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Spider Valve Mark i or Mark ii ?
by dtriley11 on 2012-05-22 10:47:43

I have a Spider Valve 112 mark i.  I bought the first one my local dealer got when Line 6 had just released them and I have had it ever since.  I played probably 100 gigs with it and never had a problem.  It still has the original tubes.  Anyway, I was thinking of getting a SV 112 mark ii because I like some of the additional capabilities it has.  For those who have owned both the mark i and mark ii, my questions are:

  1. Which do you prefer in terms of tone?  I play single coil strats and humbucker Les Pauls.  I use only four patches that I created: clean, light crunch, rock crunch, heavy distortion.  For effects I only use chorus, phaser and delay.  I find that my heavy distortion patch almost has too much treble/sizzle for my strat, even with the treble turned all the way down.  All other patches sound pretty good.  I play music mainly from the 80's to today, like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Matchbox 20, REM, Three Doors Down, etc. 
  2. Have you had any problems with your mk i or mk ii? 
  3. What about the mk ii FBV shortboard.  I have the mk i and it has never let me down... rock solid.  How is the mk ii in terms of its quality and toughness?

Any other input would be great.  Please know that I don't plan to tinker with the amp, meaning I don't change out speakers or tubes, etc.  I keep my amps stock.

Thanks for your help.

Re: Spider Valve Mark i or Mark ii ?
by Kneehow on 2012-05-22 16:09:22

1. I know a lot of people who still prefer the 1st Gen Spider Valve. I have one sitting right next to me... and personally I like the simplicity and the sound of it (I don't use it's effects).

2. No problems with the 1st Gen or MKII.

3. MKII is all-metal just like the 1st Gen Shortboards. The switches are a different part and the MKII is thinner (depth-wise) than the original.

Re: Spider Valve Mark i or Mark ii ?
by mtnman82 on 2012-05-25 09:04:09

I own one of each (MkI and MkII).  I'm practicing/gigging a bit more now than I have in recent years and wanted another amp to leave at another studio so I don't have to cart things around and load/unload (saves a lot of time being able to walk in with just my guitar and plug in).  So where did I go for a 3rd?  I got me another MkI.  I went round and round in my head, but in the end the MkI sounds better across the board than the MkII.  After receiving the MkI I plugged it in and was immediately convinced I made the correct choice.  I primarily use a Strat with one group, and a PRS McCarty (i.e. Les Paul type) with another group and it covers the gammit very well.  Re your Strat being a little to trebly:  I primarily go with 4 patches too, and with the same general setup as you.  BUT, I found the need to have a 'Strat' bank and a 'PRS' bank in order to accomodate the different tones of the guitars - i.e. I twaek the tones a bit for each axe).

I have several nagging little issues with the MkII.  Most annoying is the tuner doesn't work worth a crap.  Works great on both my MkI's (vs. same guitar, cord going into the MkII).  I've complained about this from day one of purchasing the MkII but have never gotten any response from Line 6 on the matter. I also don't believe my phaser effect is working correctly (more like a switch toggling on/off than a sweep of phase), and there are other inherent issues such as setting volume between channels and popping when you switch channels, etc.  Folks have been complainig for years now about these issues with not a peep from Line 6 about any resolution (i.e. don't expect any...).

The MkII shortboard sucks compared to the MkI.  Period.  On occasion I've used both pedals in the same weekend, back to back nights, and I much prefer the MkI - larger display, you can feel when you hit the button, and it's hard to accidentally hit a button by mistake.  The MkII shortboard you have to be very careful not to 'touch' a button or you will activate it (have accidentally engaged the looper going into a solo on a couple of occasions now - that was fun!).

I kind of feel like i was suckered into buying the MkII becasue of the added capabilities, which I really liked and wanted.  The MkII is definitely more capable than the MkI (meaning more tweakable), but if you add up all the little issues it may not be worth it.  A lot of folks are using the MkII and it suits their needs just fine.  I've been gigging with the MkII for 1 1/2+years now and am still trying to get some of the really nice tones I get from the MkI out of it (have pretty much accepted I won't be able to...).

Re: Spider Valve Mark i or Mark ii ?
by dtriley11 on 2012-05-29 12:08:16

Thanks for the replies.  Based on the feedback (and other reviews that I have now read) I will stick with my MkI.  Line 6 really blew it.  One would think that the second generation should be an improved version.  Hopefully they will produce a new tube amp incorporating a Pod HD.  That would be of real interest to me... if it had good tone and if it was reliable.

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