#1
Hi there,

I like to play a heavy sound with a lot of distortion.

I'm wiling to buy a new amp head which has a good drive built in.

Well, I wanted to buy a combo instead of an amp head, but a combo is way too big for an airplane travel, but an amp head isn't. I'm living in another country now and I want to take the amp head with me when I go back.

I've been thinking of buying one of these 2 head amps: Marshall JVM410HCF or Line 6 Spider Valve MKII HD 100.

I guess both are valve amp heads, right?

So, here comes the problem: I will buy a Line6 Spider IV when I go back home, which is a good solid state amp and it's affordable in my country. If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?

I guess this is a dumb question, but it's the first time I'm going to buy a decent amp, and they are pretty expensive, I don't wanna make any mistake.

Cheers.
Last edited by ramonfr9 at Jan 3, 2013,
#2
Of those, get the Marshall. I have no idea why you would think the Spider is anywhere close to being in the same league.

Obviously you're new here - read the stickies. Provide the requested information and we can make recommendations for you. It's possible neither are suitable for you.

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#3
Quote by ramonfr9
Hi there,

I like to play a heavy sound with a lot of distortion.


ASG hybris

Quote by ramonfr9
Well, I wanted to buy a combo instead of an amp head, but a combo is way too big for an airplane travel, but an amp head isn't. I'm living in another country now and I want to take the amp head with me when I go back.


you will still need a cabinet to play the head. but a head is a good choice in that closed back cabs are generally preferred for most modern high gain.

have you thought of anything like computer modeling, DSP, multi-effects, or a hardware solution like Axe-FX? this type of approach seems like it would be favorable for your situation.

what will you be using the head for? practice? gigs? jamming with friends?

Quote by ramonfr9
I've been thinking of buying one of these 2 head amps: Marshall JVM410HCF or Line 6 Spider Valve MKII HD 100.

I guess both are valve amp heads, right?


the marshall would be considered 'valve', the line 6 would be considered a hybrid valve/DSP amp. i consider the marshall to be a but overpriced as well, i think you could get better for cheaper.

Quote by ramonfr9
So, here comes the problem: I will buy a Line6 Spider IV when I go back home, which is a good solid state amp and it's affordable in my country. If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?


valve amps will need a 'load' or speaker in order for them to work safely. you can't just take a tube amp's speaker out and plug it into any amp... you'd need a cabinet. there are some 'load boxes' that act like a speaker so you could plug that into the speaker out of a valve amp and then the load box will have a 'line out' you could plug into other devices... but this is an convoluted solution, requiring more equipment than you need in the first place.

you could just keep a 1x12 at home to plug your head into. you could also go the digital route for convenience.
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#4
Quote by ramonfr9
I guess both are valve amp heads, right?

Not really. The Marshall is a tube amp, the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.

Quote by ramonfr9
If I plug a valve amp head in a solid state amp, is the sound quality going to deteriorate? Is it possible to plug a valve amp in a solid state amp at least?

Why would you plug one amp into another? My guess is you mean plugging a tube amp into a solid state speaker cabinet. It doesn't work that way though. Speaker cabinets aren't tube or solid state... They're just speaker cabinets.
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#5
Quote by tubetime86
Not really. The Marshall is a tube amp, the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.



Actually no, the SV has a tube pre as well. It just has a SS modeling section before that. (a pre-preamp?)
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#6
Quote by tubetime86
the Spider is a tube poweramp with a solid state preamp.
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


OP, an amp head is rarely much lighter or smaller than a combo, other than in height, and only the smallest heads are really safe to stick on a plane. You certainly can't take an amp head on board with you as hand luggage, and anything you have checked to the hold will be thrown about, crushed and subjected to unpredictable moisture and temperature. That's besides many airlines refusing to allow such things on board.

In short, do not bank on taking a valve amp on a plane. A solid state amp may fare better as they're lighter and ever so slightly tougher, but even then, it's a fair risk.

Buying things in one country and taking them back home with you isn't that easy anyway, as you'll be subject to all manner of customs taxes.

You also can not plug a valve amp into a solid state amp. Valve amp heads need to be plugged into a speaker cabinet.


If you can buy a Spider IV easily and cheaply where you live then you can also buy a Spider Valve there; any Line 6 dealer can order one in for you. So if your heart is set on valves, just do that.
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#7
Quote by MrFlibble
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


You sure about that, because that's not reflected in the signal diagram?
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#8
Oh whoops, didn't know the SV was tube pre also. My bad... But either way it's a hybrid.
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#9
It's not really a 'hybrid', either. For all intents and purposes, it's like getting a valve amp and sticking an HD500 in front of it with a few pedals in the effects loop. In theory it could operate without any of the digital stuff at all, it's just that sadly they don't give you this option (bizarre, since you can use the DT amps with the modelling stuff turned off). So it's a kind of... hybrid hybrid. Quarter hybrid? Somesuch like that.

And yes, the digital stuff can come in anywhere. Mostly the modelling comes first and the effects come between the preamp and power stages, but if you dick about with the in-depth preset tools via MIDI, you can move stuff around. It's not quite as flexible as the new DT & HD integration, or what the old Vetta II could do, but it's more than your common Spider IV.

I still would not argue that the Spider Valve is a nicer amp than the Marshall JVM, I think it's a no-brainer than the JVM is going to sound nicer in 99% of situations, but the Spider Valve certainly is misunderstood. I think if they had dropped the 'Spider' name it'd have a better reputation.
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#10
Quote by MrFlibble
It's not really a 'hybrid', either. For all intents and purposes, it's like getting a valve amp and sticking an HD500 in front of it with a few pedals in the effects loop. In theory it could operate without any of the digital stuff at all, it's just that sadly they don't give you this option (bizarre, since you can use the DT amps with the modelling stuff turned off). So it's a kind of... hybrid hybrid. Quarter hybrid? Somesuch like that.

And yes, the digital stuff can come in anywhere. Mostly the modelling comes first and the effects come between the preamp and power stages, but if you dick about with the in-depth preset tools via MIDI, you can move stuff around. It's not quite as flexible as the new DT & HD integration, or what the old Vetta II could do, but it's more than your common Spider IV.

I still would not argue that the Spider Valve is a nicer amp than the Marshall JVM, I think it's a no-brainer than the JVM is going to sound nicer in 99% of situations, but the Spider Valve certainly is misunderstood. I think if they had dropped the 'Spider' name it'd have a better reputation.


If you plug your guitar directly to the rear panel Power Amp in, it does exactly that as I understand it. (It goes through the tube pre and power amps, regardless of the nomenclature)

I'm still unconvinced about your signal path description, but it's not worth arguing about.
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#11
Thank you for your answers and sorry for my newbieness, I've never had an amp head before, so I didn't know if it could be pluged in another amp or whatever.

It's good to know that a cabinet is only a cabinet and can't be classified in solid state, valve, etc...

So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?
#12
Quote by ramonfr9
So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?


Short answer: A Lot.

Long Answer: A Lot.

Cabinet design, construction quality and most importantly, speakers used, play a huge part in the final sound from an amp.
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#13
A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.
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#14
Quote by MrFlibble
It's not really a 'hybrid', either.


what?

Quote by Cathbard
A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.


oh thank god, someone who isn't posturing

+1

@flibble: you've argued the most unimportant points on this thread.

Quote by ramonfr9
So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?


depends. i have picked up some pretty cheap cabinets and changed speakers and had some success. but a good cabinet will get the most out of your head, it can be like night and day between a good cabinet and a poor one.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 3, 2013,
#15
Quote by Cathbard
A HD500 is a preamp. If you combine a solid state preamp with a tube preamp and run it as one unit the result is a hybrid preamp.


Wouldn't that make any tube amp with a boost pedal in front of it a 'hybrid' of sorts?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just not sure how appropriate the moniker is?
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#16
Quote by Arby911
Wouldn't that make any tube amp with a boost pedal in front of it a 'hybrid' of sorts?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just not sure how appropriate the moniker is?


way i see it is that it is hard to define exactly what a hybrid is.

if an amp incorporates more than one basic technology (tube, SS, DSP) then it uses hybrid technology (valves, transistors, opamps, micro processors).

if the maker sticks a micro processor in the signal path of a tube amp, i consider it a hybrid.

if you stick boost in front of an amp... well hell, i'll let you name it.

but yes, when you start thinking about all the different crap we put in the signal chain of our amps then there is hardly any rig out there that isn't some kinda 'hybrid' rig.
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#17
A boost pedal in front of a tube amp isn't contained in the same unit. It is however a hybrid system so in a way yes - but the pedal isn't part of the amp. It's a hybrid system but not a hybrid amp, if you get my meaning.
Can you use the tube preamp part without the solid state part? If you can't then it's one component not two as is the case with a pedal. If the tube and SS sections of the preamp of a spider valve cannot be separated then it is a hybrid preamp. That seems pretty clear cut and beyond interpretation. If you can bypass the SS part entirely then I'll concede that there's some grey area, if not then it is a clear cut case.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jan 3, 2013,
#18
Quote by Cathbard
A boost pedal in front of a tube amp isn't contained in the same unit. It is however a hybrid system so in a way yes - but the pedal isn't part of the amp. It's a hybrid system but not a hybrid amp, if you get my meaning.
Can you use the tube preamp part without the solid state part? If you can't then it's one component not two as is the case with a pedal. If the tube and SS sections of the preamp of a spider valve cannot be separated then it is a hybrid preamp. That seems pretty clear cut and beyond interpretation. If you can bypass the SS part entirely then I'll concede that there's some grey area, if not then it is a clear cut case.


Yes.

I agree with your clarification, thanks!
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#19
Amazing. Correcting misinformation is now "posturing" and "arguing". Bless you, internet.

Quote by ramonfr9

So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?
Your speakers are almost as important as the amp itself. Everything has to come through those speakers, so it's vital they're as good as can be and voiced appropriately for the sort of tone you want. It's always smarter to buy a decent amp with a good speaker cab than it is to buy a really amazing amp with a bad cab. A bad cab can make even the most expensive, professional guitar and amp sound cheap and terrible.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Jan 3, 2013,
#20
Quote by MrFlibble
Amazing. Correcting misinformation is now "posturing" and "arguing". Bless you, internet.


you come in here and immediately post this crap

Quote by MrFlibble
Incorrect. The Spider Valve uses valves for both the preamp (two 12AX7) and power amp (four 6L6). The digital modelling and effects can come in before or after either stage, depending on what's best for the type of sound required.


coming out the gate ready to 'correct' someone based on some shit you believe. immediately trying to establish yourself at the expense of someone else.

he was not 'incorrect', he just had a different view on it than you. shit like that garners no respect from me.

besides, did you ever look at the schematic?

Quote by Arby911
You sure about that, because that's not reflected in the signal diagram?
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#21
Calm down, dear.

http://line6.com/spidervalvemkii/specs.html

It's literally right there; four power amp valves, two preamp valves (not a solid state preamp, which is what tubetime86 was saying {and graciously admitted their error on}).
Unless I am very much mistaken, you can't simply have the 'opinion' that a set of preamp valves don't exist. They're either there or they're not, and in this case, they're there.

Dunno why you're getting so narked about the concept that somebody might be able to read a specification run-down. Grab a beer, play a video game, stop getting so irrationally angry at people on the internet.
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#22
One of those 12AX7's will be in the power amp. ie, the phase inverter. So it will be one preamp tube. Can't imagine that it would be doing a lot. My guess is that it's behaving more as a buffer interfacing the HD500 to the power amp than a preamp tube per se. Technically it is preamp though.
Looks like a hybrid preamp to me. It has all the trappings of one.
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#23
Quote by MrFlibble
Calm down, dear.

http://line6.com/spidervalvemkii/specs.html

It's literally right there; four power amp valves, two preamp valves (not a solid state preamp, which is what tubetime86 was saying {and graciously admitted their error on}).
Unless I am very much mistaken, you can't simply have the 'opinion' that a set of preamp valves don't exist. They're either there or they're not, and in this case, they're there.


calling it a 'tube preamp' is just as incorrect as calling it a 'solid state' preamp because they seem to have both components in it.

TT86's analysis was just as incomplete as yours, which was still pretty irrelevant to TS's concerns in the first place.

Quote by MrFlibble
Dunno why you're getting so narked about the concept that somebody might be able to read a specification run-down. Grab a beer, play a video game, stop getting so irrationally angry at people on the internet.


i'll get 'narked' when i want to. i have no patience for people like you.

you aren't a dumbass, you're smart enough to be dangerous but you make a lot half correct comments at the expense of others.

piss-off on telling me what to do as well. 'grab a beer, play a video game', look: do what you want, but you have no say in what i do.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 4, 2013,
#24
Quote by ramonfr9
Thank you for your answers and sorry for my newbieness, I've never had an amp head before, so I didn't know if it could be pluged in another amp or whatever.

It's good to know that a cabinet is only a cabinet and can't be classified in solid state, valve, etc...

So, how much a cheap cabinet may affect the sound produced by the amp head?


lets try to get back on point.

what brought you to those two amps? they are quite different.

is having onboard effects important to you? if they were i would recommend a peavey vypyr head.

i didn't have a ton of time when i played the lin6, but found the effects better on the peavey. the sanpera switch offers you basically full control from the floor.

if effects aren't as important to you, a JSX or a XXX or ultra from peavey are good versatile amps, tons of gain on the ultra channel

have you looked in to jet city? i am not a fan, but i know a lot of people who did like them (i had a 2112RC and an 50 watt head).

i picked up a mesa MKIV head for $875 last fall. again very versatile.
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#25
If the OP is on a plane I would get an HD500. Amps suck to travel with unless you have a flight case.

That is of coarse if you are going to be home recording.../have a power amp and speaker cab for gigs....


What is your budget and what will you be using it for?
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Last edited by R45VT at Jan 4, 2013,
#26
Quote by R45VT
If the OP is on a plane I would get an HD500. Amps suck to travel with unless you have a flight case.

That is of coarse if you are going to be home recording.../have a power amp and speaker cab for gigs....


What is your budget and what will you be using it for?


my thoughts exactly. i'd rather have something i can fit in my carry on rather than trust the airport luggage handlers.
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#27
I have no idea why you would think the Spider is anywhere close to being in the same league.
#28
also you know it's going to cost a ton of money for the overweight fee and a proper flight case just to take the amp on a plane.
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#29
Quote by ramonfr9
HI will buy a Line6 Spider IV when I go back home, which is a good solid state amp and it's affordable in my country.

Who told you that? Nothing with the name "spider" made by line 6 is good, by any definition, unless you like the sound of a beehive crammed up a civic's tailpipe that happens to have holes drilled in it.

I would recommend anything over the spider, you're gonna buy it, like if for maybe a week (if that, or if you ever do), hate it, not be able to sell it, and then regret it. If I wanted a modeling amp I'd go for a vyper , or maybe an HD500 and a powered wedge.

Fibbs, you've done clogged up the thread with your argument, be the adult and end it. No witty retort needed, You'll just further fill the thread with things that either belong in PM's or unsaid.
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#30
HD500 and a powered wedge is the correct answer here IMO also.
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


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