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Thinning the herd (getting rid of guitar gear)

Over the past weekend I let go of a few things, and picked up 1 thing.

The 1 thing I picked up was a Line 6 Spider V 60 amplifier. The cost was nothing because I traded out two guitars and my old amp for it. I'll be doing a review on the amp later. You can hear a quick riff I recorded above. If that doesn't work, go here to hear it.

I've said before that gear hoarding is just plain dumb and that if there's stuff you're not using, get rid of it. I do practice what I preach, and that's exactly what I did.

For the rest of this, I'm going to concentrate mostly on the amp replacement.

The old amp was a Fender Frontman 212R. I bought that 48lb (22kg) monster years ago because my thought was that I "needed" something just as a loud as a half-stack setup. And oh yeah, it was loud. Too loud. There was absolutely no way to play it quietly inside my apartment. Not possible.

On top of that, because the Tampa Florida band scene sucks so bad, I never got to use it. Actually, correction. I got to use it once with a band at a practice - where I was promptly told to turn it down because it was too damned loud. Yes, this really happened. That Frontman outgunned a full stack tube-type Marshall with ease. So if you ever want an amp that projects, well, get yourself a 212R as it's definitely one of the loudest combo amps Fender has ever made. It might be solid-state but wow does it belt out the volume.

My 212R did nothing but sit and collect dust for years. The time came when I examined the guitar gear I had, thought about that big amp and said to myself yep, it's gotta go. But I still needed some amplification, and that's where the Line 6 Spider V 60 came in. It is much lighter at just 20lbs (9kg) and can be played quietly or loud. Is the amp as loud as the old 212R was? No, of course not. Not even close. However, it's more than good enough for playing at home or for small gigs when the time comes that I do those again.


1. Guitar bulk sucks

I parted with a Jazzmaster (I now only have 1,) an electric bass and an amp.

For those keeping score, yes this means there was one point where I had 3 Jazzmasters in my possession. That was stupid. It was even more stupid that all 3 of them were more or less the same guitar. At least with my 2 Telecasters, both are distinctively different as one is a traditional solid-body, neck with rosewood fingerboard and single-coil pickup configuration, the other a semi-hollow Thinline, one-piece maple neck, and dual humbucker configuration.

I'm happy to be rid of the bulk and don't regret what I traded out at all.

2. Digital is more usable

Nothing about the 212R amp was digital. It was 100% analog and it even had a real reverb tank in it.

The Spider V 60 is 100% digital and I've taken to it very quickly. I love the modeling options, the little drum machine it has in it (which actually sounds pretty darned good,) the fact it can be used 100% pedal-less because of all the built-in effects it has, the fact it's easy to use... it's just oh-so nice.

I also like that the audio over USB is super clean. Some amps don't do USB right, but the Spider V definitely does.

3. Sometimes going modern is just better

Where this amp replacement was concerned, getting rid of the bulky old-style analog rig for the light-and-lean modern digital rig was definitely the correct choice.

What if I had gone with a modern small tube-type amp?

I don't do tubes, as most people know. Tubes and I just don't get along.

However, for $100 more than the price of the Spider V 60, I could have bought a Fender Super Champ X2. Don't be fooled by the fact it only has 15 watts. That amp is a true tube-type and quite loud for what it is. And like the Spider V it has USB for digital recording. For weight, it's 24lbs (11kg,) which is 4lbs heaver than the Line 6, and that isn't too bad at all.

I don't deny that the Super Champ for many players ticks all the right boxes, and for a tube-type Fender, it's priced well...

...but again, I don't do tubes. For the sound I go after, solid-state has always worked better for me. And it's more affordable, which I appreciate.

Happy to have less

I'm feeling very good about my new smaller rig. I'm glad to have dropped some bulk while at the same time get something that works better for me.

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