Spider II 212 review by Line 6

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 3.5 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.5 (117 votes)
Line 6: Spider II 212

Sound — 1
I've played a bunch of different guitars through this but whatever you use (humbucker or single coil, neck or bridge, whatever style) it will end up sounding the same, digital, noisy and bland. The clean settings sound sterile and dull, without any warmth. The distortion is nothing special tonally, and certainly not as good as a 20 stompbox through a better amp. Since it's all digital, the volume control has an irritating habit of stepping up from very quiet to too loud rather than being sensibly graduated. Using a neck humbucker, turning down the tone on the guitar and boosting the bass on the amp it was far too quiet at low frequencies to be useful for the kind of blues picking I was after. Whatever way you go you'll have loads of midrange whether or not that's what you want. The effects can't be mixed with a dry signal, so there's no opportunity to balance them to get your own sound. The echos and delays were a particular disappointment. You can't fine tune the timings very well, or adjust the frequency range so you won't get anything like a tape echo or get the spacy psychadelic sounds you might expect. I thought the flanger would have been useful but it's much too strong an effect so using it for any length of time sounds ridiculous. After all this I didn't expect the chorus or phaser to be any good, and so there was no surprise there. Mind you, there are people this would suit. If you don't want to fine tune your own tone and Munky is your guitar idol, give this a try.

Overall Impression — 1
I think you've gauged my feelings for this amp already. I don't think there's anything more to say.

Reliability & Durability — 5
I would never, ever use this live or in a studio, simply because it sounds just so bad. I know it's not just this example, because there's two of them here and they both sound appalling. It works (in a manner of speaking) so at least that's something.

Features — 7
This amp has a whole load of presets, including the stupidly named Insane setting. You can see who it's trying to appeal to, young nu-metallers who are after their first "proper" amp. It's all digital and has big red LEDs in case you can't hear what settings you're playing through. There's a number of effects, including flanger and echo. It's plenty loud enough for practice and would even do for a small gig.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hairy Henry
    i dont like this amp, i own one and i think its just a cheap way of imitating heavy metal amps (Which it does quite well but i hate metal amps any way) , crunch sounds nothing any decent tube amp.....just my opinion
    If you dont like metal why own one. If metal aint youre style why own an amp that is primarily targeted to that style of playing ???
    oh ! and by the wau no wonder it doesnt sound like a decent tube amp, cuz it aint a tube amp its a solid state.
    the spiker
    WHy pay 100 bucks more for 30 extra watts? and 2inch bigger speakers. I guess I don't care too. I have hte 210 Grreeaattt amp. Meant for metal and it does really well.