Hey guys, first productive post.
So, my reason for coming here is this; I want a new amp.
I'm tired of the farty high gain tones my VK gives me, and I want something tighter, meaner, and just all around badasser (yes I know thats not a word), for live, recording, and just shits and giggles playing. I've narrowed it down to about 4 amps, and do keep in mind this purchase is months off, I just want to narrow it down based on experiences from each of you guys. I still plan on playing with as many as possible, plus feel free to add recommendations!
Diezel Herbert-Reason: I've seen these floating around for 2500, and its well...a Diezel.
Carvin V3-Reason: I've wanted one for ages. Seems to be a very straightforward, nice tube amp.
Axe-Fx Ultra-Reason: Ultimately versatile, but loses that awesome "I've got a big ass tube amp so suck it" feeling.
ENGL Invader-Reason: I've heard many good things about it, want to play one desperately.
If it helps, I play in fucktons of tunings, on 6's and 7's, and I dabble in everything from Holdsworthy fusion type deals, to the occasional brutal death metal, and like every fucker on SS.org and possibly many of you here, I dabble in the djent occasionally.
I own an Ultra, a 6505, and until last week had a Roadster as well.
I'll say this. The Ultra is a fucking AWESOME modeler/preamp/processor/everything. It's unmatched in the digital world, hands down. That said, there is that liiiiiiitle extra that you get from a tube amp that the Ultra just doesn't have. That big, air-moving, testicle-growing BOOSH that comes if you really lay into a muted chord and just let the "real" amp push the shit out of itself.
If you play a lot of genres, the Ultra is a no-brainer (or an Axe-II, obviously). It does a very, very good job at just about everything. If you can go without that little extra that a full on tube amp gives you, and consider the enormous upside of the Axe-Fx (direct recording, multiple outs, DI, cab sims, effects galore, the list goes on), that's what I'd do if I were in your shoes. If I had to chose between my amp and my Ultra, it'd be the Ultra all day long. All of those other amps you listed will do what they do very well, but the Ultra will do all of them well enough.
That said, having both is fucking cool as hell, and really not _that_ much of an investment otherwise. Plus, it's fucking cool as hell. The Ultra is an expensive road to go down. There's the price of the unit, the price of a solid power amp to run it through, and if you're sending it to a regular cab (I had mine run into a Mesa 4x12) the FRFR bug will bite you eventually and you'll end up doing what I did (buying some sort of powered FR cab). Then you'll realize that you only have one, and stereo is awesome, so you'll end up buying another one, like I did.
At the end of the day, my rig costs are about:
AxeFx ($2000) + 2x HD1221 ($800 each) = $3600, plus another $800 for the MFC-101 and ~$200 for cases and cables, so call it $4500.
By comparison, I paid $850 for my 6505 and you can get Recto 4x12's for about $500 on Craigslist, so for around $1300 you can get a rip your fucking face off metal amp that does one thing, but does that one thing MAGNIFICENTLY. (I have $800 in cork-sniffing pedals hanging off of my 6505 as well, but I'm an asshole with my money, thus I never have any).
Hope that helps!