Price paid: $ 309.27
Purchased from: Sound control
Sound — 8
The spider III is certainly a great practace amp. I am playing through a Epiphone Les Paul Studio with stock pickups. The insane setting is definately its best feature. It's well insane. Huge amounts of gain and distortion excellent for brutal styles of metal. For squeeling pinch harmonics use the reverb effect. The metal setting isnt much different from the insane other than less gain but more suited to the classic metal sound (Metallica, Megadeath ect). The crunch needs a bit of tweeking because it can sound muddy and bassy. this is the channel I was least impressed with. I tried it useing my single coil guitar and it sounded slightly better. The clean is very good and stays clean near enough to full volume but sounds better when played at lower levels. The effects sound fairly good but I wouldn't use them if your music involves the use of lots of effects because you can't really change the depth, speed ect. The tap delay button can be used to change the speed of the echo effects which are basically delay. It beats me why they would combine the flange and chourus, they should have been seperate. You can only hear the flange if you turn the knob to the top of the chrous/flange before it goes to phaser, other than that all you can hear is chorus. the noice gate is very good and at lower volumes it stops almost all hum and I sometime forget the amp is switched on it's so queit. However at higher volumes on the insane channel if you are within a few feet of the amp there is some load feedback and squeeling, but this is stoped by holding the guitar strings. This maybe the quality of my guitars pickups and the fact I have to play the amp in my small room.
Overall Impression — 7
Me and this amp have had a love hate relationship. At the shop I loved it, but when I got it home began to think that it wasn't versitile enough. I then took it back to the shop and ended up comeing back with it again lol because after tryin several others I decided for the price range it's the best I was going to get. For playing metal it's amazeing and the cleans are also great on it but anything inbetween is kinda hard to get. The crunch channel was a let down and I didn't see much point in the metal channel. If it was stolen I wouldn't get anouther one because I'm not entirely happy with it but for the price I would say it's an all round good amp. I was told on the ug forums to try the Roland Cube but I didn't like it at all and the spider is much better for playing metal which is my main style and jsut as good for cleans. I wish it had more effects options and a few more channels that could get a more blues rock sound.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is very strong and there's No Doubt that it would with stand a lot of knocking around. Easy to carry with the handle and portable because it's not to heavy. I can't see this amp breaking anytime soon although maybe the speaker front should be protected by the metal grate things I've see ons ome other amps.
Features — 8
The 30 watt Spider III doesn't have the preset song settings and artist settings like the 75 watt and has less channel's: clean, crunch, metal and insane. There are 6 effects: chorus/flange, phaser, tremelo, sweep echo, tape echo and reverb. The head phonejack is also a line out so you can record from the amp to a computer. You can also connect your mp3 or CD player through the amp and play along to your favorate songs. I use this amp at home but I bet it would be able to handle small gigs easily. There is a noice gate that can be activated by holding down the tap delay time and turning the tape echo knob past the 12 oclock point. There is also a distortion boost when you hold the tap delay and turn the Drive past the 12 oclock point.