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Old 07-19-2011, 06:16 PM
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Axeme Axeme is offline
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Default Carvin V3M review

Vinnie asked me to do a review on this amp and I said I would do my best. So here it goes:

First off, here is a link to Carvin's website where you can read their spill on the amp, and you will find a few good quality videos on the V3M.

I have had the amp now for about 3 weeks, and I like it more every day. That's unusual for me as I normally get tired of things pretty quick. This amp has truly impressed me and I'm very happy with it. I did a lot of research before I bought this amp. In my list of amps to consider I had the Krank Rev Jr, Blackstar HT-5R, Mesa Boogie Transatlantic, and the Carvin. All of these amps had good reviews from what I could find so it was hard to choose what I wanted to go with. It came down to the Carvin due to it being hand made in the USA and for the complete tonal capability of the amp. None of the forementioned amps could come close to competing with it as far as the features and the full range of tone you can achieve with it.

The amp comes with a footswitch that operates the channels, reverb, effects loop, and boost. The amp is switchable from 50, 22, or 7 watts. I have mine at 7 watts and I'm pushing a two 12 cab with no problems. Another nice feature is the amp has a volume for each of the 3 channels and a master volume so you don't have to use a volume attenuator to keep the volume down while still getting good tone. The design of the amp appears to be well thought out, providing vents on the front, top, and back for heat dispersion. I have not found any flaws in construction or appearance of the amp. Nice tight tolerances on the construction and all the parts feel solid.....not cheap.

Features include, 3 channels with individual eq controls for each. There is also a tonal mode switch (thats what I call it) that can be used for each channel. The switch is set to either Intense, Classic, or Soak. Changing the mode will alter the tone slightly...either warmer, brighter with more bite, or a kind of classic/browner kind of tone. Then you can engage your eq and get even more flexibility in your tone. Throw in your pickup selector and tone knob on your guitar and you end up with almost endless tonal range. There is also a presence and drive control for each channel as well so you can set them up from Clean, to SRV, to Eddie, to Pantera, to Jazz, to God knows what else.

Other nice features include the effects loop (can be controlled via the footswitch), reverb, standby mode, emulated out, two line out expansion ports for driving two cabs, the ability to changed your LED color Red/Blue or off (this is just a cool thing to have). There are also manual toggle switches to change channels if you prefer that method. Overall weight of the head is about 19 pounds and is the size of a large shoe box. Carvin offers some accessories for it like a carrying case etc.

In my opinion this amp is the best bang for your back on the market right now if you are looking for a compact/micro head. The fact that this unit can push 50 watts allows it to compete with even the larger type head units. The only add on function I would have liked to have would have been a MP3 line in, but that's it. I really can't think of a single other thing this amp does not have.

Tone is very subjective so its not effective to say "this is the best sounding amp" yada, yada, yada. I can say this about it: so far I have not been able to think of a tone or sound, and not be able to get it out of this amp. In other words, so far it has been able to produce any sound/tone I want....PERIOD. If you want more of a review you can go to Carvin to get some info or you can go to "the tone King's" website. He is kinda dork, but he is honest and pretty straight forward on his reviews.

One more note. I went with a 2x12 cab by Jet City Amplification. It was 212.00 shipped. The speakers are made be eminence and it sounds really nice. Build quality is very solid and you can't beat the price. You can find a review from the Tone King on this cab as well.

Hope this review helps. Dale

It was like that when I found it!
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:24 PM
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V King V King is offline
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NIce, Shoe Box Ive been Itching for a Tube head for what I spent on all the Rack shit I bought I could get me one I just might have to get one and get the RAck Kit for it I really dig that Feature too , Thanks Dale for your Feedback
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:22 PM
Bl4cFoxx Bl4cFoxx is offline
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I've been digging the tones I've heard from the V3M, glad to hear you're enjoying it!

And on those Jet City cabs, I guess they are a GREAT bang for the buck. n' on a video update from the studio, Michael Sweet & Oz Fox of Stryper have ditched their Mesa Boogie cabs for the Jet City ones..after they A/B'ed them multiple times against each other... n' Stryper's modern tone is one of my favorites of all time, so that says something about their cabs, for me anyways..
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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MapleShredder MapleShredder is offline
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+1 on the mp3 line in feature. Thanks for the great amp review Dale!

I've been kicking around the idea of getting the Carvin V3 amp head for some time now but I'm glad I waited. This V3M version is even better....definately on my want list.
- Jeff
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