Model: Carvin V3MC 1 X 12 50 W Amplifier
Carvin launched this V3 series 3-channel tube amp, the V3MC micro combo, due to the many customer requests received to design one for the micro combo market. The V3MC offers an amazing sound, affordability and great versatility, its small size and selectable power output makes it ideal for dorms, apartments, as well as live performances and recording when mic’d or connected directly to the board.
Some key traits of the V3MC:
- The flexible gain structures of the V3MC allow you to set-up both overdrive channels alike, then change settings to achieve mild or drastic differences between the two channels (unlike other 3-channel amps).
- The boost level control, when turned on, will boost the amp’s output to 6db for solos.
- RMS Power: 50, 22 or 7 watt “plate voltage” switch
- Output Impedance: 4, 8 or 16ohm switch
- Input Impedance: 220,000 ohms
- Channel Tone Controls: BASS, MID, TREBLE, PRESENCE, EQX
- Ch 1 Sensitivity: 1mV for clipping
- Ch 2 Sensitivity: 1mV for clipping
- Ch 3 Sensitivity: 16mV for full output
- FS44L-V3M Footswitch: CH3, CH1/2, Reverb and Boost
- Voiced Line Out: -25dB from speaker output
- Preamp Tubes: 4 – 12AX7’s (dual stage)
- Power Amp Tubes: 4 – EL84 (power pentode)
- AC Power: 120 or 240 VAC, 50/60Hz, 150VA, 3A fuse
- Size: inches (mm) WxHxD/ Net Weight
V3MC: 16.0 (406) x 17.75 (450) x 9.3 (236) / 36lbs.(16.4kgs.)
V3MC Combo: 7-ply hard wood enclosure
V3MC Speaker: 12” Carvin GT12 or optional Celestion™ Vintage 30, 8 ohm
- Country of Mfg: Made in USA
Reference settings (from the official V3MC manual)
V3MC Front & Rear Panel Controls
1. Power switch, 2. Standby / Run switch, 3. Master volume, 4. Boost LED, 5. Reverb level, 6. Channel 3 select switch, 7. Channel ½ switch, 8. Guitar input, 9. Volume, 10. Drive mode 3-position switch (CH3), 11. Drive control, 12. LED Channel 3 indicator, 13. Bass, mid, treble, 14. EQX switch, 15. Presence, 16. Volume, 17. Drive mode 3-position switch (CH 1 & 2), 18. Drive control, 19. LED Channel indicators, 20. Treble, mid, bass controls, 21. EQX, 22. Presence, 23. Speaker output jacks, 24. Speaker Impedance switch, 25. Line out, 26. Effect loop, 27. Boost level control, 28. FS44L-V3M Footswitch jack, 29. FS22 Footswitch jack, 30. Power mode switch (output), 31. LED Lighting, 32. V3MC Chassis, 32. AC Power & Fuse, 33. AC Voltage switch (120V / 240V)
This V3MC is a very adaptable amplifier, offering a wide range of sounds, suiting almost every music genre. The official Carvin manual comes with its own general settings, but you should definitely take your time and play around with this amp, to find your own personal sound. It also has a lot of power. This amp was tested with two different guitars. Fender Standard Stratocaster and Ibanez Prestige RG 2550ZA.
Clean channel: it has a beautifully voiced clean channel and the EQX controls make it very tone responsive, but if you turn it off the sound becomes bolder. Even if you take out all the treble and leave only the bass, although the sound changes considerably, it’s still usable. The treble and the presence are highly interconnected, the more you turn the treble on the more the presence gets noticed. By tapping the bright button you get a more sparkling sound. The Strat was more suited for this amp’s clean channel and it responded very well on the neck pick-up, especially for the bluesy, funky tunes. When using the bridge pick-up on higher volume you get that classic rock’n’roll Stones sound with a perfect amount of distortion. The Ibanez performed ok on the clean channel using the mid-neck pick-ups. The Boost button is very useful for solos.
Dirty channel: the best way to use the first 2 channels is to set them with 2 different sounds, for example one for some crunchy hard rock and the other for metal, and use only the boost button to switch between rhythm and lead. Don’t be afraid to use the intense / thick button in order to obtain the best tone variation. The Strat on the bridge pick-up performed surprisingly well, delivering an Iron Maiden-like sound, but the humbuckers are the best way to go when it comes to high gain, that’s why the Ibanez performed exceptionally well on the bridge pick-up. On the solo parts the boost button gives the power needed to cut through. The V3MC was also tested with an external 4 x 12 cabinet and the sound became incredibly powerful on the Drive channel.
The V3MC is an amazing amplifier, built like a tank, which comes at a decent price and is just perfect for smaller venues, jamming or recording sessions. The controls are very user-friendly and responsive making it easy to use. All in all this Carvin product is one that should feature in every guitarist’s collection.
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