Spider IV 120 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 5.8 (60 votes)
Line 6: Spider IV 120

Price paid: $ 430

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 6
The guitar I use with my Spider is an Aria PE-Anniv. It short its a beautiful LP copy with Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups. I play a lot of styles including metal, progressive, rock, blues, and jazz. The amp hits some sounds but misses on others. The clean to overdrive are very good overall allowing a good jazz and progessive tone. Once the amp is on metal and insane the tone goes south. It sounds very thin and nothing special. The distortion isn't weak, as the insane is intense. Its just the tone flat out sucks for the most part. Though the high distortion tone isn't great there is no excess noise. The clean channel does stay clean at high volumes. One complaint is that the EQ seems to change as the volume goes up. Sometimes it gets more bass or more highs with increased volume. The volume goes up suddenly after the 8 o' clock position on the Master Volume knob as well. This isn't uncommon in amplifiers but still annoying anyway. One very important thing to note is that this is a modeling amplifier. Modeling amplifiers will not usually work well with stompboxes. I own a Boss Metal zone which I used when I had only my small practice amp. The pedal gets extreme feedback even with a solid body guitar with humbuckers. You are taking life into your own hands if you plan to use stompboxes with this.

Overall Impression — 8
For the most part I am happy with the amp, though I'm not stoked. I bought it for the main purpose of having an amp that was versatile, loud, and cheap. It meets those qualifications very well and fufills its purpose. I plan on buying a Roland Jazz-Chorus 120 in the future as its one of the best clean amps ever built. I would play this at home, but most likely use the Line 6 for gigs that could get a little crazy so I wouldn't lose the Roland to flying beer bottles or whatnot. If it got stolen I'd probably go buy the Roland and risk something happening to it (maybe invest in a steel cage to put around it?). My favorite effects are the chorus, reverb, and echo. I use the three a lot with my playing and they sound pretty good for the price. My least favorite part is the tone in general with the metal and insane channel distortion. If you want an amp for versatility, volume, and the price I would recommend it. If you want good tone I'd save my money.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The amp so far is very reliable. I have taken it places many times and nothing has happened. It got a little rain on it once and that didn't damage it either. I would take it to a gig without a backup. Part of the reason is I have no back up but it is realiable enough not to need one. The amp has also never broken down since I've owned it and it better stay that way.

Features — 8
The Line 6 Spider IV is a 120 watt, solid state amplifier. It was made in 2009 and it has 2x10" Celestion Speakers in stereo. The amp overall is very versatile with 16 total channels. The channels range from clean for jazz to insane for metal. It has pre-loaded presets from Artists, Songs, and User. The User presets allows one to make their own presets if they find a tone they like. It has 20 effects and 4 can be run at once. It has a Quick Loop feature, which allows one to record up to 14 seconds long and play it back to use as a backing track to your playing. After that you can overdub it and have multiple tracks going at once. The onboard tuner is very useful for onstage tuning without the noise. It has a jack for the FBV MkII foot controller which allows hands free opperation of the amplifier. The foot controller costs around $200, plus it adds an expression pedal that can be used for volume/wah. I don't own the foot controller but I'd like to try it sometime. It has a Direct Out for recording which I don't use but could be important for others. Along with a Master Volume it has a Channel Volume, which allows one to balance out the channel's varying volumes. I play in my room a lot so it is more than enough for practice. When I have taken it to church, school, or to jam, it still had more volume left in the tank. A feature I use all the time is the Channel Buttons. You can store 4 amp settings and click one of the buttons marked A through D on the front of the amp with ease. It is very useful for Progessive Metal since it demands switching from clean to distortion multiple times per song usually. A feature I wish it had was a foot pedal included with the amp since I would use it a lot but that is just me.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SIEGE312 wrote: Why does everybody on UG hate the Spiders?
    Misplaced arrogance. Hatred of a digital age despite an utter reliance on it for communication, i.e., forums.
    That's the thing, see? It IS great on the record, because record will never have the same quality of sound as live playing. They can nail great tones, but they're STERILE! I own a Spider III (120) - and it can nail great tones. However, it sounds like an mp3 recording. My small MG15DFX - and the MG series are supposedly Marshall's worst - has better "presence" than the Spider. It's louder, it's there. And that's something you have to hear for yourself. That my dear is why everybody hates Spiders. Yea, for recording they're good - but don't go on stage with it. I have to, and "it makes me a very sad panda".
    Practice amps shouldn't be higher wattage. They're designed as practice amps for a reason. 120 Watts in a practice amp makes me think someone is actually using it on stage somewhere, which makes me sad.
    ^ not really, same circuit just louder. The only thing i miss about my Spider were the effects, i forgot how awesome even a bad reverb sounded.
    "the halfstacks are so much better" Haha, you made my day. The half stacks are SO MUCH WORSE. And here is the clear reasoning: The practice spiders give learners a lot of Fx and models to get used to what they want from an amp at a low price. The big spiders, while louder, cost the same amount as a decent tube combo. Or if you like modellers, you could EASILY get a used flextone/vetta for as much as a new spider. Or any number of great amps. But hey, tone is subjective
    MidDrift Dragon
    pinballwizard92 wrote: Go with the Peavey Vypyr series if you want a good modeling amp for cheap. spider is bleh
    That or a Vox Valvetronix
    pah! the only good thing to be said about the spiders is that they dont break down as easily as most amps... other than that theyre shite, i used to use one a lot for practice and gigging, and thought it was the best thing ever, then i got a peavey vypyr valve... need i say more???
    Its as bad as all line 6 spiders! I tried it out just to compare it to the crappy spider 3 and its basically the same i didnt try the 120 watt i tried the 75 watt but still its the spider 3 with more cheesy effects, useless presets and a closed back. Get a vox vt series amp if u want a decent modelling amp at an affordable price!
    I use these amps regularly and they have never let me down. The only problem I have with the line 6 spider IV is that when you turn it up the effects can sometimes sound fake. But I would definitely buy one. And in Britain for a 75W amp it costs around 225.
    slipknot_420 wrote: i tried the 75 watt !
    There you go...you get what you pay for. Personally I like my S3 halfstack but the other guitarist in my band has an s4 halfstack and theres is an obvious difference in sound. Line 6 actually attempted to make the spider 4 sound more real and they ended up with a pretty decent amp. And really...stop comparing all spiders to the crappy little ones...the halfstacks are so much better
    Im with JBailey23 I have a Spider IV, and no, its not the best amp you will ever come across, but it is not by far the worst, like most people make it out to be. You get what you pay for, and i got this as a cheap practice amp, for occasionally jamming with mates. Im saving for a Bugera all tube combo, but for now, the spider is all a need. Most people flaming the spider havent even tried one. They're good practice amps, but just because slash doesnt use it, doesnt mean its crappy.
    Sounds like a ****ing awesome amp and now iMade my mind...my parents got me a $500 gift card to sam ash for a amp and now i know wich one to get
    I have the III 75 watt and it actually is really good...versatile and extremely easy to use
    it really is a nice amp... for practice and jamming. realy easy to use and the sound really depends on what guitar you have, great for distortion.
    SIEGE312 wrote: Why does everybody on UG hate the Spiders?
    I think LessThanLuke nailed it on the head. I'm asked and complimented on how I get my recorded tone all the time here on UG, and I'm using a Line 6 Spider III 75w amp.
    Great, people flaming line 6, as ever. I just can say that my line 6 spider 4 sounds oh so much better than a lot of half stacks I have heard before. There is a good improvement in tone AND "presense" from the S3. But, yeah, they will never belive it until hear it, AND, even with that, some people wont acept it, because they paid a lot more, for a tube amplifier that sounded "a bit" better than my cheap line 6. jajaja. Tried against peaveys, vox, and a big big smarvo (yeah, this one its pretty hard to find, search for the smarvo half stack). But hey, who cares? Its my amp and I am rocking with it pretty hard.
    EpiExplorer wrote: Prefer my FM212. All you need is that and a dist pedal.. = yayness for cheapness.
    Dude, I have that same set-up and it's great. Cheers.
    Not a single person on this site has changed my decision to get a 120w or 150w spider iv :L I've played the 75w spider iv and it was awesome, sooooo much better than the spider iii, and sooooo much better than the spider ii. So as a result i've decided to buy one of the bigger ones
    you see, i play on a mesa triple rec so i dont have to worry about bad tone haha ( please dont thrash on me) but i must say, the other guitarist on my band has the the spider IV half stack and it sounds much better the the spider III stack. my friend has it and we jam with it.
    i have this amp. its nice, but like you said, it would be nice to include the pedal instead of going to spend $200.
    I'm not saying that my spider 3 is the most uber amazing thing ever...i'm just trying to defend that the spider 4 is better...maybe every should wait awhile before flaming it....and trust me, looking back on my decision i'd rather have a 6505 combo than my spider...but i'm contempt with what i have
    EpiExplorer wrote: Prefer my FM212. All you need is that and a dist pedal.. = yayness for cheapness.
    Kneusje wrote: The foot controller costs around $200. Wait.
    It doesn't really. They have models that start at like $40 dollars and go up through the $200 range. The latter end of the model range has an absurd number of switches that probably nobody will ever need.
    I looove my spider III 75watt! The distortion sounds amazing I would for sure buy it again. I almost prefer it over the Spider IV