Who has played a Carvin V3?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by david(j), Jun 2, 2015.

  1. david(j)

    david(j) Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty curious about these, particularly the full size V3. The M model looks cool, too, but methinks I'd like the full size head more.

    Anyone own one? How did it compare to other stuff and what did you like/dislike about it?

    There isn't a ton of info out there on these guys.

    Thanks.
     
  2. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    I had one for a day. When it arrived I plugged it into my 2x12 cab and tested the various settings with a Les Paul.

    I could not get an "organic" tone out of it. It always sounded like the sound was going through a parametric EQ with a couple of frequencies boosted.

    I returned it to Carvin.
     
  3. the recluse

    the recluse Member

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    I played the V3, V3M, and Legacy 3 in one of their (now closed) retail stores about a year ago.

    I wasn't able to crank the V3, but I found it interesting. I think the not "organic" comment is fair. It was a very processed sound, and capable of LOTS of gain. I suspect there's enough play in the EQ to get more tones out of it than I could in a couple of minutes. Very much voiced for metal, not really my thing, but I dug it enough to keep my eyes on them when they come up at a good price.

    I wanted to like the V3M, the size and feature set are great, but there was a really boxy mid-range I couldn't dial out. Just didn't do it for me.

    I was shocked to find that I fell in love with the Legacy 3 almost immediately. I picked one up a couple of months later and have been very happy with it. I'm not even a Vai fan, but it's a really great amp, and could handle probably anything up to brutal metal without any assistance.
     
  4. david(j)

    david(j) Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input, fellas.
     
  5. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    Sold my original series V3 recently after getting a Mesa Mark 5:25. I kept the V3M due its form factor and utility, but I agree with the lack of organic tone comments. Neither the big nor the M were inspiring in the tone department.
     
  6. V-Type

    V-Type Member

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    I had the full size V3,first gen.,no leds or reverb.
    Loud amp but too cold/sterile and it hated my single coils.
    Lots of options and gain but in the end I found it meh.
    However the 8 string Djent guy who bought it loves it to this day.
     
  7. shampoch

    shampoch Supporting Member

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    good value - but sold mine after a year. good metal amp
     
  8. mge80

    mge80 Member

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    The V3 requires a lot of time and patience to dial in what you're looking for. Many people won't spend that time nor have the patience. I can understand that. But, that amp covers a lot of ground and has an almost endless supply of "tones". But it does require a lot of tweaking to find them. And again, most people in the instant on world of today, need that instant gratification and that is just not available with a V3.
     
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  9. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    I never really understood this kind of remark. It's also usually made concerning dialing in the Mesa Mark V.

    I spent hours playing with the amp and never could dial in a pleasing classic rock tone out of it. I think it just comes down to personal taste, not "dialing in time".
     
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  10. Robbgnarly

    Robbgnarly Member

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    I played one at a gig (backline) and my friend had one. I really didn't like it, both were very fizzy in their gain (think JCM900DR on the lead channel) and I really could not find any dirty sounds I liked. They do seem built well for their price, but I'd rather buy a used Peavey JSX and have a good sounding amp that is very usable/tweakable for 1/2 the price of the V3 new
     
  11. Jonny G

    Jonny G Member

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  12. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    I traded mine to a metal guy. I liked it more than most of the other posters here, I did have the Groove Tubes swapped out for JJs and that smoothed out the tone a bit. Lots and lots of eq options, plenty loud. If I was a strictly playing metal I would have held on to it but i traded it for a marshall which fits my needs.
     
  13. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    I had the original V3 with no reverb or LEDs for 8 years. After a lot of tube swapping I settled on Shugang 9th gen in all the pre-amp slots, and Winged C EL34's in the power section. I could get a decent clean out of it, and a pretty good crunch. But it was always a bit sterile or fizzy on the high gain, even with different preamp tubes and speakers. It was just too generic and inorganic for me, regardless of all the tube swaps and different bias points, attenuators, etc. You can only polish a turd so much. Loved the MIDI switching of the loops and channels though. It just wasn't the amp for me, and that's OK.
     
  14. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    I own a V3 and gig with it on occasion. It's not an easy amp to dial in as the eq section is very broad. Still, there are a lot of good tones in the amp.
    One of the main things I like about the amp are all it's features... multiple effects loops, built in reverb, midi, 3 channels each having their own eq.

    Purchased mine new when they were on sale. Thinking of grabbing one used for half of what I paid as a backup, or to use in a second amp setup.
     
  15. geartars

    geartars Member

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    I have used my friends V3 and v3m many times in a recording and jamming with a band at deafening levels setting spanning back the last few years maybe more. While "fizzy" and "unorganic" are not what describes these amps at all.

    Every other amp I have tried since have left something to be desired. I brought a 5150 III with matching 4x12 cab in and a jca20h with matching cab but just ended up using the carvins. a big part of that sound i get could be the homemade cabs and isolation of the room. But using the carvins for a while inspired me to buy my own. This year(2015)Ive finally bought a V3 and a V3m after years of personal use of my friend's in recording and live settings.

    To get the best tones you are going to have to crank the amps and have the tubes warmed up. Use the standby. I think he said he left the amp on all week in standby once. With my friends v3 he ran a tc electronic g major through the effects loop. I was in a setting where it was ok for the amps being cranked through homemade cabs with eminence speakers well atleast until his wife would shut us down around 10 on a friday night. Over the years started developing tunnitus. Just purchased an attenuator.

    If you can't find usable tones from this it probably is not the amp. Even at bedroom levels I am dialing in punk, hardcore, thrash, nu metal, blues, jazz, prog,hard rock etc. Still need to do a bias and tube swap for the v3 and v3m which I will be doing early 2016.

    I play a epiphone jeff waters annihilation v through the carvins. I had a 2016 gibson 50s tribute that sounded good through it. When at my friends house I played many guitars through them and they took dimarzios well Crunch labs,tone zones, to name a couple and duncan invaders and some active emgs.

    I bought my v3m first earlier this year and have been running an eq pedal through the effects loop. If I could crank the amp these amps dont require pedals unless you need some delay or verb.

    One thing I noticed when switching cabs from the 2x12 carvin cab I purchased with the v3 to a usa made jet city cab with a v30 is the v30 puts almost an auto wah to the the sound. it subtle. I think i had better experiences with eminence speakers. I would recommend these amps especially if basic tube maintanence, Patience with knob tweaking,loud volumes,buying a attenuator is not a problem, Or owning gear that isn't overhyped or overpriced.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  16. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    So you're saying that anyone who doesn't like the sound of the amp sins the know what they're doing? Kinda a bold statement for your first post here. You should realize that some folks just don't like the tone of certain amps.
     
  17. geartars

    geartars Member

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    I am not saying that at all. Does it say that anywhere in the post?
     
  18. geartars

    geartars Member

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    And Carvin is a great company. It is proof you can get industrial strength USA made gear without spending an arm and a leg. This amp is in the 800 dollar range. To me this is an amazing deal. I just wonder why more people are not into Carvin.

    I can get tones out of the v3 that are deafenly loud, and not just loud but like meaty rectifier loud that punch you in the guts. I find it really hard to swallow that somebody could sum this amp up in one sitting let alone even months of playing it. Ive had many hours on it over a span of years, Just saying. No I am not a fanboy. Ive owned, marshalls, fenders,mesas,jet citys,vox etc.
     
  19. vexed73

    vexed73 Member

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    Had a V3 head and combo and never got a good clean from it. Other than that lots of gain and the midi was cool with a boss gt8 in the loop.
     
  20. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    Yes, the sentence that I quoted in my reply.
     

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