for a while then the other night cranked it and was surprised (I hadn't remembered this) how nicely the EQ shapes the sound on it. Also the lead channel I like a lot, but tend to have gain set pretty low.
The cleans are nice and it takes pedals very well. That said, if I had to do it over again I would have gone for the Legacy or V3 even.
I also have a little Vintage 33, and the OD channel really sucks (Hasserl has mods for this I just haven't gotten around to trying them) BUT the clean channel knocks my socks off. It is chimey and clean way up the headroom, and beutiful sounding.
There was a recent shootout between Marshall, ENGL, and Carvin V3 in the Feb (I think it was) Guitar Player. It came out well in it.
For the price especially, Carvins go for a LOT less than anything comparable in the stores as far as watts, features, etc.
I don't think you can go wrong with one.
I owned a Legacy & a V3. Both really good values for the $. I fought the Carvin G12T75 4x12 cab the whole time I had the V3. However, it was a very versatile amp. Real good Higain tones. For my ears the V30 cab was better, but I didn't get that cab until the V3 was on the way out.
The Legacy has a great clean and smooth OD. Kind of has the lo mid thing going on. At @ 550 used is one of the best deals around.
probably the best tone for the money value out there if you buy used. I paid $400 for my Legacy head.
I had a BX100 I think it was called back in the late 80's. Kind of a Mesa knock off 2 channel with the EQ on the front. Great clean channel and the dirt channel was more Marshall than Mesa. Great little amp.
V3 head is a decent channel switcher that covers a broad spectrum of tones. It can run EL34 or 6L6GC power tubes; there is a selector switch on the back and biasing is easily accomplished with a digital multimeter.
You can find them used on eBay and sometimes Craig's list for about $300~$400 less than direct purchase retail price.
My friend had a Legacy that would fade in and out while he was playing, and sometimes shut down - after changing the tubes, and then sending the chassis in to Carvin like 5 days after the warranty expired, they found nothing wrong and returned it to him. At his next gig, the amp went quiet right before his solo (at a House of blues Charity concert he was involved in with many, many people in attendance).
Maybe it was a lemon, but I'll never buy from them since they didn't just replace the amp or SOMETHING.
BTW, the amp rarely left his apartment...
back about '89 i bought a x100b 1/2 stack. it was the carpet covered mesa knock off. i traveled many a mile with that amp and even knocked it off a stage or 2 and it never failed. about '93 i bought the same amp in an oak cab combo with EV 12L in it. it did mess up one nite at a gig, but i still have it and have had no other problems. they are very inexpensive and people dog them, but for the $ they are hard to beat . i never played the newer ones, but the old x-amp was popular in its day.( long before the current boutique snobbery trend.)
I play a Vintage 16, I lOVE it.
Thats the one!!!!! Mine was a black tolex jobber--but man that amp took a beating!!! Wish I had still had it.
I owned the MTS3212 , the Legacy Head and cab, and the Nomad. All of them are really really good.... it doesn't sound like anything...it sounds like ....well a Carvin.
reason why I sold all of em?........LOUD as heck. I need a bedroom amp and when I use an attenuator, it just sucks tone.
However, I am waiting for that Legacy II head...3 channels with a master volume.
I tried a V3 when they first came out..it was full of minor little nit-picky issues that never should have made it to a production amp. Sent it back and I've been weary of their amps ever since.
..wow, this takes me back to my Carvin X100B. I recall it was O.K. nothing about it overwhelms my memory but the used Legacy I bought lasted about 8 hours before I took it back! just too fuzzy, woolly and noisy with no soul...very sterile
I owned a Vintage 33 as well. I echo the other guys sentiments. The clean channel is quite nice. But the OD channel is way too muffled. Even putting the treble on 8 didn't really help much. But, I've heard the hasserl mods are excellent. There was another site that I found where the guy replaced some components...all soldering/unsoldering and said it made it sound kinda bassman like.
They are relatively cheap, but the tubes, if I recall correctly, are PCB mounted. I never read anything about reliability issues like I have with the Fender Hot Rod/Blues Deville/Deluxe.
But, in the end, the Carvin was one of many before getting the amp I really wanted, which was a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue. Though, I would easily suggest picking one up, especially for the clean channel. It played nice with any OD I threw in front of it, and perhaps has been the one amp that I've personally tried that worked best with my Box of Rock.
My Experience, They have the nice little sound room to try out the amps in.So I took my guitar and Ughh! Generic sounding! All of them! Including Vai's Amp.Cardboard comes to mind.I thought their tube Emulating amp sounded the best.Strange I know.The V3 looks real inviting but no go for me.If money is an issue check out Crates new head.I had a sec to try it at Sam Ash and for 5 6 hundred bucks Wow!!