Spider Valve 212 Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 07/01/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Line 6: Spider Valve 212
The Spider Valve 212 from Line 6 features a Spider III engine mated in perfect harmony to a genuine tube amplifier. Designed by famed amp man Reinhold Bogner for unmatched performance and responsiveness.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 9.1
 Overall rating:
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reviews (8) 150 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: KY_GuitarMan, on january 15, 2008
2 of 5 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: AmericanMusical.com

Features: The same as the spider III but so much better. The Spider Valve 212 from Line 6 features a Spider III engine mated in perfect harmony to a genuine tube amplifier. Designed by famed amp man Reinhold Bogner for unmatched performance and responsiveness. The amp is built around 2 - 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 - 6L6 power tubes. You can choose from 12 amp models and 7 Smart Control Effects. 36 user-programmable channels save your settings, or you can play through over 300 artist-created presets. All the tones are voiced by the legendary Celestion Vintage 30. Finally you can have the unrivaled versatility of Line 6 amp and effects modeling with the performance and feel of a world-class tube amplifier. Unlike flextone, no midi! That kind of sucks. Also, like all Line 6's, no footswitch. The nice thing is Line 6 has a big range of footswitches that fall in all price ranges. // 8

Sound: I play Epi Les Paul standards because they are built like tanks, sound great, and are 1/5th the price of their big brother Gibson LP standard. I've two. One with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups I use for blues and classic rock. The other I put in EMG Zakk Wylde 81/85 set for metal. I just got the amp a few days ago but have already spent many hours with both guitars. To put it in a nutshell, I can find every tone I'm looking for. I found it best to browse through the presets, which is really easy to do, and when you find something close to what you want just stop there and tweak it to get exactly what you're looking for. With my blues les paul I easily found Vaughan's texas style tone (Texas Flood, Pride and Joy). I also easily found Hendrix both clean (Hey Joe), slightly dirty (Red House), and really nasty (Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile). With my metal les paul I found Black Sabbath (early, iron man, war pigs), later (Heaven and Hell), Van Halen (brown sound), Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, etc. This amp is the most versatile I've ever owned and I've owned just about every decent mass marketed tube amp (Fender Twin, Marhsall JCM800, DSL 100, TSL 100). You can quickly dial in crystal chimey cleans then Switch straight to face melting shredding leads to bottom heavy chunky arpeggio death metal riffs. I have not been able to reach the headroom of this amp. I've rehearsed with it in a very loud club setting and I didn't need to turn it past 4. It's really amazing. This is truly a high-end tube combo that could gig anywhere for $830. I really think this is the only amp you'd need in your rig. Add an FBV shortboard to have it all at your feet and it's perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It is built way better than my Flextone III XL and that wasn't built that bad. This one is built for professionals. It's heavy and the wood is thick. There is a cage around the power tubes to protect them. Only owned it a few days so far so can't talk about longevity. // 8

Overall Impression: I've played for 30 years (since I was 10, I'm not that old). Overall, for $830 this is the best amp I've ever owned. The amazing flexibility of Line 6 modeling PLUS an all tube circuit designed by Reinhold Bogner himself. You can really get every tone you're looking for with amazing tube tone quality. Whatever style of music you like, you'll find it. Add a footswitch (I'd recommend the FBV shortboard) and you're in heaven. My favorite feature is the amazing tone. We're all guitar players here and we're all in that endless search for killer tone. I'd easily put this amp up there with Marshall, Mesa, and Fender. Actually, buying this amp gives you all 3 of those amps plus more at only $830! I'd definitely recommend buying it. I'd replace it if it was stolen. It's one of my favorite amps all time. // 10

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overall: 10
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: truthfulhero, on may 30, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This 40 watt tube amp features Line 6 pre-amp with 12 channels, a heap of pre-made sounds from artists such as John 5, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Thursday and many more. The amp also features an inbuilt tuner, effects such as flange, chorus, tap delay, reverb, etc. The power amp is made by Bogner and is accessible directly through a jack on the back of the amp. The pre-amp can be lined out into an external speaker cab but I have been happy with the inbuilt speakers, being 2x12" Celestion Vintage 30s. The amp comes with an in-depth manual and wheels (you will need them, it is insanely heavy for a combo! ) I wish I could rate this higher as it is hands down the best amp I have used with the possible exception of the Line 6 Spider Valve 100 Watt Head and Quad Box. I purchased the amp with the FBV Express foot pedal. This accesses the 4 custom channels, tuner, tap delay, volume and wah. // 10

Sound: This amp has it all. Separate channels specifically designed for sparkling clean, blues, rock, metal and an "Insane" channel for blistering solos. This amp can do anything. It also contains a noise gate to kill any form of buzz or hiss. I use this amp at my church and when I jam with friends so I use a variety of sounds and I have not yet been let down. The clean channels are amazing and deliver an incredibly diverse amount of sounds. The different levels of gain go from very modest to more than you will ever need (ever!). I play anything from Hillsong to The Killers to Demon Hunter and As I Lay Dying. This amp covers the lot and does it incredibly well. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is my only amp and I have complete confidence in it. It is very easy to use and I have only had slight problems with the foot pedal, never with the amp. Having said that, I have only owned it for 6 months. So far, no issues though. I always play this amp without backup. The wheels are a godsend, even on a combo! // 10

Overall Impression: Hands down, this is the best amp I have ever played through. My main guitar is a PRS Tremonti but I also own an Ibanez 7V JEM that has had a few plays through it. I have also borrowed Fenders and a Les Paul Custom. All guitars have sounded amazing. If this amp were lost, I would definitely purchase another, or upgrade to the Spider Valve 100watt Head and Box. There is nothing to hate about this amp except the fact that there is so much to do with it. I am 6 months in and still discovering amazing sounds. I had no dollar limit when I purchased this amp. I wanted the best. I chose this amp over a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Krank Revolution, Marshall JCM-900, Ritchie Blackmore Signature Amp, Crate 350Watt Tube amp among many others tried that didn't come remotely close to this. If you are after a new amp, I cannot recommend anything over this amp except it's beefier 100watt brother. Incredible value for money and sounds and tones that leave anything else (yes, even your beloved Mesa) for dead 50 miles back. As mentioned above, if stolen, I would not buy anything else. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: H_ngm_n, on october 02, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 750

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Tons of features. When I say tons I mean it too. Has very nice effects built in, outputs, billions of models, durability, comes with casters, has a tube cage, bright display. The knobs are a bit weak but that's the only problem with features so far. Great for the price range. 9 because of the knobs, their just to flimsy. // 9

Sound: I plugged into this thing at guitar center thinking I was gonna jam on it for a while then go get the AC 30 that had been calling my name since early summer. I walked out with this amp. It does everything. I was playing on a Classic 60's model which was dead on beatles tone, pushed a button and BAM Meshuggah. Bleeding saturated metal tone. One more push to Tom Petty also identicle. Every sound this amp makes is dead on. If it isnt dead on it still sounds very nice. I am so impressed with this amp's tone that I tell everyone of my friends about it and they all try it and are amazed too. Great sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Heavy. A great sign. Built very solid with a tube cage to keep your power tubes in place. Came with wheels for easy moving. A sturdy leather handle and very solid grille. The only thing is a knob chipped when my loose cable smacked it. They all seem a little cheap on closer inspection but oh well. // 9

Overall Impression: I'm an Indie rocker on friday and saturday night and a praise band leader on sunday morning. I love to shred and jam with my friends and play some metal while my brother plays drums. I now know that I can play any of those styles with such great tone that people will wonder where I'm getting all these amps. Great for a musician on a budget or an old-school rocker looking for some fun. Really a great amp that blows all the solid-state garbage this company has made out of the water. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: Skywalker007, on october 29, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 750

Purchased from: Local Shop

Features: This amp has nice features, it has over 300 presets, including some of the best songs of the last 50 years. I mostly play metal, but also a little punk, funk, rock etc. So this versatile amp was just what I needed. A nice feature is that you can use the preamp and poweramp separately and add effects in between. I would recommend to buy a footswitch of somekind, it's a lot easier to control it like this. (with a bit of luck you van find the fbv shortboard for like 100-150 used). What I miss is a headphone jack, but seeing as almost no tube amp has one, I really shouldn't complain. Haven't gigged with it, but guess it will be loud enough after trying it out during a jam session with some friends. Haven't tried going louder than 30%, don't really see a reason why I should, unless I'm gonna gig someday. // 9

Sound: I'm using this with my Epiphone Les Paul Studio, it really produces a great sound with this amp. As I said before I play mostly metal, but different kinds of it and also others styles. So the versatility of the +300 presets and the built in 12 amp models, chorus, tremelo, phaser, flanger, echo are more than satisfying. I haven't cranked it max, so I don't know if the cleans will distort. And there is no humAming when the built in noise gate is on, only hum I've heard was from my guitar, when my main noise gate was off, but this is not the amp's fault. Of course if you're a purist and you know your style, it would be better to by a more expensive amp, and it would sound a bit better. But with my budget and need for versatility this is just excellent. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Haven't gigged with it, so can't say for sure how reliable it is, looks pretty reliable to me, if would have my first gig in the next few weeks, I would use it without backup (also because I'm broke after buying this amp and some other stuff). I have had it for a week, everything is okay so far and it looks as if it's going to stay that way. And of course you might wanna be a bit more careful with tube amps than with solid states. // 10

Overall Impression: So overall a great amp, really good for playing different styles. Up until now I had a small 35W practice amp and an RP80, both which I gave to my brother, Who's just starting with guitar. What an upgrade. Compared it with a lot of other amps in the same price class, and decided this was the best buy for me (maybe not for everyone). if it would be stolen, I would buy a new, maybe even the HD100 if I would be in a band atm. So if you know what sound you want, maybe you should get another amp, but if you're unsure or play different styles, definitely get this one. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: Gmarkey, on april 08, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Samash

Features: To start off, this amp has a hefty amount of features for you to explore. It has several amp models ranging from clean to insane, and has 300+ presets allready dialed in for you to try. You can edit a preset and save it as your own in one of the 36 user channels. The effects are pretty good, nothing amazing, but adding the right amount can make for a beautiful sound. The delays on the other hand are awesome. The delays and Echoes are one of my favorite features on the amp. All these settings and presets make it easy to just start it up and find a nice sound, but if you take the time to make a preset your own, it's amazing. This amp is perfect for versatility. I bought it because I haven't quite found my own sound yet, and have a lot of exploring to do. Well lemme tell ya, this amp is helping. // 9

Sound: I'm using an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I play every style of music and love versatility. The amp is great for experimenting with different sounds and styles. The cleans are really nice. Add some reverb to give it that soft feel, or even some Flange/Chorus to make it sing. If you play country, the twang setting adds a tiny hint of gain to give you that chickin pickin tweed sound that you'd like. You can find mid-gain bluesy sounds, and high gain metal sounds. My lead setting is so creamy and smooth it's wonderful. My alternate lead setting is nice and powerful and great for some metal solos. Overall the sound is really nice, don't even compare it to the solid state spiders. This sound is nowhere near digital, it's great. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This heavy M'Fer is pretty solid, its 60 pounds I believe but comes with a set of wheels for easy transportation. Out of the 5 months I have had one problem with it. I had some tube issues I think from playing too much lol. If I were gigging I would probobly bring a backup, but I highly doubt I would need it. Overall it's pretty reliable. Kinda big and husky but if you've got a nice corner to put it in it wont take up to much space. If your going to be moving it a lot it might be a pain in the butt cause of it's weight. But the wheels will come in handy. // 7

Overall Impression: Overall, this amp is great for the versatile player or the player Who is exploring different sounds looking for their own specific tone. Customizing sounds and making them your own is very easy to do with this amp, and is a great help in finding what your personal sound truely is. This tones you can achieve out of this amp are awesome, and when you're bored there are so many features to fiddle with. So basically, if you have a specific sound and know what you want, another amp might be better. But if you're unsure of your sound and need to explore or if you are just a versatile player like me, this amp is perfect. If I had to describe this amp in one word, it would be versatile. // 10

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overall: 10
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: metal jello, on august 12, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: Some of the many features of this amp are: built in tuner, built in noise gate, built in overdrive, built in smart FX, direct out, fx loop, power amp input for POD devices, and cab outputs to turn your combo into a head! This amp has 12 amp models, modeling classic amps from Fender, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, and some of Line 6's own creations. There are 400+ presets already dialed in, including an arsenal of presets designed by famous bands and guitarists including; Albert Lee, Maroon 5, 11, Dashboard Confessional, John 5, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, and Slipknot. (just to name a few) There are also 36 user presets for you to dial in your own sounds. This amp can get any tone you want out of it. 40 watts is more than enough power, considering this is the most powerful sounding combo I have ever heard, and it has a cab output, so you could connect it to a cab if you want. And this amp IS a tube amp, and sounds like one. // 10

Sound: I'm running this amp with a stock Gibson Explorer. (for reference there) I play everything from blues to metal, and this amp gets every tone I could want and gets it well. I'm going to run through each of the 12 amp models for you- Clean Amber- This is a very crisp sounding clean tone, lots of bottom end at your disposal----- Clean Blue- Emulates a 1973 Hiwatt Custom 100. Lots of headroom, and tight low end for thick creamy tones----- Twang Amber- Emulates the Blackface '65 Twin Reverb and Blackface '64 Deluxe Reverb. It has more snap and bite great for country or rock----- Twang Blue- Emulates a '53 Fender tweed Deluxe Reverb, '58 Fender tweed Bassman and a '60 Gibson Explorer. Excellent rock-a-billy tone. Snappy and tight----- Blues Amber- A mix of a '65 Marshall JTM-45, a '58 Fender Bassman, a '63 Fender Vibroverb and a Supro. Tight, crisp, crunchy tones with lots of attack----- Blues Blue- Emulates a Vox AC-30. Excellent Beatles tones here! ----- Crunch Amber- Emulates a Marshall Plexi 50 watt. Screaming solo tones, and super tight and crunchy rhythm tones, my choice for ACDC sounds----- Crunch Blue- Based on a modded Marshall Plexi 100 watt. Just like Eddie Van Halen. It copies the Van Halen brown sound of the first VH album perfectly Metal Amber- Based on a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. Very tight low end, more gain that you could ever need, tight attack, and sharp high end. Amazing tone.----- Metal Blue- This model has a mid control that contours the distortion characteristics. The lower the mids, the more Class A sounding the gain is. The higher the mids, the woolier he bottom end, and the highs disappear, simulating a fuzz pedal like a Big Muff----- Insane Amber- Mesa Boogie dialed in for shredding. More girthy mids, I found this to be my favorite rhythm tone. It has tones of gain, I don't even turn the gain up, I keep it all the way down, and it's still a lot. Amazingly tight tone with perfect definition----- Insane Blue- Tight Marshall tone with tight low end. The gain knob dimed is lethal.----- As you can tell, this amp does everything. I've played a lot of the amps modeled, and the tone stacks Line 6 designed are DEAD ON. Perfect emulations. The only thing is you have to turn this amp up. Thats when it opens up and blossoms. This amp begs to be cranked, so feed its desire. Your neighbors will hate you, but it'll sound orgasmic // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had a single problem yet and I bought this thing used. The tolex covering is very well placed, no mess or sloppiness in construction. The inside of the cab is clean, no residue or mess from the factory. I would take a back up of some sort if I was micing the amp. If I was using the direct out to feed a mixer, I'd probably feel safer. (not this amp, I would do that with ANY tube amp).. I don't expect to see any problems with this amp. Perfect construction. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp is perfect for any guitarist, no matter what style. I have no regrets in getting this amp, this amp will be my main rig for life. I love the tone and flexibility. Line 6 teamed up with Bogner! The man who modded Eddie Van Halen's amps. This guy obviously knows a thing or two about tubes! The only thing I'm going to do to change this amp is install some Weber Beam Blockers to stop the speaker beaminess. Overall amazing amp, especially considering the price. Get it. // 10

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overall: 9
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: Jim Fox, on october 16, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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! // 9

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overall: 8.8
Spider Valve 212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 01, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 340

Purchased from: Private Sale

Features: This is the original SV 212 (there has been a MKII version out for some time now) but even considering what is available new now, this amp is still right up there with the best. 12 amp models, some great, some good and a couple of slightly "iffy" models but overall, a broad selection to cater for just about any taste. 3 digital effects at a time: modulation (chorus/flanging/phaser/tremelo) delay (delay/tape echo/sweep echo) and a rather nice reverbliven things up somewhat. The reverb and delay effects are very useable but the modulation effect are a little to intense and unsubtle, but then that may be just what you want! 4 quick access channels that are available for selection from the front panel or via footswitch, over 200 "artist" presets and 36 user memory locations that can be accessed via the front 4-way navigation rocker and LCD or from an optional FBV Shortboard. The normal eq controls plus cahnnel & master volume controls and presence plus a few "hidden" functions including boost, noise gate and a finally a wah (only if you have and FBV Express or FBV Shortboard connected). Contrary to some opinions, this is a real valve amp with a 40 watt power amp section designed by Bogner and 2 x 12AX7 pre-amp valves in the pre-amp section. This is then enhanced by Line 6's amp modelling software and effects. Round the back you have an effects loop, and a direct out for recording that also has cabinet emulation. Speaker duties are handled by a pair of Celestion Vintage Series 12" speakers. Cabinet is covered in a heavy duty black yinyl and is surprisingly heavy and well built and tahnkfully comes with a set of heavy duty removeable casters. // 9

Sound: Using a variety of guitars with humbuckers, P90's and single coils, there is a vast amount of sounds and textures on tap. The high gain models are up to Line 6's normal high standard but then, these days, most amp modelers seem to be able to to a pretty good job of high gain hard rock and metal tones. Where the Spidervalve really shines is the "on the edge" tones where the amp is just starting to break up - particularly blues type sounds. The clean models are nice and clear with a little added warmth but if you want, you can wind up the gain on these to provide a nice clean but slightly edgy tone that is quite satisfying. After using a POD XT Live through a combo (Marshall VS100 Valvestate) I would have to say the Spidervalve does sound better with more natural valve compression coming into play. The presence control really works well adding that high end sparkle and zing you just can't get from normal eq. Oh, and last but not least, this amp is friggin' LOUD! It says it's rated at 40 watts, but I'd be happy to put this up against a half stack Marshall and I reckon the Spider Valve would compete nicely. With the master volume at 10 o'clock, it is too loud to be in the same room in a domestic house without doing some serious damage to your ears, the plaster, crockery, windows etc, etc, etc! Anyone who says this amp isn't loud enough for gigging is deaf! // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is my 4th piece of Line 6 gear, and as I've never had any problems in the past, I'm not expecting any now. Line 6 gear is built pretty tough and the Spider Valve is no exception. Being a second hand piece of gear when I got it, I stripped it down to give it a full clean and once over. Internally, everything is well built and looks like it would handle gigging without any hassles. The power amp valves are enclosed in a full steel cage and each valve is held in place with a dual spring loaded cap that should prevent them from losening and falling out. The 2 pre-amp valves don't have the same protection but as they are behind the power amp valve cage and are not easy to get at, should be safe from accidental knocks. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mainly heavy rock but do dabble in other styles and as such, the Spider Valve 212 is ideal for me. I can now get pretty much any sound I want without having to resort to external stomp boxes or rack effects. Over the 35 years I've been playing, I've had amps from Roland, Acoustic, Mesa Boogie and a couple of Marshalls (valve and Valvestate) and reckon this amp can do everything they did plus more. The flexiblity to dial in so many different and great tones is a godsend for a gigging guitarist but to get the most out this amp, you really have to buy the Line 6 FBV Shortboard. That is the only downside as the FBV is currently over $329 AUD new and you have to use the Line 6 unit as nothing else will work. But apart from that, I'd have no hesitation in buying another Spider Valve if I ever lost this one. From what I've read, the MKII version is even better with more amp models, a looper, and the ability to do computer editing of the user settings. // 8

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