Spider IV 120
zzzaaaccc, on april 14, 2010 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 430
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: The Line 6 Spider IV is a 120 watt, solid state amplifier. It was made in 2009 and it has 2x10" Celestion Speakers in stereo. The amp overall is very versatile with 16 total channels. The channels range from clean for jazz to insane for metal. It has pre-loaded presets from Artists, Songs, and User. The User presets allows one to make their own presets if they find a tone they like. It has 20 effects and 4 can be run at once. It has a Quick Loop feature, which allows one to record up to 14 seconds long and play it back to use as a backing track to your playing. After that you can overdub it and have multiple tracks going at once. The onboard tuner is very useful for onstage tuning without the noise. It has a jack for the FBV MkII foot controller which allows hands free opperation of the amplifier. The foot controller costs around $200, plus it adds an expression pedal that can be used for volume/wah. I don't own the foot controller but I'd like to try it sometime. It has a Direct Out for recording which I don't use but could be important for others. Along with a Master Volume it has a Channel Volume, which allows one to balance out the channel's varying volumes.
I play in my room a lot so it is more than enough for practice. When I have taken it to church, school, or to jam, it still had more volume left in the tank. A feature I use all the time is the Channel Buttons. You can store 4 amp settings and click one of the buttons marked A through D on the front of the amp with ease. It is very useful for Progessive Metal since it demands switching from clean to distortion multiple times per song usually.
A feature I wish it had was a foot pedal included with the amp since I would use it a lot but that is just me. // 8
Sound: The guitar I use with my Spider is an Aria PE-Anniv. It short its a beautiful LP copy with Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups. I play a lot of styles including metal, progressive, rock, blues, and jazz. The amp hits some sounds but misses on others. The clean to overdrive are very good overall allowing a good jazz and progessive tone. Once the amp is on metal and insane the tone goes south. It sounds very thin and nothing special. The distortion isn't weak, as the insane is intense. Its just the tone flat out sucks for the most part.
Though the high distortion tone isn't great there is no excess noise. The clean channel does stay clean at high volumes. One complaint is that the EQ seems to change as the volume goes up. Sometimes it gets more bass or more highs with increased volume. The volume goes up suddenly after the 8 o' clock position on the Master Volume knob as well. This isn't uncommon in amplifiers but still annoying anyway.
One very important thing to note is that this is a modeling amplifier. Modeling amplifiers will not usually work well with stompboxes. I own a Boss Metal zone which I used when I had only my small practice amp. The pedal gets extreme feedback even with a solid body guitar with humbuckers. You are taking life into your own hands if you plan to use stompboxes with this. // 6
Reliability & Durability: The amp so far is very reliable. I have taken it places many times and nothing has happened. It got a little rain on it once and that didn't damage it either. I would take it to a gig without a backup. Part of the reason is I have no back up but it is realiable enough not to need one. The amp has also never broken down since I've owned it and it better stay that way. // 9
Overall Impression: For the most part I am happy with the amp, though I'm not stoked. I bought it for the main purpose of having an amp that was versatile, loud, and cheap. It meets those qualifications very well and fufills its purpose. I plan on buying a Roland Jazz-Chorus 120 in the future as its one of the best clean amps ever built. I would play this at home, but most likely use the Line 6 for gigs that could get a little crazy so I wouldn't lose the Roland to flying beer bottles or whatnot. If it got stolen I'd probably go buy the Roland and risk something happening to it (maybe invest in a steel cage to put around it?). My favorite effects are the chorus, reverb, and echo. I use the three a lot with my playing and they sound pretty good for the price. My least favorite part is the tone in general with the metal and insane channel distortion. If you want an amp for versatility, volume, and the price I would recommend it. If you want good tone I'd save my money. // 8
Spider IV 120
livingston96, on july 04, 2011 0 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: First of, I am a 80's metal type player and don't really know how to judge many other tones besides distortion. If you're looking for a review on those aspects of this amp, sorry but I am no help. I'd probably end up screwing you over, and I don't want to that. Also, this is my first review, so sorry if I'm leaving anything out.
The features: not so great. They give you a LOT of effects, but most of them are crappy. Also, they make it so you get 2x as many effects if you go online and join their community, as opposed to actually putting it on the amp when produced. This is a problem, because when you join, you get a big load of emails from them, and it overall just takes a lot of time for the free pieces of crap you get. I also got the editing software for it, which is fun to use, but really serves as now help. The presets, from what I've played with, are horribly portrayed renditions of the real thing. You get what you pay for. I gave features a 6, not a 2, because you get a lot of fx for little price. A big drawback is that there's no effects loop. However, if you buy that many effects in that range, you should already know it's not going to work too well. // 6
Sound: Wow, this amps biggest downfall. I have a cheap 100$ electric guitar and a $450 dollar Ibanez. There is NO difference in the distorted tone. Your guitars tone is completely masked. Also, the metal green and all of the insane channels sound like a super muddy version of metal red. It's actually really pathetic. I put either a Boss MT-2 or a MXR Fullbore Metal in front of it for distortion, which makes it a bit better, but still nothing like a good tube amp distortion. I have an easy time replication a Pantera type distortion on the pedals with the amp. The cleans, obviously, won't be like a fender, but I'm not one to judge that. Also, the footswitch (MKII Express) it comes with boasts about having a good wah pedal. And I say it isn't. Also, I hear people have to buy it separately for $100. That thing isn't worth crap. I got it free with a rebate. Due to its horrible distortion and crap pedal, it gets a lowly 2. // 2
Reliability & Durability: Never had a problem with it breaking. However, during gigs it sometimes randomly changes channel, getting a messed up EQ and flanger/delay/crap coming out. All you have to do is push on the channel selector on your footswitch, and it's fixed. I would gig without a backup, but I'd probably prefer the backup. So, other than that it's barely done anything bad durability wise and reliability wise, so it gets an 8. // 7
Overall Impression: Not for metal... At all. If you're really into buying a modeling amp, look at the Vox VT series. VTs aren't quite tube sounding imo, but pretty good for a hybrid amp. I bought this because I had PodFarm/Metal add-on, and it sounded quite nice... Nothing like this digital sounding atrocity. If it were stolen, I would say good luck to the guy who took it. Overall impresion: don't waste you're money. // 4
Spider IV 120
Doobz__57, on october 11, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 800
Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music
Features: The Line 6 Spider IV 120 (watt) is currently still in production and was manufactured roughly a year or so ago.
The amplifier is extremely versatile, having eight different sound types in total. The eight sound types are Clean, Twang, Class A, Blues, Crunch, Hi Gain, Metal and Insane - going from the most docile to the hardest, dirty sound, respectively. This clearly shows how many genres can be nailed with this one amp.
There are four channels, able to be switched by hand at the amp or operated by a Line 6 FBV pedal. (The pedal is bought separately, however) The player can use preset default sounds or adjust the sounds manually to their preference.
There are ten effects in total, ranging from Auto-Wah to Digital Delay. Nine different effects are divided into three knobs. The tenth effect, Reverb, has a knob of its own. In addition to the amazing quantity of effects on this amp, each effect has a little "other side" to it, giving a whole new effect in its place. So, in truth, there are actually TWENTY different effects accessible on the Spider IV 120!
There are no additional features required on this amp, other than any more effects that a player might like (which is unlikely, due to the amazing range of effects there already are).
This amp has enough power to compete with acoustic drums. Therefore, it is possible to gig with this amp. When I gig, I only need to turn it up a little before it starts to get loud. So, I have not yet actually used the amp to its full potential, volume wise. Which is a good thing. The amp also has a built in chromatic tuner. // 9
Sound: If there is one thing I can say about ALL Line 6 amplifiers is that each and every one of them is extremely versatile. Hence, they can nail almost any genre a player will throw at them. However, if you are using a "clashing" combination, that may make a difference. An example of a clashing combination could be trying to use a Fender guitar with a Death Metal sound - just plain silly.
This amplifier is not entirely noisy. The only noise problem that occurs with me is when I have on the Insane setting and I stand too close to the amp at a high volume, with my guitar. It produces feedback, stopping by muting the strings. There are so many things to do with this amp. You can achieve an almost acoustic sound with the serene Clean tones or rumble the walls with a ballsy Metal roar.
Being a high-watt amplifier, the Clean sounds do not distort at high volumes, which is an amazing catch. You can, however, manually turn up the Drive level in your Clean sound, making it "dirty" at your preference. // 8
Reliability & Durability: In my time of owning the Spider IV 120, I have never experienced technical difficulties with it. I play at various gigs without the fear of it breaking down on me. No backup required.
The only vulnerable places on the product is the meshing that covers the speakers, on the front of the amp and the partly exposed back of the amp. Like some other Line 6's, the Spider IV 12's "innards" is slightly exposed at the back of the amp. They do this for the player to have access to the hardware at his/her will, if they find the need. Avoid any sharp-edged objects around there and you should be fine. I have never dropped it once, let alone a reasonable height, so I don't exactly know how shockproof it is. But, being a relatively heavy amp, I wouldn't recommend it. // 7
Overall Impression: The style of music I play is mostly distorted, ranging from Pop-Rock all the way to Drop C Metal. Line 6's Spider IV 120 suits almost any style flawlessly. So, it matches me perfectly.
I have currently been playing for five and a half years and would consider myself relatively advanced. I now own three amplifiers in total, starting with some dodgy 12 watt that was about as quiet as a mouse. Three years into my playing, I acquired a Line 6 Spider III 15 (watt) and kept that for about another year and a half. I have, since then, upgraded to the Spider IV 120, which I am extremely pleased with.
I have played with other, bigger amps (wattage wise) and they were no doubt better quality than my Spider IV but I just didn't feel comfortable with them. Think of it as Harry Potter, where the wand either works for the wizard or it doesn't. These other amps just didn't work for me, whereas the Line 6 did.
I would definitely replace this amplifier if it were stolen or lost, considering if I had the financial capability to. I can't think of any additions that I would want on the Spider IV 120. It is an extremely detailed amp and probably has some things on it that I still haven't discovered. A great amplifier! // 8