I will offer my opinion (since you asked )
Although I no longer do live gigs I did perform for over 25 years.
I have had my Spider Jam for over 2 year snow and I love it...BUT....
I would never try to use it for gigs.
IMO there is too much to go wrong.
Simply switching presets can change volume dramatically and unexpectedly.
The amp is much to fussy and fiddly to be mucking around with during a live show.
In addition, I am afraid the rigors of the road would be just asking for trouble. Just look at all the posts in this forum relating to loose connections.
IMO opinion the Spider is best left in the practice room and a solid, road-worthy amp be used for live performances.
Just my cents, your mileage may vary.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 5, 2011 9:15 AM (in response to Buy-a-Fender)Re: SJ a good gigging amp?
I appreciate the honesty Steve, thats on the spot what I was looking for. My next question is what is the next progression from this amp? I really like the line 6 interface, ergonomics and am already familiar with the brand. I'm looking at going to a HD 500 multieffects board into a tube amp vs the Spidervalve MkII. Your thoughts?
I tried my SJ out at live gigs a couple of times. First time was a disaster as all the tone settings sound completely different at higher volume. It was too scooped (too much treble and bass and no middle).
The next time, I customised the tones for high volume playing and it was a lot better. Although it is rated at 70 watts, my Peavey Classic 30 is much louder. The SJ is hard-pressed to compete with a drummer.
With acoustic guitar and mic (no band), it performed very well.
Like Steve, I would be worried about its reliability for 'road life'. It is not built for that.
My 'main' kit was a Peavey Classic 30 and POD XT Live. I don't play live any more so the Peavey and POD are gone and the Spider Jam is perfect for home.
The difference in the Shortboard and the Express is purely the number of USER Preset you can call-up. Shortboard gives acces to all 9x4 presets. The Express only does 4 at a time.
I've used mine for live gigs with no issues. I had already set my tones for high volumes so that was no problem. Being in a cover band I use quite a few tones so I really like the ease of the shortboard. My band plays acoustic to electric in our show so its nice to go from cat stevens wild world to drowning pool let the bodies hit the floor with just a few clicks of the old shortboard. But you gotta find what works for you.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 19, 2011 12:23 PM (in response to daydreamin7677)Re: SJ a good gigging amp?
I don't think you would be asking this if you were making a living at gigging so...
if you are looking for small gigs the only way I would suggest that you use the jam
for live playing is to use the rca outs to a PA. You can keep the jam at low and good
sounding volume the PA will handle the sound at higher volume and it sounds surprisingly
And much cheaper than my rig.....hmmm maybe I should have thought harder about this and not
let my ego get in the way
I've been using a Spider Jam as a gigging amp for nearly 2 years, without any problems, period. I dialed in my settings based on 60% volume and primarily use the Clean Red and Blues Red amp selections. I run a Tom Anderson Hollow Cobra as my main axe, and a Gretsch 5120 on occassion. My band plays a mix of jazz, blues and classic rock and I've never had a problem not being able to cut through the mix. We play clubs with capacities of 75-100 people. The SJ has been used in outdoor 100 degree temps and exposed to 16 degree temps before being used at a gig without any negative effects My backup amp is a Spider IV 150 and I've never needed to use it. Been playing for over 40 years, gone through numerous amps, including tubes, and the Spider Jam steps up to the plate very well.