Hands-On Review:Line 6 Spider Valve Amplifiers


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Tubeway Army: Modeling Magic and Tube Intensity Finally Join Forces

Aaron Suplizio
Product Marketing Manager, Line 6

 

The new Line 6 Spider Valve™ guitar amplifiers finally resolve the  age-old question posed by every guitarist who acknowledges both tube-amp  and modeling technology as keys to great tone: Can you have your cake  and eat it too? Fortunately for guitarists everywhere, the answer is now  a resounding “yes.”

The Spider Valve 112, 212, and HD100 are the world’s first amps to feature an all-tube power section and a  dual 12AX7 modeling front-end. What does that mean for guitarists? It  means that enlightened tube enthusiasts will never again need to  sacrifice the versatility and tonal range provided by Line 6’s advanced  amp and effect modeling.

 

Just as important, modeling mavens who want that same versatility in  an onstage tube amp will now find all their favorite vintage amp colors  delivered with the performance and response that are the hallmarks of a  true all-tube, 6L6 power section and 12AX7 preamp stage. The  breakthrough design—which feeds the 6L6 and 12AX7 tubes with a Line 6  modeling “brain”—and its astonishing sound utterly destroy the myth that  tubes and modeling are mutually exclusive. If anything, the combination  of tube power and modeling flexibility extends and amplifies the  virtues of both technologies, allowing each to shine at doing what it  truly does best.

 

Even better, this auspicious marriage of tube-amp guts and digital  brainpower comes courtesy of the two parties most responsible for the  recent advancements and refinements of both technologies: Reinhold  Bogner and Line 6. Reinhold Bogner earned his stateside credibility by  repairing and modifying tube amps for the cream of L.A.’s guitar  community, which ultimately led to Bogner launching his own high-end amp  company, Bogner Amplification. Acclaimed for their rich, robust tones,  channel-switching sophistication, and sonic versatility, Bogner amps  have earned a maniacally devoted following among discerning guitarists.

 

Line 6 Spider Valve Amp Family

Line 6 Spider Valve Amp Family

What’s more, Spider Valve amps don’t just bear Bogner’s name; they  bear his artistic and technical fingerprint on every Sprague® Orange  Drop® capacitor and Premium Celestion® Vintage 30 speaker found inside.  Bogner’s integral role even included specifying which bolts and washers  to use. Meanwhile, the tech gurus at Line 6 have adroitly designed every  Spider Valve preamp to benefit from both 12AX7 tubes and a modeling  front end. The two work in partnership to augment the tube warmth and  presence with a stunning array of modeling options: 12 amp models,  providing a palette packed with authentic tone colors inspired by* the  ’64 Fender® Deluxe Reverb®, Marshall® Plexi, Mesa/Boogie® Dual  Rectifier®, and Vox® AC-30, along with many more outstanding Line 6  creations.

 

With simple front-end controls and a display, programmable patches  and presets are instantly within reach. Tweak your tone even further  with the front panel Presence, Drive, Bass, Mid, and Treble controls:  this is a true-blue tube amp, and it responds like one, delivering all  the analog detail, performance, and warmth of every amp model and  effect.

 

Increasing your timbral options even further, Spider Valve sports  seven onboard effects, easily accessible and tweakable via the  super-cool SmartControl FX knob, which lets you dial-in varying  intensities of effect without the hassle of hardcore programming. You  can select up to three simultaneous effects, including Chorus/Flanger,  Tremolo, Phaser, Sweep Echo, Tape Echo, Reverb, and Delay.

 

Spider Valve Amps come in three amp configurations, accommodating  both your onstage real estate and your volume needs. Choose among the  lean, elegant Spider Valve 112 and 212,  with their twin 6L6WGC/5881 40-watt Class AB tube amps and Premium  Celestion® Vintage 30 12" speakers (in 1x12 or 2x12 configurations); or  consider the handsome and heavyweight Spider Valve HD100 head,  with 100 watts provided by four mighty 6L6WGC/5881 tubes, driving a  majestic 4x12 Celestion® loaded cab. Each model accommodates Line 6’s FBV2™, FBV Express™, and FBV Shortboard™;  foot controllers, features onboard chromatic tuning, tap-tempo,  distortion boost, and noise gate, and allows for direct-out POD®  recording via XLR.

 

With its endless versatility and classic warmth and punch, it would  be easy to describe Spider Valve as providing “the best of both worlds,”  but we prefer to think of it as an entirely new world all its own.  Explorers wanted.

 

Features & Specs


All Spider Valve amps feature:

  • 12 dialed-in amp models (channel voices) that deliver a complete tonal range from shimmering clean to insane grind.
  • 7 Smart Control Effects including Tape Echo, Multi-Tap, Sweep Echo, Flanger/Chorus, Phaser, Tremolo, and Reverb.
  • 36 user-programmable channels
  • 300+ artist created presets covering the greatest guitar tones of all time
  • Compatible with FBV2, FBV Express and FBV Shortboard foot controllers
  • POD® XLR direct out for studio direct tone
  • Built-in front panel tuner
  • Single and dual 1/4" speaker output jacks for connection to auxiliary cabinets
  • 1/4" power amp input jack for POD® amp and effect modelers

Spider 112 features:

  • 40W Class AB tube amp through (2) 12AX7 preamp tubes and (2) 6L6 power tubes
  • 1X12" configuration featuring Premium Celestion® Vintage 30 speakers
  • Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 27" L x 24" H x 15" D

Spider Valve 212 features:

  • 40W Class AB tube amp through (2) 12AX7 preamp tubes and (2) 6L6 power tubes
  • 2X12" configuration featuring Premium Celestion® Vintage 30 speakers
  • Weight: 60 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 30" L x 25" H x 15" D

Spider Valve HD100 features:

  • 100W Class AB tube amp through (2) 12AX7 preamp tubes and (4) 6L6 power tubes
  • 4X12" external cabinet configuration featuring Premium Celestion® Vintage 30 speakers
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 29" L x 14" H x 13" D

412 VS Cabinets

  • Straight and Slant Cabs with 4 x 12" Premium Celestion® Speakers
  • Designed for Spider Valve HD100
  • Weight: 83 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 29" L x 30" H x 15" D