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#1
I recently acquired a Carvin V3M head a couple of months ago but, I'm not satisfied with it's gain channel, unfortunately. It just doesn't have enough gain on tap to play some of the heavier riffs I want to play. I'm going to trade it in for something else soon but I'd like a general idea of what would be good for me.

Budget- 600-800

Genres- Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal. Guitarists- Adam Jones (Tool), John Petrucci. I'd like the amp to have decent cleans as well.

New or Used- Preferably Used if I can get a good deal out of it.

Home or Gig- Gig

City- Sacramento

Gear- Ibanez and Sterling Music Man guitars.

Been looking at Blackstar and the Line 6 Valve Amps.

Suggestions? Thanks!!!!
It's not so much that the Schecter's neck is ''fat'', it's that the Ibanez neck is anorexic.


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#2
Quote by MetalFriend
I recently acquired a Carvin V3M head a couple of months ago but, I'm not satisfied with it's gain channel, unfortunately. It just doesn't have enough gain on tap to play some of the heavier riffs I want to play. I'm going to trade it in for something else soon but I'd like a general idea of what would be good for me.
Are you deaf?

The Carvin V3m has more than enough gain than anyone should ever need. Either something's wrong with it, or you need to learn how to play guitar correctly without masking your mistakes with loads of distortion.
#3
I'm sorry...
It's not so much that the Schecter's neck is ''fat'', it's that the Ibanez neck is anorexic.


Quote by rid_the_disease
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#4
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Are you deaf?

The Carvin V3m has more than enough gain than anyone should ever need. Either something's wrong with it, or you need to learn how to play guitar correctly without masking your mistakes with loads of distortion.

Don't be a jerk.

TS, did you buy it new or used? If you're having an issue with the gain you might have some bung valves if it's never had a re-valve or a service. From what I'm hearing the V3 has loads of gain so I'd check that out. Also a cheaper and simpler solution would be a boost if you're finding it really doesn't have enough gain and you're happy with the actual sound of it. Though if you find you really need a new amp, then I'll chuck along some suggestions.
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NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#5
Hey, will make a few suggestions myself.

If it's 50 watts and you're not getting a heavy enough sound, there's obviously something wrong. First and foremost, it might just be a faulty amp or it might have dead tubes; get that checked first.

The second most common problem is that it isn't EQ'd properly - you need to have a good EQ setting for your amp to properly deliver its distortion. If you're not familiar with EQ, try the classic scooped settings (Bass past half, mids dropped, treble past half; thus giving it the 'scooped' name) with a generous amount of gain.

Another big factor is your cabinet speaker. No matter how good your head is, it will indeed sound horrible through bad speakers. If it turns out you have poor-quality speakers, replace those instead of the head.

Tube screamer may also be a possible solution for you. In a nutshell, the tube screamer is a pedal that boosts your output with some overdrive. This allows you to get 'more' from your amp even with lower gain settings. Or you could just get active electronics for your guitar.

Finally, it might just be your technique (I'm in no way judging your playing, I've never heard or seen you play before) that's making it sound the way it is. With accurate playing and good time, you really don't need too much gain; just mentioning a possibility.

IF YOU REALLY INSIST ON GETTING A NEW HEAD, I would strongly recommend some lower wattage heads from Mesa Boogie. The mini-rectifier or some of their newer products will no doubt have enough gain to fill your gain hunger. Blackstar amps are also top of the line, but I would go for the Mesa Boogies if circumstances allow it.

Hope this helps dude!
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#7
Quote by Shornifier
If it's 50 watts and you're not getting a heavy enough sound, there's obviously something wrong. First and foremost, it might just be a faulty amp or it might have dead tubes; get that checked first.

The second most common problem is that it isn't EQ'd properly - you need to have a good EQ setting for your amp to properly deliver its distortion. If you're not familiar with EQ, try the classic scooped settings (Bass past half, mids dropped, treble past half; thus giving it the 'scooped' name) with a generous amount of gain.

I agree with everything except these two.

Wattage has nothing to do with getting a 'heavy' sound. EQ also has nothing to do with getting the amount of distortion.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#8
Thanks guys. I'll try to work with my eq a little bit more when the rest of my house wakes up. I read up on it a bit and apparently it's really sensitive and a bit weird to work with. My speakers are Celestions in a Laney cab so I don't think that's it. It is the stock tubes that it came with so I might replace those soon. I don't think they're actually faulty but, I've been told putting some nice tubes makes the amp sound smoother.
It's not so much that the Schecter's neck is ''fat'', it's that the Ibanez neck is anorexic.


Quote by rid_the_disease
Stare at me while I suck on your face
#9
I don't know what tubes they stock the V3's with, but I'd imagine they're garbage. Order some JJ's and chuck those in. Also what Laney cab is it? They might be Celestion speakers, but Celestion make some pretty crap speakers alongside their good speakers.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#10
Quote by MetalFriend
Thanks guys. I'll try to work with my eq a little bit more when the rest of my house wakes up. I read up on it a bit and apparently it's really sensitive and a bit weird to work with. My speakers are Celestions in a Laney cab so I don't think that's it. It is the stock tubes that it came with so I might replace those soon. I don't think they're actually faulty but, I've been told putting some nice tubes makes the amp sound smoother.

What laney cab is it, because not all Celestions are good. Carvin normaly pairs the V3 with V30's or their own custom Carvin speakers.

If your cab has Celeston 70-80's that can be a the problem.

Like has been said the V3 has plenty of gain, but I find it to be a very fizzy type of gain
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#11
I bought the cab used and it doesn't have any model no. on it. However, I opened up the back of the cab before buying and it had Celestion G12H 30's in it.
It's not so much that the Schecter's neck is ''fat'', it's that the Ibanez neck is anorexic.


Quote by rid_the_disease
Stare at me while I suck on your face
#12
Yeah, I thought it was fizzy too. I was looking for a more smooth high gain.
It's not so much that the Schecter's neck is ''fat'', it's that the Ibanez neck is anorexic.


Quote by rid_the_disease
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#13
I wouldn't count out the V3 just yet. Do the easy things first like new tubes and maybe a new cab. Can you go anywhere to try out some cabs?
Quote by SimplyBen
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Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#14
Quote by MetalFriend
I bought the cab used and it doesn't have any model no. on it. However, I opened up the back of the cab before buying and it had Celestion G12H 30's in it.

Laneys pair great with the G12h30, but they are deff a more vintage tone.

If you don't like the fizzy-ness of your amp, you will probably like something like a Mesa Single rectifier or Peavey 5150. You can find them used easily in your budget. But I'm not sure how they will be with the G12h30's
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#15
Those are pretty sweet speakers, though I'm not sure how well they would blend with that amp. If the mini is any thing like its big brother, it should have oodles and gobs of distortion. I play with mine around 1 or 2 o'clock on the dial. And I engage the boost for leads. I think it is quite possible that you think you need more than do, sometimes you hear the compression on a recording and you think that you need more gain, when in reality you are playing with plenty. I definitely used to play with more distortion when I was still new to playing, but as you go on a lot of the time people will realize that they are using more than they need to achieve certain sounds.

Now I don't know your experience level, but it is something to think about. It is still worth checking the preamp tubes as others mentioned, but beyond that there isn't a huge selection of amps with more distortion than a V3, so I don't know if you would be satisfied with another amp if that's all you were looking for

Edit: for a smoother tone, try turning down the mid cut a bit, play with the deep switch and presence knobs a lot. Because of the active EQ, this amp can be really finicky, but when you hit the sweet spot, it purrs
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Last edited by dementiacaptain at Sep 8, 2012,
#16
Quote by Eppicurt
I agree with everything except these two.

Wattage has nothing to do with getting a 'heavy' sound. EQ also has nothing to do with getting the amount of distortion.



Tube amps don't do so well with low volume and a bad EQ can seriously mess up the way you hear the distortion; not the amount.
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#17
Quote by Shornifier
Tube amps don't do so well with low volume and a bad EQ can seriously mess up the way you hear the distortion; not the amount.

That has nothing to do with wattage still...

He's complaining about not having enough gain, not that it doesn't sound right.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#18
The V3M is a bit of a tweaker's amp. +1 to the boost pedal suggestion. If that doesn't get the tone you're after maybe a swap of preamp tubes is in order? I'm not much of a tube conniseur but if you're looking to get rid of some of the fizz and get a smoother more fluid lead tone preamp tubes is probably the way to go. The V3M as stated has more than enough gain do to pretty much any style of metal IMO.

Mess with the EQ some more, try LESS GAIN and a bit more master volume (a lot of the time people perceive their lack lustre tone to be associated with gain levels which is more often than not untrue), get your mids up if you haven't already, and if all else fails then try an OD pedal. The simplest solutions are often the best.
#19
Quote by Eppicurt
That has nothing to do with wattage still...

He's complaining about not having enough gain, not that it doesn't sound right.



No man you're not getting my point; the more power it has, the more volume it needs to actually give it its all.
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#21
Quote by Shornifier
No man you're not getting my point; the more power it has, the more volume it needs to actually give it its all.

No man, you're not getting my point at all. Wattage has nothing to do with it.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#22
Quote by AxSilentxLine
Huh?


Let's say you've got a 500w tube amp next to a 50w combo. They've both got the same settings and the same amount of gain at a low volume; let's say at 1. The 50w combo is going to (theoretically) sound better because it's not meant to be played at blasting volumes. On the other hand, if you've both of them turned to 10, the tube amp is going to sound a whole lot better and clearer because it can handle that much out put and is built for loud volumes. I would not recommend putting a 500w tube amp at 10.
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#23
Quote by Shornifier
Let's say you've got a 500w tube amp next to a 50w combo. They've both got the same settings and the same amount of gain at a low volume; let's say at 1. The 50w combo is going to (theoretically) sound better because it's not meant to be played at blasting volumes. On the other hand, if you've both of them turned to 10, the tube amp is going to sound a whole lot better and clearer because it can handle that much out put and is built for loud volumes. I would not recommend putting a 500w tube amp at 10.

None of this makes any sense.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#24
Quote by Shornifier
Let's say you've got a 500w tube amp next to a 50w combo. They've both got the same settings and the same amount of gain at a low volume; let's say at 1. The 50w combo is going to (theoretically) sound better because it's not meant to be played at blasting volumes. On the other hand, if you've both of them turned to 10, the tube amp is going to sound a whole lot better and clearer because it can handle that much out put and is built for loud volumes. I would not recommend putting a 500w tube amp at 10.

While it may seem it would work that way, it really does not. I have heard tube amps that sound great at 3-4 but like ass on 8-9. It really comes down to the design of the amp.

What your describing is powertube distortion, like an old Marshall Plexi non-master volume amp.
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#25
Quote by Eppicurt
None of this makes any sense.


Dude I'm not trying to argue it's a God given fact. Tube amp heads with high wattage do not sound AS good when the volume is lowered on distortion channels. If it doesn't make sense you can leave it or try it yourself.
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#26
Quote by Shornifier
Let's say you've got a 500w tube amp next to a 50w combo. They've both got the same settings and the same amount of gain at a low volume; let's say at 1. The 50w combo is going to (theoretically) sound better because it's not meant to be played at blasting volumes. On the other hand, if you've both of them turned to 10, the tube amp is going to sound a whole lot better and clearer because it can handle that much out put and is built for loud volumes. I would not recommend putting a 500w tube amp at 10.

You're working on the premise that TS wants power tube saturation, and and amp that's 500W is built that way to AVOID tube saturation. It's about headroom, but we're way off topic.

A 120W Peavey/Mesa/Marshall/ENGL etc at volume 1 is going to sound better than a 5W amp on 10 95% of the time because the gain is coming from the preamp.
Last edited by AxSilentxLine at Sep 8, 2012,
#27
Quote by Shornifier
Dude I'm not trying to argue it's a God given fact. Tube amp heads with high wattage do not sound AS good when the volume is lowered on distortion channels. If it doesn't make sense you can leave it or try it yourself.

Oh I've tried it and I've achieved it. And I have gotten good sounds at lowered volumes.

You haven't played very many amps, have you.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#28
Quote by Eppicurt
No man, you're not getting my point at all. Wattage has nothing to do with it.


That is true to an extent. Most tube amps do inherently sound a little better with the power tubes cooking a little.

Also, speakers do play a major role.

However; I think one thing that a lot of people have overlooked is the characteristic of the gain that the TS is looking for. Level of gain and the characteristic of the gain are 2 different things.

You can use a 6505 to play Steve Vai, but the sound you'd get is anything but Vai's sound.
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#29
Quote by ragingkitty
That is true to an extent. Most tube amps do inherently sound a little better with the power tubes cooking a little.

Also, speakers do play a major role.

However; I think one thing that a lot of people have overlooked is the characteristic of the gain that the TS is looking for. Level of gain and the characteristic of the gain are 2 different things.

You can use a 6505 to play Steve Vai, but the sound you'd get is anything but Vai's sound.

Yeah TS is after a more liquid smooth gain which a 6505 won't do well but a V3M should get there. Either that or trade in for a Vai Legacy
#30
It depends on the amp. I don't notice too much difference on 1/2 and 3 on my ENGL. And 3 is pretty loud enough. Also I never said speakers didn't play a major role? I'm not sure if that was directed at me or not...

I did ask if he was happy with the distortion sound, but he never answered me.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#31
Quote by Eppicurt
Oh I've tried it and I've achieved it. And I have gotten good sounds at lowered volumes.

You haven't played very many amps, have you.


Well it's the reason why everyone's got a different tone and preference; I was simply pointing out a possible factor that might be affecting the way he's hearing the gain. I work in the studio; I think I know enough about amps.

Pretty ironic coming from someone telling others not to be jerks, man.
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#32
Quote by Shornifier
Well it's the reason why everyone's got a different tone and preference; I was simply pointing out a possible factor that might be affecting the way he's hearing the gain. I work in the studio; I think I know enough about amps.

Pretty ironic coming from someone telling others not to be jerks, man.

But it's simply not true...you said a higher wattage gave a heavier sound. That is not true.

I don't care where you work. It's still not true.
Quote by SimplyBen
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NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#33
Quote by Eppicurt
But it's simply not true...you said a higher wattage gave a heavier sound. That is not true.

I don't care where you work. It's still not true.


Regardless of whether it's true or not (which again, depends on the amp), I didn't say a higher wattage gave a heavier sound. I don't give a shit about what you think and you shouldn't give a shit about what I think either. Just trying to help the guy out.
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#34
Quote by Shornifier
Dude I'm not trying to argue it's a God given fact. Tube amp heads with high wattage do not sound AS good when the volume is lowered on distortion channels. If it doesn't make sense you can leave it or try it yourself.
So that's why every high-wattage amp sounded better than every low wattage amp I've played at lower volumes, rite?

That's why every amp I've played with a wattage selector sounded best at it's highest wattage setting, rite?


Looks to me like you're full of shit.


"God Given Fact"-
#35
Quote by ragingkitty
However; I think one thing that a lot of people have overlooked is the characteristic of the gain that the TS is looking for. Level of gain and the characteristic of the gain are 2 different things.


Man the V3 bandwagon made it so far before someone finally said something haha.

I LOVE Carvin. I LOVE all the features the V3 has for the price. I HATE the fizzy high gain sounds. The V3 has plenty of gain, but its nothing special. It's one hell of an amp for the price, but if you care mostly about heavy stuff over features its really not that great of an amp.

Stretch your budget a little more and you can reach a used Mesa Mark IV Combo. Or a head.

It may even have less gain than the V3, but if you play it you will know it doesnt matter. It is so tight.. And the clarity.. Progressive heaven.
/rig
Last edited by mespinos at Sep 8, 2012,
#36
Quote by Shornifier
Regardless of whether it's true or not (which again, depends on the amp), I didn't say a higher wattage gave a heavier sound. I don't give a shit about what you think and you shouldn't give a shit about what I think either. Just trying to help the guy out.
Quote by Shornifier
If it's 50 watts and you're not getting a heavy enough sound, there's obviously something wrong.

It doesn't depend on the amp. It is not true!

Also;

Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#37
Quote by Shornifier
Regardless of whether it's true or not (which again, depends on the amp), I didn't say a higher wattage gave a heavier sound. I don't give a shit about what you think and you shouldn't give a shit about what I think either. Just trying to help the guy out.

Actually you did say that

And just because you work in a "Studio" doesent mean anything........especially when your wrong
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#38
Quote by mespinos
Man the V3 bandwagon made it so far before someone finally said something haha.

I LOVE Carvin. I LOVE all the features the V3 has for the price. I HATE the fizzy high gain sounds. The V3 has plenty of gain, but its nothing special. It's one hell of an amp for the price, but if you care mostly about heavy stuff over features its really not that great of an amp.

Stretch your budget a little more and you can reach a used Mesa Mark IV Combo. Or a head.

It may even have less gain than the V3, but if you play it you will know it doesnt matter. It is so tight.. And the clarity.. Progressive heaven.


This thread is an example of why I don't want to post much on GG&A anymore.

Some people try to help, and then others start throwing their opinion around like it means something on the Interwebz. Half the time, a proper discussion gets blown to bits because some people don't even analyse and dissect the problem proper, and insist they are correct because they are so-and-so.
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#39
Quote by ragingkitty
I think one thing that a lot of people have overlooked is the characteristic of the gain that the TS is looking for. Level of gain and the characteristic of the gain are 2 different things.


i think the kitty is on to something here.


TS - does it just get fizzy fizz fizz at a certain point on the dial and sound unusable to you?
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#40
Quote by ragingkitty
This thread is an example of why I don't want to post much on GG&A anymore.

Some people try to help, and then others start throwing their opinion around like it means something on the Interwebz. Half the time, a proper discussion gets blown to bits because some people don't even analyse and dissect the problem proper, and insist they are correct because they are so-and-so.

As far as I was aware we were having a proper discussion? TS stated that he wanted a Pettruci style tone, he said the V3M wasn't gainy enough, ODs were suggested as well as different preamp tubes. The V3M is a great amp and IMO capable of liquidy lead tones, running out and getting a Mark V while great isn't always feasible. TS has been given low cost options to try out first including tweaking the EQ as it is a tweakers amp

EDIT: By no means saying that my opinions are the only correct ones, I just don't want TS to count out a good amp without trying some cheaper options first
Last edited by AxSilentxLine at Sep 8, 2012,
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