#1
So I am getting a new amp and have 2 that I have to choose from:
Fender hot rod dlx 40 watt tube, blond tolex (used)
Line6 spider iv 150 watt w/fbv mkii pedal (new)

I play a range of music from blues to metal:
older Metallica
SRV
ZZ top
Albert King
BB King
suicidal tendencies
I also might have opportunity to learn some gospel and play at my church.
So my question is: which amp would better suit me? I have never had a tube amp so I am new to tubes.
I mostly play in a music room at my house for now but plan to move to playing out in public some day.
Any opinions would be helpful as I am pretty new to having a choice in my gear.
#2
Without a doubt the Fender Hotrod for what you play. Why is this even a question?
It will be more then loud enough to play live, and will sound a heap better than some oversized digital practice amp.

You might want to invest in a dirt pedal of some sort down the line for Metalica tones, as i know a lot of people dislike the Hotrod's own dirt channel.

Look forward to a New Amp Day from you.

If you want some other options, let us know your budget and location and we can help out with some more suggestions!
#3
^ +1

There is no contest if those are your only two options but WHY are those your only two options? Those 2 amps couldn't be any more different from one another?

There are other amps out there that might fit you better.

The HRD is extremely loud and not really geared for bedroom playing imo - and won't do Metallica at all. The Spider DOES have some advantages but its tone is just meh.

Something like a Peavey Vypyr tube 60 would be a good choice and is kind of inbetween the two amps you are looking. It has great cleans, built in effects, headphone jack and is certainly good enough to gig with.

But honestly, you need to follow our formula to get the best results:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=31052894&postcount=2
#4
Being new to tube amps, will it sound good at lower volumes?
How long will the tubes last?

My wife paid on account at the local music store and the only 2 amps in the price range is the Fender and the Line6 so that is really about the only choices I have.
As for why is this a question, I have never owned anything more than a Roland cube practice amp and am Very new to the idea of playing thru a full blown amp. so my knowledge is extremely limited.
#5
Tube amps sound 'better' turned up.
Tubes can last anywhere from 3 minutes to 30 years with the average being around 3 yr.

Can your store order stuff? There are other Fender and Line 6 products that might work better. Do they have any used amps? Do you have a link?
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Sep 26, 2013,
#6
Thanks for the link. lets see if I can add more info,
Budget: I have a super cool wife that paid 500.00 on account at the local music store
Fender is used in good shape Line 6 is new
I play a Gibson SGJ chocolate w/humbuckers

I have the line6 at home now and while I like the footswitch and cool things like loading different presets it sounds kinda flat as far as tone, and it seems like to much tech.
I can exchange it for the Fender if I want but if I do that's it I am at the end of the road with choices.
#7
In your situation, I'd go with the spider. It's far more versatile out of the box, even though the tones are meh. You'd not only be able to cover more ground (assuming you don't have stomp boxs), it'd also handle volume low and high just as well.

However if you do have pedals or plan to get some, do go with the Fender.
#9
^ It sounds like his guitar store only carries Fender and Line 6. That is actually pretty typical for the smaller guitar shops. It also sounds like he has the Spider in his possession now so I say just play around with that for awhile and use your exchange policy to return it if you don't like it. The Line 6 will be more flexible and probably sound better at bedroom volumes but the tone is a bit meh and I'm not sure how it will fair in the long run for you, especially with the potential gigging down the road.

Fender makes a modelling amp as well called the Mustang and although I have not played it, I've heard it is superior to the Spider. Fender also has the Blues Jr, Excelsior and the SuperChamp - which I personally would take over the HRD.
#11
The Blackstar sounds nice but yea its a small store and the only one in town so it kinda limits the choice to the Fender HRD used or the line6.
I have played the Line6 over the weekend and its a nice amp that has a lot of metal artist names behind it but just doesn't make me fall in love.
I have been playing thru a Roland cube practice amp with the amplitube fender app and really liked the DLX reverb and the Pro JR.
I have Zero experience with real tube amps, so the jump to tubes is a little scary for me.
thanks for the replys and advise all input is welcome
#12
I personally like the tone of tube amps better. They just are more natural sounding and react to your playing nuances better. Your playing nuances will not shine through a Spider. Like I said, the Spider is fun for about 2 weeks and then you will get bored of it. They are more bedroom friendly though. But hey - kudos to your wife for doing this.


Blame her if the HRD is too loud.

If it were me, I'd get the HRD and make it work for what you want. It won't do Metallica on its own but the amp is an awesome platform for pedals. You could get something like an MI Audio Crunch Box or maybe a Rat and have old school Metallica all day. It will do most everything else you listed nicely.

Additionally, the HRD will hold its resale value better if you ever decide to sell it down the road and get something else. That alone would probably steer me to the HRD.

Fender is not known for putting crappy tubes in their amps. I didn't mean to scare you with the 3 minute life span comment. That was more geared to new amps made in China where the QC out the door is not that great. Good thing there is if you have a bad tube you will probably know right away.

That said, because the HRD you are looking at is used, you are not going to be sure what condition the tubes are in. I'd go back in there and give the amp a good cranking. You can tap on the tubes with the eraser end of a pencil and listen for a tapping noise coming out of the speaker. You can also hit the top of amp pretty good (while no is looking) and make sure there is nothing erratic. You could also ask them for a new set of tubes with it or make them guarantee the tubes for 3-12 months whatever.

If I had to guess, I'd say you have 2 - 4 years before you will need to worry about replacing tubes.

The other good thing about tube amps is that if there is a problem you can bet that 80% of the time it will be a tube. The other 20% of things that can go wrong are fairly easy to diagnose and repair for a technician. With something like a Spider - if the amp craps out on you - there is not much you can do outside of trying to do a factory reset.

tl;dr - get the HRD and trade it away later if it doesn't suit you.

PS: I got my Vypyr 60 for $300 used.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Sep 26, 2013,
#13
Quote by chopper45hd
The Blackstar sounds nice but yea its a small store and the only one in town so it kinda limits the choice to the Fender HRD used or the line6.
I have played the Line6 over the weekend and its a nice amp that has a lot of metal artist names behind it but just doesn't make me fall in love.
I have been playing thru a Roland cube practice amp with the amplitube fender app and really liked the DLX reverb and the Pro JR.
I have Zero experience with real tube amps, so the jump to tubes is a little scary for me.
thanks for the replys and advise all input is welcome



The solid state Spiders have a bad reputation for a reason. They are usable but there are much better for the same price. (like Peavey Vypyr, a modeling amp like Spider) Spider Valve is in completely different ballpark however.

There is nothing to fear with tubes as long as you dont abuse them. Let them warm up a minute on standby mode and start playing. And volume (or more like, too much of it) should not be an issue as long as it has volume control, though if it does not have global master volume it may be a bit sensitive. It is true however that tubes do sound better cranked, but that does not mean it sounds bad in bedroom volumes. I have no idea how is that Fender however.

For metal needs you MAY need a distortion pedal, not sure. (For all I know that amp could deliver kickass metal tones when boosted with tubescreamer type pedal)
For cheap choices you can get from ebay you could try Joyo Extreme Metal (Metal Muff clone. One of the better stereotypical chainsaw-metal pedals) or Joyo US Dream which I also own. Based on Suhr Riot, lots of gain but crunchier kind so its not as "metal" but it sure as hell stands out better.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Sep 26, 2013,
#14
Get the Hot Rod Deluxe.

And although you didn't mention it, if they try to offer you a Hot Rod Deville, avoid it.
Its got great cleans and takes pedals well, but it s OD channel blows IMO.
#15
Well a BIG hearty Thank You to everyone for helping to educate me on tube amps.
I took the spider back to the store and tried the HRD with a Boss MT-2 Metal zone. Really liked everything a lot better so worked out a deal and got the HRD + MT-2 + 1 spot power supply with daisy chain and a set of strings.
Think I will be way happier with this set up.
Thanks again to everyone who posted.
#18
^ Pics work fine


That second pic is sexay!

beautiful kit there.




HNHRDD


I think you will be much happier with that set up, even though I wouldn't use the MT-2. It will work for now do don't sweat it.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Sep 26, 2013,
#19
I am much happier with this one after getting it home. And thank you for the compliment on my set up, it has been a long road that I think is finally paying off.
#20
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^...

That second pic is sexay!

beautiful kit there.




HNHRDD


I think you will be much happier with that set up, even though I wouldn't use the MT-2. It will work for now do don't sweat it.


#22
IMO you made the right decision. enjoy and post a NGD (new gear day) with the pics and a short review. we get excited over them around here.
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#23
Quote by chopper45hd
Well if I did this right here are pix of what I got.
Fender HRD says 180 watt
Boss MT-2 metal zone pedal
power supply for pedal and 1 set of super slinky 9's



Congrats man! I bet it sounds awesome!

Though you may find that MT-2 splits opinions quite a bit (well, it is THE stereotype chainsaw-metal pedal ) but ignore that stuff. Keeping the gain and treble controls in sensible levels and upping your mids and you should be fine.

A hint though, instead of using it just as standalone distortion on clean channel, experiment! Try different things, like using it as overdrive. Put the amp in drive channel, adjust it to some nice heavy rock distortion and then set the pedal to add the final sharp bite, a mild push to the metal territory.

Or try it the way In Flames did early in their careers with MT-2's. Bypass your amplifiers preamp all together and connect the pedal directly into FX Loop In (should be Power Amp In in your Fender). Remember to turn the level down on your pedal, as that is now your volume control. Propably sounds like shit but the point is, experiment and have fun!

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Sep 27, 2013,
#24
Thanks all for the comments.
MaaZeus, I have already went to the drive channel and tweaked the pedal a bit and found a really good metal tone.
So far I am really happy with the amp and my set up in general, but give me a couple of weeks of playing with it before I do a review, want to let the new wear off a bit before making final remarks.