Price paid: $ 199.99
Purchased from: Alison's World of Music
Sound — 9
I play a LTD MH-400 with EMG active pickups (85/81) through it, and I think it sounds great. I've also messed around with my friend's Ibanez acoustic guitar and that sounded okay too. I find it suits my style well, but probably about as far as a practice amp. I got the amp, figuring I'd probably stick around the Insane and Metal Channels mostly, but I was mistaken. I play a lot of hard rock and metal, but I actually play a wider variety of music than I'm accustomed to listening to. I'm a huge RATM fan, and actually use the Crunch channel most often. I've read a few reviews where people hardly use the crunch channel, and I can barely imagine why unless they're too br00t@lz for it and can only stand to play with heavy amounts of distortion. The crunch channel offers me a channel that can hit some nice distorted tones all without losing the real sound under. This makes it good for most non-metal genres of rock, including classic rock. (with the treble turned up I can hit an AC/DC sounding tone.) I use it primarily as a practice amp in my room, so the volume is rarely past 9 o'clock (10 o'clock max). As the volume gets louder (anywhere past 12) the sound gets a bit distorted on all the channels. This is only really bothersome on the clean channel, and then again it isn't unbearable distorted either. I can get some really great cleans on the volumes I play at, all the way up to heavy metal distortion. It fits well enough, and doesn't seem to be lacking anything on any of the channels. The only complain with tone that I do have is that I think the EQ knobs could be more responsive. I keep a simple setup (Drive, Bass, Mid, and Treble all at 12) but turning any of them down or up, you don't notice much tonal change unless you max it out or turn it off. (which a friend told me is unhealthy for the amp) As far as sound it's good for my purposes.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this is a nice amp especially at it's price. It was cheaper than the Vox AD30VT-XL and more versatile than the Ibanez TBX15R. I chose it over the Vox because it had a few deal breaking issues concerning modelling channels and effects options. (there was no off option for effects) It's a great practice amp, but I'm not if it's really gig-worthy. It sounds great and has great variety and it was definitely worth what it cost. If I did manage to lose it or it got stolen, I would either shank the thief or go in a corner and cry. I would probably replace it with something more gig-worthy. I will probably be upgrading to an all-tube combo eventually, like maybe a Peavey Valveking or something similar, but for now this will certainly suffice. (I've been reading that some people mistake the reviwer's score for being what they rated it compared to everything else. Please note that my rating is compared to all solid-state amps in this amps size and price-range. It is certainly not comparable to a Mesa Dual Rectifier, or a JCM800 Stack)
Reliability & Durability — 8
It seems reliable enough. It was made in China and I've only owned it for 2 weeks, so I'm not sure if quality control is going to be an issue in the future or not. I guess I'll find out if the speaker falls out or any of the knobs mysteriously stop working. There is a minor issue involving one the clean channel. Whenever I turn the amp on and set it to the clean channel I somehow have effects turned on. The knobs will be set to off, and I'll still hear the chorus flanger and sweep echo in the back ground. It's not a deal breaker for me, as it's only on the clean channel and can be remedied by turning both effects knobs on and back off. It also don't remember it doin that all the time. I would certainly gig with a backup, as the reliablility of this amp is still in question. And even then I would stick it with small gigs when volume isn't an issue, since I think it sounds best with the master volume at or below 12 o'clock.
Features — 8
This is my first review so here goes. The Spider III 30 is a modelling/solid state practice amp with a Celestion speaker. It is probably either a 2007 or 2008 model, made in China. It has 4 channels which "model" other popular brands. As far as accuracy goes between tonal replication I can't really say. It has a Clean channel, a Crunch channel, which emulates a Marshall Plexi 100W, a Metal channel, which emulates a Mesa Dual Rectifier, and an Insane channel. It has 2 effects knobs the first being a chorus flanger/phaser/tremolo, the second being a sweep echo/tape echo/reverb. It also has a tap delay button to adjust the amount delay time for the echo effects. It has an 3 knob EQ board for bass, mid, and treble, along with a Drive knob (or gain) and a channel volume knob. It has a mp3 jack so you can jam along with your ipod or similar device, a headphones jack/recording jack, and a special plug in for Line 6's effects board.