Line 6 Amp Settings: How to Use a Line 6 Amp


Line 6 are experts in digital amp modelling and have produced a range of popular combo amplifiers such as the Spider V. In this article, I’ll talk through the main controls and what they do, the settings that each Line 6 amp comes with, some example settings for different music styles and a step-by-step guide to setting up a Spider V.

At a Glance

Most Line 6 amps have a drive control to adjust the gain level, and a 3-band EQ (bass, mids and treble) to shape the tone. Some amps have different channels ranging from clean to high-gain which will influence the settings. Built-in effects usually include reverb, compression and modulation effects.

The Main Controls

Let’s first take a look at the common controls on a Line 6 amp and what their functions are.

Channels

Most Line 6 Amps come with at least 4 “channels”, these may also be referred to as models or voices. Essentially, these set the amp up in a particular way to achieve a certain tone. The other settings on the amplifier can then be used to refine this tone. This helps to get you started with a particular sound, but there is limited flexibility to change the tone within a particular channel. Popular Line 6 channels include: clean, crunch and metal.

Some Line 6 Amps also have a “blank” preset such as the Spider V, which allows you to start from scratch and create your own tone.

Drive (Gain)

The drive control is used to adjust the level of gain, and essentially controls how distorted or clean the tone is. Of course for clean amp settings, the drive should be as low as possible. For a crunchy tone, aim for midway and for heavy metal, you’ll probably need this dialled up to 10. The aim is to get good quality distortion, but without the tone sounding muddy and muffled.

Bass, Mids and Treble

The bass, mids and treble controls are used to shape how bright or mellow the tone is.

  • Bass: this adjusts the low-end frequencies. Increasing the bass helps to provide fullness and depth, but having it too high can cause it to sound too “boomy”. High bass settings are popular in the metal genre.
  • Mids: this of course adjusts the mid-range frequencies. Generally, this should be quite balanced, however sometimes the mids can be “scooped” which means the mids setting will be much lower compared to the bass and treble. This can be popular with metal guitarists.
  • Treble: this adjusts the high-range frequencies. The higher the treble, the brighter and sharper the tone will be. This helps each note to be heard distinctly, and reduces any muddiness. The treble control tends to be higher when using lots of gain, or playing lead guitar where the tone needs to cut through.

Effects

Most Line 6 amps have a variety of built-in effects including:

  • Reverb: this is a popular effect which emulates the tone that would be achieved if the guitar was played in a very large and empty room. Essentially, it creates a kind-of echo which adds life and vibrancy to the tone which is popular in pretty much all genres of music.
  • Compression: this reduces the dynamic range of the guitar by increasing the volume of notes picked lightly, and decreasing the volume of notes picked aggressively. This helps to smooth out the tone and create a more polished sound, which is popular when using high gain settings.
  • Echo or delay: this creates the effect of a note being played back repeatedly.
  • Chorus: this makes it sound like multiple guitars are being played at once.
  • Tremolo: this is a modulation effect that creates rapid increases and decreases in volume.
  • Flange: this creates a swirling sound.

Popular Line 6 Amps and the Controls

Here are the most popular Line 6 amp available and a list of controls and settings that come built-in.

Line 6 Spider IV

The Line 6 Spider IV has 16 amp models built-in. The tone can then be adjusted using drive, bass, mids, treble, channel volume and reverb. The built-in effects include drive, auto, pitch, chorus, phaser, tremolo, delay, tape echo and sweep echo.

Line 6 Spider V

The Line 6 Spider V Mk2 amp has drive, bass, mids, treble, volume, preset selector, compression and reverb controls. There are three FX controls which include delay, modulation and compression effects.

The FX controls on a Spider V are factor set to:

  • FX 1: modulation effects.
  • FX 2: distortion
  • FX: 3 delay

You can assign any effect to the FX control by holding down the control under the LCD display and selecting the option you require. You can also press edit to change anything. This video on YouTube does a great job of demonstrating how to use each control.

Line 6 Spider Classics

The Line 6 Spider Classics range has 4 models (channels): clean, crunch, metal and insane. The tone can then be tweaked using the 5 built-in settings: drive, bass, mids, treble and volume. It also includes tape and sweep echo, reverb, tremolo, chorus and flanger effects.

Line 6 DT25 Tube

The Line 6 DT25 Tube amp has 4 voices (channels/ models): classic American clean, British crunch, class A chime and modern high-gain. The tone can then be adjusted using the following 7 settings: drive, bass, mids, treble, presence, reverb and volume.

Example Line 6 Amp Settings

I understand that a lot of people coming to this article will be looking for presets, or example settings for different music styles. Keep in mind though, that these will sound different depending on which guitar you are using, so take them with a pinch of salt and be prepared to make some adjustments.

Amp Settings for Metal (Modern)

  • Drive: 9
  • Bass: 5
  • Mids: 7
  • Treble: 7
  • Reverb: 2

Amp Settings for Metal (Classic)

  • Drive: 9
  • Bass: 8
  • Mids: 3
  • Treble: 7
  • Reverb: 2

Amp Settings for Rock

  • Drive: 5
  • Bass: 4
  • Mids: 7
  • Treble: 6
  • Reverb: 2

Amp Settings for Blues

  • Drive: 3
  • Bass: 5
  • Mids: 6
  • Treble: 6
  • Reverb: 3

Amp Settings Clean (Warm)

  • Drive: 1
  • Bass: 6
  • Mids: 5
  • Treble: 4
  • Reverb: 3

Amp Settings Clean (Bright)

  • Drive: 1
  • Bass: 3
  • Mids: 4
  • Treble: 7
  • Reverb: 2

I’ve also made an article with example amp settings for over 40 popular guitar songs here to help you sound more like your favourite players.

How to Setup a Line 6 Spider

If you really want to get the best out of your amp, then taking some time to properly learn the controls and the impact that different settings have, is well worth the time-investment. Here is a step-by-step method you can use to set up a Line 6 Spider amp for any music style and with any guitar.

How to Setup a Line 6 Spider

  1. Make sure your guitar’s volume and tone controls and turned up to maximum.
  2. Select the “blank” preset to start from scratch.
  3. Set the volume to a comfortable level.
  4. If you are looking for a clean tone, set the drive to 1. If you are looking for a distorted tone, set the drive to midway.
  5. Set the bass, mids and treble to midway and turn off reverb and any other effects.
  6. Adjust the drive control first to achieve the desired level of distortion.
  7. Adjust the bass control next. Increase it to “fatten” to tone, or decrease it to reduce this effect.
  8. Adjust the treble control to either add brightness and clarity, or make the tone more mellow.
  9. Adjust the mids control to add more or less depth.
  10. Add some light reverb if desired and then add in any other effects.

The trick is to make each change individually, and then listen out for the differences. This method is the most efficient, even though it sounds like it’ll take a long time, because it allows you to pinpoint any issues you’re having. Also, the more you practice, the quicker you’ll find this process to be.

Common Problems

When trying to dial in the best settings on any amplifier, you’re likely to run into some issues along the way. Here are some of the most common problems and how to fix them.

High Feedback

  • Decrease the drive.
  • Decrease the volume.
  • Position the amp in front of the guitar and as far away from it as possible.
  • Make sure you have good quality cables.

Thin and Weak Tone (Lack of Sustain)

  • Increase the mids.
  • Increase the bass.
  • Add a compression effect.

Flat Tone

  • Add some reverb.
  • Increase the treble.

Muddy Tone

  • Decrease the drive.
  • Decrease the bass.
  • Increase the treble.

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Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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