This week I was given the opportunity to review two very amazing guitar amplifiers, both with amazing characteristics and yet both such polar opposites as to be comparable to the relation of fire to water.
The first amp that I tested most definitely brought the fire in the form of the Line 6 Spider III 150. This combo unit is the current flagship of the Line 6 Spider range featuring an incredible amount of amp modeling presets that allow the player to dial in tones ranging from mellow
cleans to bone crunching distortions. The amp comes with the obligatory amount of presets and the added feature of being able to add extra functionality by combining it with the unique characteristics of other Line 6 products such as the POD and the Variax. It is in this reviewer’s opinion, however, that the fire cools to a simmer. The Line 6 Spider III has the makings of a good amp for most guitarists. It replicates clean to overdrive tones very well and definitely plays loud enough for any gigging guitarist’s needs but that is in fact its down fall. The amp, as hard as it tries, is still modeling other amps and does not sound as good or as real as having an all valve Marshall. This amp just doesn’t have enough of its own character for me to really call it great. The cleans don’t have that shimmer and the overdrives are a bit weak for my taste but that being said there is one area that this amp excels at. If you like to shred through some mad metal riffs or want to lay down the law with some fat power metal, the Spider III brings the thunder. Without even trying I was able to instantly get one of the heaviest distortions I have heard in a digital amp. I could shred titanium with the amount of power contained in the bottom end of the amp, certainly enough to make even the most ardent metal head jealous.
Written by David Weimers for Headroom Productions