Price paid: $ 199.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
Using this guitar with my HH configured Ibanez RG yields nice results and completely suits my playing style which is mainly rock, alternative rock, progressive metal, thrash, and metal in general. I must say though that I don't demand much from the amp when it comes to volume. The most I really ever demand from the amp is when I jam with friends and, trust me, for its size, it screams. I get over the sound of a drumset at 4-5 on the volume and 6-7 will get you around loud enough to play a small venue with the rest of your band. To tell you the truth, I've never had it louder than that because, frankly, it provides and is very loud for a simple 12 inch 30 watt "practice" speaker. With the feature of an added noise gate, there is absolutely no hum from my guitar or the amp and sometimes I think either my guitars volume is off or the amp is. It's really that quite. When it comes to the sound though, it is rather good and for the price I paid and the quality, it is excellent! Some will try and tell you that the clean channel isn't very good and sounds too mechanical and cold. They are entitled to their opinion, but I have discovered that when you really start to tinker with the controls, you can get a very warm sounding clean from this amp when using the neck pickup and with some added reverb. It will sound very warm and pleasent. The crunch channel is nice to. I found that it's the hardest to get sounding the way you want to, but when you do, you can nail those classic rock tones for Zeppelin, AC/DC, Yes, and most classic rock songs. Next is the metal channel and, to be honest, I like it the least. Everything about this channel is weird. It is very muddy first off and, for metal, you want a clean crunch so each note is ringed out while still being heavy so mud is that last thing you want. Next, there isn't enough gain, or atleast when you start to get it where you want it, it turns to fuzz and the distortion boost only makes matters worse. In my opinion, skip the metal channel all together and go right to my favorite channel. Insane, it's what it's name implies. But it isn't insane because of how Line 6 brags about it being "just shy of a meltdown" but because the tone for the insane channel is excellent. It offers the perfect amount of gain when the knob is at about 5 or 6 without the distortion boost and does everything the metal channel tries to only 5 times better. Trust me, with the noise gate on the and the boost off, this channel provides some serious chunk and the chugging palm mutes you want while still remaining clear as a crystal to let each note be heard. Just don't put it down at first because it isn'tt easy to obtain the tone you want as quickly as you might expect, but once you do, you will find that the insane channel is what you will use the most! Overall, the sound of the amp is excellent and, for the price you pay, the wattage, and the features, as well as some added bonus effects and goodies, I firmly beleive it is the best sounding amp of the bunch in it's range even if the tube amp purists claim that a solid-state is no where close to a good old tube. It may lack some of the natural and warm sound that is present in a tube amp, but it makes up for it in pure sound quality and more features and options than any amp in it's price range.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mainly rock, alternative rock, punk, progressive metal, thrash, and metal in general so it it's an excellent match. I've been playing for about a year and own the standard fare of things one should own when playing guitar (picks, clothes, necessary cables, etc.) If this amp were stolen or lost, I think I would upgrade to a Line 6 Spider III 75. It's essentially the same thing but with 75 watts and 150+ artist presets. I love the sound for the price and size and I really don't hate anything about the amp with my favorite feature being the excellent metal and clean channels as well as the effects. When buying, I was mainly comparing it to the Roland Cube 30X and similarly priced Peavy. I liked the Spider III the best for my playing and music preferences and because of how things sounded on it. I just prefered the sound. The Roland Cube 30X was a close second I may say though. It is indeed an excellent amp and you should also check that out if you are in the market for an amp. But for me, the Line 6 Spider III 30 came out on top and I could not be any happier with it! I highly recommend it!
Reliability & Durability — 8
So far for the 4 months I have owned it, it hasn't let me down. It's not really anything special when it comes to materials. The usual plastic and wood design with a handle that seems as reliable as the rest of them. Nothing really stands out in it that would make me say it is more reliable or durable other than the custom 12 inch Celestion speaker which leads me to believe that it is more reliable than I think. Overall, I am confident in its reliability as I have yet to have a problem and don't see one occuring in the near future.
Features — 9
For my style of playing which is mainly rock, alternative rock, progressive metal, thrash, and metal in general, it suits my needs well. The Spider III 30 has 4 channels named clean, crunch, metal, and insane. It has built in effects which are a chorus flange, a phaser, tremolo, sweep echo, tape echo, and reverb as well as the standard Drive, bass, mid, treble, and volume knobs. I never really find myself using anything other than the reverb but it's good to have when I play things that benefit from it (I play a lot of Rage Against The Machine so having the effects is better than nothing at all). Since I don't really find myself using a lot of the effects, I really can't say it doesn't have anything I wish it did. For my needs, it suits me well. I like to mainly just sit in my room and write music and am in no need for that large of an amp. It's not a tube amp, and it's mono not stereo, but for my needs, it's almost perfect.