Last week I posted a review of the Line 6 Spider V 30 amp and I wanted to put together another quick review specifically about how the Spider V amp sounds when it comes to metal tones.
The Spider V amps have a bunch of high-gain amp simulations built-in and over 100 effects, including various distortion pedals.
Unfortunately most of the metal gear has a lot of fizz and noise and pretty much sounds like shit. I usually like Dual Rectifiers but I don’t care for the Line 6 Mesa sims at all because they are too muddy and rattly.
There are much better-sounding amp sims out there, like the ones from Thermionik and Brainworx. You can find a list of amp sims here, which includes a number of freebies as well: Best Free and Paid Amp Sims.
The Spider V amps have a few amps and cabinet models that can get an acceptable tone for metal with some work. I didn’t care for any of the metal presets.
So far I like the Deity’s Son amp the best paired with the Treadplate cabinet. The 1×12 Blackface cabinet isn’t bad either but it sounds too buzzy for recording. I can get some decent tones out of the Solo 100 Head and Mississippi Criminal amps as well.
The recorded sound examples in the video below are done using the Spider V amp itself with a USB cable. It helps to use headphones because it’s hard to track guitars through the amp when recording since it’s just a crappy mono speaker.
The guitars are double-tracked with one panned left and right. The lead guitars are using the same settings but with an analog delay pedal added to the chain. I used EZdrummer for drums and a free bass amp sim for bass. The guitar used was a Schecter Blackjack SLS in drop C tuning.
The amp settings are shown while the song clips are playing, along with the high-gain amps that come with the Spider V amps and a list of what each one is modeled after.
There was no EQing or post-processing applied to these clips because I wanted it to sound exactly how it is recorded directly from the amp. The guitars sound a lot better with a post EQ but that’s not an accurate representation of their natural sound.
See my Line 6 Spider V 30 review for more details about the amp.
Darryl Lim says
Hi again Nathan. Again thanks for these reviews.
You mentioned in the vid that there were better sounding free amp models than this, what do you recommend? I’m looking to record some high-gain modern rock and light/medium-gain pop/rock. (If they are on this site then just point me. I haven’t had the chance to read through all your previous articles yet.)
Here’s the big list of Free and Paid Amp Sims. The new V3 player from Brainworx has nice presets for a good quick tone but you can’t adjust any of the controls in the free version, although using other pedals and an EQ can change the tone a lot. The LePou amp sims are the most popular free option without any restrictions, but they are a little bit more advanced to setup to get a good tone and need a separate IR loader and IRs.
Darryl Lim says
Ah, fantastic! Thanks for making all the easy-to-get-into advice!