As Line 6's Spider amp range is among the bestselling all around the whole world, and the IV series is kind of a big deal.
The range comprises smaller 15- and 30-watt combos, as well as larger, more advanced items, such as a 150-watt head and the 75-watter we're talking about here.
Kudos goes to Line 6 for the sound and feel of the light break-up to medium-gain tones in the Spider IV. For example, the red option of the Blues model – based on a 1953 wide-panel Deluxe – both sings and blooms like Katherine Jenkins in a field full of daffodils.
Likewise the Class A and Twang modes offer more usable and satisfying tones for sensible home use than all manner of small-wattage, all-valve beasties. Editing is a doddle once you're up to speed with the processes (as ever, don't forget to save), and even the 14-second looper function is intuitive, engaging and, most importantly, very simple to use.
Perhaps basing the Red Clean model on the Marshall JCM900 – an amp hardly lauded for its sparkling cleans – might prove to be something of a miscalculation, but the truth is that it sounds good nonetheless. It highlights the fact that preconceptions aren't a great deal of use when it comes to getting sounds – just use your ears and don't worry too much about the names!
There's no discernible delay between switching tonally contrary sounds, even though you'll need to shell out for either of the footswitches to do this onstage. From warm cleans and fruity crunches all the way to skull-crushing metal explosions, the Spider IV is the best sounding of the series so far.
Line 6 doesn't pretend that dialing in, for example, the Twang setting is absolutely the equal of a '65 Fender Twin – of course it's not – but it is certainly close enough for players who don't live or die by that sound, whether at home, in the studio or for rehearsing. Users of big, quality valve amps won't be convinced for live use, but if you want to continue to drag numerous amps around with you, you go ahead!
Good tones, great price and with the facility to upgrade the firmware, now is the time to try – and be thoroughly impressed by – the Spider IV. The gap is closing…
For more information visit the official Line 6 website.