Spider Valve MKII HD100 Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 03/31/2014 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Line 6: Spider Valve MKII HD100
Right off the bat let me say that this amp is not for your average rock or metal player. Some players are looking for something different and the "digital" sound of this amp could turn them off of Line 6 HD100.
 Sound: 8.2
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Reliability & Durability: 8.2
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) pictures (2) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
Spider Valve MKII HD100 Reviewed by: DragonlordFilip, on november 02, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: The Spider Valve MKII HD100 head it is a 4 channel valve amp featuring 128 slots for various presets. It is a 100w Valve head equipped with 4 x 6L6 power tubes and 2 x 12AX7 Preamp tubes. It features a built in tuner which is incredibly useful and a looper which does it's job but it could be better. The amp allows you to use 3 smart effects at a time but sadly you cannot combine a chorus and a phaser (they are both on the second effects dial). The amp features your usual Bass, Middle and Treble controls and a channel volume which can be set individually for each channel. It also features a presence control which works incredibly well. The built in preset that the amp has are average to say the least, I wouldn't recommend using them in most situations. The amp can be wire in either mono or stereo, I however have it wired in mono into a Spider 412 300w Cab. This amp has enough power for what I require as I use it as both a practice amp and a live rig. One amazing feature of the HD100 is it's built in Noise Gate, you can set the noise gate to how you prefer (Thresh, Decay etc) and it works incredibly well. It also features an Emulated 3pin XLR Output with a cab emulator making it great for recording. If the Chorus wasn't on the same dial as the Phaser I would have rated it an 9. // 8

Sound: This tube amp was designed by Reinhold Bogner and is incredibly versatile. It can match almost any genre or style, but the HD100 is incredibly amazing for metal. It is insanely loud and has an amazing tone when setup properly. I have played through this amp using an '89 Stratocaster(S, S, S) & a J&D Flying V (H, H). I find that this amp suits my style perfectly, which is a mix of Metalcore and Alternative Metal. The distortion on the amp isn't incredibly amazing until you select the Amber version of the Insane amp model, it is at that point that the amp becomes a beast. I have played songs by Iron Maiden, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Pantera and Avenged Sevenfold through this amp and they sound quite amazing. The noise gate is a must if you intend to play metal as this amp will feedback and become incredibly noisy and unbearable (This is with high amounts of gain on the amber Insane setting). // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would definitely use this live without a backup, so far it has been incredibly reliable and I haven't had it break down on me. I do perform regular maintenance on it however to make sure its working at 100% but that's something that show be done with any amp. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a mix of Metalcore and Alternative metal inspired by bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium. I've only been playing for two years but I've been told by many music professors and teachers that I've got the skill of somebody who has been playing for 5+ years. I have about 7 guitars and 3 amps, with the HD100 being the best. The one thing I wished I asked is whether they had the FBV Shortboard to it, it wasn't easy finding one in stock. I love it's tone and the sound it produces but I hate having to carry it to gigs. I compare it to the Spider IV, the Marshall MG100FX and various Engl amps but the Line 6 came out on top. I do however wish it had a power rating dial like the Blackstar 1046l6 to control the power wattage. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Spider Valve MKII HD100 Reviewed by: cronux, on august 16, 2010
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1400

Purchased from: Audio-Pro (Croatia)

Features: The new Spider Valve MKII HD100 head is full of bells and whistles and is designed for the player that wants a great sounding tube amp with a bunch of built in fx - in short, the swiss army knife of guitar amps! Note: this head has a LOT of features so it's likely that I'll leave something out and for this review I won't be so detailed because there's too much of features and combinations you can do with this amp. I'll write about the basics and what it feel's to use this baby ;) if you want the details go to the Line 6 site and you'll see what I'm talking about :) The amp has 16 amp models going from clean, blues to rock and metal tones. It has gain, treble, mid and bass controls for fine tunning the sound you are using and in no time will you have the sound that's right in your alley. You also have reverb that's lush, a volume for the channel you are using and a master and presence controls that are seperated from the channel being used and they govern the amp's output and definition. From fx you have a gain boost, auto-wah, pitch shifter, chorus, phaser, tremolo delay, tape echo, quick loop, sweep echo, there's about 20 of them. You also have a noise gate and a compressor that can be used together, seperate or not at all. You have 4 independent channels for your desposal and TONS of presets where you can save your 4 channels or use the one's that are offered to you - from blues to metal, like I said - TONS of presets and you can use them, edit them, personolize them, I mean - endless possibilities. You can edit fx and amp mod's and save them via a little forward display to the desired channel, you can also decide if you want to put the fx you are using before or after the amp, yes, this is the fx loop of the amp (no cabels, no battery's, no countless pedals ect.)and it works perfectly with the MKII Shortboard. I found myself going WTF?!? and being totally in awe because ALL the fx pedals that I was using, from Wah's to pitch shifters to noise compressors ect. were all replaced by the HD100 + shortboard...so my million cabels, adapters and what-not are now replaced by 2 cabels...2 cabels...and it works better than anything I've used... The great thing is that you have 4 independent channels and for each od them you can save you presets, for example: on one preset bank I have A clean tone, B rhytam/lead tone, C pitch shifter with delay and reverb and D crunch tone with some chorus on top. Now this is only one preset bank, you have a great deal of them and you can save your sound's as you wish, so you can do one preset bank with only clean tones, the other one with only distorsion sounds ect. Oh yeah, and you have a cromatic tuner. Also you can connect the head to you computer and use the Line 6 program to edit you presets, sounds ect. Here are some inputs on the amp: 1/4" guitar input; XLR out; RJ-45 FBV foot controller input; MIDI in/out; 1/4" pre amp input; 1/4" power amp output; XLR output; 1/4" speaker outputs. You can connect it to 4, 8 and 16 ohm amp boxes. (and you have 2 outputs for each one of them series of parallel) Like I said, tons of features that are great and that deserves a 10 in my book. For the detailed specs go to the Line 6 site cause I've let something out for sure ;) // 10

Sound: This baby has a pair of 12AX7 preamp tubes with a matched pair of 6L6 power tubes. The tube section is designed by Bogner and the name speaks for it self. With 16 amp models you can get almost any tone on earth but it has it's drawbacks. Most reviews I've read stated that there isn't enough warmth comming out from the tubes, or that there's something missing in the overall sound of the amp... Is't not a 6505, a Marshall, a Mesa Boogie or a Diezel but it gets close to getting the sound that you have in your head. In short it's not a racing car, more of a turbo charged all-terrain vehicle. I use a Randall cab and a Jackson COW 7 string with a Seymour Duncan Blackout tuned to drop a. Now I play low tuned stuff; Meshuggah, The Acacia Strain ect. and the thing I love about this amp is that all that low end rumble comes out like I'm playing in E strandard on a 6 string. Also I play leads, and they come out clear and full of life. I've tried a lot of tube amps and every one of them had to have at least one pedal in front of it to sound good to my ears. That says a lot about the definition of this amp, and IT'S LOUD! On stage or in the rehersal room my volume is at 3 and it blows everything away. The low end it there, sparkling highs and really awesome mids. I've tried to play some BLS, G'NR, Metallica with my Slammer Exp and my jaw dropped. The definition and the low end was there and it punches out a great amount of bite. For all you djenters out there THIS is the amp for low frequency rumble ;) And the compressor + noise reductor can get you all those precise Fear Factory stops...work's perfect! The drawback is that it's not really for players that want for example a Peavey sound, the sound is kinda digital, therefor it gives you great definition but it sacrifices the warmth and for some players that's not quite what they are looking for. Let's say it like this the sound is awesome, but it doesn't feel lifelike, more compressed and direct but the tubes make it feel powerfull. Also the thing that can get in the way of live playing is that everytime that you step on the shortboard to change the channel (let's say from A to B) you can hear the 0.3s delay of the switching (the sound goes mute for those 0.3sec) and if you are doing a solo you can hear the (mute) channel switching and it can get frustrating. But all in all, the sound is awesome; there's so much definition coming out of this digital/tube amp and the fx can make your rig sound like you're using 25 pedals and 4 spliced heads. But it's not for everyone so the sound get's an 8. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Well after the second rehersal with my band no sound was comming out of the speaker cabinet. It turned out to be a small glitch inside the amp and was fixed in one day by the dealer that sold me the head. The dealer said that this was the first one that had an "issue"... the other identical 10 heads that were sold had no problems. Maby I'm 1:11 but still, it was corrected right away and has been working fine after that. (but you still feel kinda bummed because out of the 11 amps that were sold YOUR'S had to have a problem -.-' ) Had no problems with it since, and it's built like a tank - i would suggest to buy a case for it since it is tube powered. // 8

Overall Impression: Right off the bat let me say that this amp is not for your average rock or metal player. Some players are looking for something different and the digital sound of this amp could turn them off of Line 6 HD100. Also, some players are looking for a simpler amp with a straighforward approach. Let me say that this amp is real vesatile and you can literally play anything on it, it has tons of fx, great sounding amp models, a built in gate, tuner... a swiss army knife of amps with it you'll find that your old pedals are great gifts. If it was stolen I would buy 2 because I love it! I'm not saying that this is the best amp out there but I would definitely recommend trying one out... one never knows what you'll find. // 9

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overall: 7.5
Spider Valve MKII HD100 Reviewed by: screamfreak, on november 23, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This is a very versatile amp with many different stomp box effects in it for someone to find what sound they are looking for. There are 8 presets: clean, blues, class A, twang, crunch, high gain, metal, and insane. There is a looper are four channels to save your settings on. There is a lot of power in this amp (enough for a large gig) and it is a tube amp according to the website. To change from channel to channel, you must buy the separate channel switcher. You can adjust the chorus, delay, phaser, tremolo, harmonies, octaver, reverb, and 3-band EQ with this along with the Drive knob. There is also a presence knob which allows you to quickly change the EQ. There is also a built in noise-gate. Based on effects alone, this is very good. // 9

Sound: I play an Ibanez S with a DiMarzio D Activator Bridge and a DiMarzio Liquifire neck. I play classic rock to metal to heavy metal to death metal. If you play classic rock, this amp is pretty good for you. However, if you play metal and heavy metal, this is not the amp for you. There is not a lot of "chug" in your palm mutes and the noise is quite thin. There is not enough gain on this amp for heavy metal players and the highs are quite hopeless. At first I thought it was my pickups, but then I tried it with my friend's guitar which has active EMGs and the sound still wasn't enough. You will need to buy some sort of overdrive or distortion pedal to get a good heavy metal sound. The cleans are decent, but I do not like the overall tone of this amp. However, it can go VERY loud, but that does not mean it gives enough gain. // 6

Reliability & Durability: It's built very well, it has not broken down. I would probably bring a backup amp head in case the tubes overheat or something like that. // 9

Overall Impression: For a metalhead like me, this is not my favorite amp. I've been playing for 4 years and I use a very good guitar that sounds excellent with a Laney (which is the amp I'm going to buy now since I returned the Line 6). The store keeper said it was excellent for metal, but apparently, he was lying since my friend has the same guitar as me and played it through a Laney LG35R, and the tone was killer. No, I would not buy this again. I would buy a Laney head or a Peavey 6505. However, I do like the chorus and phaser built in this amp. They are extremely good. I wish it had more punch and gain to it. I do not like using pedals because I hate setting them up, but the Laney sounds great to me. // 6

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overall: 8
Spider Valve MKII HD100 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 14, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1200

Purchased from: ebay

Features: Features clean/twang/class A/Blues/Crunch/Hi Gain/Metal/Insane channels Has gain/auto/chorus/pitch effects and as well have a stimulation on its right side to display a certain mode characteristic. A lot of options but some are kinda useless at its own level, even 1 channel can become your general and play all the possible features. // 8

Sound: The sound of this amp is great, from blues all the way to insane to clean, the clean is pretty bold, the insane/metal is pretty closed back, get a Vintage 30 cab and it will open up easy and attack in your face more often, it may need pedals if you aren't satisfied but this is a good amp for all around axis, even gain to add on more if it isn't good enough for you, this amp delivers that slipknot sound, if set right this thing can sound like a Mesa Boogie dual rectifier, No joke the stimulation tweak it right and it can sound just like one, take time though this isnt an easy amplifier, this is one of the few hardest amps I played with besides the Mesa Boogie Mark Series, no this amp cannot stimulate even with right tweak to sound like a Mesa Boogie Mark it is so different in its own key of sound for that stuff. Most people like that Mesa Boogie sound so I'm giving it a 9 cause this pretty much will get you what you want with Vintage 30's put in as well, but if you want that Line 6 and other sounds and possibilities get this amp, I have own a Dual Rectifier so Its fine to put my opinion/word in. // 9

Reliability & Durability: A lot of options... means risky when starting up the amp for channels and responses and simulations, be careful you better know what your doing when this thing turns on cause this thing will confuse you if you get alittle nervous and you will be putting it at the channels you first got this amplifier probably, this has too many possibilities and Switch possibilities I won't guarantee you anything but complete differnce in your own sound, this re-creates, Construction is fair. // 6

Overall Impression: Good price good effort and good sound for this price, I think Line 6 did pretty well, this gives a Marshall overdrive, Mesa Boogie possibility with right tweakage and its own Line 6 value, good job and keep it up, remember this may sound closed back and bold, you need Vintage 30's cabinet speakers to open it up alittle more to make it sound more big, this is a great amp and reliable, good tone and has alittle effects, it is good and has many options, but starting it up be careful at the gig situations, you may just cost yourself the first time you bought it. // 9

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overall: 9.5
Spider Valve MKII HD100 Reviewed by: rlewishughes, on march 31, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 899

Purchased from: AMS

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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." // 10

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