Price paid: $ 299.99
Purchased from: Amazon.com
Sound — 8
My guitar is pure crap, however it does sound A LOT better on this amp! Not to mention the amp has much Variety. It has very good distortion built in, very good twangy settings and blues is amazing! But I think this amp is best for its brutal distortion. However this amp is Digitalized sound, which is an advantage in a way because it makes it hard to break with no vacuum tube, but Distortion usually sounds better with Analog(with the tubes). Yes this amp has amazing Distortion, Analog may sound better but its an advantage for this amp because it is very durable, especially if your playing gigs with it. Now lets talk about the Volume... It is LOUD, after 5 my ears Hurt. But the amp seems to have some trouble with loudness, too loud it doesn't sound as good as it is low. It gives off a staticy sound sometimes. It somewhat depends on the guitar, but the amp will still do it. It sounds better if the amp is hooked up to another Speaker with its output jack, which i do recommend. Treble settings are AMAZING! They give a nice crisp sound especially on Red Metal setting. And mixed with high Drive is just omg... And my guitar is a piece of crap, I mean its horrible... But The sound it makes on the Spider is great! However i would not use this amp for an actual like 'sold out' Live performance. If you are going to use this amp get the HD150 model with the Spider Cab, very brutal! It also seems to have a better sound with a Gold plated cable, it prevents much feedback and gives a more clear sound. The amp also has some built in unique effects like Phazer, Chorus flanger, Tremelo, Sweep Echo, Delay, and Tap echo. They are all pretty much pedals built in to the Amp. However the computer can also do the same with POD Studio, with much more superior sounds, so if your looking for recording, its better to just get the POD Studio, it comes with POD Farm software which has amazingly unique effects.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for a while now and this is definitely with No Doubt the best amp I have ever had. Its a great practice and small gig amp. I do recommend this amp especially for the price, as it is amazing. I play a lot of Black metal, and this goes great with it! Just get a good metal guitar and your good to go with this amp. However if you want a VERY loud more crisp tone with this model, get the HD150. I also know that the new spider IV is out. I tried it and it doesn't have much difference, just an easier preset interface. I also like the looks of the spider III much better. So if your looking for a good practice amp, Small gig amp, or just an amp with some good sounding effects. The spider III/IV is the way to go, 75 watt or above!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is solid state with no vacuum tubes and is very powerful. I've hit it on my wall a few times and nothing ever happens. This amp is VERY sturdy and very well made. I guarantee you it wont break down for a long time. Or probably never if you do treat it as it should be.
Features — 9
This amp has many built in features that would take a lot of pedals to get successfully. It has many types of amp models: Clean, Twang, Blues, Crunch, Metal, and insane. It also has a lot of artist presets and song presets built inside, such as "Master of puppets" and "Cradle Of Filth". It is a pretty expandable amp as well, you can attach an "FBV" Foot controller to use, which will allow you to Switch the channels. The channels are very amazing too, it has 4 built in channels and also about 9 or 10 data banks so you can Switch to the bank you want which will change the 4 channels sounds. Each channel can be set to its own sound, for instance: Channel A can be set to Clean sound while Channel B can have a heavy metal distortion which could be used for something like switching from clean to distortion with songs such as Fight fire with fire by Metallica. You can also add pedals to it, like hooking the guitar to the pedal(s) and hooking the pedals to the amplifier. However it can be a pain in the arse if you don't know what your doing. What I really wish is it came with a manual, its not very easy to set specific channels. I mean it does come with a manual but its just not really helpful. It gives some tips and some info on the knobs and stuff like that but it is kind of complicated. However once you get the amp up and running its pretty self explanatory after that.