I finally got the Carvin V3 I'd been dreaming about for ever and ever and it's everything the ads and reviews lead me to believe it was, I tried it out three times before I bought it and tried out any other amp I could get my hands on so this wasn't a rush decision by any means, but I'm still left wanting a bit more.

Obviously a 100W tube amp, even running in 50W half power mode, is utter overkill for my bedroom so I play it with the master volume on 2, the distortion channels' volumes at just over 1 and the clean channel on around 5. It sounds great but I'm looking for a smooth lead tone and also looking for more saturation and chunkiness for metal riffs. What is the best way to achieve this?

I've been looking at attenuators and found the THD Hot Plate for around $330, it'll cut my volume by 16dB so I should be able to crank my amp more but would this be enough to really get a lot of power tube distortion and saturation? Does anyone have experience with an attenuated V3?

Another option would be a boost pedal but I'm not sure if a Tubescreamer or whatever would give me enough increased tube breakup at low volumes, am I correct? Would the attenuator be a better investment?

Give me any thoughts and suggestions you have, my birthday is coming up in a month or two so I'll have some money to spend, if it matters I'm playing an Epiphone Explorer with Seymour Duncan JB and '59 pickups and an Ibanez AS73 with stock pickups.

Also, would changing my tubes be worthwhile? If so which ones should I upgrade to for a smoother, chunkier sound? I don't mind if the amp loses volume output because it's far too loud anyways, even if I began gigging or joined a band again I wouldn't really need more than 30 or 50 watts so if lower output tubes are more suitable for me, so be it.
Last edited by Remonster at May 5, 2008,