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ASHDOWN Adventure: Invasion of the SPYDER BASTARD

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lowbrow, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    ASHDOWN Adventure: Invasion of the SPYDER BASTARD

    I noted a similar story from another TBer … yet when I saw MF listing a PICTURED Little Bastard 550 restock for $449 earlier this week, I rolled the dice and jumped. I received a dual-tube Spyder 550.

    It would have been nice to receive an LB-550, but a quick phone call garnered an easy "Oops" from MF and an instant return-shipping label.
    No harm, no foul :).

    NOW, here's what I thought of the Spyder 550 in the 10 or so minutes I tried it out:
    • First: HUGE + HEAVY. Lots of box, lots of weight.
    • SOUND = great! I have a Little Bastard 30 and understand (with admitted personal and published-information limitations) that the Spyder head has about the same tone stack/tube preamp. What's added is a Gain knob, what is substituted is a 550-Watt solid state power amp. To try and emulate the LB-30, I set the gain full (LB-30 has no gain knob) and the tone knobs where I usually set my LB-30.
    • Tonally identical to the LB-30 at comparable bedroom volume (LB-30: about 11:00; Spyder: gain full, master about 9:30) through my 2 Bag End S15D cabs. Warm, tubey, satisfying YET it was not dirty/overdriven. Still, sounded GREAT. I can imagine it's pretty hairy with an overdrive or boost hitting the preamp tubes. When I raised the volume it took on significantly more girth and high-end output. This is an area where the Spyder and LB-30 comparison ends as you cannot compare a 30w tube power section to a 550w SS power section obviously. I'd call it an LB-30 with lots of clean headroom - sadly that's a guess as my speakers, neighbors & pets can't handle the full power amp output, so I didn't go there - sorry! Only ventured to about 2:00 master before I started fearing blowing my speakers out of the cabs and anticipating across-the-street lady at my door with the rolling pin.
    • VERDICT: If you're looking for a great sounding amp with very nice tube character, don't want high preamp-generated overdrive and can handle the weight, a restock Sypder could be popping up on MF when my return arrives, so look out. I cannot comment on reliability/giggability.
    • Good luck!
  2. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Glad to read no speakers, neighbors or pets was harmed while testing this amp!
    Thanks for the fun and informative post.

    I remain a huge fan of the Little Bastard 30.