#1
Hey, i'm looking for a gear to play some high-gain stuff like Iron Maiden, Steve Vai, Metallica, etc, but also with the versatility to play alternative rock and such. I have somethine around 1500 dollars to spend, and I reached this:

LTD EC1000 amber sunburst (with seymour duncans)
Carvin V3M Head+1x12cab

What do you guys think about each one?
I dont play outside my house (maybe a carvin v3m is too much?). I loove the Carvin high gain distortion.
Any suggestions? Maybe 6505+? or even the carvin v3m combo?

Thanks!
#2
for a full setup you are in the right ballpark. i have a v3m and am really liking it. is it ideal for metallica? well it isnt quite a mesa. is it ideal for iron maiden or vai? no 100%.

but as a versatile 3 channel amp with independent EQs, it can certainly be convincing in almost all areas. i will say get a good OD. that goes with most things however.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#3
Hey man- do you have any gear right now? The reason I ask is because if you already have a decent guitar or two, it might be better if you can skip on buying another and put more money into the cab and amp. Even if you have a cheapish guitar (as long as it doesnt go out of tune literally every 30 seconds), this may be in your interest. I recently bought a $150 esp ltd that is one of their really low end models. I spent like $60 on some gfs replacement pickups and it is a perfectly good guitar.

If you are going for sheer enjoyment and immersion of tone, you have no volume or space restrictions, and you dont really have to move your gear around once you have it, then I would buy a 4x12 instead of a 1x12. If any of those are false though, then I would get the 1x12. Im not sure which speakers though.. I usually recommend v30s, but I dont think you want those for old school thrash; although- Steve Vai's Carvin Legacy cab has v30s. Its an amazing cab and very affordable. I own it myself. I also own a Mesa oversize 4x12, and the carvin totally stands up to it.

As for the amp- if you "love" the carvin sound, then you should get the v3 or v3m. Im pretty sure they are well renowned amps. Even if you got all the same gear as metallica, you still probably wouldnt sound totally like them anyways because of all of the production ect. Its best you go with what you really enjoy. Other amps worth looking at might be a Peavey XXX or JSX. The XXX could certainly do the thrash thing, but it has a HUGELY sweepable eq section. You could add a lot of mids and chase down a sort of vai sound (probably need some effects in the fx loop too). Id avoid the 6505+ here. Its an amazing amp, but I think its too far in the opposite direction for what sounds you wanted, and probably not quite enough versatility in channels.

To be honest- if you definitely need a guitar, you could probably fit it all in your budget. The carvin v3m is around $550, I usually see the Carvin 412 for $400 at MOST (I got mine for $275 i think), which leaves you with plenty of money to get a solid guitar. The ec-1000 with SDs is definitely a good guitar
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#5
Thank you for the answers!

Watterboy, thank for your complete answer! I have an Ibanez RG370DX (8 years now) and a Orange Crush 20W. I use the drives from my v-amp3. I really would like to buy a new guitar, so I have to save some money for that I found one for 600 on reverb that I'm about to close deal.

I have some noise restrictions, that's my main concern. The Carvin has a 7W options for when I must play quietly. Also this problem made me consider those digital/software stuff, which I heard that "sounds surprinsgly good without the need of huge volumes". What do you think about this?

So, as for the cab... 4x12 is too much for me, i guess.. Do you think the cab that comes with the V3M head (from carvin) is good, or should I seek some legacy cab? The difference is significant, so it worth the extra money?

I cant find that amp used and a brand new, with the 1x12 cab is 800+ U$! guess the head is 650 and the cab 150, not sure.

diabolical and IK_, by OD you mean a tubescreamer TS9? or which one?

Thank you again!

edit: head+cab over combo, then?
Last edited by pieri175 at Jul 29, 2015,
#6
I love my V3m , I use either a 2x12 or I double it up with another 2x12 for suedo 4x12 , I have Carvin cabs , one with Celestion V30's , another with Eminence Swamp Thangs and another with Carvin T75's .... I have the vertical cab and two slant tops
#8
If you have noise restrictions, a decent modeler (Line 6 HD500 or similar) and headphones might serve you better, and yes, they will sound quite good once they are set up correctly. (And you can crank it as loud as you want, to you at least, without annoying anyone else. 7 watts is still going to be really loud if you crank it up...)

You can always buy an amp/cab later on when you know more about what you want and how you want it to sound and the community here is always willing to help with those types of things.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#9
i had a v3m for a while and just couldn't get myself to like it. i managed to get only 2 usable sounds out of this amp. a decent clean sound with the built in reverb and a passable lead tone. overall the amp was a muddy fizzy mess. i spent quite a few hours tweaking to no avail. so caution to you sir this amp requires a lot of tweaking. here are a few comparable amps that will get you what you need

h&k tubemeister 18:
randall rd20
peavey 6505 mini
peavey classic 20 mini
carvin legacy 1/2/3
5150/6506/3120/jsx/xxx


the guitar on the other hand is a fine choice

happy hunting
Live Rig
Michael Kelly Custom Shop Plum Telecaster
Michael Kelly Custom Shop Plum Patriot


EVH 5153 50w
Jet City 2x12
Custom Board

It is NOT trash metal it is tHrash metal...get it right
Last edited by iheartgun at Jul 29, 2015,
#10
I think some of the preamp tubes on the V3 could be changed for better, JJ or EH and it is not an expensive upgrade. I was impressed when I tried it out in the Carvin shop, just California was too far to haul to Texas and didn't want to pay the S&H at the time. Then for a while I couldn't afford it and just kept gigging with my rack system.

This amp has a lot of sounds and I'd definitely say that it is the way to go, but listen to the clips. I wouldn't get a modeling system over it, no way any day.

You can get ISO cab if you're worried about volume, mic that and practice that way over headphones, or just stick it in a closet. I'd get the 2x12 Vai Legacy cab to go with it, way better than the standard but again, depends on your budget.

If you want something else - look at the Mesa Mini, that's what I just got used and like it a lot.

I actually find the Carvin V3 kinda tuned similar as the H&K Tubemeister range.

OD - I use Voodoolab Sparkle Drive and Budda Zenman as my main choices (both TS clones but with a twist, I can go into more detail if you want) but I have a few other ODs for different colors.
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 29, 2015,
#11
Despite I think the V3M is a very good amp, the only thing I do not like about them is their high gain. For what you want a british sounding amp like a Laney, Marshall, Soldano, Mesa Electradyne/RA100, Sunn Model T RI or something like that will be better for you.

You do not need that much gain but you do need kind of the right voice for the music you wanna play.

Mesa Royal Atlantic
Emperor 4x12 Silver Bells
PRS Swamp Ash Limited Custom 24
EQD Acapulco Gold
MXR Carbon Copy
EHX Epitome
EHX Superego
Fuzz Hugger Algal Bloom
Way Huge Fat Sandwich
Last edited by Perverockstar69 at Jul 29, 2015,
#12
new tubes helped. and i do like a 5751 in all my amps for the first position. also helped.

yes - if there is a downside, one is that there is SOOO much tweskability its almost overwhelming. switches, knobs etc. can make your head spin.

i dont mind the duplicate channels. between seperate EQs and the dip switches, you can make them sound different. for example, i have one setup as a vintage crunch, the other as more modern voiced higher gain.

i have all my channels setup so that with a OD, tehy are boosted into basically another tone. so its like i have 6 channels. clean + boosted, cleaish glassy lead on the hint of grit (very bluesey), crunch + high gain vintage crunch, modern hard rock + high gain.

it already comes stock with all JJs so not bad tubes. i just manipulated the type of tube or the gain, ie 5751 is slightly lower gain.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#13
Quote by ikey_
new tubes helped. and i do like a 5751 in all my amps for the first position. also helped.

yes - if there is a downside, one is that there is SOOO much tweskability its almost overwhelming. switches, knobs etc. can make your head spin.

i dont mind the duplicate channels. between seperate EQs and the dip switches, you can make them sound different. for example, i have one setup as a vintage crunch, the other as more modern voiced higher gain.

i have all my channels setup so that with a OD, tehy are boosted into basically another tone. so its like i have 6 channels. clean + boosted, cleaish glassy lead on the hint of grit (very bluesey), crunch + high gain vintage crunch, modern hard rock + high gain.

it already comes stock with all JJs so not bad tubes. i just manipulated the type of tube or the gain, ie 5751 is slightly lower gain.



I re-tubed mine too , gotta agree on the down side being so tweakable , it took a couple months on the Carvin Forum and tweaking to get it dialed in , I now have a beautiful clean , great mild crunch and the gain channel covers everything we play in our metal band ..... but my Mesa MK V required as much or more tweaking than my V3m so it goes with the territory of a amp the covers a lot of ground , it takes some time to get your tone at first but it's in there if you stick with it and learn the amp
#14
The thing is, I've seen a lot of clips on YouTube and this was the only (affordable) amp that reached the iron maiden/Steve vai lead sound. That's why I think this is the way to go. I don't like metal in general, so extra high gain might not be necessary. But since I've heard this amp with the exact petrucci,vai,satriani's sound, I thought that the way to go.

I'm very purist about sounds, do you thing I should directly upgrade the tubes or wait a bit?

I live on a house, I have little noise restriction, I can't gig at home for instance. But I can play with normal volumes. What is this ISO cab? That interested me! Can you explain a little more?

About the tweaking... I don't think I mind tweaking but, is that hard? I mean, couldn't one send you a picture of the knobs so you have a good start, then you adapt it to your environment?
How would I learn the "correct" tweaking? Carvin forums? Or does it come with samples on the manual. I don't have a high sensitivity for tweaking, how can I develop it?

Thank you guys, you are helping me a lot!
#15
Man, don't second guess it - it is a good amp, go for it!
See how you like it off the box and then try playing around with tube changes if you think it needs it. Some people on this forum make dialing an amp into a rocket science.
Iso cab:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/jet-city-amplification-jetstream-12-iso-1x12-isolation-guitar-speaker-cabinet/430430
#16
its not hard. theres just a lot of knobs. many amps may have 2 channels and a shared EQ. perhaps like 8-9 knobs or so and some widgets. this little beast has 6 knobs x 3 channels, plus dip switches, plus power scaling.

i find that once you know the amp, you know what a change will do its and its fast. but like the other guy said, it may take you a few weeks to realyl dial it in like you like it. not a problem....any amp with this much stuff will take that long.

the way i have mine set is
wattage: viarable but im generally playing on 22 watts. i find more wattage = tighter high gain. generally how it works. 50 watts is just too much in my bedroom. 22 not bad. the jump to 50 makes a difference. really 7 is almost as loud as 50. not really but sorta.
master: variable
reverb: 3 or off
boost variable depending on your preference of clean volume boost DB. its clean, not a boost for your preamp for more gain. its a "more louder" boost so dont confuse it with another gain stage.

channel 3 clean
prescence 8
bass 5
volume 2
mid 4
treble 7
drive 6
EQX up (off?)
dip switch on SOAK

channel 2 crunch (vintagey)

prescence 6
bass 3
volume 4
mid 5
treble 7
drive 3
EQX down (on?)
dip switch in middle = vintage voiced

channel 1 more modern

prescence 7.5
bass 5
volume 2/3
mids 6/7
treble 7/8
drive 6/7
EQX down (on?)
dip switch down = THICK
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Jul 31, 2015,
#17
Great guys, thank you very much!

I'm almost decided. The noise thing is kinda holding me back (I don't live in apartment, but my window is like 15feet from the neighbor.. I do have an anti-noise window, which helps a lot). Does this ISO cab worth? Or it's so specific that might be restrictive in some situations?
#18
I had that exact same rig about 1 year ago. It sounded great, but the V3m developed a terrible tube rattle. I replaced the tubes twice and it kept coming back so I got rid of it. It was a sweet amp. I actually though it was better for classic rock tones than for heavy metal.

The EC-1000 SD played great, but I couldn't access the higher frets very easily. I really missed the PRS SE custom 24 I had because that was a breeze up near the 24th fret. All in all I th8ink you've got a cool set up going and it's not that common either. If you're going to gig with it, make sure you get the footswitch with the V3M.
#19
Quote by pieri175
Great guys, thank you very much!

I'm almost decided. The noise thing is kinda holding me back (I don't live in apartment, but my window is like 15feet from the neighbor.. I do have an anti-noise window, which helps a lot). Does this ISO cab worth? Or it's so specific that might be restrictive in some situations?


For 99.9% of people, an ISO cab is an utter waste of space and money. That coupled with the fact that most of the people I've seen suggest ISO cabs don't have one should tell you just about everything you need to know.

Unless you intend to record INSIDE it, an ISO cab really provides no benefit. It's not like they are a magical attenuator that maintains your tone while reducing the volume equally across all frequencies, which too many people seem to think they are.

There are 2 useful and inexpensive ways to reduce volume in a home setting, volume knobs and modeling.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Iso cab is basically sound reduction box with speaker inside it which you much up to achieve higher volumes in hone setting, or at hugs where you don't want to have signal spill.
It doesn't fully isolate but depending on the design you can get a cranked amp to barely bleed through.
#21
best ways i found to attenuate a legitimate tube amp is

http://www.tedweber.com/gadgets/attenuators

one of these or

a 1x12 cab with a eminence FDM speaker like the reignmaker in it. gives you about -8 or 9 DB of attenuation striaght from the end point of the speaker. no extra tomfoolery, cables, gadgets. its a speaker. run it no different than anything else. genius.

those webers do the same thing but, it its 1 extra gadget. runs between your head and your speaker and is passive, all naturale. no extra circuits etc.


all these hot plate attenuators etc...they are like 400 bucks. for that, jeez ill just put up with the noise.

that, or yeah get a modeler or a multiFX like a POD or a AxeFX.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#22
But why should I use an attenuator/ISOcab? I mean, why can't I just turn the volume down? It's to preserv the "high-volume" tone (which is said to be better)?
#23
well getting a bit outside the context of the thread, but many will agree, depending on playing style, that when you turn a tube amp up, LOUD, like 50% or so, or more, it opens up, the dynamics change, harmonics change, etc, touch sensitivity, natural breakup etc. theres some magic that happens at "im getting evicted" level volume.

hence why people invented attenuators, to try and get that magic at lower volume. however, half the time you spend so much money and add so much complexity most people just say F- it and go back to nothing at all.

many high gain players want a clean power section and all the gain from the preamp. true. very true.

i still maintain that ANY amp, dont care which and for which style, is going to sound "right" turned to a sweet spot. in my opinion, no amp sounds good on 0.5 as it does louder. to me its just fact. sure some may be designed better than others. may be 1 does it, 3 does it, 6 does it. at some point an amp sounds good, sometimes it just sounds better louder.

i personally would love to be able to open up my v3m a little bit more. sounds great, but i bet a 1x12 with a FDM speaker in it would really add something extra to the tone by letting me bump up the master about 3-4 more notches at the same relative volume.

thats just me cause im a picky tinkerer. (or be able to play 2-3 times more quiet without turnring up the volume.

iso cab is taking it to the extreme, trying to cut off volume almost entirely or at an extreme amount. again, its so a bunch of guys trying to concentrate on micing sound and micing up stuff in small recording studios....

LITERALLY dont go DEAF by hours and hours of 100 watt guitar amps right in their faces. and the musicians playing them. you can get that full stack on a area sound but with 10 guys packed in a recording studio in enclosed spaces ....
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
Last edited by ikey_ at Aug 3, 2015,
#24
I wouldnt worry so much about the whole volume thing. The sound quality you will get with the volume at 1 will be plenty enjoyable. Here's the thing (this is kind of an opinion of mine but its based on some things Ive observed from other players that im friends with ect): most people i see playing do not sit/stand directly in front of their speaker with the speaker basically pointed right at them. They are usually sitting/standing somewhere away from the cab in the room. If you play at a low volume like this, itll sound just muddy/bassy/little attack and definition because you arent catching any of those upper mids and highs with your ears. When they "crank" their amps, their ears begin to catch those frequencies more easily and it sounds better.

There is most definitely a change in dynamics and harmonics and natural compression ect when you turn up; but really, what Im trying to say is this: if you sit RIGHT in front of a cab and play at a low/moderately low volume, it will still sound huge and generally fantastic. I play fairly often with 4x12 and amps with master less than 1, and Ive found that the biggest factor in the quality of sound that I hear is all about where I am located relative to my cab. Course, you can sit in front of your cab with the thing cranked and itll sound amazing, but you will blow your ears out
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#25
Got it, thanks!
Well, so i'll get the V3M initially without any kind of reduction. Maybe in the future, or if I get any problem with noise.
Two questions:
-I have a V-Amp3, can I use it (bypassing the pre amp thing) to reduce the volume? It has 2 volume knobs (Volume and Master).
-Some said the Carvin V3M cab is not very good. How do I choose cab (that speaker thing)? Is this difference very noticeable, or its for "professional ears"?
#26
Quote by ikey_
well getting a bit outside the context of the thread, but many will agree, depending on playing style, that when you turn a tube amp up, LOUD, like 50% or so, or more, it opens up, the dynamics change, harmonics change, etc, touch sensitivity, natural breakup etc. theres some magic that happens at "im getting evicted" level volume.



The problem is, what you KNOW to be true...isn't.

The simple reason amps sound better turned up has almost nothing to do with the amp itself, and everything to do with the way we hear. (Some exceptions exist, but as a general rule...)

That's the problem with many musicians, too much superstition, not enough science. It's like a cult of willful ignorance.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#27
well. science. biology, etc. i just know it sounds better at a certain threshold and every amp is different.

thats just me. like i said, go poll 100 musicians of any amp on 0.5 master and then on 4 master. still modest volumes. i bet 4 wins every time. or same increments. 4 and say 7-8.

____

i wouldnt worry too much. 7 watt setting with a 1x12 will be fine. 2x12 a littel louder. every increment of 22 and 50 watts gets a littel bit punchier, and bassier. really the scaling isnt monumental, but in a band mix 50 certainly cuts through more, offers more cleans, and is punchy / bassier. those things percieve as louder.....certainly to your neighbors as well.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)