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.