Price paid: $ 315
Purchased from: Local store
Sound — 8
I use a very nice Jackson with Seymour Duncan pickups through it and it sounds pretty good. I play metal mostly, bands like Slayer, Pantera, Metallica and such and it fits it pretty well. The clean channel is nice, although I don't use it very much. I don't use the crunch channel at all or the metal channel. The metal channel lacks gain and feels a bit unnecessary, because you might as well use the insane channel. The insane channel has a lot of gain but gets a little muddy at high gain, so I usually keep it at the middle, where it sounds great. I've heard that the clean channel distorts at high volumes and has a lot of feedback, but that's nothing the noise gate can't fix. This is a great amp for the metal fan, but also fits other styles.
Overall Impression — 8
I play metal that requires good gain and this amp has it, along with my Jackson. I've only been playing for a year soon, and I'm not in a band but this amp is very nice for home practice. I wish I had tried a few more amps, or ANY more, because I might have found something a little bit better but definitely not for this price. What I love about this amp is the crunchy gain of the insane channel, the channel I use the most. What I don't like is that it's at the highest volume possible when you Switch channels or turn it on, and this thing gets loud (almost had a heart attack once) and I don't like the metal or crunch channels so much either, but they're OK. I wish the insane channel wasn't so muddy at high gain and that the metal channel had a bit more gain, but it's nothing serious. If it was stolen I would definitely buy it again, because I'd have to search for a long time to find something this good at this low price.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I'm not in a band and I have never played on stage, but this amp would probably do well on stage but maybe with a backup since in some cases it could shut down and stop working when you turn it on. That's pretty rare though, I think. It has never shut down for me or any other problem like that, so I think this is a pretty tough amp, but not reliable to 100%.
Features — 9
This is the newest in the Spider series, it has 4 channels: Clean, Crunch, Metal and Insane. It also has 6 effects: tremolo, phaser, chorus/flanger, sweep echo, Tape echo and reverb, 2 of them can be used at the same time. It has bass, treble, mid, gain and 2 volume knobs. It also has extra things like gain boost and noise gate. You can use headphones with it, as well as your mp3 to play along with your favourite songs and a pedal for switching between the channels and effects. It is 30 watts so it is good for home practice and maybe loud enough for recording. It is very versatile with all of it's effects and it's easy to find your sound with it. It is solid state. I'll give you a warning though: When you turn it on or Switch channels it is always at the highest volume (which is very annoying) so mute the strings on your guitar and turn the Channel volume down a bit before playing.