Steve Vai and Carvin have been collaborating on Vai’s signature ‘Legacy’ line of amps since 1999. The latest model, the VL300, was especially highly rated by establishment guitar rags and players alike.
Now Carvin have taken that huge VL300 amp tone and shoved it into a handy little metal box that sits on the ground. So, it’s essentially the preamp section of a Legacy head in a portable form and it can be run straight into a power amp or used as a drive pedal in front of your stack.
Check out the demo of Steven doing his thing through the Legacy Drive. The tone sounds pretty mint (no pun int- …ah whatever).
The pedal is all tube, just like it’s larger 100-watt amp brother, running two 12AX7s. It has pretty much the same EQ layout as the VL300 too, so you’re not stuck with a single “Tone” knob like on your average drive pedal.
Another handy thing (a bunch of premium practice amps also have this nowadays) is that the ‘headphone out’ has built-in cab voicing. If you haven’t heard what an overdriven amp sounds like without a cab… well, it fuggen sucks. So the cab voicing filters the signal and it means you can plug your headphones straight into the pedal and play, without it sounding like a harsh fizzy mess.
As Carvin points out, it also means that you could go direct. Like, straight from the ‘headphone out’ into the mixing desk, or your interface. Buuuut, if it were me, I’d probably opt for the regular output and then add my own cab impulses itb. If you’re gonna use it live or for recording, why step on such a great preamp tone by using the mediocre built-in cab emulation?
Now here’s the Vai-meister talking some words about Carvin and the Legacy Drive.
If your interest has been piqued by Mr. Vai’s demonstration, Carvin live over here.