NAD: Carvin V3 (Full review / Rig pics inside)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by ClassicAxe, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    Just got a Carvin V3. I saw a lot of mixed reviews on it, some people claiming it being fuzzy, but a lot of praises as well. I decided to just go for it. Carvin has a 10day money back gaurantee, and at 850$ brand new... I couldnt see any harm in purchasing the amp.

    If your not interested in reading the review, the pics are below. Check em out.

    First Impression:
    Looks good! Would look better all black... So i decided to paint the faceplate black. Looks much better than the stock industrial grey color... Lots of knobs, lots of switches and options, which is a good thing in my book, i like tweaking. On the back, the switches for impedance and other little knobs,etc, are recessed from the backplate. You have to use a little screwdriver or other various tool to adjust the impedance, etc.. This is a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because you dont have to worry about it getting switched accidently, etc.... A bad thing because its just annoying to get the tool out to change the impedance every time. Luckily, impedance doesnt ever need to really be changed unless your using more cabinets than normal, or using a different cabinet period.

    Overall, good looking amp that is built very well. Solid and sturdy, built in the USA. Not too heavy/big either. One of the main reasons i went with this amp was because it would fit in my mesa recto head/rack case... It is a really tight fit though may i add.



    Sound: I plugged in for a few minutes before i had to leave for work just to test it out. I was initially a little bit dissapointed. But i knew the thing had lots of knobs and is not a plug and play amp, so i waited till i got home to work with it some more.

    After adjustments and tweaks, i got some great, great sounds. This amp is very versatile! I have owned an XXX(full JJ retube) and Line6 HD147, and the V3 is definately better than both, IMO. I play in deathcore/deathmetal band and this amp fits the bill perfectly. Some people claim the amp to be really fizzy, but i dialied it right out by cranking the master volume and adjusting the channel volume for volumes.

    PS - Im boosting with a MaxonOD808

    Features:

    Great clean channel, 2 identical overdrive channels that go from plexi to recto/6505. 50w/100w switchable. This is a LOUD 100watt amp, holy shit! The amp also has 2 effects loops, 1 serial & 1 parallel. This is really usefull! I keep a gate/compressor in the serial loop, and a Boss RV3 reverb/delay in the parallel loop. The amp has smart loops so i can keep both loops on simultaneously or just one. And each channel remembers which ones i have set to where. This is one of my favorite features in the amp and i have complete control over my rhythym / lead tones(with the loop /w delay) with the switch of a channel. Standard from factory with full groove tubes set - EL34 / 12AX7s. Its got a bias switch for 6l6gcs. Im thinking of putting 6l6s in to give this amp a more modern tone, but im gonna stick with the EL34s for a while.

    So far, im very pleased. An 850$ 3 channel modern amp with great sounds across the board is a winner in my book.

    Heres my chain along with pics:
    Front: 7string > Korg DTR100 Rack Tuner > ISP Decimator > DOD Chorus > Maxon OD808 > Carvin V3 > Vader 4x12

    Loop 1: Alesis 3630 Gate/Compressor(Temporary until i get a dedicated rack gate.

    Loop 2: Boss RV3 Reverb/Delay Pedal


    Pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I know this pic looks stupid, but it gives you an idea of what it the amp looks like in lowlight (usual gig situation)
    [​IMG]




    I will try and get some videos up soon as well, or sound clips, either way...

    -dave
     
    GATA4, Philligan, dis89 and 5 others like this.
  2. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis WWSD?

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    Cool review and I agree..that amp looks MUCH better black
     
  3. Leuchty

    Leuchty Previously CYBERSYN

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    Very nice rig man. congrats on the amp. They have always interested me.
     
  4. Apophis

    Apophis Banned

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    cool, thanks for info and

    :metal: CONGRATS :metal:
     
  5. ShadyDavey

    ShadyDavey 7ibrarian

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    Looks fantastic - and Carvin amps have always required some fiddling (I used to have an X100B boosted with a 'Guvnor pedal) but the results are worthwhile :)

    Grats!
     
  6. Shannon

    Shannon Lord Super Awesome Contributor

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    One of my guitarists in the AIC Tribute sold his 2ch Triple Recto & started using a V3 last year. It has everything the Recto had, but with a much better clean channel. Plus, it nails the AIC tone. WIN WIN!
     
  7. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for all the comments guys! I definately think the V3 deserves some more recognition. Its definately a contender with the mesas and 6505s, etc, with more versatility, adjustments and features/options, and an excellent clean channel.

    Seriously, you cant go wrong at 850$ new with a 10day money back gaurantee....

    If anyone has any questions, hit me up, id be glad to answer them to the best of my ability.
     
  8. Tuned2F

    Tuned2F Spider Pig

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    Our rhythm guitarist has a V3. We're using a 15 band EQ on it and still can't dial up a thick, punchy tone. It's always thin, shrill, and fizzy.

    Any suggestions?
     
  9. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    Make sure he has EQX enabled.
    EQX settings something like this:
    Master volume: 6-7 (adjust overall volume level using channel volume. Keep the master pretty high at all times)
    Boost: 7-8
    Bright: 4-6
    Mid-Cut: 2-3
    Deep: 7-8

    My channel settings(overdrive):
    Mode: Intense
    Presence: 5-6
    Treble: 5-6
    Mid: 8
    Bass: 6
    Drive: 7.5(with boost up front)

    The one thing i need to stress is the fine tweaking of the Mid knob on the channel adjustments and the Mid-Cut on the EQX adjustments. These need to be tweaked simultaneously till you find that sweet spot.

    Keep in mind these are MY settings. This is what works for me, and it sounds great.


    Switch between thick/intense modes, and find out whats better for him...

    Also, try switching to 50watts then cranking the master even more. This will thicken up things even more. Even on 50watts the amp is still loud as shit.


    Hope this helps

    -dave
     
  10. Tuned2F

    Tuned2F Spider Pig

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    Thanks man,

    It'll be a few days before I can let you know how this turns out.
     
  11. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    Alright cool. Make sure and let me know.

    Id sell the EQ and with the money, buy a tubescreamer. Ibanez or Maxon OD808, either way. With the EQX, you really dont need the external EQ.

    Also, worst comes to worst, switch to 6l6gcs. This will get rid of that barky characteristic the amp has, and thicken up the low end.
     
  12. Tuned2F

    Tuned2F Spider Pig

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    We've tried 3 different tube screamers through it. Maxon OD9, Fulltone OCD, Keely Modded TS808.

    We're just having trouble getting a nice low end punch.
     
  13. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    Do you know if his EQX is enabled? When mines disabled, the amp has no punch it all. Its designed to be used. As soon as i turn the EQX on, i get lots of low end punch. Im sure my Vader helps in this department as well ;]

    What kind of cabinet is he using?

    Try enabling EQX and crank the Deep and Boost knobs.

    Make sure his lows are up on the channel volume. Im sure they are if you guys were having trouble with the low end punch.
     
  14. Tuned2F

    Tuned2F Spider Pig

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    We're using a G-flex and Cornford 2x12.

    I'll email him to see what's goin down with it.
     
  15. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    :yesway:
     
  16. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    Congrats man, nice set up:yesway:
     
  17. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis WWSD?

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    Hey Class..could you by chance get a pic of the inside of the amp? I just want to see how the tube layout and everything is

    *If Drakkar decides to get one it must have spacing for KT88's....*
     
  18. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    ^ Definately. I could do that tomorrow after work.

    How do KT88s sound compared to EL34s and 6l6gc? Are they compatible with el34 or 6l6 slots?
     
  19. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis WWSD?

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    6550/KT88 tubes just sound huge. Huge but right bottom end, cutting top, and depending on the brand you get they can be a lot like KT77's in the midrange or have a bit of a mid range spike. I use Sovtek 6550s because they've got all the qualities of the tube, but with a midrange spike so I still get that KT77 vibe, just with way more balls
     
  20. ClassicAxe

    ClassicAxe SS.org Regular

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    ^ Sounds like the right tubes for me.... But are they compatible with the V3, electrical wise?
     

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