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Line 6 has redefined what is possible from a single guitar amplifier. We’ve selected the five best creations by this innovative brand so that you can enjoy their unique capabilities.
Established in 1996, Line 6 has quickly become one of the biggest brands in the field of digital guitar amplifier modeling. Their wide range of amplifiers includes some of the most innovative offerings in the industry.
In addition to their all-in-one modeling amps, Line 6 also makes some excellent guitar cab speakers that sound great for any genre of guitar playing. These amps have an abundance of dynamic and tonal power and are often quite affordable.
If you’re looking for an amplifier that will expand the options you have at your disposal when playing electric guitar, Line 6 is a great brand to go with.
Read on to discover the best Line 6 amps that are available at all different price ranges to find your perfect sound.
In a Rush’ Round-Up
How We Tested
The first part of the testing process of these Line 6 amplifiers involved assessing their versatility by taking note of all the different sounds they could produce. We then ranked these sounds in terms of their clarity and authenticity.
We then looked at the dynamic qualities of the amplifiers, by testing their ability to retain a desirable sound at particularly low or high volumes.
To conclude the testing of these Line 6 amps, we analyzed the practicality of their physical design by looking at their mobility, robustness, and whether they are suitable for three key purposes – gigging, rehearsing, and recording.
Line 6 Amps Reviews
Line 6 is considered an expert in amplifier modeling, and the Powercab 112 Plus is a perfect example of why this is. With a large amount of headroom and an array of tonal possibilities, this is as versatile as they come.
Unlike some solid-state guitar amps, the Powercab 112 doesn’t sound overly artificial in its various clean settings. In total, there are six onboard speaker emulations, each of which produces a realistic recreation of classic amplifier sounds.
In addition to the six onboard sneaker emulators, you also get access to a huge selection of customizable tone presets. In total, there is space for 128 of your own unique presets built using the onboard modeling controls.
With a frequency response stretching from 70 Hz to 20kHz, the PowerCab 112 Plus produces a beefy tone that can be used as the foundation for your effects pedals, or as a transparent clean tone.
This amplifier has a Celestion speaker with a 1-inch high-frequency compression driver, which combines to deliver a blend of power and attention to detail.
- 12-inch Eminence Ceramic Custom Coaxial speaker
- 125dB max SPL
- 6 guitar onboard guitar amp models
- Compatible with any amp head
- Great for clean or distorted tones
- Expansive user preset bank
- Lacks onboard controls and parameters
With its all-black housing and grey mesh grille, the Catalyst 60 is one of Line 6’s most visually stunning amplifiers. Perhaps more importantly, it sounds excellent too!
Offering 60 watts of solid state power, this amplifier is equally as suited to recording in your home studio as it is to performing in a live music venue. It includes six distinctive amplifier design modes, which vary from clean and smooth to gain-heavy.
There’s also the generous inclusion of 18 onboard effects, as well as a separate section specifically for reverbs. This section includes six high-quality reverb effects that will add a dimension of space to your guitar playing.
Another feature that improves the functionality of this Line 6 amplifier is the power attenuator, which can be used to activate half power mode, or 0.5-watt operation for ultra-quiet practicing.
- 6 onboard amplifier designs
- 18 onboard effects with 6 reverbs
- Switchable 0.5-watt setting
- Can be used at low or high volumes
- Easy to integrate with effects pedals
- Onboard audio interface makes recording easy
- High-end sounds compressed
This affordable amplifier is ideal for guitarists who like to switch up their tone regularly. Rather than relying on effects pedals, you can use the onboard processing tools of the Spider V30 to create the tones you desire.
Loaded with over 200 presets, this amplifier is suitable for all playing styles. Whether you’re looking for fiery distorted tones for metal or dreamy psych-rock ambient tones that are draped in reverb, this amp can do it all.
Although the Line 6 Spider V 30 MkII may not have the power required to fill a large space, it sounds exceptional in an intimate setting. This sound also translates well to recordings, whether they’re made directly or using a microphone.
This amplifier also comes with a selection of additional features and tools to aid your practice sessions. There’s an onboard metronome to help you nail your timing and a useful tuner.
You can also benefit from the various drum loops and rhythms that come with the amp, which have the potential to spark new song ideas.
- Over 200 onboard presets
- Onboard metronome and tuner
- 2-way speaker system
- A vast range of amplifier sounds
- Includes percussion backing tracks for jamming
- Great for exploring new tones
- Lacks the volume required for large venues
The Spider Jam is designed predominantly for guitarists who like to play on their own. Whether you’re an avid practicer, or you like to jam along to your backing tracks rather than play with other musicians, this guitar amp is worth considering.
One of the standout features of this amplifier is its 28-minute looper, which is a great tool for every aspect of your guitar playing – from composing new ideas to honing your techniques and skills on the instrument.
Also, the Spider Jam crams in over 400 presets which allow you to experiment with every type of guitar sound and tone imaginable. You can integrate these sounds into the loops you create, or record them directly into your audio interface.
Although the Spider Jam is designed as a practice amp, it still packs enough of a punch to be used in live settings. The 12-inch Celestion speaker, which is joined by a 2-inch tweeter, provides enough power to fill a small room.
- 400 onboard presets
- 12 amplifier models
- 12-inch Celestion speaker and 2-inch tweeter
- Ideal for guitarists who want to use a wide range of sounds
- Perfect for solo performers thanks to the looper feature
- Makes recording easy
- The extensive control layout may be confusing
Boasting 500 watts of solid state output, the Powercab 212 Plus lives up to its name. When paired with any of Line 6’s popular modelers, or any other manufacturer’s heads, this amp speaker will inject an abundance of power into your rig.
Thanks to its incredibly high headroom, the 212 Plus is the perfect guitar amp for pedal enthusiasts. It can handle lots of gain and distortion, and the 12 onboard speaker emulations sound impressively realistic.
Within these speaker presets, you’ll find sounds that suit every genre – from jazz to metal. Furthermore, the custom Celestion Coaxial 12-inch speakers provide a crisp and clear-sounding clean tone when one of the presets is selected.
The connectivity of this amp is also worth mentioning. It has an XLR output for direct connection to PA speakers and facilitates MIDI connectivity for switching the presets around.
- 500-watt onboard power amplifier
- 12 high-quality amp simulations
- 128 user preset slots
- Projects electric guitar with power and clarity
- Mixture of clean and dirty tones
- Can be connected directly to a PA system
- Lacks some definition in the low end
Line 6 Amps Buyer’s Guide
Solid state amplifiers have become increasingly popular in the past few decades, with many guitarists preferring them to tube amps.
Manufacturers like Line 6 have spearheaded the digital amp modeling revolution.
Line 6 guitar amps fall into two categories:
- Powerful active guitar speakers that perform best when combined with an amp head.
- All-in-one combo units that often include a wide range of models and effects.
If you need volume and power, choosing one of the larger guitar amps and pairing it with a head of your choice is a good idea.
If you want to plug in and play without needing a separate amp head, choose one of the smaller Line 6 amps that includes many different sounds and controls.
Things to Consider When Buying:
- Onboard controls: Some Line 6 amplifiers have an array of onboard controls and parameters that you can use to tweak the settings and impact the way they sound. Others are less complicated but can’t be customized to the same extent.
- Presets and modes: The more modeling presets and modes a Line 6 amp includes, the more sounds you will have to work with. If you like experimenting with different guitar tones, look for an amp with more modeling modes.
- Consider physical aspects: It’s easy to get distracted by the sonic capabilities of Line 6 amps, but it’s equally important to consider their size and weight. Line 6 offers some great compact amps specifically for rehearsing, along with larger amps for touring musicians.
Amp Modeling Explained
Line 6 is synonymous with amplifier modeling, which many see as the future of guitar and bass amps.
Rather than being limited to the sound produced by the amp’s tubes, modeling allows the musician to access an unlimited number of presets.
These presets are often based on popular sounds and tones that tube amplifiers produce, or that are produced in the recording studio using digital equipment.
While there are still many guitarists who prefer the sound of real tubes, solid state amps with digital modeling are becoming increasingly popular as the technology has improved in recent years.
Line 6 are experts in amp modeling, with some of their amps featuring hundreds of individual presets that are accessible to the musician instantly.
Not only does this give you more options when performing live, but it also allows you to experiment with a huge range of sounds when composing, which is something that would require many effects pedals if you were using a tube amplifier.
Another signature feature of Line 6 amplifiers is their often extensive selection of onboard effects.
These effects are independent of the modeling presets and, therefore, can be applied to the sounds retrospectively.
If you’re not particularly interested in using a lot of effects, you might be better off with one of the more minimalist Line 6 amplifiers that keep things simple.
On the other hand, guitarists who like to tweak their tone and experiment with many different effects will enjoy the Line 6 amps that include everything from modulation, to reverb, to distortion.
Having lots of effects installed on an amplifier will also save you money on pedals or allow you to determine which type of effects you would like to add to your pedalboard by testing them on the Line 6 amplifier beforehand.
Volume and Power
As I previously mentioned, it’s essential to determine what you intend to use a Line 6 amp for before choosing one.
Line 6 amplifiers come with varying wattages, directly correlating to their maximum volume.
Guitarists playing large stages regularly will need more watts to hear themselves onstage.
Those who are just beginning their guitar playing journey, and intend to use a Line 6 amp to develop their skills at home, will benefit from a lower wattage amp that won’t disturb anyone nearby.
Some high-watt solid state amps that are made by Line 6 have a power attenuator installed.
A power attenuator allows the amp to operate at lower wattages, such as 0.5 watts, which makes them perfect for practicing at home.
Another aspect that Line 6 amps excel in is connectivity. Some of their amplifiers include MIDI and USB connectivity so that you can hook them up to a computer or laptop and download new models or presets.
If you want to practice in silence, look for an amp that has a dedicated headphone output.
Aux outputs are also great tools for direct recordings from the amplifier.
Line 6 Amplifier FAQs
Does Yamaha Own Line 6?
In 2014, the Japanese company, Yamaha acquired Line 6. Yamaha is renowned for being one of the world’s leading producers of musical instruments, such as guitars, keyboards, pianos, and drums kits. Line 6 continues to be headquartered in Calabasas, California.
Does Line 6 Make Plug-Ins?
In addition to their guitar amplifiers, Line 6 also designs VST plugins that can be used in all major DAWs. These plugins include many of Line 6’s most popular amp modelers and effects included on their amps.
In 2022, Line 6 introduced several plugins in the Metallurgy Collection, which includes many classic and modern guitar sounds.
Does Line 6 Make Effects Pedals?
Line 6 may be most famous for its guitar amplifiers, but the prolific manufacturer also designs many great effects pedals. These pedals are most commonly focused on providing a modern effect for guitarists and bassists using digital modeling.