Spider Valve HD100 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (28 votes)
Line 6: Spider Valve HD100

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Craigslist

Sound — 6
I run my Schecter Hellraiser Dlx with active EMG 81/85's. The distortion on it isn't as great as I would like, can't get too super brutal with the Drive knob cause the sound ends up getting very muddy in my opinion. And considering I swapped the tubes the day after I got it, I was fairly disappointed. I mostly use the amber setting on the metal channel, bass at about 2 o' clock, mids at 10, and treble at about 4. It did take quite a while to tweak it to my liking, cause I'm not a super big Line 6 fan cause they've always been a bit digital sounding for my taste but this was the cheapest tube head readily available to me at the time. Being tube powered helps a lot in not sounding so digital, but its still there a bit. This amp is quite noisy, at least mine is, and I have a lot of feedback issues. You can get a lot of variety of sounds out of this at least. The distortion is not really death metal br00tal in my opinion. I stay away from the insane channel cause to me it's just overly noisy and lacks a lot of clarity. However on the bright side, this thing is freaking loud. I have not been able to crank it past 11 o clock on the master volume cause nobody in my band is particularly fond of going deaf. The one thing I despise in the sound of this amp are the highs. When I start playing at like the 12th fret on the top three strings, the sound is just twangy and annoying in my opinion. No amount of me tweaking the settings has been able to change that. My palm mutes don't have as much attack as I would like on them. In my honest opinion, the sound is good, but definitely not so something you go and brag to all your friends about.

Overall Impression — 5
As I said before I mainly play a lot of hardcore/metal. This amp does a fairly good job of it, however I wish I could crank the gain a little more without the sound getting too muddy and my highs weren't ridiculously twangy. I've only been playing for a year and a half, but I can still tell this isn't exactly prize winning sound here. Overall I am not really impressed with it, and if I was reinhold bogner, I'd be ashamed to have my name plastered on this thing. Overall I'm super unimpressed with it. If anyone were to steal it, the only reason I'd be mad is cause I no longer have an amp to use. Plus this thing is ridiculously unfriendly with pedals. I love my Ibanez tubescreamer, and I can't use it with this because all I get is an ungodly amount of feedback. I could have bought a Peavey valveking at the time for the same price, but I chose this for the versatility of many sounds. I have regretted that decision ever since. And for the price these go for new, definitely not worth it. I'd rather save up another hundred bucks and go get a Peavey 5150 or something. I do not really recommend this amp at all.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't gig with a back up and I feel fairly safe without one cause this thing is built pretty tough. Haven't had any major problems, the only real issue with it is that the standby/on Switch is loose, and I tried to tighten the washer that holds it in and it just aimlessly spun around. I don't know sherbets that's a fault on the manufacturer or the previous owner though. And I've only had this amp for about 6 months, so I'm not too familiar with how durable it really is, but it hasn't let me down yet.

Features — 9
So, this is of course quite a versatile head, 6 channels each with 2 settings, so 12 channels in actuality. No headphone jack obviously, no one buys a halfstack to plug headphones into it. Also has a few built in effects, tremolo, phaser, chorus flanged etc. I play mostly hardcore stuff, e.g. Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria type sound as well as playing for my church's worship group. It definitely has enough features to get me through all of my current needs. You can use the preamp out power amp in inputs on the back as an fx loop. However, near impossible to do any sort of gigging without one of their boards to change channels easily. Overall, there are many different sounds capable of being produced by this, perhaps a litle overkill, cause there's way more settings than I'll ever really need.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    HellsYeah wrote: I own a Line 6 Spider II amp, and I have the same issues with the clean/distorted volume settings. 12 o'clock on distorted isn't the same volume level as 12 o'clock on clean. But you can't beat that Line 6 distortion! Good review.
    I think Line 6 Spider's distortion pretty much is its weak point. It sounds too digital and lacks something. I tried our school's Spider I's (100 Watt 2x12") crunch setting and after that our school's HH Electronic combo. The sound was pretty much of same style but the Spider lacked something, the Mojo. I don't know what it was but it sounded flat. And I also hate "recto" and especially "insane" settings. Cleans were nice with chorus.
    I just traded my old Peavey for one of these and I gotta say that I'm pretty impressed with the immediate results I've gotten so far. I hear plenty of hate towards the digital sound of the Line 6 brand, but the tubes really do add the boost it needs to forget that it's a modelling amp. It's easy to use, loud as hell, and makes me wish I had one sooner. I plan to do what i81b4u81 said above by replacing the stock Sovtek 5881's with the 6L6XWT+ soon just to see if I can get even more power out of this new toy. All and all, I'm very satisfied with my Line 6 hd100