Which Carvin Legacy do I buy?? For the Steve Vai Sound

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
Magmas
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I don't know who told you your stuff, but Vai definetely does NOT play stock gear. If you disagree with me, assemble every piece of his rig and see if it sounds even close to vai's sound. Well, maybe the sound would be similar but the TONE would be horrible. The Carvine Legacy is one of the worst reviewed amps I've ever heard of. Go to the harmony central review database. I have heard carvins in person many times, and every time I think it sounds like crap. Vai needs money, so he endorses carvin. I don't blame him for it, just realize that Vai's tone and gear are much closer to soldano, bogner or even diezel quality as opposed to *cough*carvin*cough*.
davester1234
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Magmas wrote:I don't know who told you your stuff, but Vai definetely does NOT play stock gear. If you disagree with me, assemble every piece of his rig and see if it sounds even close to vai's sound. Well, maybe the sound would be similar but the TONE would be horrible. The Carvine Legacy is one of the worst reviewed amps I've ever heard of. Go to the harmony central review database. I have heard carvins in person many times, and every time I think it sounds like crap. Vai needs money, so he endorses carvin. I don't blame him for it, just realize that Vai's tone and gear are much closer to soldano, bogner or even diezel quality as opposed to *cough*carvin*cough*.
this post is pretty mislead. Sorry, don't mean to be rude, but...

I think the Vai camp has a great deal of respect for the people that purchase products with Vai's name on it. For the most part, the fans are told exactly what mods are found on Steve's equiptment if there are some, and over time, as Steve upgrades his equiptment (tweaks it/changes it), those changes get implemented on production models.

Evo for instance, no longer equipt with an ebony fretboard, has caused the entire line of 7vwh necks to be changed.


Still, it is fairly save to say that what your buying is what Steve is using.


Has it ever occured to you that Vai's rig sounds 10 times better than yours or mine would if we had the exact same processors/heads/cabs due to the fact that Steve is recording it in a world class studio with world class equiptment and mics so expensive most people would have to go without fast food for 2 years to buy? Have you ever done any research into the Mics steve is using at the Mothership/Harmony hut? Maybe you should to see just how much high end stuff we're talking about.

I mean seriously dude. Listening to a Carvin Legacy at the music store and then listening to it on the latest Vai cd are going to yield 2 different results. But what do you expect when in the studio, Vai's got 3 or 4 mics recording the sound, including room mics for ambience, back and front mics....and those mics are mixed/eq'd/compressed heavily in a perfectly constructed environment (as is the recorded product), not to mention the $100,000 PLUS protools recording system that's being used, the great mastering etc... The guitar tone and the rest of the product ends up sounding like God, but the raw guitar tone still comes out of the tubes in that little head.

Implying that you are getting shafted is mislead. I really hope Mikey will chime in here to support what I'm saying.

Have you ever tried putting a boss ds-1 pedal before the legacy? Steve does that...he certainly doesn't pretend like he doesn't. He talks about it all the time in magazines and everything.


And by the way, as far as my research indicates, the legacy is getting some of the best reviews on the market. :)
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RAI
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To say that Steve endorses Carvin because he needs money...
Well, that isn't very well thought-out.
What kind of market-share do you think Carvin has on the guitar amplifier market?
Marshall probably sells more amps in one month than what Carvin does in a year.
Fender and Peavey probably don't do too bad either.
So why would Steve choose a smaller company as a source of income, when he could have chosen a larger company, with a much larger bank account?
Don't say that Marshall wouldn't want to get Steve Vai as an endorsee...
They are willing to use the guitarist from "Our Lady Peace" and one of the chicks from "The Donna's" in their advertising.
I'm sure they would pay a hefty sum to get Steve on their roster.
But he chose someone else.
Hmmm, must have been something else besides the money....

Now, I haven't had the chance to play a Legacy for more than a couple of minutes, so I couldn't really tell you what it sounds like "raw".
But I tend to value the opinion of the guys at Guitar Player.
They really loved that amp.
They didn't give it the "Editor's Pick Award", but if I read it right, I think I know why:
They said it had a really wide range of tones (almost too wide), and that it could take some time to find a sound you really liked.
But once you did, it was quite "sweet"...

If you want to talk about someone that's in it for the money, start looking for the guys that have endorsed 4-5 different guitar brands through their career...

But that's just my opinion.
:)
Magmas
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Well see, I think Guitar Player and Guitar World are bad publications. They review all the mainstream stuff, they rarely review good products and they have low standards. I don't know why he chooses to endorse carvin, and I'm not going to try to guess, but you simply CANNOT say that carvin makes better and better sounding amps than soldano or bogner, of which steve used to use. If you don't believe steve mods his shit check this out:
http://members.aol.com/audio6v6/
and that is just his boss pedal.

I play a Soldano and actually just recently my band played a show with another band whose guitarist used a carvin. The Soldano layed waste to the carvin quite nicely. It could have been how that guy had it set up, but I have heard other carvins and that one seemed no exception to me. I think you guys should go to whatever shop is closest to you that sells soldano bogner, diezel, or at least boogie. Play those and hear the difference. Maybe carvins aren't BAD amps, but by god they are no means GOOD.
Last edited by Magmas on Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RAI
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Would you care to explain why these publications are so much "shit"?
(Off-topic, sorry....)
davester1234
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Magmas wrote:If you don't believe steve mods his shit check this out:
http://members.aol.com/audio6v6/
and that is just his boss pedal.
Dude, half the people at this board and the jemsite already HAVE that pedal and have had it modded by Robert Keeley, or ordered one new from him. Its nothing new. Did you know that Steve ordered a few, and had one sent to Joe Satriani as a gift? Steve has been vocal about the use of that pedal, just like he ALWAYS is.

By the way, word has it from Mikey that he's no longer using the modded version, but a stock ds1 :wink: He does of course, prefer the OLDER ds-1's though.

Magmas wrote: Maybe carvins aren't BAD amps, but by god they are no means GOOD.
Your battling an uphill battle here buddy...tone is subjective, so I wouldn't be baptizing things as good or bad. Have you ever considered that there's people out there who think your amp sounds like dung? I'm sure there are (although I'm inclined to believe its probably very nice :) ). That's obviously not a flame, just a reality check. Do you think the guys from Fear Factory care about a Soldano? Tone is subjective, and your end result has to be what YOUR ears want to hear.

Anyway, as far as I know, Steve's legacy heads are stock. If there are NOT stock, then the Mod's will chime in and tell us if they know about it. I'm sure he's experimenting with a few to see what type of tones he can harness out. but it really is as simple as that. and if the 'change' becomes something Steve wants to maintain, it'll soon become part of the production amps for everyone to have. After all, he's Steve Vai. And when you're a company like Carvin and Vai says jump, you say "how high, Dr. Vai?" LOL!
badhorsie
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hi folks.

returning to the topic and the question:
i played the legacy twice.
the first time with my strat at low volume, that sounded like crap. then you can buy any bad marshall ( did i say bad things about marshall? :roll: )

the second time i played it together with a friend of mine, and i guess he has serious problems with his ears. he turned it up so loud, i felt my whole body shaking. and i plugged in my jem7v.
whoa...no matter if steve plays modded legacys, that was unbelievable...
put a ds1 or tubescreamer or whatever in front for lead sounds and you wont ever stop playing... :twisted:

so, all in all, buy the legacy and the jem, play the amp all way up, find a good doc to repair your ears, practice and have fun.

btw: a lot is in the fingers, but: jem into custom audio preamp into a good poweramp and perhaps the g-force to add a llittle delay and reverb,
maaaan, i dont know how u guys play but with my fingers theres absolutely no difference to the original "for the love of god"-sound.
satchvai
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Vai uses completely stock legacies. I met him back in Novemeber and asked him all about it after I told him i have one. The legacy sounds great, but tone is subjective. There is a good reason why vai endorses these amps besides the fact that he was involved in the actual construction---the tone is just sweet. I've had my legacy for almost a year now and as far as "lead" amps go, it ranks right up there with marshalls. The legacy has a sound all its own.
davester1234
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not to mention he's been using Carvin's since he was a young lad. :)
Klax
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I recall picking up a guitar magazine years ago that had a transcription of one of Steves songs. One section of that article showed the settings of everything from his amps to the Eventide. If I recall correctly, it also mentioned some of the mods to his equipment.

It would be nice to know what mods have been done to each piece of gear in his inventory. However, Steve is certainly under no obligation to share that with us. If Steve considers his "sound" proprietory, he has no complaint from me. But, it would save me a lot of money chasing after the tone he gets. If there was an up to date and comprehensive listing of simply his current equipment, I'd buy it all. Then I'd work on determining what needed to be done to what to get the smooth midrange and highs that he produces.

Don't tell me it's the fingers. Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc... , could all play the same note with no vibrato, bends, or otherwise, and I could tell them apart.
Magmas
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I'm sorry, but I simply believe that the majority of you must either be deaf or have no ear for tone. I honestly don't care what guitar player, robert keeley or steve vai himself say. GO TO A SHOP AND COMPARE ANY SOLDANO TO ANY CARVIN. The carvin will lose, I'm sorry but it's like comparing a brand new BMW to an 89 mazda. Let's say no more about the subject because there is nothing more to be said until you make the direct comparison between a good amp and carvin. Obviously, I would expect you to think carvin is great if you haven't heard anything better. Carvins rank right up there with marshalls? Any marshall made in the past 20 years is absolute crap. Vintage marshalls are really cool, but I doubt you meant those because carvins would be stomped by a vintage marshall.

Personally, I would never own a Jem either. Just too cheap for me. I used to believe that I could get good equipment on a budget, but I've come to learn that in almost every case with musical equipment price = quality. So, anyone have anything to say that has played both carvins and better amps like soldano, bogner or diezel?
davester1234
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well, all discussions should now be shut down because Magmas has baptized good tone, and all must take notice. :wink:

Hear ye, Hear ye,

don't buy a jem because Magmas has deemed them sub-par, and don't play anything other than a $5,000 amp like a Soldano, or you'll sound like poo poo.
Disclaimer: the validity of this statment requires striking from the record the fact that 95% of the musical population uses quote unquote cheap gear, but many still sound good. For the purposes of this statement, these countless instances of people harnessing great tones out of 'subpar' amps like Peavey's (Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani), Marshalls (Every original rock God, half the guys that used to have webpages on MP3.com) and Fenders must be erased from memory using the memory blanking device used in MEN IN BLACK. This statement will otherwise self-destruct.
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RAI
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Magmas wrote:Let's say no more about the subject because there is nothing more to be said...
I agree, because you're trying to argue opinion.
Does $$$$$ equal quality?
Ususally.
Does $$$$$ equal what you're looking for?
Probably not.

Something being made by hand and something that is mass-produced cannot really be compared.
Both have their pros and cons...

If you buy a handwired amp, and that just happened to be wired on a day when the tech got the notice from the bank that they're foreclosing on his house, it may not be quite as "sharp" as you thought it would be...
:lol:

Joe Satriani used a Gorilla amp for his early (legendary) recordings.
Sounds pretty good to me!

I say this...
Try anything you can get your paws on, and see what you like.
If your dream sound comes from a 10 watt practice amp, get it.
If it comes from a $2000 head, sell your car and figure out a different way of hauling the amp from gigs and rehearsals.
Just don't settle on something because it's "supposed" to be good.
:D
frankie
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I don't own either the Legacy or a Soldano (I got a Rivera m60 :D ), but as others have stated, tone is in the ear of the beholder and is subjective - period.

Ok Magmas, to your ear your Soldano might be the best thing since sliced bread, but for someone who isn't into the gain/particular voicing of that amp will probably think it sucks (eg a jazz player etc). The fact of the matter is that the legacy and your soldano are voiced differently :wink:

The only aspects that you could argue is better or worse are things like build quality/materials used etc....
Derek
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I've used several different amps over time from Crate, Peavey, Marshall, and now the Legacy from Carvin, and it's hands down my favorite, I plan to use it for a long time still.

Something that should be kept in mind about this amplifier, though, is that it really does react differently to every guitar, I run two different Jems and two different Universes through it and they all have different characteristics to their sound, so I do tweak the knobs here and there. If you have the availability to check one out at a local store, make sure you try your personal guitar to see how it's going to sound.

Also - I'm not running any ds pedals, am I supposed to? I've just been using the gain on the second channel for everything, I have a wah, volume, and chorus pedal, that's got me this far...
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