OK..I got the Spider Valve today.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Kyle Ashley, May 3, 2008.

  1. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    Today my 112 Spider Valve arrived in good shape. I loaded in a tube upgrade, biased and replaced the V30 with an EVM12L.

    I haven't had a chance to get it to the studio and turn up the master volume, but at this point, I'm not feeling it. Overall it's kinda yucky sounding. I've got it set up next to my Bogner and tried to dial in something in the ballpark of the XTC blue channel, and there is nothing even close.

    The high mids and highs are really plastic-y and one dimensional sounding

    All the amp models basically sound the same, I don't even hear the kind of tonal differences between them that I got out of my old POD v1.0.

    The EQ does very little to shape the tonality into anything pleasant. Everything has the same annoying upper-mid phasiness.

    To be honest, I'm not sure if I can dial in even ONE useable crunch sound, that doesn't sound over-gained, under-gained, or stamped with that plastic/phasey honk.

    I'm not expecting it to match my real Bogner, but I'd like to get something here. Even my Peavey XXL Transtube sounds more organic.

    Will this thing morph into something cool with a little master volume behind it? My Ecstasy sounds awesome loud, but also pretty damn nice at it's lowest setting.
     
  2. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    Did you not play it before you bought?

    IMHO, I thought the SV was a terrible sounding amp. Just a beefier version of the already bad sounding Spider series amps. I don't hear where the tubes even play a part in the tone. Like you said, there are some SS amps that do the "tube" thing better than a SV.

    I dig Bogner's stuff but not these Line 6 offerings...
     
  3. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    I would also give it a chance with the V30 back in it. Many amps are almost "tuned" to work way better with a specific speaker type.
     
  4. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    Thanks for chiming in!

    I had a low volume audition at the local GC and I didn't like it there either. I left without it, but continued to read enough favorable reports that I just had to give it a real audition, and hear it through EVMs which I've had in all my cabs since the 70s.

    What's kind of perplexing me, is that I had the very first Flextone 10 years ago, and at low volumes, it sounded much better than anything I can get out of the SV. Even my old POD copped the vibe of the amps it claimed to, but the SV just seems to have ONE predominant bad sound/frequency running through every model that makes it harsh and uninspiring to play.

    I will spend more time with it and probably record both the EVM and the V30 to hear it objectively.

    I'm OK with tweaking to find sweet spots, but no magic can be heard in any EQ setting that I can find, and I spent a good 2 hours on it tonight. I don't think I got a bum amp either - it sounds just as bad as I thought the one at GC did:crazy
     
  5. Unabender

    Unabender Member

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    Ummm... did you even try it with the original speaker?
     
  6. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    yes...never liked Celestions of any model. BUT, there's always a first time, and I have to say, it can't get much worse, so I will put the V30 back in when I can. Unfortunately, it will be late next week before I can even squeeze that operation in.
     
  7. bluelew

    bluelew Member

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    Same here- tried it last week. Didn't feel like a tube amp at all. Still felt like I was playing an old L6 flextone.
     
  8. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    I've only played one (a 112 combo) for about half an hour in a shop, but I have to say I was fairly impressed. I really wanted to dislike it too, as I'm quite a prejudiced snob about these things. Don't worry, I wore a complete disguise, wig, beard, everything ....no-one would have recognised me !
    However, it seemed very versatile, and the tones sounded fairly pleasant to my ears. Much, much nicer that the PodXT I used to own. I left thinking it would also probably be better at volume, as I was playing pretty quietly really.
    Didn't make me want to buy it instantly and go and sell my Plexi, but, I felt I could certainly live with it, if it was all I could afford. A great rehearsal amp - yes, that's what I thought it would do well. I wouldn't need to lug my half stack around all the time then, only when it mattered.
    I guess we're all looking for different tones, the ones we "hear in our heads". I also think it's probably unfair to expect it to semi-replace a great amp like a Bogner ecstacy. It's such a completely different beast. The SV was designed from the ground up to do loads of different tones, and do them competently. The Ecstacy, does it's few tones very, very superbly, but cannot approach the variety that the SV can give.
     
  9. ToneJamFX

    ToneJamFX Member

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    The whole thing just seemed like a gimmick to me. I've tried one in the store at stage volume, and was left feeling like I just played a digital modeler.
     
  10. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    Maybe the SV is just not for you. An amp can't be everything to everyone. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

    I got one of the SV112's when they first came out and sent it back after a few weeks. It would kick out of my presets and back to factory preset on the models. It also didn't just floor me with it's tones. After watching some live clips that my drummers daughter posted on youtube (and really liking the tone) I decided to give it another try. This time I got the head and an Avatar H30/V30 cab. I'm as happy with my tone as I have been in years.

    I still don't like the V30 but it blends well when I set the cab horizontal. If I have to flip it up on it's side I put the H30 on top cuz the V just is not my thing.
     
  11. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    I just need to get through a series of gigs down in Key West and the Caribbean. In order to make the gig really doable, I need a combo that gives me the 3 basics - clean, crunch, and lead, and the built in effects are a big plus. It also needs to be something I can afford to lose in case of theft or fire - both of which has happened to me in the past while doing gigs in the islands.

    The SV112 is perfect with regards to features, price, weight, etc, but I was struck by just how fundamentally bad it sounded. One shouldn't have to spend hours turning the knobs by miniscule amounts to find or remove a frequency, only to find that you can't. I know that on some of the models, the knobs operate differently from real amps, but the midrange knob on the model I was tweaking yesterday just seemed way out of whack. On boosts, it seemed to pull from as low as 100 Hz and just really mush and muck up things. LIke GuitarTone mentioned, it seems that their modeling has gone backwards in quality over the last 10 years.

    At this point, I basically have to make it work for this set of dates, but most likely I'll sell it when I return. I do hope something comes along soon with the same feature set, but more tonally pleasing. I don't expect it to rival an Ecstasy, but it should at least sound good. With the new Mackie Hotwire, Peavey Vypyr, and Bogner Alchemist series coming this summer, maybe something will hit.

    If the Vypyr sounds good, it is a fantastic deal since the hybrid version is only around $450, but I sure hope I can remove those silly plastic fangs on the front panel. What were they thinking??
     
  12. ToneJamFX

    ToneJamFX Member

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    Yeah but all the hype says it sounds like a tube, and it just didn't feel right. Kinda felt guilty like I cheated on my girl.
     
  13. strymon

    strymon Member

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    Hey Kyle,
    Not to toot our own horn here but putting a tube in the front end of the SV really makes it a better amp. Give us a shout if you're still not feeling the Spider Valve.
     
  14. Kyle Ashley

    Kyle Ashley Supporting Member

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    Thanks for checking in, but I've sold the SV. Interesting looking mod though....love to hear how other users are liking it.
     
  15. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Seems sort of silly to make that mod when there are so many good alternatives out there.
     
  16. strymon

    strymon Member

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    Can I ask what kind of good alternatives are available?
     
  17. TubezAmpz

    TubezAmpz Member

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    IMO, the modeller/processor isn't the greatest. I liked the 2x12 far better than the 1x12 probably because of the extra speaker which might simulate having some content to the gain but I wouldn't pay that price for one. I have the POD 2.0 and I've tried plugging it into the front of my amp and in the preamp in but I prefer the gain from my tubes much better. I use it for effects tho for now but really do need a Carbon Copy at some point cause it does sound kinda digital as a delay effect.
     
  18. scottpic

    scottpic Member

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    I had one,bought it for bedroom / practice.
    After I got it home, I found the tone lacking & really no touch sensetivity.

    Its gone now, I don't miss it.
     
  19. strymon

    strymon Member

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    Touch sensitivity IS lacking because of the solid state guitar input section. I wish you had the opportunity to give it another shot with a tube front end.
     
  20. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    I use the SV head/212 cab to gig with. Send me a modded 112 combo and I'll use it on a gig and see what I think of it:)
     

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