Hi all

I have a Spider Valve MKII 112 and FBV MKII Express which I've owned for 3-4 years. I used to use them both quite a lot at home but found the amp ridiculously loud so bought a UX1 with Pod Farm 2 which I now use 95% of the time through some desktop monitors.

I'm now in a situation where I'm expecting to start gigging in the next few of months. Nothing huge just a few pub gigs playing a wide range of rock and pop covers from the 60's to present day. I took the SV MKII and FBV MKII to my first band practise a few days ago and to be honest I struggled to dial in any decent clean or crunch tones, although I'm sure they're in there somewhere. Besides that I found that on one occasion in the middle of a song I accidentally pressed two pedals at once on the FBV MKII and somehow activated the looper which completely messed up my tone until I managed to switch it off!

I've since played around trying to dial in some clean and crunch tones with mixed success. Some great clean picking tones I might add!

My question is. Realistically is this amp going to be usable as a regular gigging amp? For the gigging musicians out there. How do you organize and store your tones in the amp? Do you just dial in and save your different tones, clean, crunch, distorted, effects etc... and then create a different bank for each song you're going to play, making sure your tones have a similar volume? That way giving you a maximum of 4 different tones for each song. Or is there a better way of organizing your tones? Also is there a way of disabling the looper?

I'm just a bit worried that there's just too much that can go wrong with this amp in a live situation and maybe I should revert to a standard 2 channel amp some pedals or a multi effects pedal.

I really would appreciate some advice from gigging musicians that have used this or a similar set up.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Quote by Goochster
1 My question is. Realistically is this amp going to be usable as a regular gigging amp?

2 I'm just a bit worried that there's just too much that can go wrong with this amp in a live situation

1 - it's fine for gigging. as always be careful with your gear and protect it as much as possible.

2 - you could minimize the risk a bit more going the other way with a 2 channel job plus pedals, but every rig has potential for crapping out during a gig. always carry a back up no matter what, or make sure one is available to you at gigs somehow. the only way to make sure you don't need a back up, is to have one. murphy's law etc.

personally if i needed to cover a bunch of tones it's the amp i'd want for gigging. *flameshield up*

the kinds of places i've played when i gig, well, i wouldn't bring anything i really liked or thought was worth more than a few hundo. (no offense, but spider valves can be had pretty cheap used, and imo they sound good enough for any drunken crowd).

watch me get flamed to hell for this one.

Thanks Gregs1020

I appreciate the honest feedback. In means a lot to me as I've never gigged so am a bit unsure as to whether it would be suitable.

I wouldn't worry about the flameshield as I know this forum is notorious for the Line 6 haters!

Having said that there are also quite a few forum users here like yourself that have genuine experience of Spider valves and know that once you've got past the hard work of finding the tones that they don't sound that bad. I must admit in the past I haven't tried too hard to dial in the tones as it seems like a lot of work. I will definitely be trying a bit harder now though.

Thanks again for your help!
i've never found it thaaat tough to dial in but i'm not all that picky, especially lately.

instead of trying to get more out of something i just try to remove whatever it is about the tone that i don't like. if that makes sense. some people call it addition by subtraction, make something better by removing one element of it that sucks.

like the NY Yankees for example.

but seriously, start with the knobs pointing straight up and add a little this, take away a little that, etc.

if you can't keep from obsessing, try a setting you like and then just walk around in front of the amp while you play and notice the doppler effect come into play. in different places it will sound different without touching a setting. that usually keeps me from worrying too much.

plus once you add in drums, a bass, and a singer a lot of the nuances don't matter as much. an amp sounds different in the mix than it does without any other instruments accompanying, in my experience.

i don't gig much anymore, and when i did the PA system was a dinosaur with a funnel in front of it and you plugged into his ass. that's not true but you get the point.
I've used a Pod ->poweramp ->speakers for gigs. I actually like the FBV Express II. It's compact and it's got pretty much everything you need to run things -- tuner display, expression (volume/wah) pedal, four channel switches, tap tempo, etc. I just change banks on the Pod between songs when necessary -- you can edit in your entire set list in order on the computer, download it, and then just cruise on through. Even if it's something fairly subtle, putting the change in another user preset is usually the best and easiest way to go.

You DO have to develop some kind of muscle memory regarding stepping on the Express, but once you've done that enough, there are no issues.
It will work just fine, just make sure to dial in the levels of the patches for live playing.

I prefer the FBV Shortboard because of the options available with FX and models.
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Thanks all!

There's a lot of really helpful and constructive advice there.

It's very much appreciated!