Price paid: $ 640.5
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
I use Les Pauls, Strats, Ibanezes series through this and it sounds great with all. I play a lot of Tool style stuff which is suits well for it's moderately dark tone. The amp is noisy at high gain like most so get your ISP Decimator. My amp has some random clicks and noises which may be due to the change to the higher 240v in the UK. For all you brutal fans it has less distortion than the powerball/5150, but if you put those amps to 10 you get too much gain and it becomes saturated. Basically everytime I play the V3 I'm satisfied unlike the other amps I had. Cleans are Fender like very shimmering and crystal as long as you keep the postgain down.
Overall Impression — 10
This is probably the best value hi end amp out there, really does everything you want and more. Carvin apparantly don't advertise much which must reduce their prices. If it had reverb, noise reduction it would be out of this world. I've played a lot of Carvin gear and it's always been exemplory. It was driving me nuts choosing between fizzy saturated engls and wooly gain lacking marshalls and I couldnt afford a triple recto or uberschall-which I think this amp sits just underneath. So if you are like me and want the best value hi end amp, this is it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Time will tell and fingers crossed here. I think it will last a long time. I carry my Zoom G9\.2tt FX to gigs as well incase (check the review of that it's another great buy). I am going to put some replacement tubes in the amp as well as with all stock tubes they are not as good as svetlanas ehxs etc. I would advise not to use V30s with the amp as it can get a bit fizzy I've heard a lot. I use eminance black powders which are really tight through a Marshall cab.
Features — 10
This amp is completely versatile. Does everything from death metal to jazz. The cleans are like Fender, the crunch like Orange and the heavy gain like Mesa. 3 channels, with numerous options on each like a thick/intense option. The 3 channels can all have gain assigned as well if you so wish. It has parallel and series FX loops with volume adjustment to avoid level dropping by some pedals. The amp has a 50/100w adjustment but eitherway sounds the same and can be used indoors with great tone at low levels. The pedal is great and can do midi switching easily. I've assigned reverb and delay to the high gain channel so just need to hit one pedal to go. No tapdancing. Really features I couldnt find under 1000. Only thing I dislike is the front panel but I may change this to a steel grid if I can be bothered.