While many beginner amps can be incredibly basic in terms of control and effects, Line 6 is out to prove this doesn’t have to be the norm. Today we’re looking at the reinvention of an old favorite, the Spider Classic 15, which proves one of the most versatile budget amps on the market today. Let’s take a closer look.
At first glance, the controls of the Spider Classic 15 may look confusing, especially to beginners. But as you get used to them, they are actually pretty simple to get to grips with and replicated on more expensive amps in the Spider series.
On a front-facing control panel, working from left to right, we find rotary controls for drive, bass, middle, treble and volume, before two Smart FX dials and a master volume on the right-hand side. The Smart FX controls are the highlight of this amp, as we’ll discuss below, giving you options for six of the best-known guitar effects including reverb, tape or sweep echo, and tremolo.
Aesthetically the amp doesn’t offer too much, but it’s an all-black, well-built, rugged little box that retains the sophisticated modern style that all Spiders feature. It has a single 8” speaker that offers 15 watts of power, with four amp models ranging from an ultra-clear clean mode to a heavily distorted model that’s perfect for the heaviest rock and even djent styles.
Another nifty feature is the ability to create, save and then recall four of your own unique user-created amp settings, which is handy for finding your favorite tones at the push of a button. The Spider Classic 15 also comes with a built-in digital tuner and a headphone jack for quiet practicing. It’s worth noting that the Spider Classic 15 is compatible with both FBV Express MkII and FBV2 foot controllers, although these aren’t included.
For stock tones, the sound on offer is fantastic – the high-gain model in particular is beastly for the size of this amp. The effects obviously don’t offer the same flexibility as using a bunch of pedals, but the controls are simple to use, while the inclusion of two Smart FX controls allows you to use two different effects at once (for example, tremolo and reverb). The main flaw comes in the responsiveness of the controls, which are a little too sensitive – even a small touch can change the volume from suitable to incredibly loud.
It’s won’t blow you away with power, but for practice and jam sessions the Line 6 Spider Classic 15 is a great little amp. For both beginners and experienced players who fancy a smaller amp with plenty of flexibility in tone, this is a very good call.