Spider III 15 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.1 (387 votes)
Line 6: Spider III 15

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: local music store

Sound — 5
I've used a few different styles of pickups and guitars with it and it sounds mostly the same regardless of what kind of guitar is used with it. As far as versatility goes, it can cope with mostly anything thanks to the different channels and effects built in. It's very silent as well, since the noise gate that's built in is rather agressive... and if that's not enough you can "activate the noisegate", turning into a hard clipping noisegate. The models themselves are okay, but not good. The clean is quite useful, but it's mostly just because it EQs and then outputs exactly what came from the guitar (protip: plug your MP3-player into the guitar-input and apply effects for shits and giggles). Crunch is okay, metal is picky to get okay sounding and insane is very limited in its sound and mostly turns the guitar's sound into a square wave and isn't pleasing to the ears. The effects are better. If the volume's turned up a lot, the whole amp starts vibrating against the floor. It helps a bit to put a piece of carpet or something other soft under it.

Overall Impression — 6
It's an amp to start out with, sounding okay, but that's it. I probably wouldn't buy one again and get a slightly more expensive amp when starting out. It's practical to have as both amp and speaker at the vacation house though - both because anything more expensive would be overkill and because it works and can survive -30C in winter when the house stands cold (Sweden ftw).

Reliability & Durability — 9
I used to carry this amp around from and to school, regardless of weather (wrapped in a plastic bag if it was raining) and it got a few bangs and it still looks like new (apart from a cable for my custom "pedalboard" hanging out of its back and two holes where I had spare straplocks for better carrying). As far as I can tell, this thing is built like a tank.

Features — 7
It has all that a beginner amp needs: different sounding channels, a few easy-to-use effects and a sturdy build. There's really not much that can go wrong when fiddling with the dials, since it's relatively easy to find an okay sounding tone and save it as a preset. CD-in is very practical as well, since it can be used as a speaker for the PC or an MP3-player. Keep in mind that the Spider3 15W amps don't support any kind of pedalboard which is a thing that I really missed in mine. Not that a hardware-hacker can't fix this easily, but it's annoying. The Spider4 15W series do have an FBV-connector though.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i dont think a lot of people realise that you can change the channel presets to what you want. The stuff there like the echo on clean is just the factory settings. You can make your own presets by getting the tone you want and then holding down the channel button; it flashes twice and it has 'saved' your preset Some people dont bother to read the manual
    Just get a tube amp, any tube amp. You can find them used in this price range. There is a reason absolutely no (decent) recording artists use digital amps.
    I owned and played many amps but i got the spider iii 30 and it blew my mind of course its not a tube or full sounding amp but it isnt nothing a cheap art pre cant fix I also upgraded to a hd150 spider 111 my first half stack and it is really nice im saving for the footboard and the art pre the only upgrade possibility's I might get are a mesa boogie or the hd147 but it is a great starter to a amateur amp