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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Carvin V3 amp settings?

I was able to get a really great deal on the V3212 Combo on Ebay, and I really liked the features it has and the reviews seemed to be too good to be true, so I jumped on the offer and purchased it.

The V3 is my first tube amp, but I am familiar with the way they work, I've done my research. I came to this forum because I have seen some previous posts and topics inquiring about this amp and I was hoping that I could find some help here.

Does anyone have tips for dialing in a nice metal tone? I'm really liking my clean channel, but my distortion/overdrive channels are really not satisfying me too well. Any and all help is appreciated.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Well, so far as I have seen, a jumper in the series effects loop with the output maxed out is what alot of people do for their gain channels.

It may be the speakers

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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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Yeah, I was thinking about selling my combo and maybe buying just the head and picking up a cabinet if the amp head was really worth it.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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I will say the stock Carvin G12 speakers aren't the best for some Metal tones, as they are kinda V30-ish.

Enable you boost feature, and use the channel volume as the level volume, while placing your master volume up high for starters.

Also, while they're supposed to be clones, I've noticed Channel 2 to be better for Metal rhythms than Channel 1.

What kind of tone are you after exactly?
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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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start with all EQ at half, tweak from there.

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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:49 PM   #6
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start with all EQ at half, tweak from there.
+1

Though to add to that, start with the Intense/Thick switches in the middle setting (bypass), and the EQX bypassed. Play with those once you get your core tone with the EQ.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #7
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Something in the general field of Jeff Loomis, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc. I would like a tight bottom end, but not too bassy or boomy. Something for tight riffing. I like a really smooth, liquid high gain lead for soloing.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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Something in the general field of Jeff Loomis, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc. I would like a tight bottom end, but not too bassy or boomy. Something for tight riffing. I like a really smooth, liquid high gain lead for soloing.
For rhythms use channel 2 for sure. Set the channel to "Intense" and enable the "EQX". From their set the Bright to about 3, with the deep to anywhere past 2. Adjust the "Mid Cut" to preference.

As for the channel eq itself, set the Presence and Treble around 6, with the Drive around 8. For the Bass keep it around 4 as you don't want to flub out. Adjust the Mids according to what you set the "Mid Cut" to.

As for leads use channel 1 set to "Thick" with or without EQX is up to you. Dial in the Presence to 4, Treble to 7, Bass to 8, and Drive to about 7. Once again, the Mids are up to you.

Those are some basic settings, and depending on your playing and guitar it could either sound lousy or incredible. Play around with it.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #9
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I really like the Channel 1 setting. That sounds quite a bit better than what I had going before. It's weird though, because I found that Channel 2 sounded better for soloing than it did rhythm. I still need to make some adjustments, but those settings definitely put me in the right direction. Thank you.

Do you have any tips for dialing the EQX along with individual channel EQ's? How do they interact?
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Unread 02-11-2010, 06:50 PM   #10
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I really like the Channel 1 setting. That sounds quite a bit better than what I had going before. It's weird though, because I found that Channel 2 sounded better for soloing than it did rhythm. I still need to make some adjustments, but those settings definitely put me in the right direction. Thank you.

Do you have any tips for dialing the EQX along with individual channel EQ's? How do they interact?
Well the channels 1 & 2 are supposed to be clones, so it might just be all in our heads.

As far as the EQX, it's in the master section and effects all the channels to the same degree, so it's important to not go over board with the EQX settings and use them for small, final tweaks. Also, they're very sensitive, a small degree of a turn goes a long way to shape the tone.

It's fun to play with the boost as well, as a form of tone shaping. It seems to give a kind of "wide open" boost which can be handy to play around with for things other than just volume increases.

As for jumping the effects loop, I've never found it to really do all too much, at least anything the front panel controls couldn't do with some tweaking, though I run some effects in my loop (delay and reverb).
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Unread 02-11-2010, 08:40 PM   #11
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I've only heard clips of the thing, but I do have one suggestion, that goes for any amp really.

The V3 seems to get fizzy really easily, so be very very sparing with the presence/treble/gain. You'll probably want to crank the channel volume and leave the master down kind of low, at least that's what I do.

I noticed I was getting a terrible fizz from my RM100 and I was about ready to throw it out a window when I noticed that I had my master dimed and my channel volume low. I switched them and the lows got a lot more solid, the tone darkened up a bit, and the fizz was totally gone. I couldn't EQ this out unless I had the treble and presence nearly at zero.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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I've only heard clips of the thing, but I do have one suggestion, that goes for any amp really.

The V3 seems to get fizzy really easily, so be very very sparing with the presence/treble/gain. You'll probably want to crank the channel volume and leave the master down kind of low, at least that's what I do.

I noticed I was getting a terrible fizz from my RM100 and I was about ready to throw it out a window when I noticed that I had my master dimed and my channel volume low. I switched them and the lows got a lot more solid, the tone darkened up a bit, and the fizz was totally gone. I couldn't EQ this out unless I had the treble and presence nearly at zero.
On this amp, you can control that fizziness with the Bright and Deep controls in the master section. I experienced exactly what you're talking about, and the guys on the Carvin BBS told me to play with the master section without dime-ing it, and they were right.

Though, a lot of that also comes down to the stock tubes (which aren't that great in my opinion) and the G12 or V30 speakers in the stock cabs. Switching to 5881s and Tung-Sol tubes, along with swapping speakers in my main cab went a long way to tame the top end fizz.

I do agree though, right out of the box these suckers can get super fizzy if you don't take the time to really tweak.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 10:29 PM   #13
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Well that's good that you can get rid of it. I bet the V3 is a pretty wicked sounding head when it's dialed in right. I heard ONE good clip of it, the rest sounded very messy, too much gain or high end, almost like a bad clash of a Rectifier and a hot rodded JCM 800 kind of thing. I still hate to lose faith in the amp, I was considering getting one for a long time. Such a steal considering the versatility, if that's what you want.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 10:33 PM   #14
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Yeah, it's certainly not a plug and play amp, you really gotta tune it once you get it. I bought mine on impulse (was only $750) and really didn't use it until my main amp at the time a Mesa Single Rec was out to be re-tubed so I sat with it for about two days just tweaking. Then I really started to like it. I gotta admit though, I was ready to just cut my losses and sell it before working with it more.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #15
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That's exactly my situation. I keep feeling like I can sell it, I got it for only 750 on Ebay, and I can easily sell it and not lose anything, but I don't know if I want to or not.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 03:10 PM   #16
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That's exactly my situation. I keep feeling like I can sell it, I got it for only 750 on Ebay, and I can easily sell it and not lose anything, but I don't know if I want to or not.
From what I've found if it's not working for you after about three or four days of solid tweaking, it's really not going to. No matter what the gear is.

You have to know when to throw in the towel and move on from a piece of gear. Though, definitely put in a little more tweaking.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #17
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Here's my settings right now. This is with the 6L6's.
I have more of a classic metal tone.
But, something you can try and see if you like it.
I use 1 for rhythm. 2 for lead.



By the way if you want to print up sheets to mark down settings, go here:
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Also, since you are using a combo, you may want to get an amp stand, get it off the ground, and aimed up more towards your head.

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Unread 02-12-2010, 03:53 PM   #18
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Those sheets are awesome, thank you. Yeah, I was thinking about buying a cabinet to put under the combo once my band starts playing shows. Would selling the combo and buying the head be a good idea? Carrying this cumbersome thing around is a serious pain in the ass when I have to go to practice and everything.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 04:23 PM   #19
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Those sheets are awesome, thank you. Yeah, I was thinking about buying a cabinet to put under the combo once my band starts playing shows. Would selling the combo and buying the head be a good idea? Carrying this cumbersome thing around is a serious pain in the ass when I have to go to practice and everything.
Well, that's up to you to decide.

But, as you said, you're thinking of buying a ext. cab.
Maybe go with a 2x12 cab for underneath instead of a 4x12.
Then you can use both the V3 combo's speakers and the 2x12 cab.
Essentially giving you a mock 4x12.
Just make sure to switch your impedence accordingly.

There's pros and cons to both ways.
Yes, a head is smaller and easier to handle.
But, then you got the 4x12 to try and get in the back seat of a car.
The combo is heavier. But, you can at least get it in the back seat.

With the combo, you have an open back.
With the 2x12 cab maybe go closed back.
The combination of the two may give you some new desirable tones.


You may want to add casters on the bottom of the combo. Or get an amp dolly. That will make it a little more easy to move around.

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Unread 02-12-2010, 05:32 PM   #20
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Yeah, I have a luggage carrier that's been working alright, it's just annoying. This has given me quite a bit to think about. Thank you for all the help.
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Unread 02-23-2010, 01:36 PM   #21
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my v3 settings

try setting it up like this...
get a boss noise supressor, set threshhold max, decay on min. put that bitch in the serial loop 1 by itself... get a delay and reverb and put it in loop 2 level on half... assign channel 1 with loop one... assign channel 2 with loops one and 2...
set the master to 9:00,boost at 12:00, bright, midcut, deep all 3:00
set channel 3(clean) presence and treble to 3 oclock, mid and bass to 12:00 eqx off, charachter on soak...loop 2 only...
set channel 2(lead) presence treble middle to 3:00, bass at 9:00. eqx on, gain @ led light, master at 9:00 charachter intense. loop 1 and 2.
set channel 1(rythym) same as channel 2 but put the charachter switch on thick and just assign loop one. might have to have the volume slightly higher cause there is no loop 2... put a tubescreamer in the front end with gain all the way down, volume on max, tone in middle or slightly less...just kick that bitch on for liquid leads, and if you follow these settings exactly, you will be pissing yourself. if not, you can kick me in the balls...TWICE! http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/members/coldandhomeless-albums-johns-live-stuff-picture3188-gedc0005.jpg
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