Spider Valve 212 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (89 votes)
Line 6: Spider Valve 212

Sound — 9
Style is deep and throaty. I use a pedal board through the pre amp rear socket and skip out the presets ( never used them anyway, but I have found them a mixed bag on the old spider but I really like the new ones, so I will carry checking them out. Use the cleans mainly and if I want to dirty the sound up a I have a Boss Overdrive and a DigiTech Grundge to mess up the sound, also got a Boss Acoustic Pedal and this sounds freash and clean through this amp.

Overall Impression — 9
Play mixed gig stuff 60`s through to the mid 00`s. For gigs it`s rock and Blues. We play mixed leads so the balance is there. My playing partner has a Marshall ? and paid a lot more than I did for my Spider and he is a wee bit pi--ed of that my valve sounds are so richer and dirtier than his amp. As I have been playing since I was 9 and in a band since I was 15 and I am now 63, plus we play fairly often at the Cavern in Liverpool and we still pack out the place along with the other bands of old guy`s who still appear there. If this amp was stolen I would certainly get another one. Cheaper than a Deville and sound as good. Before I bought it I just plugged a strat in and wow I was blown away. I love the sound, the throaty deep sounds and the overdrive. Don`t rate the Insane but then I did`nt on my last one and don`t need it anyway. Favorite feature is: don`t know still messing about with it. Compared it to Marshalls / Orange and Fenders ( DeVilles ) I went in to buy a DeVille and came out with this one instead. it's a great sounding gigging amp with loads of juice and depth. Sounds to die fo and a lot cheaper than a load of so called special type amps that whilst they are great sounding they are also soooo expensive. This way with the Spider you get the great sounds and save money. that's got to be good eh!

Reliability & Durability — 9
Reliability: Only had it two weeks, so it`s too early to tell, but had three good practice sessions with my band and the pointers are looking good. Durability: I look after my gear always have and I don`t forsee a problem, but time will tell.

Features — 9
Picked up the Line 6 Spider 212 valve from my local guitar shop. Traded in Spider 112 combo. This new valve unit is just great. I'm not a techo whizz but this amp does exactly what it says on the tin. I play blues / rock metal and this fits the bill. I`ve been playing since I was a kid and in 1962 I played through a Vox AC30 with two extension AC30 Vox cabinets with 12" x 2 in each cabinet. While everybody now raves about Vox ( I personally did not rate them ) changed them for a Gibson amp ( cannot remember the model ) and this blew the Vox away. Had a Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean at the time and then sold it and bought a 63 strat. I still play a strat though the Line 6 but it`s now white American Standard and boy does it love the Line 6 212. The 40w is plenty in the kind of places we gig in.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    just bought what i think is the last new non mkII around. I've been playing for over 30 years and play a shred type of music. I was looking for an amp that has good sustain so i can hammer-on/pull off easily with clear notes. to me at this stage the amp and pickups are a huge part of clean shred. This one isnt perfect but not to shabby. My sweet pick appegios are much smoother than the solid state POS amps ive been using. i logged about 3 hours on it lastnight so my commets are not detailed from a lot of hours. But so far so good. i definatley feel its a great bang for the buck. I grabbed this one because i didnt feel the mkii had $150 of improvements for what i like to do. Anyway in closing. - SO FAR I LIKE IT -
    I think that if you slammed this amp, but never played through one, you should be Bitch slapped!
    This amps not terrible, but its nowhere near good. Not to mention how ridiculously overpriced it is. You can get some okay sounds out of this, but for 900 dollars you can get near perfect tone. Amp modeling just isn't good enough yet, I think in the future they will sound accurate and will be cheap and reliable, but not yet. Even with good amp modeling(which this is not) you can still hear traces of the digital modeling. And adding tubes to digital modeling doesn't do a thing, I can still hear the digital modeling right through the sound of the tubes, this is a waste of money.
    I have had this amp for about 4 months now and it does everything I need at home. I would not use this amp for gigs at all but I do like the features on it. I prefer Mesa amps and the use of my own foot pedals but as far as just turning on something to play on for practice or jam with some friends, it does it's job. By no means at all is this the best amp ever! It's a fun practice amp.
    Where the hell is the hype of these amps coming from? I bought one two years ago because of all the poisitive reviews, but this amp doesn't compare to a real boutique, real all-tube amp. All these reviews are saying things like "I've own Fenders, Marshalls, Mesas, Bogners etc., and this amp is near as good" turned out all bullshit. This amp is okay, but way less than what the hype is saying. It is a loud enough amp (for 40 watts), has enough features, etc, but to me its the sound that is the problem. Mainly just because it sounds digital, due to the digital preamp. Unless you drive the power amp to nearly max, it sounds even more digital than a solid state. My complaints go on. I have now bought a Mesa Mark and have this Line 6 up for sale.
    I love how people who have never tried a product can slag it off to the hilt. Don't just judge line 6 on one product and think it's going to be the same , what would the point in that? I have played through marshall stacks and fender amps and can say this amp does compete in terms of volume and tone, sure it's not completly perfectly but it's tens times better than a spider 3 and for it's price it's a much cheaper alternative and is basically 12 amps in one. So work out how much it would cost to get the 12 individual amps and say the line 6 valve isn't worth how much it is !
    Just bagged this amp for a steal: $350. Line 6 gets a lot of shit for terrible sounding solid states, but this is the best amp I've played and will ever own. Hope they continue with more valve amps, their preamps sound so much better with tubes.
    Hey guys, when i bought this amp the guy said that you can drop the tuning of the guitar in a few clicks on the amp, ive forgotten how to do this. can someone please help me out
    I see a lot of you guys giving the amp bullshit and a lot of you giving false information. First of all, the amp is not "all-tube" it is hybrid. Hybrid means either a solid state power section combined with a tube preamp section (marshall avt style) or a non-tube preamp combined with a tube poweramp (spider valve). Yes, the spider valves have two 12ax7s in the preamp but all they do is warm up the preamp signal which is shaped digitally. It is therefore a tube amp but not and "all-tube" amp. All-tube means purely tube with no digital or solid state. Moving on to the sounds. I spent 3 hours A/B'ing dual rectifier modelling of the spider valve 40w combo against the real 2010 multi-watt Mesa Boogie dual rectifier red channel on modern mode set at 50w and not 100w for a fairer comparison since 50 is closer to 40. For both amps, I used the mesa recto 4x12 cabinet and the exact same eq/volume/presence settings with no effects. I won't deny that the real dual rectifier sounded better, but did it sound $1200 better? NO!!! They were infact very close with the Line 6 having a slight hint of the digital feel and being slightly warmer compared to the more sizzly tone of the real thing, but the difference was definitely not worth as much as $1200 more for the real deal. Also, this was done in guitar store using the stock amps (which means stock tubes). I'm sure if you put the mesa tubes in the line 6, there will be a moderate improvement. Bottom line, if you're on a budget, not a professional artist, want versatility, you can't go wrong with the Spider Valve (especially the newer mk11 version).
    as one of the first tube amps i've tried, i'd say this amp sounds pretty decent.much better than any lower line of combo amps, reguardless of brand. but i doubt it's the best out there, you can't go wrong if you find them used(usually around $450, i think 750 is a bit steep for this amp)i loved the random pitch shifting effects when experimenting. made the tele i was playing sound all industrial-ish. definatly a fun amp..
    I played through a bunch of tube amps at my local guitar center today through my Ibanez S2170FB Prestige and I must say, this was my favorite tone wise. I spent excessive time fiddling with all of the amps there. It really comes down to preference in the end. Some people like tones that others don't. That being said, crap tone is crap tone. I have a Spider III 30 at home (my first amp which I want to replace, hence the searching GC for tube amps) and it has legitimately crap tone. This Valve though... lord, I loved it. The cleans on this were better than everything else I tried except for the Mesa's I looked at but hell... they were damn near 2,200 bucks... so they were out of the question. Plus, it's versatile as hell and for me, that's the winner. I don't want to buy pedals and a bunch of stuff on top of my 800 dollar amp. I just want versatility and a good tube tone. This was the one that delivered for me. I don't need a huge stack. I'm not trying to fill a stadium with sound. When I play with friends or jam it would suffice and you can mic it anyway. The tone is great. Don't knock it. I feel like half of the people hating on it haven't played it and sheerly see the words "Line 6" and instantly make assumptions. For the money, which is a little steep to be honest, you get a ton. Great tone with excellent versatility. And honestly, being a home recording musician, those are the qualities I want most in my amp. I write metal one day, and jazz the next. I want an amp that can do all of these and, from what I tried out extensively today, this did it the best. I would love to get one of these in the future and give kudos to Line 6's venture into the tube amp realm... hell... we know it's a lot better than EMG's venture into passive pups... hahaha