#1



ok so this is actually belated, i got it this past friday but whatever.

ill start off by saying this amp is different than any amp ive ever played, and i took a risk by ordering it without trying it first, but now that im used to the different character it has, im loving it, and i dont think i will be using the 10 return period.

It arrived to my house in 3 days, which is pretty cool considering i looked at the special 3 day shipping which was an extra ~90$ or so. it arrived in more than necessary packing which was a nice touch. they shipped with the tubes in the sockets. which are sovtek, and at first i was surprised because my friends rave about sovtek tubes all the time so i thought that was awesome but then i read online that they are cheap and to replace them lol. either way they do not sound bad.

SO. channel 3, clean channel:
this channel has LOADS of headroom even at the 7 watt setting. i played almost a whole band practice on this setting without even realizing it and it was more than plenty loud enough. it almost feels as if the way they designed this channel, it is not supposed to break up at all, but i have yet to completely max the volumes so ill have to report back tomorrow after i can have the opportunity to do so. the exception is the soak mode, which again i havent really cranked this setting yet so i cant comment alot, but i can say that there is not as much breakup as one would expect. either way, the regular and the bright modes with the proper eq-ing, going for a post rock piano esque tone on this channel, IMO is PHENOMENAL. almost as soon as i started playing tears began streaming from my eyes :p i know this type of tone doesnt vary too much from amp to amp, but there is something going on with this one that is special to my ears. maybe its just in my brain, but i really like it, i think its my favorite clean sound ive ever had and is basically exactly what i am going for. also, i must mention that some may think this amp is thin or something based on the tube type or whatever else, to even my surprise this amp has LOADS of lowend, no only in this channel but the distortions as well, ive been keeping the bass knob around 4 or sometimes lower, im still tweaking away, as it has alot of options. the EQX switch seemingly adds mids and even more low end making the sound alot more full. more of my own speculation on the EQX later. also if you were wondering, there is not a huge huge difference between the regular and bright modes on this channel, except for the obvious. they are both CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN the bright is just a bit brighter.

Channel 1/2:
these channels are where all the gain is at. this amps sound is again very unique in character, and very customizable. it sounds like a mix between a british style amp and american. ive never actually played an ENGL, but from what i have heard in recordings and also in demos and testimony from other players, this amp makes me think that this is more or less what i would expect out of an ENGL. that statement doesnt really mean anything, but thats what just came to mind. in the thick mode, there is alot of bass and mids, obviously its for a more classic sound. the regular mode, i would call pretty saturated, and is more 80s/90s metal sounding. the intense mode, has even more saturation, almost too much depending on where you have the gain knob, and the best bass response. overall the distortion channels are very very articulate, one reason this amp needs a little getting used to. its definitely in the realm of shredder amps, which is not super surprising. the EQX again seemingly* adds mids and more bass. there is a TON of gain on tap, ive been hanging it around 7 on the regular mode, and dropping it a bit on the intense, again, im still tweaking.

comments on EQX:
it seems like this adds mids and bass, and i say seems like it does for a reason. i think it does add a bit of mids, but i think it adds alot more headroom, if you will, for the treble and bass knobs, ie. you can sweep more of a range for those frequencies. for example, you cant really scoop this amp too much(which i really like) but with the EQX on and the bass and treble up, its much more scooped than you can dial in normally, and it can do more death metal styles when dialed this way(and IMO its the prettiest sounding scooped ive ever heard. nice and tight, but you arent really going to get a nasty overly bassy olschool metallica ada mp1 ish tone from it, which i dont really go for, but i think it sounds great.)

general tone comments:
the distortion on this amp reminds me of alot of things. the hefty amount of saturation this amp can offer, reminds me of the tone of the song "...And the Heavens Cried Blood" by Swallow the Sun. one thing im very happy with, been trying to get close to this type of tone for a while. overall, this amp reminds me of a cross between a mesa mark and/or rectifier and a laney vh100r. if i had to choose a closest comparison, its closest to the laney, which i used to own. for those who listen to Scale the Summit, in the song "The Great Plains" the distorted guitar in the intro, this amp sounds almost exactly the same.

clips will come soon, most likely some time tomorrow as ill have a chance to be loud at my house, as well as a commentary on what it sounds like with a boost(i have the bad monkey).


EDIT: CLIPZ! clean clips to come soon, my session today got cut short so all i was able to do is a quick demo of the distortion channels. all clips on 22 watt mode. the intense mode clip is uploading right now so you might not see it for a few minutes.

also, here is the configuration. no pedals.


http://soundcloud.com/linqua
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 22, 2012,
#2
HNAD!!
clips? :$

V : indeed!
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


My Colourful Rig:
ESP M-ii Deluxe
ENGL E570
Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 Stereo
Framus FR212 v30
#4
Thanks for the writeup. What cabinet are you running it through? how does it do on low volume in 7W mode?
#6
Nice review, and HNAD!!

Carvin makes some great stuff, and I've been close to grabbing a V3 on so many occasions. The love/hate reviews on them is what has kept me away though.

Clips???

Quote by black_box
What cabinet are you running it through?


This....
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#7
thanks guys! clips will come tomorrow. as far as cabs go, at practice I have my 412 laney AOR cab which has the Jensen MOD 70 in it, and at home I am plugging it into my jca2112rc's stock speaker. the jensens surprisingly have a less tight low end, but lots more of it, its almost overbearing at times. I get a slightly tighter tone, but at the same time a little more flubby due to the open back nature and construction of the cab itself with the jca. not really meant for metal type stuff, but it has more upper mids which helps. fyi I'll be doing the clips with the jca cab.


EDIT: unless I can get to my bands practice space early or something and get some clips of both my laney cab and my other guitarists Marshall/mesa cabs which have v30s

and the 7 watt mode I'd rather not comment on off the top of my head so I'll write about that tomorrow
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 21, 2012,
#8
Soooooooooo jealous. Happy new amp day from a fellow Carvin owner!
I'm up for building you a pedal.
(Or modding nearly anything moddable)
(PM Me.)
#9
HNAD!

I leave my V3m on the 22 watt setting most all the time. If you end up using it as much as I do you will want the foot switch.
Gear:

Guitars
PRS Santana SE
Ibanez MBM2 EMGs
Fender MIM Roadhouse Strat
Ibanez AS93 BLS

Amp
Carvin V3m
Blackheart 4x12 cab

Pedals
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
Zakk Wylde Wah
JamMan looper delay

#10
HNAD! I'm really interested in buying one of these amplifiers, just need to get some money for it haha.
#11
OP updated with clips link!

EDIT: also, let me know if you guys want anything in particular recorded for a clip
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 22, 2012,
#12
Damn, that thing sounds pretty awesome for its' size and price. Actually, it sounds really good period. Now I'm really gassing for one
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
#13
Added more clips.

also, after messing around with the settings for a good while, ive concluded that in the previous clips i posted, there is way too much gain. it took me a little bit to realize how much gain this thing has, but it really has a TON, wayy more than i would really ever use. my tone that i would personally use, which is basically opeth/alcest tone, i set the gain around 4 on normal mode, vs where i had it before at 7. also, another addendum, is that the normal mode on the clean channel and the bright mode can break up, especially with the right speaker. i felt like there was lots of headroom in my laney cab, but coming to my jet city, it really seems like my headroom has diminished somewhat. another thing, the foot pedal arrived yesterday, and when the pedal is not plugged in, the boost remains on constantly, which i believe is responsible for some gritty high end i was getting, especially on my pelican ish tone. i didnt really play any in the clip, but notes on higher frets were very pointy on this setting, and with the boost taken off, it is much clearer. as are the other tones, but since there is so much distortion its not extremely noticable until you play lead notes, which i didnt do much of since i dont do very good leads lol. i like to musically concentrate on everything else more anyway, and use solos sparingly. and it should be important to note, that the sharpness caused by the boost i believe is also very much due to the speaker breaking up because of it, on my jet city. it was no where near this bad on my laney cab.
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
#14
Quote by Linqua5150
Added more clips.

also, after messing around with the settings for a good while, ive concluded that in the previous clips i posted, there is way too much gain. it took me a little bit to realize how much gain this thing has, but it really has a TON, wayy more than i would really ever use. my tone that i would personally use, which is basically opeth/alcest tone, i set the gain around 4 on normal mode, vs where i had it before at 7. also, another addendum, is that the normal mode on the clean channel and the bright mode can break up, especially with the right speaker. i felt like there was lots of headroom in my laney cab, but coming to my jet city, it really seems like my headroom has diminished somewhat. another thing, the foot pedal arrived yesterday, and when the pedal is not plugged in, the boost remains on constantly, which i believe is responsible for some gritty high end i was getting, especially on my pelican ish tone. i didnt really play any in the clip, but notes on higher frets were very pointy on this setting, and with the boost taken off, it is much clearer. as are the other tones, but since there is so much distortion its not extremely noticable until you play lead notes, which i didnt do much of since i dont do very good leads lol. i like to musically concentrate on everything else more anyway, and use solos sparingly. and it should be important to note, that the sharpness caused by the boost i believe is also very much due to the speaker breaking up because of it, on my jet city. it was no where near this bad on my laney cab.


Would you say this amp could get into a blackwater park or master's apprentices sound?
#15
oh for sure, i actually recorded me playing masters apprentices earlier but i scrapped it. ill see if i can find it in my reaper media files and post it. imo its nearly exact.

EDIT: uploading now! i actually made two recordings and was going to double track it just for fooling around purposes, and the normal one that i would use is less scooped than this one, but this one overall sounds better. i wasnt really going for perfection, just something to play around and mix with. should be up now if you check my soundcloud.
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 29, 2012,
#16
Really appreciate you posting the demos. What's your opinion regarding this amp handling modern rock tones like Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Stone Sour, etc? I'd like to pull the trigger on this amp, but I haven't really heard a huge variety of demos on Youtube.
#17
Quote by TremontiAddict
Really appreciate you posting the demos. What's your opinion regarding this amp handling modern rock tones like Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Stone Sour, etc? I'd like to pull the trigger on this amp, but I haven't really heard a huge variety of demos on Youtube.

yeah man ive been trying to post as many as i can since there seems to be bsuch a lack of samples. youd think a company that only deals direct would post alot more hahaha. and tbh, im not really a fan of that type of music, but listening to sound of madness, im pretty sure it could do it, but im not sure it could nail that exact tone, but i could be wrong. basically i mean to say yes it will do a modern rock sound, but i cant say for sure since im not too keen on that style of music.
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
#18
Understood man, and I wish Carvin posted more stuff for the V3M too haha. I think it could do a decent modern rock tone, but I'm not certain it could nail exactly what I'm looking for either. I really just need more people to buy this amp before me lol. The clean channel sounds really nice though, which is a huge plus for me.
#19
Nice.

Try different tubes in, probably V1. Show me a schematic and I can give you more definitive recommendations. The order I'd experiment would be JJ ECC803, JAN Phillips (or GE or RCA) 5751, Some NOS 12AT7. That's decreasing orders of gain. The ECC803 may even have more gain than what's in it unless it's a JJ ECC83S or a gen 9 Shug.
If you want to go further 12AY7 would be your next choice. About the only 12AY7 available today is an EHX which is disappointing but NOS 12AY7's often go real cheap on Ebay because so few people want them. I scored a nice GE for $10 the other day.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#20
yeah, i guess you could re word my post into "it will do modern rock for sure, but its not going to emulate a 6l6 or whatever most of those tones are comprised of, it has its own flavor." and YES i love the clean channel, the clip i posted was with single coils, i might start playing a HSS for those cleans.

EDIT:

Quote by Cathbard
Nice.

Try different tubes in, probably V1. Show me a schematic and I can give you more definitive recommendations. The order I'd experiment would be JJ ECC803, JAN Phillips (or GE or RCA) 5751, Some NOS 12AT7. That's decreasing orders of gain. The ECC803 may even have more gain than what's in it unless it's a JJ ECC83S or a gen 9 Shug.
If you want to go further 12AY7 would be your next choice. About the only 12AY7 available today is an EHX which is disappointing but NOS 12AY7's often go real cheap on Ebay because so few people want them. I scored a nice GE for $10 the other day.



thanks!! glad you finally saw this, i was wondering about experimenting with different tubes, it might make sense to say i could go for more headroom on the clan channel, and still have the gain i want since there is so much on tap. ive already looked on their site, and they arent offering the schematic for it. i could try to email them about it tho. the only thing i have in is the manual it says that v1 is the main input affecting all channels, v2 is the main drive, v3 is for channel 3 and the effects loop, v4 is also effects loop.
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 30, 2012,
#21
Interesting. What's the power amp?


OK, here's what I'd do.
V1: Some really nice 12AX7 or 5751. A nice Mullard/Phillips. A 5751 may tame it a bit across the board. If that's what you want then JAN Phillips 5751. If it doesn't need taming everywhere get some really nice European/British NOS ECC83. From what you are saying I'd just shove a Phillips 5751 in there.
V2: Whatever you like. Unless you go NOS (British Mullard, Amperex or Telefunken) then JJ ECC803 all the way. The 803 is the low noise variant of the 12AX7/ECC83. Great thing to put on the noisy high gain path. It's actually the legendary old long plate Tesla tube. Made on the same machines but not the same tradesmen or materials. Still, for a modern tube I think it's the best thing out there.
V3: also JJ ECC803 unless you go NOS
V4: Whatever the hell you want. If you wanted the best, then again a JAN Phillips 5751. V4 sounds like half is going to be your power amp driver. Now not knowing what the power amp is, all I can say is - if A/B then they must be using a single triode PI like an old Fender, if class A then it will just be a driver and loop recovery.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 30, 2012,
#22
thanks a lot I think I will order 4 of those jjs which I had been considering anyway, and one 5751 to experiment with.

power amp uses 4 el84 and is switchable from 50 watt to 22 to 7 single ended operation. otherwise that's really all I know about it, and have yet to tear it apart.
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
#23
Those are pretty awesome looking. I've been thinking for a while that my next purchase will be a V3MC ever since I bought an X60 and got hooked on Carvin's amps. HNAD! And awesome job with the thorough review.
Gear
Highway One Tele (w/Custom Shop 51 Nocaster pickups)
Standard Tele (modded to Nashville specs)
Reverend Roundhouse

Orange Rockerverb 50 MKI
Vox AC4c1
Jet City JCA20H

And pedals!



"Shiva opens her arms now..
...to make sure I don't get too far"
#24
I wish more people would post high quality demos like you do.
#25
What EL84's are in it?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
its all stock sovtek. I don't know exactly what ones at the moment, I'm actually at band practice right now. and I definitely want to say that I want to increase my clean headroom. my other guitarist is using a jcm 2000 and he can turn up way louder than me and still be crystal clean which is essential to our sound. I can get loud but my cleans break up way before his. I'm maxing the master and channel volume and I have the clean drive on 2. it also feels a tad unbalanced in comparison to the volume on the distortion channel. it has headroom, but I would definitely like more.


EDIT: just peeked inside with a flashlight, sovtek 6bq5 1108
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
Last edited by Linqua5150 at Mar 30, 2012,
#28
ok. took the top off.

v1=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025
v2=completely unmarked
v3=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025
v4=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025

v5-8=Sovtek el84/6bq5 1108. they all have "5" written on them. i forget what that means.

im about to experiment with a mesa 12ax7 ive had laying around since i bought my blackstar a year ago that the guy put into it. im pretty sure its near new.

and idk if im crazy, but i feel like the first time i took it to band practice, there was LOADS of headroom on the clean channel, like i said in my first post, i remember turning the drive knob up and it staying clean... but now anything over 3 or 4 starts to break up. could this be a cheap tube related issue or am i crazy?
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
#29
^ could be the tubes. Sovteks are not really that great. I'd get some better preamp tubes. Maybe over time. Keep the Sovteks as spares. Do yourself a favor and buck up a bit more and get a JAN Phillips 5751. You could also pick up a JJ 12AT7 for experimenting.

Edit: never mind....I see that was recommended already


Also - would you mind uploading your Intense clip (or one of the heavier ones) to you profile? Soundcloud does not work for me.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Apr 1, 2012,
#30
Quote by Linqua5150
ok. took the top off.

v1=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025
v2=completely unmarked
v3=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025
v4=Sovtek 12ax7wa/7025

v5-8=Sovtek el84/6bq5 1108. they all have "5" written on them. i forget what that means.

im about to experiment with a mesa 12ax7 ive had laying around since i bought my blackstar a year ago that the guy put into it. im pretty sure its near new.

and idk if im crazy, but i feel like the first time i took it to band practice, there was LOADS of headroom on the clean channel, like i said in my first post, i remember turning the drive knob up and it staying clean... but now anything over 3 or 4 starts to break up. could this be a cheap tube related issue or am i crazy?

That may very well be the worst assortment of tubes you could pick for that amp.

Did you check that the valves were still seated properly? One may have come loose in transit - or one has flown apart like the cheap Sovtek piece of crap that it is.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#31
yeah i did some messing around with them the other day. the mesa tube pushes harder, it was like playing emgs or something, but the interesting thing is, that v2, supposedly the main drive for channel 1/2, also effects the clean break up as well. if i put a 5751 in it, wont that make the amp quieter in effect getting me no where?


ALSO, i figured out one "problem" of why i felt like i was getting more headroom before. the EQX switch on the clean channel makes it break up way quicker, but it adds alot of fullness and some volume. ive done some more tweaking, and without the EQX on, i can balance the channels better. the EQX switches on all channels kind of unbalance it if one is on and one is off.

and 311, ill do another intense clip, and upload it, but unfortunately for now itll have to wait until tuesday at the earliest, i have a very busy school week coming up and ill be there for 12 hours tomorrow, and ill only have a short slot on tuesday to get a clip. another reason is because i think i can get a better quality clip now, i thought the first one was kind of meh and had the blanket over the speaker syndrome. you know, iu just noticed i still have the file on my desktop, but its a wav and its big, i was going to dropbox it, but itll probably take a long time.


in the meantime, any riff requests?
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
In 60 years, there will still be Opeth.
You know why?
Death ain't got **** on Mikael.
#32
i do recommend a 5751. it will not make your map quieter on a noticable level, but ti will reduce your gain some. the channel probably wont be as saturated, but it will get a nice crunch and have more clarity. my amp had a really buzzy drive tone. a 5751 cleared it up completely. vast improvement (but lower gain, doesnt matter i didnt use it all anyways.


i would buy this amp today IF:

a few things. i hate all those knobs. it gets confusing for changes on the fly and im falling into that type of snobby range where i think less is more and i dont want a ton of junk in the circuit.

secondly, i want a bit more flexibility than to be tied down to the same amp x3 with 3 channels. if you love it, great. if not, you have x3 bad. and i cant test this amp

...so ive been wanting a DV Mark lil 40 lately. self biasing, with a hot bias switch to really get it nasty (i like), power scaling down to 0.5 watts, my roomies will like.

and i can crank it to 40 watt for headroom and run a bunch of pedals to get the drive character i want.

oh yeah, and the whole thing has 4 tubes in it (1 preamp, 1 phase inverter, 2 power), derives most of its onboard from power tube distortion. so if change any of the tubes in there it will make a huge change in tone, plus, self biasing!

basically its between a carvim v3m, engater rebel 30, or a DV Mark.
Last edited by ikey_ at Apr 2, 2012,
#33
Just get a few of everything and experiment.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band