Price paid: £ 239
Purchased from: music shop in town
Sound — 10
my guitar is an Ibanez RG320 and I use it to play mainly metal. I have the infinity pickups that the guitar came with, and they work very well with this amp. From my own misfortunate experience, I know that this amp gets extremely loud, certainly loud enough to play live at a large gig. It makes a huge variety of noises, as I have mentioned above. I've spent plenty of time getting to know this amp inside out, and I'm yet to find a sound I can't get out of it.
Overall Impression — 10
this amp is incredibly useful for pretty much any style of music. In particular, I find the pitch shifter feature very useful. Basically, it allows to drop tune the guitar without having to adjust all the strings. When combined with the foot controller, it means you can be playing a clean arpeggio in standard tuning, before switching to a crazy, distorted setting in drop Z. I compared this amp to the Peavey Vypyr 75 watt, which in comparison was just fiddly and much less user-friendly. The Spider IV doesn't sound as digital as it's predeccesors. Don't get me wrong, the Vypyr is also a great amp, but some of the features (including the looper) are entirely dependent on you spending at least 50 on the foot controller, and in my opinion, the Spider IV is the better amp for those who just want to get rocking.
Reliability & Durability — 10
this amp is probably extremely tough- I haven't had it long, but my old Line 6 Spider III 15 watt has survived all sorts of accidents and stuff. Neither amp has ever broken down yet... I'm sure it would survive any gig, and a back up would be heavy and unnecessary.
Features — 9
the amp was probably made in 2009 as this was the year in which it was released. I play most kinds of metal and hard rock, and this amp is simply amazing. It can produce brillaint clean sounds and heavily distorted metal tones as well as great lead tones. its probably very good for blues style music as well, as I've had a little go on the "blues" setting, although I'm not really into that sort of music. put simply, this is an extremely versatile amp. the amp has 16 user programmable channels, although 12 of them are already used when you buy the amp. However, these settings can be found elsewhere, in the huge collection of pre-set artist and song tones. Tones from many famous songs such as "master of puppets" to "more than a feeling" and others I've never heard of before can be chosen, and as far as I can tell, they're all pretty accurate. This amp has tons of features - it's like having several amps and effects pedals in one. Effects from "auto-wah" to "sweep echo" can be selected and adjusted to the finest detail by the user. Another of the features I use loads is the looper. This allows you to record upto 14 seconds of playing, then you can have it played back over and over while you jam along to it. You can record a riff, play it back to yourself and then play a solo over it. If using the button to start and stop the looper is a bit fiddly (trust me, it can be), then you can also buy a foot controller device thing which can be programmed to control the amp with your foot. This can also be used to control many other features, such as volume, wah-wah etc. This amp has a headphone socket, cd/mp3 input, and you can connect it to your computer and record from it. The pitch shifter is also very useful (you can retune your guitar by as much as two octaves either up or down, without having to touch a tuning peg), as is the onboard tuner, although this isnt accurate enough for my liking. This amp is very powerful, I have never (intentionally) turned the volume up past 10% at home, and it still feels like a monster. My only slight complaint is that the looper doesn't last very long, and that the computer screen thingy takes a little while to get the hang of. Also... the "set max. volume" feature might seem ideal at first... having the abilty to prevent accidentally moving the master volume knob to ferocious levels seemed great, so I set it to 10% and was playing away happily with the master volume right at the top... however, when I switched channel, the maximum volume level was put back to 100%, and I'm amazed the house is still standing. Otherwise, this is great amp, full of awesome features, all of which are great to use.