If you are really looking for an amp that has quality distortion and/or an incredible clean channel, seriously do not pass this one up. Trust me, I've played all of the major amps out there, and this one rips them apart. You just want a practice amp? Get the 2x12. If you're worried about "looking" great, get the 4x12. But both setups, and I've played on both, are incredible! You cannot go wrong with Carvin's MTS3200. I promise.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
Three small words...BEST AMP EVER!! I've played everything under the sun. Marshalls, Peaveys, Fenders, Mesas, Crates, Line 6's, and probably more that I can even think of right now. But the Carvin MTS3200 is truly a wonderful machine! I have the 2x12, and it's louder than my friends 6x12 Mesa! I never have to worry about not hearing my amp in shows. It's wonderful!
The distortion is amazing! It has such clean distortion across the board. Nothing worse than a distorted guitar, and you can't even tell what chords or notes the guitarist is playing. With this distortion, at any level you can easily hear the notes and tones of not only the amp, but the individual guitar. The distortion ranges from a soft blues, to punk rock, to heavy metal with no problem.
The clean channel is warm and smooth as silk. I played in the high school jazz band with my amp, and it could reach the volumes it needed to reach, and blended in so well with all of the sounds from the rest of the musicians. The eq's are great, and trust me, you know when the bass is cranked in either channel. It's just a great machine.
It's super easy. First tube amp I'd ever bought, and I managed to figure out how a tube amp works the first day, with NO prior knowledge. Nice big knobs, nothing to worry about. You'd have to be blind to screw this up. Every dial has numbers on it, so it makes remembering settings really easy.
This amp is a tank. Solid dials, solid machine, and tubes that can last cold weather (-50F), to really hot weather (100+F), and still perform PERFECTLY EVERY TIME. It's fallen a few times and it still works like the day I bought it.
I looked at the Marshall TSL 2000, Mesa Boogie F-50 (both head and combo), Carvin Legacy, Marshall JCM 900, and a Classic 50 by Ampeg*(*I belive...this was the worst..that much I rememer) Of all those amps I'd say that the Carvin MTS 3200 is closest to the Mesa Boogie
F-50 in sound...but for more than $400 less.
I'd definately recommend this amp to anyone without hesitation.
Price: $615.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
All tube 100w (can be switched to 50w) head with 5881 power tubes (6L6's) Comes with a footswitch with reverb and channel switching ability. L O U D. 2 channels (clean, lead) with independant eq's for each. Master reverb for both channels.
I play this through a Carvin 2x12 cabinet and with an Ibanez USA Custom guitar. That's it. I love the gain (drive) on this head. If you ever read a review by some know nothing that says this cannot get a brutal distortion...laugh it off. I can get the brown sound of EVH on "4" on the drive. (4 also seems to be a good level for many nu-metal bands such as the Vines and the heavier White Stripes songs)I can get a BRUTAL Testament sound on "8". The clean channel is AMAZING. Better than the Mesa Boogie F-50 imo. Having an independant eq for both channels really helps as I like more mids in my clean...
Touchy controls. Can do many sounds but yes, you are going to have to sit there and tweak it for quite awhile.
(Would you call yourself a musician if you did not?) I would've liked to see something more noticeable than dimples on the chrome knobs. (hard to see when you are in bright light and 7" away) Why has nobody ever put glow in the dark paint on the dimples btw? Hmmmmmm :) Other than that as easy to use as most amps...easier than the new Marshall TSL 2000 whatevers....jeebus have you seen how many knobs are on those?
Made with plywood not particle board. Steel reinforced corners. No plastic anywhere except maybe the led lights. Seems very durable but I haven't dropped it so.... :) Will be used as my live amp w/o backup.
I chose this because I, at the time, was completely unfamiliar with tube amps, and it was cheap (yet brand new)and was a Carvin. I am not disappointed. I have fallen for the sound & can't go back. This amp could probably be better if the clean channel, without effects, were louder. If you're using the clean channel for your effects loop, it's PLENTY loud. They say you'll never have to worry about getting drowned out by the drummer or bass player again...it's true. Get one & you won't be disappointed.
Model Year: 1998
Price: $900.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
It has presence & reverb controls (1 control affects both channels); volume, bass, mid, & treble controls for both channels (CLEAN & OVERDRIVE/SUSTAIN) & a gain for the Overdrive channel. It has both an effects loops (which doesn't bypass the preamp...for that LARGE all-tube sound which = NICE) and channel swiching w/ the free footswitch. It is powerful enough that I never, ever have worried about having enough hit for the job. The cabinet is stereo-capable.
I have run I with a Carvin AE185, a Godin LGX3, a Gibson Les Paul Studio, & a BC Rich Platinum Warlock. I primarily use a Digitech RP21. It is so quiet, esp. w/ the effects loop & a little noise gating (for the effects.) The clean channel is so quiet it can make you think the amp isn't even on if you're not playing through it! I play worship music, rock, heavy, clean, you name it...this amp'll do ya right. I liked the full sound I got out of it better than a celeston-30 Marshall cabinet I played.
A good, durable, live amp I use weekly if not more.