#1
Well, I just happened to be in Nashville today, sitting in Sam Ash, while I was supposed to be at school I had gone up there last night to see Metallica, and I figured I'd hit Sam Ash. There were a few amps there that are somewhat controversial, so I thought I would give my take on them.


First up, Marshall JVM's of every shape and size They were kinda ehh. Lifeless cleans and this is coming from a VK owner.prety muddy and undefined, not a whole lotta life to it. Not a lot of umph, not much sizzle; pretty 'meh' all around. I wouldn't pay 500 for one, much less the 1500 or more that they cost.

Second, the Marshall Haze mini stack. Pretty good for anything up to Guns 'N Roses on the gain scale. I did not have a chance to boost it, but I'm sure you could some early Metallica-type stuff with it if you threw a decent OD in front of it. Effects were nothing special, but decent enough. A little overpriced, but a good deal if found used.

Third up is a Marshall JCM 900 4100 Dual Reverb. It was pretty decent; good cleans, fair classic rock OD, good hard rock OD, not quite enough balls for anything past GNR type stuff. Of course, that changes with an OD. This amp comes alive with a good boost, very good for thrashy stuff with a pedal out front.

Fourth is the Crate GX 1600. This is the Ampeg SS series clone. Very good Jazz Chorus type cleans, although the reverb is EXTREMELY noisy, and kinda meh sounding anyways. The OD channel give a pretty good metal tone. Great for death metal, thrash metal, groove metal; also can be Dimebag in a box is dialed in right. Great head for the $150 it cost.

Bugera 333XL head on the matching cab- Pretty good amp. The cleans were decent, although nothing mind blowing. Drive was nice and thick, plenty of gain for anyone, stays nice and defined. I never could get a nice, 'open' sound from it, but I think that was because of the low volume I was playing at. Very comperable to the XXX.

Peavey 6505+ -Very nice amp, although not exactly deserving of all the hype. The cleans were better than they are said to be, pretty decent overall. I could get a pretty decent bluesy classic rock out of the crunch channel with the gain fairly low, although I definatly wouldn't buy this amp with that as my main focus. It has that very tight metal tone, although it was a very grinding, middy one. Good hard rock/metal amp. It was actually more versitile than I expected it to be.

Now the suprises:

Line 6 Spider IV head: Not an amazing amp and not worth the money, but I am pleased to say it is a vast improvement over the Spider III. Decent cleans, decenteffects, and decent metal sounds. Not worth buying, but at least the BR00TZ kids that do aren't doomed to have an unbearable sound anymore.

Line 6 Spider Valve head: Now this head blew me away. I sat down with it out of pure curiosity, and stayed with it longer than any other. Absolutly wonderful smooth high gain sound; it reminded me a bit of a Mesa Mark series. Very good cleans, very good light and medium OD sounds. Definatly the most versital and (IMO) best sounding amp I played today. I can really see why that guy sold his Triple Rec for one. I was astounded; it sounded better than the 6505. Well worth the money, even at the original price. If you wanted a gritty high gain sound, it was there, but my favorite sound was a smooth high gain one. I now have major Line 6 GAS.

Anyways, just thought I'd share.
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#2
TL;DR.

But i did read about the Line 6 Spider Valve... Interesting, i might have to go play one.
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#3
I have to disagree with your review of the IV. The cleans were vastly improved but I thought the distortion sounds were even worse. I'll agree on the JVM review, although I wouldn't say the cleans are worse than a VKs. And I still haven't tried a mother****in Haze.
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#7
The JVM is hard to dial in. I got some good tones out of it but it is definitely a picky amp.
The spider valve is a good amp, too. I did enjoy the range of tones available.

Nice reviews!
#8
how were the employees? did they treat you well?
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#9
Damnit, **** all of you who keep saying the Spider Valve is great! I had a choice between that and my Vox, and I chose the Vox! You keep making me think I made a bad choice
#10
i remember testing out a spider valve the very first year they came out at my local store, i was the first one to play it there to. i was floored to say the least. bogner and line 6 have outdone themselves with it. it truly is fantastic. nobody believed me either, until they tried it themselves
#11
spider valve has been alot of props lately
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#12
you might like the jvm 410H 4 channel, the gain is pretty heavy and I like the crunch. Im also like the 5150III. I have a 6260 bugera which is fine. had a spider valve 212 really liked for a while, then got tired of the tones never really used the presets much except the crazy train one.Most!!! people agree that it sounds digital and it does!! After playing my amp then listening to the spider at the store I didnt care for it much.
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#15
Quote by gregs1020
how were the employees? did they treat you well?

Yes, and none of them tried to push any crappy amps on me. The store was amazingly empty, being noon on a Tuesday. The main guy that stuck with me was actually at the same concert the night before He was actually pretty cool; he sat around and jammed with me for a while and talked gear. Much better than the last idiot I talked to.

Quote by Darkflame
spider IV is better? that's good news =)


Like I said, it was an improvement, although still not worth buying. The clean sounds were improved the most, but the distortion was also a step ahead of the Spider III, all IMHO anyways.
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
Last edited by classicrocker01 at Sep 16, 2009,
#16
Great review man.
yeah the 6505+ is a good amp, but has a very fizzy tone to it. i know the 6505+ and the 5150 II are basically the same amp minus the anme and comestic details but my 5150 II sounds BETTER then the 6505+

also the 333XL has active eqs so it takes some time trying to dial in a good tone out of it. zero on the eqs on the 333xl is at 12 oclock. anything under that would be neg and anything higher would be postive. and moving the bass control up will affect the mid and treble controls as well.
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#17
nice reviews
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#18
i think the JVMs are the best modern marshall, but thats just me. I played the JVM410H so i cant complain about a lack of oomph.

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#20
Problem with the 6505+ is it is just a generic metal tone. It doesn't really have it's own sound, everyone uses them, they just aren't unique. Although I do really like JVMs, if you really know how to tweak it it is amazing.


Everyone likes the Spider Valve, I played one when I was first starting and was impressed.
#21
Quote by classicrocker01
Yes, and none of them tried to push any crappy amps on me. The store was amazingly empty, being noon on a Tuesday. The main guy that stuck with me was actually at the same concert the night before He was actually pretty cool; he sat around and jammed with me for a while and talked gear. Much better than the last idiot I talked to.
.

That's good to hear. I will forward that to the store manager.

I was in a GC yesterday for 20 minutes, nobody approached me to see what I was in looking for. Too bad too, I may have bought that CBB Halsted that was sitting there...
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#22
^Do you live in Nashville or something?
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#23
GC in austin is pretty decent

at least no idiot around
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#24
I'm glad people are giving the SpiderValve some credit
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#25
glad to hear you were treated well. i will let the mgr know, that stuff never happens enough. good reviews. im in chicago, but we like to pass on good news and stuff. the sales guy deserves the attaboy.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Sep 17, 2009,
#26
My buddy has the spider valve. I've always thought it sounded awesome. And it does everything!
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#27
Quote by O.O Meow O.O
GC in austin is pretty decent

at least no idiot around


Which one? The one on Mo Pac is absolute ****. Unfortunately it's only 2 minutes from my house so I typically go there for strings. I'd rather not give them my money but the nearest local store is Strait and I don't like them much either. The one on Anderson is okay though. That one used to be cool as **** but they stopped stocking most of the higher level stuff. There were some cool guys there as well but they all got fired.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs