Price paid: $ 299.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I play an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, with stock humbuckers, and a Fender Mexican Stratocaster with stock pickups & a humbucker through this amp. I play all kinds of different music so I appreciate the wide variety of tones. Bluesy tones for Tom Petty and Stones stuff, Marshall sounding tones for classic rock, and the high gain Mesa sounding tones for getting on it. This amp can be really noisy on a lot of settings, so you gotta tweak the sound a bit to your liking. This amp has a built-in noise gate, but it dosen't work that well. I play this amp at home so I never really get to get it up past 5... but it's still pretty loud and the distortion will give you that warm fuzzy feeling.
Overall Impression — 9
A lot of players at the guitar store bag on this cool little amp, but I think it's just them being a little snobby. For players that are just starting out, this amp is really hard to beat. It saves you from having to lay out a lot of money for effects pedals right from the get-go. The amplifier simulations are also helpful in establishing what kind of amp you'll eventualy want to use in your playing style. If you're playing at home this amp is plenty loud and satisfying, so for beginners and hobbyists I'd give it a solid 10. Heres the rub... now that I've been playing a few years I want a "real" rig. A big ol' Marshall 100w tube screamer with my own custom pedalboard with a wah. I've gotten the itch for more power and control. But along with this power and control comes a pretty hefty price tag. But like I said, if you're just starting out... this little amp is almost perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this amp for quite a while now, and I've never had one problem with it. It's not a tube amp, so I don't believe it will ever need maintenance. I don't play gigs yet, but my friends that do tell me the SpiderIII, is more of a practice amp, not a stage amp.
Features — 9
This is a very versatile amp for us hobbyists. It gives you a wide variety of tones to experiment with while developing your playing style. It features good simulations of 10 amplifier models, some basic effects, and a large selection of preset factory tones. You can pretty much play any style of music you desire. It has a built in tuner which is pretty accurate, an MP3 jack, a headphone jack, and a jack for the Line6 footboard. One bummer is that the preset banks have no rhyme or reason to their layout, and finding them can be a little frustrating. It would be nice if Line6 provided some clarity in the owners manual, but they don't.