Spider II 212 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (117 votes)
Line 6: Spider II 212

Price paid: £ 130

Sound — 7
I play use a Fender Strat mainly. The amp has a pretty good emulation of the amps you mimic, but overall it sounds just flat with no character, you don't get the same responce like you get from a loud analouge amp. Bearing in mind, the amp has to convert, sample and anaylse andemualte a sound, play it back through a DA/AD converter, then amplify it, there will be a slight amount latency in the sound being heard. Hence to me, they have almost a soft attack when you hit the strings, like a gate that cuts in about 3 ms afterwards. Hard to explain, if you try one, you'll see what I mean. In a Live situation, it dosent really come into it, but it becomes noticible when your recording. I'll give Line 6 the credit this amp does what it says, it's a digital modeling amp, not a funky soul machine. don't expect to nail a great tone, it's just an emulation at the end of the day, however some of the clean tones are expceptional on this amp, the Fender Twin or "green twang" is pretty good I thought. With it being a 2x12, there's plenty of deep bassy sound and punch. Although the effects seem quite a novelty, and there isnt a huge amount of control onto them, you can create a good sound. I have no idea what sound they intened to create with the "red insane" dial, other then an absoulte god awful noise that sounds like a bad acid trip in your ears. Its just about possible to copy every guitar tone out there with this amp, from 50's small tweed amps to big high gain half stacks. I think overall, it deserves the credit for what it was intended for, so stop bloody bashing them about it!

Overall Impression — 8
I can't understand why people are constantly slagging these amps off. they're great gigging amps. If you are looking for sweet tone, this amp isn't for you. If you are looking for your own tone, this amp isn't for you. If you weigh 7 stone... this amp really isn't for you! (it weighs a bloody ton) If it was nicked, I wouldn't buy another spider, I'd probably get a flextone or somthing. The good thing is, if they go wrong, just get another one. they're so cheap second hand.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Well, I have to say, it's a bloody well made amp. I can't really fault it. I've heard a few times they develop faults with the digital side of things, but most Amps have a gaurentee anyway, and Line 6 customer support service is pretty good actually. My mates have a pair of Spider III 150 watt half stacks (pretty much the same amp, just new presets and cosmetics). they've been bashed around on stage, had beer and coke spilt on them, thrown into the back o a horse box and they're still going fine. They play them loud too, so the power amps getting a good work out. If you look on the back, the heat sink is completly exposed to the air around it, so there's plenty of cooling. The last thing you want is your transistors getting hot, otherwise it will just die on you. Great amp.

Features — 9
Read what everyon else had put, there's no point listing it all again. I really like the sound of the speakers that come with these amps, really punchy, don't sound thin and farty.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ive got one of them. quite impressed although i agree that some of the distortion sounds can be a bit generic. a tip (if youve got the luxury) is to buy a splitter and team it with a marshall or such, then there really isnt any sound that would be out of question. a good amp on its own, an amazing compliment to a standard tube amp due to its versatility.
    Wow where do I start. I have had one of these for YEARS and I have to say, it sucks. First off it sounds compressed and digital. The effects kinda blow... I only keep it cause I cant afford another amp at the same volume.
    I loved this thing...then as i advanced with my playing, switching to custom pick ups and more complex pedal combos, i realised how poor it is. At high volumes this thing is hideous, do not crank it past 11 o clock! it sounds like a gear box crunching. Like others have mentioned, no matter what guitar i used, i always got the same, lifeless, digital artificial buzz coming through the speakers. I couldn't distinguish notes at gigging volumes and it basically made me very sad haha. I'm using a Marshall JVM 210 head and half stack now and trust me people, its only once you actually try using a real tube amp that you will realise how poor solid state [especially low to mid range models] technology is.