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Tone "Cut off"
by Infinite-t on 2009-07-22 20:19:33

Hi,

I have had my Spider Jam for about 10 weeks now. I like many of the features and the Jam tracks, and drum tracks are awesome. The issue I am having is getting the tone i want out of it. I play and am a huge fan of classic rock and blues. I love the vintage sounds of a warm creamy tube amp, or the nitty gritty overdrive of one. I have not be able to get a good bluesy tone out of the amp. I have spent HOURS messing with tones and models and settings. The biggest problem I'd say is it seems to "Cut Off" notes. The best way I can explain it is like if you are talking to someone on a speaker phone. The noise canceling cuts off the very beginning and the tail end of it. Almost like it sounds synthesized. The amp realizes, "Hey, a string is plucked, time to kick in." and you miss the split second sound as the pick first hits the string. Then, as the sustain starts to fade, the amp decides it has faded enough and cuts off the rest of the note. This is very annoying and really kills the amp for me. Instead of "DDIIIiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnggggggg" i get "HIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiNNNNNNG/...." My little Fender - Champion 600 seems to sound A LOT better in this respect, but, of course has none of the fancy features. I also seem to be having a volume problem. With some of the higher distortion effects the guitar volume is quite loud, but switch to a different amp model or clean sound and you can barely hear the guitar at all. I am aware of the fact the, at least in an analog case, distortion is created by gain, which translates to volume as well. So to fix that, you adjust the volume setting on the petal so your clean sound is the same as your distorted sound. You cant do that with the spider jam. This would be really bad during live performance, to stomp off your overdrive and have your guitar disappear! Even with the guitar volume turned up full, cant seem to compensate.

I have tried it with my 57' Strat RI, my Ovation Acoustic/Electric, my P-Bass, and my buddy's LP... same problem. Hi have heared countless people sing the praises of this amp, even some pros, but despite all the fancy features, HOURS AND HOURS, oh, and HOURS of reading the manual, the Web forums, and just fiddling around, it still sounds like crap. Can someone tell me if they have had this problem, or give any feedback on what I can try to fix this? Because right now I am really regretting buying this amp.. For the price (I got the amp and the short board) I could have gotten a nice fender tube of some kind and sat a "boom box" next to it to jam too.

Thanks,

Infinite-T



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by jonwoo on 2009-07-22 23:25:16

I have a spider 3 150 combo and it also does the same. I can handle adjusting the volume on different settings. But on clean settings, that's how I want it to be...CLEAN. But I get this annoying swirling phaser like sound swishing as soon as I touch a string...then cuts as it fades. Try reseting amp and pedal to no avail. I feel your pain. I'm fortunate that I have other amps. For some reason the modulation somehow bleeds into the amp. Very annoying...my fault, though. Too lazy to do anything about it.



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by joegillespie on 2009-07-23 00:16:21

Good as it is, the Spider Jam will not stand comparison with a good valve amp. Think of it as a Swiss Army Knife that does lots of things to a certain standard but none of these things to the exceptional standard of a dedicated device. You can't have everything - for that price. It was designed as a practise amp, for jamming so that you can improve your playing. If you want killer tone, get a Fender or Boogie or such. It will cost more and won't be as versatile but will sound better - but keep the Spider Jam for your backing tracks.

That said, there are some things that you can check...

First thing is the top item in the Settings/TONE menu. Make sure that both GATE and BOOST are off. The GATE will certainly provide the symptoms you describe. It should only be used on very high gain settings to mask the noise in silent passages.

Your second problem is easily addressed by making custom presets and using the CHANNEL VOLUME to even-out the volumes of different tones. The CHANNEL volume comes at the end of the chain so it has little or no effect on the tone. If you are just turning the AMP MODELS knob to change tones, you can expect a huge variation in volumes. It should only be used for setting-up custom tones, not used in the raw.



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by Line6Hugo on 2009-07-23 10:30:55

+1 to joeguillespie

Regards,

Line6Hugo

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Re: Tone "Cut off"
by Infinite-t on 2009-07-23 18:25:25

Hey Joe, "no pun intended"

Thanks for the feedback, I'll spend more time messing around to see if I can come up with with some acceptable tones and try to level the volume a bit. I have messed with the gates and boost in the past. I always keep the boost off, and the gate, with it on, the pickup hum is pretty low, even cranked, gets a little louder with distortion on, with the gate off however the hum is pretty loud no matter what i do, clean or distorted, and ony any pickup combo, not sure why that is, my other amps dont have that much hum at all.

I guess that is just how this amp is, I like the jam tracks, but hate the tone and control. I guess I will either come up with something to be able to tollerate it or just end up selling it later, thats just too bad, thanks again.



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by joegillespie on 2009-07-24 04:02:50

As far as hum is concerned, I can't tell if my Spider Jam is switched on or off with my Stratocaster plugged in and that is even sitting beside my computer. I would say that the Spider Jam, despite its wider frequency response, is the least likely source of hum unless there is a bad internal connection somewhere.

It's fairly easy to tell where hum is coming from. The main culprits are cables, unscreened guitar parts, single coil pickups, the proximity of electromagnetic energy from monitors, computers, electrical equipment, bad grounding, ground loops made by connecting other equipment. All you have to do is narrow down the field by substitution and trying the amp in another location.

The guitar gate IS a tone killer as it clips both the leading and trailing edges of the dynamics. It can only be used in a sort of FUZZ BOX mode where there are no subelties of dynamics, just a wall of distortion. Likewise, the GUITAR BOOST feature is supposed to emulate sticking a FUZZ unit in front of the amp.

If you want distortion, the best way to get it is to keep the DRIVE as high as possible, keep the CHANNEL VOLUME as low as possible and use the TREBLE, MIDDLE and BASS controls to shape the tone.

If you listen to a recording of that sound, you will be hard pressed to distinguish it from the REAL amplifier it is supposed to be emulating althought the touch dynamics of a good valve amp will be better. The best way to describe this is that you have to PUSH the tone out of a modelling amp wheras a valve amp will SUCK the tone from your fingertips!



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by AndyParedes on 2009-07-24 10:29:45

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Re: Tone "Cut off"
by Infinite-t on 2009-07-26 23:19:09

Hi Joe,

thanks again for your input. As far as the house wiring goes, im pretty sure that it is correct. I am a professional electrician, and we just built the house about 3 years ago. I plugged the amp in many different places around the house and the hum doesnt change. I know that single coil Pups by nature have a hum to them (like a transformer, since they are quite simular, ie coils of wire wrapped around magnets), but the hum from this amp seems to be suggnificantly louder that my other amps. Those being an old marshall valve cobo, and a Fender twin tube amp. Since it does it with my LP (with humbuckers) almost just as bad, i can say the Pups are really only accounting for a little bit.

Both guitars have been professionally rewired and shielded (the old foil method) to reduce noise so honestly I dont know what is up..

BTW, just curious, do these Line 6 guys ever offer any feedback or support, or do they just let thier customers do it for free?



Re: Tone "Cut off"
by joegillespie on 2009-07-26 23:35:06

thanks again for your input. As far as the house wiring goes, im
pretty sure that it is correct. I am a professional electrician, and we
just built the house about 3 years ago. I plugged the amp in many
different places around the house and the hum doesnt change. I know
that single coil Pups by nature have a hum to them (like a transformer,
since they are quite simular, ie coils of wire wrapped around magnets),
but the hum from this amp seems to be suggnificantly louder that my
other amps. Those being an old marshall valve cobo, and a Fender twin
tube amp. Since it does it with my LP (with humbuckers) almost just as
bad, i can say the Pups are really only accounting for a little bit.

Both
guitars have been professionally rewired and shielded (the old foil
method) to reduce noise so honestly I dont know what is up..

It is possible that there is a bad connection inside the amp. The ribbon cables they use are much more prone to this than properly soldered connections. MIght have to go to a service center.

BTW, just curious, do these Line 6 guys ever offer any feedback or support, or do they just let thier customers do it for free?

There are reports of paper airplanes being found on the grass outside Line6 HQ but I can't say whether they come from the support group or the quality control department.




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