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markhenesian

Instability of Spider IV head - extreme volume changes

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Hi Everyone,

 

I think this problem with the Spider IV 75-150 Watt series has been reported before. I recently upgraded the firmware on my Spider IV head (2015 model) with the Spider FX infusion 2.0 update. The added effects are great ! Many come from the new Spider V. But I can't say that the problem I've encountered is due to the update.

 

I use my Spider IV 150 Watt head, FBV Shortboard MK II, and classic Line 6 4x12 cabinet at home at relatively low volumes, rather than a performance situation. 

 

Occasionally, with some presets that I have created or downloaded, if I turn the gain/auto/pitch knob to off (FX1), and then turn it back on (the light will go from yellow back to green), the amplifier volume and/or gain will become uncontrolled and "pinned" to a very high volume level. I can't clear the condition, except by powering down the head, waiting for 15 or so seconds and then powering back up. This is a very dangerous (potentially ear-splitting !) situation. On stage it would be a disaster.

 

For electrical/audio engineers, its akin to the feedback loop on a high gain amplifier going "open-loop", that is, uncontrolled and pinned at the maximum gain.  I can't tell whether this is a mechanical problem, like a "noisy" potentiometer, or a code problem with the firmware or operating system in the Spider IV series.

 

Anyway, be aware, have the power strip close to your foot if you are experiencing this problem.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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Hi Mark - what you described sounds like the problem is actually that the channel volume (which is saved with any patch) is up too high in the saved patch.. This is often the case with the patches that come with the amp (and included in the update).

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Thanks fflbrgst,

 

I admit, the high channel volume setting is a problem with the built-in presets. However, the problem I described is very random. It seems to be connected with setting the parameters for the FX1 related effects (like the compressors, pedals, etc... ). And then turning them off and on with the knob setting. I'm probably messing with the FX1, FX2, and FX3 knobs too much.

 

In this condition, the Spider IV head goes "open loop" with no control over the gain and/or volume. Only a total power off/on cycle clears the problem. Strange.

 

Another thing I observed last night. My Spider IV head reset itself once, while I was playing, without me manually powering it down and up. The power strip might have had a "glitch", but it did it so quickly I couldn't tell. Wow, digital stuff can be problematic ! Not like the good old analog days. Like smoke coming from the back of the head. LOL

 

Mark

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Keep an eye out for that reset problem - I've read of others experiencing it due to bad power cord/jack issues.

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Thanks Mike !

 

Also noisy volume pots on the guitar that cut in and out. I wonder about how those mess up the Spider IV.

 

Anyway, I've been using my Spider IV 150 W head and Line 6 4 x 12 cab a lot lately, creating some tones to match my ancient Crate GX130 Stereo Chorus head and Crate cab.

 

No problems at all. Maybe the high volume/ uncontrolled gain "glitch" has gone away ?

 

All's good with Line 6 Spider IV !

 

Mark

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