Laney Ironheart IRT60H Review

Laney makes great guitar and bass amplifiers and has done since the 60s. Lyndon Laney began as a teenage tinkerer making amps in his shed for friends such as Tony Iommi and grew from there. The company’s range includes hand-built in the UK amps and less expensive products built for the company in the far east. While not as famous a British brand as Marshall, thanks to bands such Black Sabbath and Opeth Laney has a reputation for making great amps for metal players. So when Laney launches a new amp with metal players in mind we should all sit up and notice.

The new Laney Ironheart comes in three flavours; a 120 Watt head, 60 Watt head and 60 Watt combo. There are also associated cabs. However for the purpose of this review I mated a 60 Watt head with a 2×12 Harley Benton cab loaded with that old favourite – a pair of Celestion V30 speakers. First impressions? Well this amp is a solid beast. The aesthetics are pure metal. The chunky built in handles and a view of valves and transformers give the impression of an amp that does not mess around. The industrial design is just the thing for an amp designed for purveyors of metallic noise. However as we’ll come to in a moment the design is somewhat deceptive as the Ironheart is a very versatile amplifier.

This particular head features four 12AX7 pre-amp valves and two 6L6 output valves. You might have expected Laney to go with the more traditionally British EL34 output valves. That’s an option if you prefer thanks to a simple valve selector switch round the back. Also round there you’ll find all the cab output options you’d need and input/output jack sockets for the serial effects loop. A switch changes the loop from line to stomp level or cuts it out of the circuit completely. There’s a socket for the footswitch din jack, plus the nice touch of regular jack sockets if you want to use a different switching system. Round the front and there’s plenty to talk about. This three channel amp offers gain, volume and EQ pots for the two dirt channels. The rhythm and clean channels share the lower of these pots.

In practical use – using the switches on the amp and footswitch – the first two channels act more like different modes of the same channel. How so? Well you switch between clean/rhythm and then can switch to the lead channel. This may confuse you at first, especially using the footswitch, but once you see the clean channel as a mode of the rhythm channel it all makes sense. The clean channel was added fairly late in the design process and I imagine this is the reason for this setup. Moving on we have a control pot for the pre-boost (more on that later), plus pots for dynamics (and more on that in a moment too), overall tone control. reverb and watts (essentially a master volume). All the pots and switches are super chunky and look like they could stand a beating on the road. But what does it sound like?

Switching the amp on the first thing you notice is the attractive red glow within the amp chassis. No it’s not about to destroy your valves, it’s a set of red LEDs that lend the amp a rather demonic visage. Does it look cheesy? No, it’s just subtle enough to stop you looking a fool if playing down your local pub. Onto the sounds. The biggest surprise for me with this amp is how good the clean channel is, especially as it was added late in the design. I suppose one shouldn’t be too surprised given the 6L6 tubes but the Ironheart clean channel really is rather lovely. It’s bright, organic and just the ticket for both strumming and arpeggios. Add a little of the onboard reverb and it’s even better.

Given the amp’s metal design it’s amusing to discover one of it’s finest features is a great clean channel, certainly one that’s better than many metal amps I’ve used. The EQ controls are very positive and you’ll find plenty of different tones in there. As if that wasn’t enough each of the EQ pots has a pull control which changes the tone. The bass pot adds more bottom end, the mid pot tightens up the lower midrange and helps to get a scooped tone (if that’s your bag) and the high pull fattens up the high-end. I found the latter particularly useful when playing through single-coil pickups and stops the bridge pickup in a Strat from sounding too thin. These controls are identical on the lead channel too.

There is a slight tonal difference between the two channels. It’s not obvious at low gain settings, but crank up the juice and differences do appear. The rhythm channel is a little tighter and brighter – more of a classic British hot-rodded tone. The lead channel can get more saturated and has more low end. It’s a thick, snarly, modern lead channel at the extreme end of the gain range. But unlike some amps, that gain is usable all the way to the greatest available.

How much dirt is on offer? Plenty, both for your bedroom rockstars who must have a ridiculous amount for your djent adventures and for working musicians who really won’t need as much. Thanks to the 6L6 valves there’s a very strong and bold midrange to the gain tones, strident is the word that comes to mind. This is a very powerful amp yet one that refuses to supply a thin fizzy tone. There’s a clear family resemblance between the Ironheart and Tony Iommi’s signature amp, that same bold full tone that supplied plenty of power without the wick having to be dialled all the way up. Thanks to the EQ pots and the pull-control options you really can dial in some very different tones on the rhythm and lead channels.

At full volume there is some hiss but this is to be expected on a high gain amplifier, but at anything other than full chat this is a pretty quiet piece of kit. Further tone sculpting is provided in the form of the dynamics control. This helps you tighten up the bottom end even when running the amp very hot. As Roger Hickman of Laney explained to me, “Turning the Dynamics control fully anti-clockwise is maximum damping – which is how the amp would function without the control there, so this would be neutral. Turning the control clockwise reduces the damping factor and lets the bass response extend, giving you a fuller bottom end.” Next to that we have an overall tone control – a common feature on many Laney amps. This is particularly useful when changing guitars – allowing you to brighten or darken the tone without messing with your regular EQ settings.

The watts control – as far as I can tell – is a master volume control. I don’t know if there’s any more witchcraft going on here, you can’t mute the sound as you would a regular MV for example, but if you are wondering turned all the way down you can play at some very low volumes. While some guitarists scoff at those who may want such a beast of an amp in their bedroom I say balls to that, and as long as you don’t go mad with the channel gain you can get some very usable tones at bedroom levels with the Ironheart. You can also use the FX loop send as a line-out and I’ve actually had some success recording with the amp into a PC DAW with some power-amp/speaker impulses added.

But we’re digressing here, as usual. Getting back to the way the amp sounds I’m very pleased to report that the dirt channels offer plenty for the non-metal guitarist. In fact my favourite sounds I’ve squeezed out of the Ironheart so far have been at the bluesier and more classic rock end of the scale. This is a very dynamic amp that reacts well to the strength of your playing and guitar volume, with beautiful light crunchy tones that are begging for some Les Paul neck pickup noodling. You’re more interested in the metal tones though right? Don’t worry. Not only is there tons of dirt available, it’s thick, powerful and musical. Sure you can create an awful fizzy scooped tone if you try hard enough, but sensible users will easily be able to coax massive metal tones from the Ironheart.

Having also tried a pair of EL34 power tubes (no need to rebias, just flick the switch) I can safely say this is a snarling beast of a high-gain amp whichever power output option you choose. How does it sound with dirt pedals? Well since the Ironheart arrived I’ve not used a single one of my overdrive or distortion pedals, make of that what you will. As if three channels, with pull-pot EQ options weren’t enough the Ironheart is fitted with pre-boost option. While the amp itself has a classic valve signal path the pre-boost kicks in a solid-state clean gain stage. This is like having your favourite dirt pedal in front of the amp.

Some of you bedroom players might be wondering why you’d want to do that into what is already a high-gain amp. The truth is sometimes the right tone is about a combination of things, and two FX dirt pedals running half gain in series can sound better than one pedal on full. Similarly there are plenty of pros who will run a dirt pedal into an amp like a growling Mesa Dual Rectifier. Set at a middle level on the front panel control the pre-boost gives some extra crunch and compression on higher-gain settings. This is particularly useful for leads due to the welcome extra sustain. At lower volumes on the clean channel the boost acts as a clean volume booster, on louder settings pushes the clean channel into a crunchier tone. Thanks to a gain control on the amp you can try all manner of settings, whether simply adding more dirt or a higher setting for a volume boost during solos.

With three channels and the pre-boost you’ve got six different sounds under your feet, plus a perfectly respectable reverb. The footswitch is a sturdy beast and runs to the amp via a generous long cable. If you want to use your own footswitch or switching system the amp features a couple of jacks on the back to let you engage the different channels, boost and reverb.

Any downsides? I found the switching – especially with the footswitch – confusing at times. There’s one switch to change between rhythm and lead channels, plus another switch to change the rhythm channel to the clean one. A footswitch for each channel would have been more welcome. But having used the amp for a few weeks this is no longer an issue. Also the clean channel might be gorgeous but it won’t stay pristine all the way up. For many this is a welcome feature as it breaks up beautifully at higher volumes, but for those of you who want more clean headroom you should look at the 120 Watt model of this amplifier.

You might also question the amp’s styling. The looks and marketing are all pure-metal, but I’ve never used an amplifier as versatile as this. For clean, blues crunch and classic rock tones this amp is fantastic without even touching on high gain. With three channels plus the pre-boost you readily have six tones on offer at the kick of your foot. Laney would do well to sell the amp to other markets other than us noisy metal nutters. That’s not to say it isn’t a brilliant metal amp, it certainly is, you will find crushing chunky rhythm playing easy to dial in. Whether playing clean, crunchy or full-bore metal this is a beautiful sounding amplifier.

So let’s talk money then. We’ve three channels, reverb, pre-boost, EQ controls with pull pots and a huge choice of big chunky tones on offer. So this is an expensive amp right? Wrong. The current media darlings Blackstar will sell you the high-gain 50W Series One S1-50 for £8991. That’s for a two-channel amp made in the far east. Laney on the other hand will let you have this three channel 60 watt amp for the bargain price of £540. For this much tone and versatility it’s the guitar amplifier bargain of the year. Highly recommended. For more information on the Ironheart range of guitar amplifiers visit Laney.co.uk.

1You may be wondering why I didn’t compare the Ironheart to Blackstar’s HT Venue range instead. The reasons are twofold. Firstly the Series One range is marketed as a high-gain metal amp, as is the Ironheart. Second and more importantly the lower-end HT Venue amps do not have complete valve pre-amps, they are a hybrid design with some of the dirt coming from solid state components. They are great sounding amp – but hybrids and not valve amps. Akin to an Ironheart where you couldn’t switch the boost off.

TC Electronic Flashback & Hall of Fame Review

Quality construction, great functionality and the new Toneprint function should make these winners.
With the new Toneprint range TC Electronic really has created a set of brilliant pedals for guitarists (and other musicians). In terms of aesthetics, functionality and tone there are few pedals that offer so much in this price range. I’ve been using the Flashback Delay and Hall of Fame Reverb for a few weeks now and I a few niggles aside, I think they are rather brilliant bits of gear.

As you can see from the photos the pedals are of an attractive compact design. Each sports four control pots and a centre switch. Below the controls is a rugged on off switch. Each pedal offers true stereo inputs and outputs at the side and at the top is a mini-USB port and a standard nine volt input.

The metal construction and finish is very pleasing to the eye and I particularly like the construction of the rear of the pedal. The large screw is easily undone with even my podgy fingers and gives easy access to the battery bay and internal dip switches. Neither pedal lasts very long on battery power and using one really should just be for emergencies only. The dip switches on the Flashback and Hall of Fame work the same way, the top one switches from true bypass to buffered bypass, the second one kills the dry signal for use in a parallel effects loop.

Let’s take a look at the Flashback first. The four controls are easy to get to grips with. Delay adjusts the length of the delayed signal and varies depending on which mode you are using. Feedback is the number of echo repeats. FX Level alters the volume of the echo repeats but does not affect the dry signal which is always passed through untouched. The final control allows you to change the delay mode.

That little switch you see in the middle allows you to change the repeats from whole note to dotted eighth and finally a combination of both those repeats, for those of you who want to sound like the Edge. In stereo operation the latter selection will route the whole note repeats to one side and dotted eighths to the other. Stand in the middle of a stereo rig in this mode and you’ll feel like God himself, or at least his guitarist (the Edge again).

On the mode knob we can select 2290 (pristine digital delay), Analogue, Tape, Lofi, Dynamic (Ducking), Mod, Ping Pong (Great in stereo), Slap back, Reverse, Loop and Tone Print.

The 2290 – as you’d expect from TC – really is a beautifully pristine delay. But the other modes are equally enticing. And while the analogue delay doesn’t sound as good (or as bad depending how you feel about them) as a real analog delay pedal it is pretty convincing none the less. The dynamic delay is particularly useful in a rock context as it keeps the echoes quiet until you stop playing.

The loop mode offers a generous 40 seconds in mono mode, half that in stereo. And while it’s surprisingly easy to use even with the single footswitch it is too flawed to be useful. The problem is that the level control changes the volume of both the looped sound and the dry signal from the guitar. You might have expected the control to alter only the recorded sound but alas no. I really hope this is something that TC Electronic can fix with a firmware update. Otherwise it’s very hard to see the loop function as useful.

Controversially the pedal features an unusual tap temp control. Instead of tapping a pedal you hold the footswitch in – which mutes the signal – then strum the tempo on the guitar. I really like this feature though I can see how it could have been improved for example by giving us the option not to mute when strumming and perhaps lowering the delay before it accepts the tempo information. Perhaps we should have at least also been given a socket to connect an external pedal for tap tempo too, but I’m nitpicking now.

The truth is that apart from the problem with the loop the TC Electronic Flashback Delay really is superb. From the external design to the functionality it’s clear a lot of thought and attention has been put into this effects unit. The construction is very sturdy indeed and will stand up to the rigours of the road and most importantly the delay sounds absolutely fantastic.

Moving onto the Hall of Fame Reverb the construction is identical. The same rugged design, stereo connections, back plate and internal dip switches. Again this pedal is digital effects unit with an analog true bypass through for your guitar signal – with a buffer optional via dip switch.

The decay knob is used to change the length of the reverb signal the range of which depends on the mode chosen. The tone control is used to darken or lighten the reverb effect. The level control changes the volume of the effect without affecting the level of the original signal. The mode control allows you to change the reverb effect in use. Finally a small but sturdy switch allows you to change between a long or short pre-delay.

The modes on offer are Room, Hall, Spring, Plate, Church, Mod, Lofi, Tile, Ambient, Gate and Toneprint. Each of these is very good indeed. I particularly like the Church mode (mistakenly called Cathedral in the manual) which offers a very convincing but huge reverb that’s bound to delight the textural guitarist.

Ambient mode is rather interesting as it’s a reverb trying to pretend not to be a reverb. This extremely subtle effect just adds a certain something to your sound without being very obvious. It’s a neat trick and very useful, especially when recording when you want the best tone without recording with too many effects.

Gated mode is excellent too. The reverb level stays low while you are playing but swells in when you stop. So here you can set a surprisingly big verb yet play without being too swamped by it, only for the lust sound to reveal itself when you want it too. I particularly liked using this playing clean arpeggios.

Lush is definitely the right word to use to describe this pedal. All modes sound wonderful, whether used in a subtle manner or washing huge verbs over your playing. I really can’t think of a single thing I dislike about this pedal. This is as good as effects pedals get.

Now we’ve come a long way now without mentioning the major selling point of these pedals, certainly the feature TC Electronic is so keen to promote, namely Toneprint. So what is this Toneprint business? Each of these pedals (and the other digital effects in the range – The Shaker Vibrato, Vortex Flanger and Corona Chorus) has a mode labelled Toneprint. This makes use of a setting stored within the pedal.

The neat trick is that you can download new Toneprints from the TC Electronic website via your PC/Mac and upload them to your pedal via the USB port. TC has got a huge number of well known artists to create their own unique toneprints which you can download and try for free. The downloaded Toneprints come in the form of a small executable file that will overwrite the existing setting but also allow you to compare to the existing tone.

The variety in the Toneprints is pretty amazing and they offer many sounds completely unavailable in the stock modes on the pedals. Many of these Toneprints even change the use of the onboard controls. My favourite so far is Steve Morse’s Flashback Toneprint which is a beautifully modulated delay that sounds fantastic on clean tones. My only regret about this concept is that we’re not given more Toneprint slots on the pedals themselves, it would have been neat to have at least two Toneprint slots rather than just one. But I can completely understand TC Electronic’s wish to keep this new range of pedals as simple as possible.

As you can tell on the whole I’m delighted with the TC Electronic Flashback Delay and Hall of Fame Reverb. These are superb sounding and beautifully constructed products. If TC can fix the issue with Flashback’s loop then it would be perfect.

The TC Electronic Flashback Delay and Hall of Fame Reverb are available now. Other digital effects in the same range are The Shaker Vibrate, Vortex Flanger and Corona Chorus. Two analog pedals are also available in this range – the MojoMojo Overdrive and Dark Matter Distortion.

Line 6 POD HD500 Tips & Tricks

I’ve been using the new Line6 POD HD500 for a week or so now and I’ve worked out a few tips and tricks you may like to try with your own unit.

Some of these tips may work with the HD300/HD400 models too.

FX Loop Drive
One alternate way of making the clean amps breakup or push the high gain amps a little harder is to use a boosted FX loop. You can get some very convincing bluesy breakup on the Fender Blackface this way. You’ll need a patch cable for this. Set it between the hardware’s FX Loop send and Mono/Left return. Then add an FX Loop block to your signal chain on the HD500 screen – place it just before your chosen amp model. Set the send level on 100 percent and mix on 100 percent too. All you have to do to push the modelled pre-amp harder into breakup is raise the return parameter from zero. For a subtle breakup sound you’re probably looking at a figure of around 10db, but it varies between the amp models.

This trick doesn’t just work for lower gain sounds – use it to push the JCM800 for that Van Halen modded Marshall tone you may be looking for. You can also use this technique for a solo boost, setting the FX Loop on and off with one of the HD500 footswitches.

Extra Volume Pedal
Adding a volume pedal to your signal chain on the HD500 takes up one of the eight available FX blocks. But there is a way of getting a volume pedal for free and leaving the eight blocks clear for other effects.

Highlight your amp model on the screen and double click Move to open the expression pedal setting screen. The parameter you want is “output” and assign it to EXP1 or EXP2. Set the parameter minimum to zero percent and the maximum to whatever volume you’d originally set for the loudest on that patch.

Voila, you can now control the amp model volume via the expression pedal without having to add a volume pedal block to your signal chain. And remember, as the channel volume doesn’t affect the tone this really is purely a volume control.

Tight Metal Tones
The regular models that emulate the Bognor, JCM800, Dual Rec and Engle high gain amps feature plenty of power amp drive in their tone. This is great for thick lead playing and some styles of rock. But that power amp saturation can seem a little OTT for slick tight metal rhythm playing.

There’s a way round this though (but one hopes Line6 add a feature to adjust power amp saturation in future firmware). Many metal bands use 100 and 200 Watt stacks for a reason, not necessarily for volume, but for massive clean headroom to avoid power amp saturation. This way they can use plenty of pre-amp gain but keep a very tight focussed tone.

You can do this too on the HD500. When you want a tighter metal tone from the high gain amps – choose a PRE version of the amp instead. You’ll be able to run the gain high on the amps but avoid that low-end looseness that the regular models introduce. If you’re struggling to get the high-gain tones you want from the regular models this is the way to go.

Add a Screamer
This is pretty much a universal truth in getting great high gain sounds with modellers and real amps. Don’t feel you should get all your gain from the pre-amp. You’ll most likely be disappointed by the lack of depth in the sound. Many guitarists have discovered you’ll get a richer, lower-noise, sound by stacking drives rather than trying to do it all in one box.

So try this. Half your amp gain and instead put a Screamer or Tube Driver in front of the amp to get back to the gain where you started. Sounds better doesn’t it?

Finally (for now)….Be Realistic about Metal Tones
Remember too to set realistic expectations. When an artist claims to have used a certain amp on a record they don’t mean it in isolation. One rhythm track may really be five tracks, each with different EQ and pickup settings, played through several cabs an recorded with ten mics. Eq and compression is added at the mixing stage and then when the record is mastered.

You listen to the record and it sounds like the artist is playing through God’s own speaker cabs. Then wonder why you can’t get that same tone with the same real amp or a very good model of it. This is particularly true of modern metal production.

The Guitar of My Dreams

My darling wifey decided she was going to buy me my guitar of my dreams. How could I say no to that? Not only that, but the plan was I’d get a Saturday off from family duties to go and enjoy the whole guitar buying experience. West Dorset isn’t exactly packed with good guitar stores – so eventually I decided I was going to head to Manson’s in Exeter. The store has a great reputation and actually makes the guitar used by the bloke with the stupid wheezy voice in Muse.

The aimed to get up early (not hard as I was on baby duty) and be out of the door at 8am to drive from Dorchester to Exeter. Baby wakes me up at 5.30am and the day doesn’t get much better. He’s in an unusually crabby mood by 9am. And why haven’t I left by then? My three year old daughter is seeming faking being ill but then gets herself in so much of a tiz that she vomits all over our sofa.

Looks like my trip is over before it’s begun. But wifey shoves me out of the door at 10am and says she’ll cope, “go have fun”, she says.

So I head into the now busy traffic with every other car pulling a caravan. Really slow at one point because of some bearded anti-oil loon (according to his banner) is cycling up the hill on a recumbent bike to piss us off.

But finally I get to Mansons. I’m after a Les Paul, I say, furnish me with any example of a 2008 Standard and Traditional please stout yeoman and leave me to pull my bluesy wah face in private.

Now at this point I should say that I believe what I wanted was a 2008 Standard with an iced tea finish. And this is the Standard handed to me. Looks so pretty. But by God it was awful. Not what I was expecting at all.

The Standard felt way too light – it felt like a toy. And the the asymmetric neck made me admittedly small hands ache within moments of trying to play it. Didn’t care much for the tone either.

What a terrible disappointment. I thought this would be my dream guitar. It was like getting to go on a hot date with Dr Alice Roberts and discovering she had a full set of wedding tackle between her legs. I actually preferred my Epiphone LP to this.

And then I played the Traditional. Now this is the stuff. Felt like my memories of playing pre-2008 Standards. Felt like the guitar a band mate had back in the mid-nineties.Had the weight, the tone – felt like a real Les Paul, or at least what I wanted from one.

But this wasn’t quite right either. The neck still felt a bit too big for my hands. And so I wandered around the shop having a good think. Time was running out on my parking meter outside. Seems neither guitar was quite right.

One last go. Asked the guy in the shop for a go of a Honeyburst Traditional. And wow. I didn’t need to even plug it in. My fingers felt at home instantly and the beautifully Plecked fretboard. Big smile on my face just playing some blues licks unplugged. This is the guitar that had been sat waiting for me to come and find it. This was the guitar worthy of my wife’s wonderfully kind gift.

And bonkers though this is I bought it without plugging it in. I just knew this was the one. That it would sound great back home through some 12AX7 and EL84 valves. And I was damn right.

Got it home and removed the pick guard – I like to see the whole top. And it needs a little adjustment – the stopbar is very high, I’m probably going to restring it tomorrow and wrap the strings over so I can screw the stopbar down. But it plays like an absolute dream. Lovely top too – quite understated. From some angles it looks like a plain top, with a beautiful grain running along the length. And then turn it and it catches the light, and flames in the maple burn across the top. Never a finish I’d have chosen originally – but this was the guitar that spoke to me and I love it.

But nowhere near as much as I love my wife.

The Spider Valve MKII

I really like tinkering. I also like computers. I’m no cork-sniffing guitarist that is only happy when playing through 1950s technology full of glorified lightbulbs. Yes I do have an all-tube amp, but I’ve also owned several modelling amps and I regularly using software such as Guitar Rig and PodFarm.

So when looking for a more heavy-rock orientated amp to complement my Bugera V22 I was happy to look in the direction of the new modelling amps such as the Marshall JMD:1, Peavey Tube Vypyr and Line 6 Spider Valve MKII. I dropped the Vypyr from the list due to lack of decent recording outputs and no effects loop – a shame as I loved the digital version I used to have.

In the end reviews won me over – and although I was searching for the Marshall sound – I believed the Spider Valve MKII would give me some better Plexi-like tones than Marshall’s own modelling amp. Yesterday I took delivery of a Line6 Spider Valve MKII 112 combo. And what an enormous beast it is. Getting it up the stairs made me realise that the 212 version would have damn near killed me.

Initial impressions were very favourable. Plenty of good tones on offer – the Divided by 13 model for example sounded like a really great tube amp, pure and simple. The effects were great quality too. My favourite feature initially was the ability to alter amp patches in real time on the PC then zap them back to the amp, very cool indeed.

However as I continued to explore the amp over the next hour or two I grew less satisfied. Yes I know it’s a 40 Watt tube amp, but do all the patches have to be saved at such ridiculous volumes? Line6 knows much of its market is for home use amps – but this is one of the company’s products that hates those who may use it for a home practice amp. Set the channel volume low on the patches and you get a nasty thump when changing channels.

The poor master volume control didn’t help. Even high power amps can be tamed with a decent master volume pot that’s smooth all the way down to zero. The Spider Valve MKII isn’t blessed with one of these. Towards zero it’s crackly and not very accurate and makes bedroom volumes nigh-on impossible.

Meanwhile I was surprised the delay effects missed a feature that’s common to other Line6 gear I’ve used – the ability to set delays based on note lengths rather than just milliseconds.

Finally after an hour or so I become more aware, and more displeased, by a midrange boxiness that seemed part of the sound of every single model. I’ve heard some guitarists complain of the same thing from the Bogner Alchemist, and I wonder if there’s the same problem with Line6’s Bognor-designed tube power amp.

In the end, while there was much to admire about the Spider Valve MKII it feels like it’s lacking in some areas that make it of any practical use anywhere other than the stage. Given the market for such amps that seems a real problem for Line6 that it needs to solve.

As it stands I’m sending this amp back and getting a refund.