Line 6 Spider III 15
<p>For a company such as Line 6 that have been around only for a short time yet had the impact they’ve had on the guitar market has been quite phenomenal – originally best known for the POD effects unit they have continued to leverage their expertise in modeling into effects units such as the POD XT, the guitar market with the Variax series and a range of amplifiers including the Spider series.
</p><p>Line 6 have a number of different amplifier ranges, the Spider III range has the edge in that it features a number of presets based to help the guitarist obtain the tone they crave instantly. The range features a range of combos heads and cabs so there’s quite a choice. The heavier duty amps in the range feature a number of “famous” presets which mimic the guitar tone from famous bands or tracks.
</p><p>The Spider III 15 is the entry level combo in the Spider family – with a list price of $199. Despite the 15 being the baby of the family you get an awful lot crammed under the hood. Clearly at this price it’s aimed at those looking for a decent practice amp on a limited budget – this market is fairly full so Line 6 has looked to provide a broad range of features in order to differentiate it from it’s competitors.
</p><p>Out of the box the amp looks a rugged little fellow , thick plastic corners and the traditional front mesh covering the 15.5L x 14.5H x 8.25D chassis. There’s a thick carrying handle on the top of the amp and it looks like it could take a fare beating. The front of the amp features the Line6 Logo the range of control knobs and input output sockets. All looks well put together and robust.
</p><p>The controls are nice and sturdy and they are comfortably split into two groups one section to manage the EQ and volume a further group of 2 to manage the effects and a final Master volume control. There’s a row of handy buttons and LED’s to show the amp model selected. The EQ is split into Bass, Mid and Treble.
</p><p>The spider III features a 8inch 15 Watt speaker that despite being small – packs enough of a punch to make this a viable amp for jams or band rehearsals. You could imagine that it would make a great amp for anyone looking for home recording.
</p><p>The main benefit of the Spider is it’s ease of use – Line 6 have opted to keep it simple which is refreshing – nothing is overtly complicated –it’s easy enough to dial in the tone your looking for – the 15 ships with four amp models. Clean, Crunch (modeled on a ’68 Marhsall Plexi 100 watt), Metal (modeled on a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier) and Insane (modeled on a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier red channel). It’s a simple enough job to switch between them and the sounds are surprisingly good for an amp at this price.
</p><p>There are 6 onboard effects (of which two can be used simultaneously) included effects are Phaser, Chorus/Flanger, Tremolo, Sweep Echo, Tape Echo and reverb. The effects are easy enough to control, simply dial in the effects intensity from the relevant control and your done. The effects are controlled by two knobs – one which controls the chorus, Flanger and tremolo and second to control the delay and reverb effects – that means that you can’t for example mix the chorus and Tremolo effects or Reverb and echo – but that’s a small price to pay.
</p><p>The Spider III also features a MP3 input so you can plug your iPOD or other MP3 player straight into the amp and jam along (great for bedroom rock stars). There’s also a headphone out that can also double as a DI for recording purposes.
</p><p>It’s hard to quibble with what the spider III delivers – if we were to nitpick a footpedal to switch the effects on/off or change amp models would have been a nice edition – the way the effects are combined into two controls means that although there are 6 effects not all effects can be matched with each other.
</p><p>There’s a fair number of amp/effects units combo’s on the market now and the Spider III 15 will be competing with the likes of Fender’s Frontman combo’s and Marshall’s offerings – Line 6 have developed a strong reputation on the quality of it’s gear and there’s no reason that the Spider series won’t continue to add to that.
Filed under: Guitar Gear
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