Re: Question about Carvin V3
My first question to you is: Are you looking for an amp for stage use or bedroom use? If you aren't in a band that is playing clubs you're going to get a better tone for your money by buying a line-6 spyder.
If you want a Mesa chugga sound, then go with the Mesa. To my ears, the Mesa is somewhere inbetween the V3 and the Legacy. It is voiced a little bit closer to the Legacy as far as creaminess goes, but has the gain and bite of a V3. To me a Mesa has the darkness of a Legacy but more bite and gain, whereas the V3 has the gain and bite, but not the darkness. However, since the Mesa has a terrible clean, it's not the best of both worlds by any means.
I've heard a lot of V3 clips, including all of those that try to dial in a Legacy tone. I own a Legacy, but from what I have heard, you can only get relatively close to the Legacy with a V3. Don't get me wrong; the V3 is a fantastic sounding amp. No other amp can sound like a Legacy besides the Legacy.
Here's my advice if you are going to go with Carvin and are Vai minded. If you dig his tone before Ultra Zone, go with a V3. You'll get much closer to the Bogner and Marshal amps he was using back then. If you like his Alive in an Ultra World tone and his tone since then, well then pick up a Legacy.