Spider IV 120 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (60 votes)
Line 6: Spider IV 120

Price paid: A$ 800

Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music

Sound — 8
If there is one thing I can say about ALL Line 6 amplifiers is that each and every one of them is extremely versatile. Hence, they can nail almost any genre a player will throw at them. However, if you are using a "clashing" combination, that may make a difference. An example of a clashing combination could be trying to use a Fender guitar with a Death Metal sound - just plain silly. This amplifier is not entirely noisy. The only noise problem that occurs with me is when I have on the Insane setting and I stand too close to the amp at a high volume, with my guitar. It produces feedback, stopping by muting the strings. There are so many things to do with this amp. You can achieve an almost acoustic sound with the serene Clean tones or rumble the walls with a ballsy Metal roar. Being a high-watt amplifier, the Clean sounds do not distort at high volumes, which is an amazing catch. You can, however, manually turn up the Drive level in your Clean sound, making it "dirty" at your preference.

Overall Impression — 8
The style of music I play is mostly distorted, ranging from Pop-Rock all the way to Drop C Metal. Line 6's Spider IV 120 suits almost any style flawlessly. So, it matches me perfectly. I have currently been playing for five and a half years and would consider myself relatively advanced. I now own three amplifiers in total, starting with some dodgy 12 watt that was about as quiet as a mouse. Three years into my playing, I acquired a Line 6 Spider III 15 (watt) and kept that for about another year and a half. I have, since then, upgraded to the Spider IV 120, which I am extremely pleased with. I have played with other, bigger amps (wattage wise) and they were no doubt better quality than my Spider IV but I just didn't feel comfortable with them. Think of it as Harry Potter, where the wand either works for the wizard or it doesn't. These other amps just didn't work for me, whereas the Line 6 did. I would definitely replace this amplifier if it were stolen or lost, considering if I had the financial capability to. I can't think of any additions that I would want on the Spider IV 120. It is an extremely detailed amp and probably has some things on it that I still haven't discovered. A great amplifier!

Reliability & Durability — 7
In my time of owning the Spider IV 120, I have never experienced technical difficulties with it. I play at various gigs without the fear of it breaking down on me. No backup required. The only vulnerable places on the product is the meshing that covers the speakers, on the front of the amp and the partly exposed back of the amp. Like some other Line 6's, the Spider IV 12's "innards" is slightly exposed at the back of the amp. They do this for the player to have access to the hardware at his/her will, if they find the need. Avoid any sharp-edged objects around there and you should be fine. I have never dropped it once, let alone a reasonable height, so I don't exactly know how shockproof it is. But, being a relatively heavy amp, I wouldn't recommend it.

Features — 9
The Line 6 Spider IV 120 (watt) is currently still in production and was manufactured roughly a year or so ago. The amplifier is extremely versatile, having eight different sound types in total. The eight sound types are Clean, Twang, Class A, Blues, Crunch, Hi Gain, Metal and Insane - going from the most docile to the hardest, dirty sound, respectively. This clearly shows how many genres can be nailed with this one amp. There are four channels, able to be switched by hand at the amp or operated by a Line 6 FBV pedal. (The pedal is bought separately, however) The player can use preset default sounds or adjust the sounds manually to their preference. There are ten effects in total, ranging from Auto-Wah to Digital Delay. Nine different effects are divided into three knobs. The tenth effect, Reverb, has a knob of its own. In addition to the amazing quantity of effects on this amp, each effect has a little "other side" to it, giving a whole new effect in its place. So, in truth, there are actually TWENTY different effects accessible on the Spider IV 120! There are no additional features required on this amp, other than any more effects that a player might like (which is unlikely, due to the amazing range of effects there already are). This amp has enough power to compete with acoustic drums. Therefore, it is possible to gig with this amp. When I gig, I only need to turn it up a little before it starts to get loud. So, I have not yet actually used the amp to its full potential, volume wise. Which is a good thing. The amp also has a built in chromatic tuner.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    oldess3192 wrote: 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.
    No. It really doesn't. Don't fool yourself. All Spiders (regardless of wattage) have the same poorly designed pre-amplifier circuit built with low-grade electronic components to speed up mass production and to lower the costs of said production. It's a habit a lot of companies are falling into. But a $500 Spider halfstack does NOT hold ANY water against a $3000+ Mesa halfstack. It really just doesn't.
    I have the S4 150 and gig with it regularly, and also own the S3 50. Have gigged with that in a pinch, an though it needs a mic. The short board is great, but I use it mostly for volume as I run a few stomps. Don't listen when somebody tells you modeled don't like stomps because it isn't always true. This one loves them, my last one didn't. The sound is what you would expect from Line 6. It's not the best I have heard, but it's far from the worst. I have no trouble standing out at stage volume and the sound doesn't deteriorate at volume. I rarely use the drive channel unless I'm just jamming out with the looper, main fx are on my board. My advice? Learn to use it before you scuttle it for junk. It can actually sound very nice if you spend some time figuring it out.
    Petar wrote: 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".
    I agree (I don't know about Spider 4 but we have Spider 1 at our school). It just doesn't feel good when you play it and that's the "presence" I need. And it's too bassy (but that you can handle by turning the bass knob). Oh, and I don't like it when you touch the volume knob the volume goes like BOOOOM! First it's too quiet then it's too loud. It's hard to tweak.
    Baffles me there's hate on this amp its fantastic. I think ppl are just scared to venture out from the marshalls etc this beast offers so much more.
    I saw this at Guitar Center and fell in love. I haven't played it my self but I've seen video reviews. Yet...I'm starting to question if I should get it or not...