Spider IV 120 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 2
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 4.8 Poor
  • Users' score: 5.8 (60 votes)
Line 6: Spider IV 120

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 2
Wow, this amps biggest downfall. I have a cheap 100$ electric guitar and a $450 dollar Ibanez. There is NO difference in the distorted tone. Your guitars tone is completely masked. Also, the metal green and all of the insane channels sound like a super muddy version of metal red. It's actually really pathetic. I put either a Boss MT-2 or a MXR Fullbore Metal in front of it for distortion, which makes it a bit better, but still nothing like a good tube amp distortion. I have an easy time replication a Pantera type distortion on the pedals with the amp. The cleans, obviously, won't be like a fender, but I'm not one to judge that. Also, the footswitch (MKII Express) it comes with boasts about having a good wah pedal. And I say it isn't. Also, I hear people have to buy it separately for $100. That thing isn't worth crap. I got it free with a rebate. Due to its horrible distortion and crap pedal, it gets a lowly 2.

Overall Impression — 4
Not for metal... At all. If you're really into buying a modeling amp, look at the Vox VT series. VTs aren't quite tube sounding imo, but pretty good for a hybrid amp. I bought this because I had PodFarm/Metal add-on, and it sounded quite nice... Nothing like this digital sounding atrocity. If it were stolen, I would say good luck to the guy who took it. Overall impresion: don't waste you're money.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Never had a problem with it breaking. However, during gigs it sometimes randomly changes channel, getting a messed up EQ and flanger/delay/crap coming out. All you have to do is push on the channel selector on your footswitch, and it's fixed. I would gig without a backup, but I'd probably prefer the backup. So, other than that it's barely done anything bad durability wise and reliability wise, so it gets an 8.

Features — 6
First of, I am a 80's metal type player and don't really know how to judge many other tones besides distortion. If you're looking for a review on those aspects of this amp, sorry but I am no help. I'd probably end up screwing you over, and I don't want to that. Also, this is my first review, so sorry if I'm leaving anything out. The features: not so great. They give you a LOT of effects, but most of them are crappy. Also, they make it so you get 2x as many effects if you go online and join their community, as opposed to actually putting it on the amp when produced. This is a problem, because when you join, you get a big load of emails from them, and it overall just takes a lot of time for the free pieces of crap you get. I also got the editing software for it, which is fun to use, but really serves as now help. The presets, from what I've played with, are horribly portrayed renditions of the real thing. You get what you pay for. I gave features a 6, not a 2, because you get a lot of fx for little price. A big drawback is that there's no effects loop. However, if you buy that many effects in that range, you should already know it's not going to work too well.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Amuro Jay
    The biggest problem with Spider amps is that too many people max out the drive on them. Then everyone around them thinks it sounds bad. They're actually not too bad. Keep the gain below 1/2 (at most 2/3rds) and you're fine. Not anything a professional musician would use, but for anyone less than pro, it's a cheap alternative for when you're not in a studio.
    nargoth wrote: If you want a practice amp, get the blackstar ht1r, Its cheaper than a line6 spider, and sounds better as its a valve amp. Its 1 watt, but you wouldn't gig with it obviously. That said, you shouldn't gig with a line6 because it just sounds bad.
    Agreed x 809790847394873
    Oroborous wrote: Am I late for the flaming?
    On this site? I do believe that's impossible. As far as the amp goes, I bought a Peavey Valve King 100 head with a 4 12 cabinet new for $500. Definitely worth the extra $70.
    IMO Spider amps are just to make cheap covers of some songs,not to use it as professional amp.
    If you want a practice amp, get the blackstar ht1r, Its cheaper than a line6 spider, and sounds better as its a valve amp. Its 1 watt, but you wouldn't gig with it obviously. That said, you shouldn't gig with a line6 because it just sounds bad.
    About gigging with Spider: Our teachers in our school had a gig and the guitarist had a Spider I 2x12 100 watt. When he played I couldn't hear what he was playing but my ears hurt. It was damn loud but I still couldn't hear anything. It just didn't cut through the mix. And IMO the Spider I sounds pretty digital, dunno bout Spider IV. All digital stuff lacks something and it just doesn't feel right. I don't know what it is but it's something, the balls, the mojo...
    my band is touring and my guitarist uses a line 6 half stack and it sounds just as good as any of the other guys we play with that have marshals and mesa boogies. i think its the guitarist not the amp. as long as ya know how to use it i guess it doesnt really matter.
    I had both the IV and III. Personally I liked the III better. Currently I used the III as a straight through for my pedalboard. I just hold the tap tempo when I boot the amp and it doesn't do any effects or amps.
    JBailey23 wrote: 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
    i 100% agree, my spider3 half stack has lasted me countless gigs for a couple years