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Pros & Cons of the Spider Valve HD100 MKII?
by jjack972 on 2013-03-04 14:58:47

Greetings!

I am a long time Line 6 fan and user. I own a Spider II 2x12 combo, a Spider III HD75 head, a Spider IV 2x12 combo, and a Spider IV HD150 with a Spider IV cabinet. I have recently acquired two Marshall 1960 cabinets, and unfotunately the only Spider amp I have that can comfortably run the two Marshall cabs is the Spider III HD75. While I can get some decent sounds and surprisingly plentiful volume out of the HD75, I have become spoiled by the sounds I've massaged out of my Spider IV half stack.

I am seriously contemplating getting a Spider Valve HD100 to run my Marshall stack. I am wondering how close are the sounds of the Spider IV HD150 and the Spider Valve. Also, I would like to find out if there are any known and/or common issues with the Spider Valve. I have had great luck with all of my Line 6 products thus far, but if I'm going to drop $900 on a new head, I'd like to do it armed with as much knowledge of the beast as possible.

Thanks in advance to anyone who offers some input.



Re: Pros & Cons of the Spider Valve HD100 MKII?
by esibanjack on 2013-03-05 12:32:56

You should be fine with just your Spider IV 150HD and Line6 cab, so I could do you the favor of taking those two Marshall cabs off your hands…..

But seriously, to me, there is no comparison in terms of tone between the Spider IV 150HD and the SV 100HD MKII. I purchased the 150HD as a replacement for another piece of gear and could never get a really good tone out of it (I was running through a single 4X12 cab). The tone always seemed thin (especially the distorted ones) and only got worse the louder I cranked the amp. I also have the Spider IV 75 and just love that little thing, but I was so unimpressed with the 150HD it was soon returned to GC in favor of the SV 100HD…..tone issues solved. I'm currently running the 100HD through two 8ohm 4X10 cabs as part of a rig that also consists of an old Digitech 2112 running through a solid state power amp into two 4X12 cabs, although I was happy with the tone of the 100HD even when running it by itself through a single 4X12 cab.

As for issues with the SV amps, they are well documented all over this board (although most of the frustration seem to be with the combos and not the HD), but I'll just tell you what I have encountered. To me, there are no tone issues with the amp after updating to firmware version 2.0, and the ability to tweak and edit via computer is great. The master volume is very sensitive (the amp will go from bedroom volume to arena volume in a fraction of a turn), but I got used to that pretty quickly. There can be a very short sound drop-out when switching presets, which seems to get worse the more effects you have running, but the Digitech I use does not have this issue and does a great job of masking it.

The only other word of caution is it's obvious that Line6 has reached the end of the road with the SV amps, so you shouldn't expect any future updates or a ton of support from them. The upside to this is you should be able to find a smokin' deal on a 100HD if you can find someone who still has one in stock, but be sure to stay away from any floor models. Tube amps are not nearly as bulletproof as solid state, and I would never trust one that's been flogged by every wannabe Hendrix that's wandered through your local store.



Re: Pros & Cons of the Spider Valve HD100 MKII?
by spaceatl on 2013-03-05 12:40:14

If you are looking for great tone...check out the DT50 head...If you need the FX, SV MK2 tweaks basically the same as the IV...but the tube power amp is a huge difference in feel...You can get great tone out of a Spider IV, but the feel has never been anything I would say was great...ok...but not great...SVs are different animals in that regard...



Re: Pros & Cons of the Spider Valve HD100 MKII?
by jjack972 on 2013-03-07 15:31:37

@esibanjack ... Ha! Uh...thanks for the offer, but I think I actually just found what the Spider IV was meant to do!! That is, to power two cabinets, one on either side. When you kick on a Zakk Wylde type chorus effect Holy Sweet Loving Thick Marshally Amp Sounds, Batman!

You see, for the longest time I was under the impression that one could ONLY run 8 ohm loads on each side of the Spider IV HD150, or run the risk of damaging the output transformers of the head. Upon further extensive searching and review, I learned that I can run both of my Marshall cabs. I set the selector switch on the back to mono and plug into the 16 ohm jack on each cabinet. The downside is, there is a 15-20% volume decrease, but the amp has enough power that it is not an issue. If I connected the amp to the 4 ohm side of the jacks on the cabs is where damage can and probably would occur.

And wow! man, so let me get this straight ... you are runnning FOUR cabs? Two 4x10's and two 4x12's? And I thought I was being excessive with two 1960's!! hahaha!! I bet your rig sounds fantabulous!!

Anyway, thanks for the advice, guys!! I expect I will have to upgrade to the HD100 eventually. Right now I am actually loving the sounds I am getting out of my current setup. Although, I have yet to hit up a local Guitar Center and try out a SV 100HD...



Re: Pros & Cons of the Spider Valve HD100 MKII?
by esibanjack on 2013-03-08 11:10:11

Glad to hear you got something figured-out with your existing rig….there's nothing cooler than being very happy with the gear you have.

For me, the 150HD was supposed to be a replacement for the Digitech 2112 (it had developed the nasty habit of picking up the local ESPN AM radio station), but I wasn't able to get a sound I was happy with out of the 150HD no matter what I tried. Before I decided to swap it for the SV 100HD MKII I had actually set it aside and started using the Spider IV 75 in my rig by routing the signal coming out of the headphone jack into the inputs of my power amp and then running it through my cabinets. I suppose I could have done the same thing with the 150HD, but it didn’t make sense to me to have the 150 watts just sitting there doing nothing. To me, the tone difference between the SS 150HD and the tube 100HD was night and day, and unlike the 150HD, the 100HD sounds better the louder it gets.

Even though I was happy with the SV 100HD, I found myself really missing the 2112, which had been the mainstay of all of my various rigs since 1997. Digitech had long ago stopped offering any kind of support for the 2112, but I was lucky enough to find a local guy who thought he might be able to fix it. After procuring the wiring schematic for it (thank you anonymous tech guy at Digitech for caring enough to take the time to dig it up) and my guy working his magic, the 2112 was back in business. I have always run a split signal, and the combination of the 2112 and the 100HD when used together is amazing. The tone combinations you can come up with are incredible, and running both sides through dual cabs gives me a rich, full sound even at low volumes…..and they will absolutely tear the roof off when you crank it up. 




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