Carvin Legacy VL100 Head

Carvin Legacy VL100 Head

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Legacy VL100 Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Carvin.

2 user reviews
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Carvin Legacy VL100 Head tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Carvin
  • Model: Legacy VL100 Head
  • Category: Tube Guitar Amp Heads
  • Added in our database on: 04/05/2004

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Carvin Legacy VL100 Head user reviews

Average Score:5.0( 5/5 based on 2 reviews )
 2 reviews100 %

denied's review"Great lead amp with volume to spare"

Carvin Legacy VL100 Head
- 2 channels, clean and lead
- Controls for volume, treble, mid, bass per channel
- Presence switch for clean channel
- Drive and presence controls for drive channel
- Master reverb
- Switchable between 50 and 100 watts
- All tube (5 12ax7 preamp, ships with 4 EL34 power section)
- Switchable between EL34s and 6L6 power tubes
- Cabinet voiced lineout
- 4, 8, or 16 ohms
- Hand made, USA


While this is an incredible amp, I do have a few usability issues with it. There is no master volume control, so unless you have a place to run this guy full tilt, you are in trouble. It literally does not go below wall shaking volumes. There is a switch to run it at half power (50 watts), but remember that watts=/= volume, that really just drops it by a couple decibels.

I like that you can run either 6l6 or EL34s (also E34Ls) in the Legacy, I’ve used both and it really makes a difference depending on what kind of voicing and headroom you want.
The tone controls don’t have a huge amount of range on them.
Overall it was pretty reliable, but I did get some issues with the effects loop circuitry at one point. I bought the amp used, so I won’t knock Carvin for this, but it is worth noting.


Aside from the issues in usability, the sound is just incredible. The clean channel is beautiful, icy bell lie cleans. This isn’t really a warm clean amp, more like a fender twin style. Perfect for picked out clean parts. A ton of headroom, really doesn’t clip out at all.
The lead channel is just pristine. Very articulate, nuanced and harmonically rich. It really is just the perfect lead amp. It has a surprising amount of gain on tap, sweet spot is around 7. The louder you crank it, the better it’s going to sound.


The Legacy is one of the best clean/lead amps on the market right now. Just make sure that you have a place to crank it. Designed by guitar virtuoso Steve Vai along with Carvin USA. Carvin sell direct, keep the middle man out of the equation, and are able to deliver handmade amps at killer prices. As a result, the used prices for these are absurdly low, usually below $600. The Legacy isn’t for everyone, but if you’re after something that does cleans and leads very well, this is an excellent option.

Satch1's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Carvin Legacy VL100 Head
- 100 Watt All Tube Amp.
- Born in Mount with 4 and 5 12AX7 EL34. Possibilitquot; upstream of 6L6 or 5881 with switch on rear face.
- Effects loop SERIES - Stereo footswitch jack for reverb and channel change on / off.
- 2 parallel outputs for speaker - 4 - 8 - 16 ohms.
- 2 channels clean & overdrive / sustain) Spar Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble & Presence for each channel. Common reverb.
50/100W switchable.

Some think it lacks a master on the clean, but before saturating the clean and even like me with EMG 81 and 85 you have to play hard trs.


Extremely simple configuration, we start with all the knobs of Tone noon, a gain nor a APRS is too much, we try to go too extreme settings and gives a faster sound.

The manual is fairly brief (one-sided A4 sheet) but with a simple amp, no need to literature Volume I - Volume II ... etc

You just know when that one branch in a stro enceitne derrire impdance need to divide by 2 and put the switch in line, otherwise, bobo! Example: If the cabinet is 2 x 8 ohms, you must put the switch 4. This is not the only trs prcis sheet.


I play with EMG 81 humbucker in bridge and 89 in sleeve.
I go through a wah - the head - a gmajor (who eats the same dynamic when) - and a cabinet equipped with V30.

I play Rock mtal French, I like the sound enough but not too saturated, I prefer it has body and presence rather than the usual V-legalization. Potentiometer drive is about 8 (of 10).
I take a word used to describe a forum on the legacy of this "organic", it is not cold at all, on the contrary, heat, low. This very "low medium".

This is the type of sound I like, I do not like the boogie, peavey, engl, marshall, but I'm more with less high-medium, that is why I made this choice.

It c'tait for its saturated.

To clean, I am not a specialist in me, as long as it does not saturate with my EMG and it's pretty crystal for arpges fits me. I leave to another description of the clean channel.

As against the 2-channel, the receiver responds extremely well to lead attack, even the crunch becomes saturated if it exaggerates the scope of picks.

Beware, take a baffle that much cash in the low penalty hearing boiled in fact the head ISSUED enormously low, it must be returned with a good cabinet.

AND - Do not buy this amp to play in his room, unless you have a room of 60 m and distant neighbors or not boring, it does exist?.
The volume knob on the clean and lead often do not exceed 1.5 or 2. And more time in the bars I have to lower the general gmajor.

For reverb, it is like on most amps, unusable, or not more than 2 on the knob, and anyway if I want one of my gmajor.


I've had about four months, I have 6 or 7 with, so I had time to step back and agree.

I love her "organic" that dlivre, the other guitarist has a peavey 5150, and the sounds complement each other well enough, with a cot and a slightly hollow sound and prcis my cot from heat and punch.

I already jou of the transistor (peavey, marshall) I had my period rack with all the lights, line6 amp simulation, hybrid simulation line6 amp and power lamps, and finally I came back an all-tube head and this dernire which I prefer.

Regarding the report quality / price, I purchase, but it had been a concert and after it was restzere the closet, it's a sponsorship deal, so I ' I had 400 euros - cheaper than the new but under the conditions of new, so for me good deal, but even 1600 euros it remains affordable for this kind of hardware.

To know if I would do this choice, I would really love at first sight on another head and it does not cost me 1200 euros more. It was not for tomorrow.

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  • Carvin Legacy VL100 Head
  • Carvin Legacy VL100 Head
  • Carvin Legacy VL100 Head
  • Carvin Legacy VL100 Head

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