Review of the Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt Amp
I threw out a quickie first impression review of the Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt Amplifier a few weeks ago, but I wanted to give a more in depth treatment of this affordable and fun amp. The more I play with the Spider IV the more I’m impressed with it’s ease of use and it’s versatility.
How does a Spider IV 75 Watt Amplifier differ from traditional amps?
With traditional electric guitar amplifiers, you are limited to the basic settings you can achieve with the amp. Add on varying effects pedals or specific guitars and you can expand the variety of tones and sounds you can achieve. But that can become cumbersome to switch between sounds and depending on the equipment you purchase, quite expensive.
Modeling amplifiers utilize technology, usually digital, to produce a multitude of tones from a single amp. Line 6 has pushed modeling amplifiers into new territory. Their line of Spider IV amps come preloaded with hundreds of settings covering everything from specific tones, songs and artists. In addition, you can create and save your own settings once you find that specific sound you are looking for.
As an example, I was able to take my Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt amp right out of the box and with a turn of a knob make my lowly Strat sound just like Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way”. I wish you could have seen the smile on my face when I heard it. With another turn of the knob I was able to sound just like Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. I must have spent an hour just flipping back and forth through over 300 presets.
That’s an incredible amount of leverage in my book. I don’t have the space or the budget to buy a lot of guitars, but with the modeling technology that Line 6 has developed, it’s like I have access to more guitars than I could ever afford. (Please don’t tell my wife that I don’t need to buy any more guitars, though!)
Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt Amplifier Features
I was impressed with the way the Spider IV 75 Watt amp is put together. The cabinet is solid and it’s a decent sized amp for folks looking for something for personal use or even playing for small groups. For larger gigs, you probably would want to step up to the larger Line 6 amps. The Spider IV 75 Watt amp is packed with features:
* 75 watts; 1×12″ Celestion® Custom speaker; three-quarter closed-back cabinet for a tight, snappy response
* 300+ hand-crafted presets from 50 world-famous bands and guitarists including Johnny Marr, Slipknot, 311, Meshuggah, Lacuna Coil, As I Lay Dying, Steve Stevens, The Donnas, Minus the Bear, Pete Anderson, more; 200+ dialed in song-based presets
* 16 tonally superior amp models with the vintage characteristics and nuances; 20 Smart FX (4 at once) with deep editing; Quick Loop, Auto-Wah, Intelligent Pitch-Shifter plus inspiring echoes, mods, delays, reverbs and more; 64 user-created presets
* Bass, Mid and Treble knobs that behave like the EQ controls from each modeled amp; Drive knob; Channel volume; Master volume
* 1/4-inch input; 1/4-inch headphone/direct output; 1/8-inch CD/MP3 input; built-in chromatic tuner; FBV foot controller jack
My Personal Review of the Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt Amp
I was looking for reasonably priced amp when I found the Line 6 amps at my local guitar store. At first I wasn’t sure you could get the tones promised, but I played around with it in the store for a while but didn’t pull the trigger that day. In a weird twist of fate, the guys from Line 6 contacted me about reviewing some of their products. I jumped at the chance. They sent me one of their Spider 75 Watt amps to review along with a FBV Pedal to control the amp. Once the amp arrived and I unpacked it, I was amazed at how versatile it was and easy to get going with it. While there are a lot of features to get used to it doesn’t take much to get started playing any one of the many presets.
Right now, my personal favorites presets are Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”, the “Sweet Home Alabama” settings for both lead and back up guitar and the multiple Pink Floyd settings. Talk to me next week and my favorites may change! There are so many tones to dig through. One of my favorite features is the built in tuner. My daughter, for whatever reasons, loves to run off with my regular tuner if I don’t put it up. But with the Spider IV, I don’t ever have to worry about finding my tuner. The onboard tuner also makes switching tunings a snap. In the past, I would often shy away from alternate tunings because I hated the hassle. But now, I don’t mind it all. I can switch over to the “Cinnamon Girl” preset with turn of the knob and then in a heartbeat change over to drop D tuning. In to easy steps, I know sound just like Neil Young (okay, the tone sounds like Neil, I’ve still got some work to do before the playing sounds like him.)
I haven’t even cracked the surface of all the higher functionality of this amp. The Quick Loop recording feature is very cool. You can play a lick and then loop it back while you’re playing. And once I get into creating my own sounds, I’ve got 64 slots to save my own presets.
The Spider IV does a great job at recreating a wide array of tones. But you should be aware that is a solid state amp and although it can get close to some tube amp sounds, it will not have that exact tube amp tone that some people are looking for. But for weekend warriors (like me) or folks on a budget (also me) tube amps are probably out of the question anyway. I appreciate that sound, but for my needs and price range the Spider IV more than makes up for the difference between a tube amp and a solid state amp.
For the money, I just don’t think there is a better value out there right now. I think the Spider IV is a great amp at a great price. The Spider IV is well built, feature rich and a perfect size amp for practicing at home or playing small gigs. I love the ability to recreate some of my favorite songs with just my Strat and my Line 6 amp. My Spider IV amp will do more than I can do. It’s going to take a lot of sessions before I fully am able to take advantage of this versatile amp. Right now the best deal I found was on Amazon.com. If you order the Line 6 Spider IV 75 Watt Amp from Amazon, it qualifies for their Free Super Saver Shipping, which is a great deal considering the amp’s shipping weight is 48 pounds. Click here to order your own Spider IV 75 Watt Amp.