Spider IV 30 review by Line 6

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.5 (143 votes)
Line 6: Spider IV 30

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 7
This amplifier is a small, 30-Watt Solid-State combo. I bought in spring of 2014 from my local Guitar Center for approximately $200 USD. This amplifier has 10 knobs (for distortion, overdrive, tones, effects, and volume), 5 buttons (for custom channels and delay settings), a "guitar" jack (for the instrument, of course), a "CD/MP3" auxiliary-in jack, a 3/4" headphones/record out jack, and a power switch in the front; and the power port in the back. The tone options are very limited as there are 6 distortion levels (Clean, Twang, Blues, Crunch, Metal, and Insane) to choose from, and each distortion level being highlighted with either a red or green LED lighting which marks additional levels of gain (thus actually being 12 levels). Within each level of distortion/gain there are knobs that will adjust the overdrive, bass, mid, and treble to adjust the desired tone, except the choice of tone is vastly limited and the aforementioned knobs do a poor job at dialing the desired tone based on my experience.

The channel buttons above the center tone knobs are used to save any tone combination made by the user into any of the 4 separate channels by holding down the channel button until all 4 of the buttons' LEDs start flashing, and pressing a button corresponding to whichever channel the user wishes to save his/her dialed tone to. This feature is, I admit, quite useful in case if accidentally bumping a knob or two and messing up the tone. This amplifier comes with two effects knobs that feature chorus flange, phaser, tremolo, and delay settings that include standard delay, tape echo, and sweep echo. The delay ticks are set by a flashing "TAP" button above the effects knobs of which the user will press twice (the time length between both presses will be the set delay) to set the delay. The effects built in the amp are pretty lame, if you ask me. The "TAP" button also activate the amp's built in guitar tuner once held down. once activated, all the channel lights will act as a meter to check if the string is tuned correctly based on standard E tuning. If both the channel B and C buttons light up simultaneously, then the string is in tune. This is a useful feature, and probably one of the only useful built-in features this amp has.

Sound — 4
This amp is mainly suited for new, young guitar players replacing their small, 10-watt, fuse-powered practice amps they got with their start-up guitar kit. The clean tones are loud compared to the overdrive ones. The clean channel sounds a bit muffled and I couldn't hear the notes/chords played on my guitar as clearly as I expected to. The Twang channel does a superb job at cleans in comparison to the Clean channel. The Blues channel sounds just like the Twang channel but with a little bit of crunch to it, so therefore it's not really necessary. Now, onto the overdrive channels... The Crunch channel sounds terrible, to start off with. The sound is mucky. The Metal channel sounds similar to the Crunch channel but with more fuzz. The Insane channel is fuzz after fuzz after fuzz. The Drive knobs only adds or decreases the amount of fuzz, but there's still going to be a lot of fuzz no matter what. The Bass only adds more booming background noise as I increase the level. The Mid usually works best from 10-o'clock to 2-o'clock, and the treble works best from 1-o'clock to 3-o'clock in my opinion, anything other than that, it sounds like trash. Also the built-in effects are trash, as well.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The amp seems to be in pretty good shape after two and three quarters years of owning it and playing guitar at least twice a week. It looks solidly built from the moment I bought it and still looks good to this day. The only things that worry me about this amp's integrity is the open back panel with the back of the speaker showing and the two lightly-soldered wires connecting the speaker. I'm worried that those will break of at one point from slight carelessness in the future. The amp is very quiet, especially with friends who have higher wattage amps than I did. Will I play this in a gig? No, absolutely not.

Overall Impression — 5
As a guy that plays metal and hard rock, I can say that this amp has done me justice for a short while until I got sick of the sounds. I cannot really recommend this amplifier for those who have been playing guitar for over 4-5 years, or at the point of complicated techniques and styles far beyond the level of a beginner. I am currently as of this moment saving up for a Peavey 6505+ series model of amplifier and will kiss goodbye my Line 6 Spider IV ASAP. If this amp were stolen, i'd say "F it!" and buy the 6505+ immediately if I haven't already.

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