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March 25, 2010

New amp - Spider Valve MkII

Line 6 Spider Valve MkII is the 2nd version of collaboration between Line 6 and Bogner. You probably know that Bogner is well known for building incredible tube amps. So, when Line 6, with all their modeling technology experience, teams up with Bogner, the result is a pretty wicked amp. I have the 1x12 version, and it is 40 watts and it houses a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker.

I have been playing this amp every day now for quite a few days, and I'm ready to talk a bit about my impressions. First of all, it is very powerful. It's got a lot of volume and it can cut through pretty much any kind of rock I gig would ever do. There is a lot this amp can do, and see further down for a feature description.

The Line 6 modeling technology is somehow blended in with the all valve Bogner design. Exactly how this works, I have no idea, but there are 16 different amp models available. To be specific, there are 8 different channels, and for each channel, there are 2 different modes - indicated by the colors amber and blue.

The amp can be set to manual mode, where you turn knobs like any regular tube amp, but you can also, at the same time, add effects such as chorus, delay, pitch shift, compressor, phaser, tremolo, etc. You can of course save your settings into a preset. These presets can be accessed via a shortboard, and you can store up to 128 preset. This means it is very flexible for gigs where you need a variety of tones. You can easily do anything from jazz to metal, with ease. There's an expression pedal built into the shortboard, so you can control wah effects and much more with it.

A looper is also built in to the amp - very cool! It's very handy to have this in the amp, since you don't have to drag along a looper pedal to a gig, thereby saving floor space.

So what do I think? Well, I think it's hard to find a more versatile amp, to be honest. If you are wanting lots of different sounds of one amp and not have to use a lot of pedals - this is a killer machine.

However, this is not a plug and play amp. The sounds are not always easy to dial in. You need to sit down and experiment to find what works for you. One amp model can be very different from the next, in terms of how it responds to your style of playing and even your guitar. It's like being able to have 16 different amps on stage, so you really need to learn how each amp sounds and feels in order to best make use of it.

After you have learned how to handle the amp to best suit your needs, you have a killer amp that you can have a lot of fun with, and be very productive with. A real tube amp combined with cutting edge effects and modeling technology - a very exciting combination. No matter what style you play, you owe it to yourself to try out this amp. It may be the kind all around amp you will love and cherish for years to come.

For more information, see the Line 6 Spider Valve MkII product page


Amp Features

Amp Models

Clean Amber One of the best-feeling clean tones we've ever made, Clean Amber is highly responsive to the player's touch. Scooped and boasting a beautiful high-end shimmer, it's inspired by* the clean tones of a Marshall® JCM-900.
Clean Blue Inspired by* some aspects of a Hiwatt® Custom 100, Clean Blue emulates the classic clean tones of the late 60s/early 70s. This model is full-bodied with a creamy mid-range and a tight low-end.
Twang Amber Twang Amber is inspired by* the sound of a 60s Fender® Blackface Twin Reverb® to produce a classic Nashville spank. Crank the Drive knob for some extra grit and growl!
  Twang Blue More aggressive than Twang Amber, Twang Blue has plenty of cut, punch and attitude inspired by* a 60s Fender® Blackface Deluxe Reverb®.
NEW! Class A Amber Brilliant, singing tones with an addictive chime made famous by generations of Brit-rockers, Class A Amber is inspired by* a Vox® AC30 Top Boost.
  NEW! Class A Blue Terrifically dynamic, Class A Blue offers boutique-style feel inspired by* some of our favorite amps including the Divided by 13 9/15. Sweet tones on the edge of breaking up give way to seriously throaty Overdrive when the Drive knob is cranked.
  Blues Amber The vintage charm of Blues Amber is inspired by* the classic tones of a '50s wide panel Fender® Deluxe Reverb®.
  Blues Blue Voiced with more attitude than Blues Amber, Blues Blue delivers a more forward mid-range for a classic rockabilly sound inspired by* the bite of a pint-sized Gretsch® 6156.
  Crunch Amber A celebration of the tone used by numerous early metal bands, Crunch Amber was inspired by* the signature crunch of a '68 Marshall® Plexi 50-Watt.
  Crunch Blue Crunch Blue provides a rounded off British-style distortion with a cool mid-honk and great cut. Inspired by* the killer crunch of an Orange® AD30.
  NEW! Hi Gain Amber Hi Gain Amber is inspired by* the infamous brown sound of a '68 Marshall® Plexi 100-Watt with a Variac and jumped input channels.
  NEW! Hi Gain Blue A modern, scooped metal sound, Hi Gain Blue is a refined distortion inspired by* the high-gain mayhem of a Diezel® Herbert.
  Metal Amber A one-way ticket to high-gain heaven, Metal Amber is tight, punchy and inspired by* the high-gain tone of a Mesa/Boogie® Dual Rectifier®.
  Metal Blue Metal Blue delivers high-gain aggression with supreme versatility. Sweep the Mid knob to control the character of the distortion! (Set it to minimum for fuzz pedal characteristics; set it to noon for creamy, modern high-gain tones; set it to max to conjure Class A tones.)
  Insane Amber Dialed in for shredding, Insane Amber combines the intensity and impact of Metal Blue but it delivers more mid-range teeth for that bone-crushing grind. Inspired by* the tone of a Mesa/Boogie® Dual Rectifier® (red channel).
  Insane Blue Insane Blue delivers an obscene helping of distortion while still retaining tonal definition and character. As much input gain distortion as possible short of a complete meltdown!

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com


Posted by Robert Renman on March 25, 2010

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