Any thoughts on Carvin amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mach5, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. mach5

    mach5 Member

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    The Legacy or V3?
     
  2. es125luv

    es125luv Member

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    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.
     
  3. samarshll

    samarshll Member

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    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.
     
  4. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    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.
     
  5. Dave L

    Dave L Member

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    I think Carvin amps are pretty darn decent. I donĀ“t think that I would buy one today, though, except maybe the Legacy head.
     
  6. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Member

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    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.

    vtg
     
  7. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    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.
     
  8. Roodboy

    Roodboy Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  9. aaronbarnes

    aaronbarnes Member

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    Word.

    probably the best tone for the money value out there if you buy used. I paid $400 for my Legacy head.
     
  10. pauldogx

    pauldogx Member

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    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.
     
  11. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    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.
     
  12. KazJY

    KazJY Member

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    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...
     
  13. cpsdawg

    cpsdawg Member

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    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.)
     
  14. robelinda2

    robelinda2 Member

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    I play a Vintage 16, I lOVE it.
     
  15. pauldogx

    pauldogx Member

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    Thats the one!!!!! Mine was a black tolex jobber--but man that amp took a beating!!! Wish I had still had it.
     
  16. tambokgt

    tambokgt Member

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    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.
     
  17. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  18. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    ..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
     
  19. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    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.
     
  20. Joej

    Joej Member

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    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!!
     

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