Sound — 9
I am currently playing my Spider II with a J Reynolds Strat copy, which has 3 single-coil pickups. The guitar itself has a nice variety of tones, and when you combine that with the channels and effects on the amp, the sound variety is incredible. It works great for most rock styles, which I enjoy playing. When cranked up, the Spider II offers rediculous amounts of distortion for an amp of its size, but it also offers good sounding clean tones on the clean channel. The effect knobs are cool because you get built-in distortion effects that you would normally need special pedals for on other types of amps. As far as static and noise go, the Spider II suffers slightly. It just happens that my favorite pickup combination on my guitar produces noticable buzzing through the amp, especially on the crunch and insane channels. By using two pickups at once, I can cancel out almost all of the noise, so I'm guessing the main problem is the guitar, not the amp. Nevertheless, the static does get irratating after a while.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I think the Spider II 30 is an excellent all-purpose amp. It is the only amp that I own, but it is all that I need, because it just offers so much stuff! I have been playing guitar for almost 10 months now, and I don't plan on replacing this amp any time soon. I think my favorite thing about it is the powerful sounding channel presets, because they sound great with almost all of the music I play. When I bought the amp, I didn't have anything to compare it to and I didn't know what most of the features did, but $75 was just too good to pass up. I don't regret my purchase at all. If someone stole my Spider II, I would keep my eyes out for a new one, but I'd also look for a bargain on other amps, because $200 is a bit more than I would care to pay!
Reliability & Durability — 9
So far, I have not had any problems with my SpiderII. It works well and is very reliable. I do not take this amp very many places, since I am not in a band and I don't play at shows, but it seems to be sturdily built. If I was going to do a gig, I would feel safe using this amp by itself.
Features — 10
For 75 dollars, I was very lucky to get this amp. The seller had to pay 200 to get it new! Because I bought it at a garage sale, I'm not sure what year it was made, but I'm thinking fairly recently, like maybe 2003 or 2004. When I bought the amp, I din't realize how many awesome features it came with. There are four channels, each one programmed with a preset sound. They are called clean, crunch, metal, and insane. Each has a different sound and level of distortedness. It is possible to adjust the preset channel sounds using the Drive, bass, mid, and treble control knobs and then save the settings in that channel, so that when you turn the Spider II on, your custom channel sounds are ready at the touch of a button! This amp also comes with two separate distortion knobs. the first controls Chorus flange, phaser, and tremolo and the second has sweep echo, tape echo, and reverb. Since these knobs are separate, it is possible to play using two distortion effects at once. These effects can also be saved to the channel of your choice, so you can get the distortion you want without a lot of extra adjustment. With so many customizable channels and distortions, the Spider II has an amazing variety of sounds that work with many different styles of music. I play mostly hard rock, punk rock, and metal, and I find that the crunch and metal channels work well for almost all of them. But there is something for everyone in this amp, no matter what styles you play. The Spider II is relatively compact, and I use it in my bedroom. It provides more than enough power for the inside of my house, and it's great for practicing and rocking out. If you are looking at doing a Live show, however, you will probably want to go with something larger. All in all, it packs quite a punch. Some other features include a headphone jack, CD and MP3 port, and a jack for foot channel switches.