Spider Valve MKII HD100 review by Line 6

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (19 votes)
Line 6: Spider Valve MKII HD100

Price paid: $ 899

Purchased from: AMS

Features — 9
First off REMEMBER THIS IS A TUBE AMP SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE STANDBY SO YOU DON'T PREMATURELY OVERHEAT OR HAVE TO REPLACE THE TUBES. It has 2 12ax7 preamp tubes and 4 matched 6l6 tubes. So many features I'm just going to put in the basics and if you have more questions Line 6's website says alot but doesn't prepare you for the anomaly of things you must learn but once learned it opens up almost endless possibilities. First off the Amps: there are 2 of each Clean/Twang/Class A/Blues/Crunch/Hi gain/Metal/Insane And the controls are Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble and channel volume, and at the end of the entire chain there is a Master Presence and Volume. There are also 32 banks with 4 channels per giving basically 128 channels. From moving channel to channel there is a slight. 3 second delay but that can be worked around especially using the built in quick looper which is easy to use once you get the hang of it. I am a guitarist in a 4 man band so I take advantage of my Boss Looper and this 14 second quick looper. So many people are saying this isn't a good metal amp but my go to amp before this was a Randall RT50C Combo which had 2 channels. A clean and overdrive. Reverb sucked so this Line 6 is a step up and the Randall Is all Tube and an amazing overdrive amp and was great plugged into my Randall Stack.

I will admit the gain is amazing and using the Built in FX that can easily be fixed especially if you go the distance and by the FBV MkII shortboard 50 extra effects can be added along with so many more possibilities. I have played along to quite a few heavy metal tracks and I've had to turn the gain down. Metallica, Megadeath, Meshuggah, Feared I could go on and on but this is about the parts of the amps so I'll move onto the effects. Stock there are 18. First Knob is Gain, Auto and Pitch for Pitch shifter. Second knob is Chorus, Phaser and tremolo. Third knob is Delay, Tape Echo and Sweep echo. Last is Reverb. For each of these, stock, there are 2 types per. It also has a built in noise gate which really helps the high gain channels that give that horrible feedback and hiss they are known for. There are 5 speaker outs 4 ohm 8ohm single and pair 16 ohm hell its good for anyone looking for practically any tone. Lastly if you would like you can bypass the digital and just use the tube section. There is also a preamp out. These two together create an effects loop. Or you could just use it for your effects. Your choice. I have no problem with this amp whatsoever except the pedal not being included but Line six is a business and seeing that I only paid 900 and others paid close to $1. 5k another 101. 50 for a slightly used pedal wont break the bank so overall this amp is one hell of a deal.

Sound — 9
Like I said in the "Features" any sound you want you can use this amazing amp to create nearly any sound you can think of. I will admit there is some lack in gain BUT there are effects that will boost it to your hearts/ears desire and I have read a few reviews that say it doesn't sound like a tube amp. In some cases this is true because the major fact you have to remember is it is the coupling of an amazing Amplifier Modeler and an amazing Tube section designed by Bogner. So it does have some digital sounds but that has to be accepted. Like I said before this I was using a complete tube amp. This just gives me the ability to play in so many other dimensions of music and make me step out of my comfort zone and learn some new techniques. The 16 amps and myriads of effects can create just about any sound you want to have can be created. I forgot to add you can use the effects pre the preamp section or post the preamp section so any effect can be used via regular or like a Effects loop which is amazing.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not had it long and am rough on my products and this is a very LOUD amp but in rehearsal thus far it keeps up amazingly. Much louder than needed thus far but on stage it will be more than enough and it does not sound crappy when turned up. Most home amps when placed in a stage environment the EQ has to be meddled with to get the same tone at lower settings. Not the case with this amp. It weighs almost as much as my combo so that shows the products are quality. The Bogner Tube section alone speaks for itself and with the added Line 6 award winning modeling technology and effects it creates an amazing amplifier.

Overall Impression — 10
I'm just going to leave it at this. If you want a swiss army amp that is way better than other modeling amps with all the features you could ask for this is the amp for you. If your happy with a specific tone this may not be good for you. It may be. Find one and try it out. Even if you don't buy it IT WILL IMPRESS YOU. There are so many possibilities of sounds and tones and effects its like the Burger King slogan. HAVE IT YOUR WAY. I play mainly probably 65 percent metal and 35 percent classic rock so like I've said several times "Sing-Song" anything you want, You got it. "Roy Orbison."

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Well I've had the Spider Valve MkII for about 2 months now and the only complaint is the complete lack of headroom. Other amps when using an overdrive channel not only distort the preamp tubed but also the power tubes. The only way to get this out of the spider valve is to crank the master volume to obscenely loud or do as I did and purchase the jet city power attenuator. After seeing the complete lack of resonance I purchased a blackstar ht stage 100. Amazing amp. If you want metal and bass chugs the spider valve is not the amp for that. Line 6 took 16 mediocre amps and combined them into one. Don't get me wrong I love this amp and all the versatility but it's not a good for high gain.
    I just got mine yesterday(HD100 Mk2), and after 1 night I was amazed. I might even sell my 5150 combo now that I have this, it seems to be able to make any tone I want, and then some. 128 channels is enough to have so many of your favorite songs stored in a preset. Heck, I think I only like 60 songs in total, or at least 60 I want to play on guitar. The tube distortion is great, and it seems to have both analog and digital effects built in, so whatever your prefer is right there. I updated the firmware with the Line6 Monkey program, it was super easy, and then I downloaded their Spider Valve Mk2 editor, which again was super easy. Next stop was their CustomTone site, and that was great. I searched for all the songs and bands I like, downloaded and saved all their presets with the software, and off I went to play them all. I upgraded from a Line6 Spyder2, so I already owned the FBV2 Shorty, so this was great right out of the box. I also re-used my slant 4x12 Line6 cab, using 2 8-Ohm stereo lines to power the cab. I have a full stack if I use my Peavey cab, but I have to figure out how to wire it to 4-Ohms to make that happen. I will update over time, but out of the box I am AMAZED!!! Like I said, considering getting rid of my Peavey 5150 combo since this amp seems to make all those EVH tones quite easily.
    I have to take back a lot of the negative things I said. When I first purchased this amp I had it in my living room so I was never able to push the power section to get good tone I was just getting some weak preamp tones. But now I have my studio finished and can crank it and I have a true tube overdrive to push the front. But it can make any tone from classic fuzz to honky tonk to new country to classic rock and the hi gain models make some amazing metal and hard rock tones. My seven string loves this amp. It shakes the foundation literally. A lot of people myself included said it can't do metal. I was wrong and to the others that have said this, drive your power section more. If it gets too loud get a jetcity power attenuator and you can completely max out the amp (I don't suggest more than 75% as the tube GET HOT) and use the PA to control your vokume. I've tried to find problems with this amp but if the power section is at at least 8 o'clock you'll get the true sound. I actually bought a second amp a blackstar stage 100 for metal cause the line 6 couldn't keep up at lower volumes. Well almost 2000 bucks later I have a Swiss army amp and a dedicated metal amp.
    Well Nacek21 i have one and im not using the pedal yet and you can find used ones for as cheap as 50 USD. And BTW quite alot of artists use the line six rack mount fx system. I know most use the Axe FX but that thing is VERY COSTLY. And if you use a rack mounted power amp you need a preamp ahead of it. Quite a few have said it dosent produce a modern metal tone well if thats the case its more than likely your cabinet. Im running it 8 ohms into my Randall 412 and it is EXTREMELY heavy and raw. From metallicas early stuff all the way to their newest it has no problem keeping to bullet for my valentine, A7X, Megadeth, Even classic rock and even the ability to plug in an acoustic it does everthing and the 4 6l6 power tubes with the 2 12ax7 preamp tubes it gives great warmth and organic to the cleaner settings and amazing harmonics and sustain at higher driven amps i love how i can take it from low levels at home to high levels and instead of having to mess around with the entire eq for every setting just a small adjustment on the presence control and it screams. If you cant get metal tones or even a good palm mute you need to look to your cab. For High gain settings i use the Hi Gain Blue and Insane Blue with the bass maxed the mid completely off and a decent amount of treble except for the insane setting it chuggs and palm mutes amazing and the noise gate works perfectly for those quick rests. And i will mention all i use is EMG actives. The 89,81,85 and 60 my hellraiser has the coil splitable EMG 89 and 81 and with the 89 set to single mode there is no hum and gives a great strat tone or using the 81 split i get an amazing HOT tele tone. Even my 7 string sounds great and amazingly heavy tuned down to drop A. If youve plugged two "metal" amps and you still cant get a metal tone like i said look at your cab. My randall is a closed back with 3 bottom ports. Try closing up the back if its an open back but always leave enough ports for the speakers to not get "choked" from the lack of air movement. Look towards you cab.