The Spark Amp is the ultimate connected practise amp for guitarists. It gets the most out of your current set-upwardly with countless customisable tones, while it’south packed with handy features for beginners. It sounds and looks ace, and offers bully value for money.
- Great sound at high and low volumes
- Remarkable multifariousness of tones
- Bang-up learning features
- Attractive, compact design
- Versatile mobile app
- Auto Chords could exist better
- Controls are finicky on smartphone
Commonwealth of australia
40W Grade-D stereo amplifier
Offer large and well-rounded sound with great on-board EQ
ten,000 unique guitar tones
Modelling for more than 36 amps and 46 different effects
Attractive, compact design
This 7.four x 13.7 10 7in (HWD) amp can sit on a table superlative
Over the years, my want to play guitar has ebbed and flowed. When there’s a track I want to learn, I’ll pick upwardly the guitar, learn information technology, put the guitar down and forget information technology. There’south no continuity, no progress, and no callouses on my fingers! I’m the same guitarist I was 10 and twenty years ago.
And so, a friend told me that the buzz-generating Spark practice amplifier had boosted his motivation to play tenfold, so I wondered whether information technology could exercise the same for me. Spark is a smart guitar amp that pairs with a mobile app via Bluetooth. It packs big sound for a practice amp, it’s small enough to sit on a desk, and it sports a classic await that just oozes
Thanks to that app, Spark can be chop-chop programmed with over 10,000 tones, enabling guitarists to replicate a vast array of archetype amps and accessory pedals, hence replicating the guitar sounds from their favourite artists. The Machine Chords feature can transpose the chords from whatever song merely past listening, and Smart Jam will accompany your random riffing with a bass and pulsate runway (not a pulsate n’ bass track, mind).
At £268.99, is the Spark Amp a deal? Let’due south find out.
Design and Build Quality
- Big sound from portable size
- Manner channels include acoustic, hi-proceeds, metal
- USB out for PC connection
When the amp showed up, I was surprised by how demure it is. For context, information technology’s a trivial bigger than your average toaster. It’s 7.4 x 13.7 x 7in (HWD) and weighs but 11.4lbs. The black and brown speaker grille material has a decidedly retro feel, taking upwardly the majority of the forepart of the speaker, while the rest of the amp is coated in black vinyl with gold piping. It’s an attractive little beast.
Controls are on meridian and include manner channels (Acoustic, Hi-Proceeds, Metal, Bass and and then on) along with the EQ and effects you’d expect from a standard guitar amp: Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, Chief, Modulation, Delay, Reverb and Output. These are all adjustable manually, as well, meaning yous don’t always demand the app to play effectually and create great sounds.
There’southward a ‘music volume’ knob for controlling the output of connected audio, which you’ll demand to ensure balances with your guitar sound when playing along to a runway. Like any good practice amp, in that location’due south a headphone jack (3.5mm) along with a row of backlit buttons for accessing the tuner or presets. On the rear, there’southward a USB (cable included) for connecting to computer-based recording software, also as an AUX-out, power-out and Bluetooth connectivity indicator. The ensemble is topped off with a removable leather strap.
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- 40W Class-D stereo amp
- Suitable for open mic nights and exercise
- Sounds bully at low book
Aside from the headline-making connected features, this is substantially a 40W Class-D stereo practice amp. Inside sit down a pair of iv-inch custom-designed speakers, and the frequency range spans from 20-20,000Hz. The sound is massive: information technology tin can get super-loud and, although the Spark Amp isn’t designed for gigging, is mighty enough to become you through any open mic night in the noisiest bars. Just as importantly, for a exercise amp, information technology sounds nifty at lower volumes equally well.
Out of the box, there are 33 on-lath amp models that can exist replicated and a total of 43 effects that tin can be deployed courtesy of Positive Grid’s amazing BIAS modelling software – which fabricated its name equally a platform for digital music production. On the Spark, the amps and FX are transported via Bluetooth LTE.
The amp also manages Bluetooth Audio connectivity, which enables you to apply the unit of measurement every bit a speaker for playing music from a connected device. In that location’s no Wi-Fi connection, but it isn’t necessary with the app.
Spark Mobile App
- Mobile app underpins feel
- Regular ‘gear updates’
- Bundled in recording software
The mobile app experience underpins well-nigh things and here the full software is free to anyone who has purchased the amp. Information technology works well on smartphones, only I would recommend the tablet app, since things can exist a niggling finicky and cramped otherwise, peculiarly considering yous’ll be adjusting while playing.
One downside is the disability to download new amp firmware from the app itself. Y’all accept to share a link to a computer, plug in the amp via USB, and install the updates that way. However, the updates are worth it because, in July 2022, Positive Filigree added a new Gear Drib update with three new amp models and three new pedal models. The Insane 6508, for example, is inspired by the Peavey 6505.
The Spark app is too bundled with a redeemable code for the PreSonus Studio 1 Prime number recording software.
Spark Amp Tones
- Thousands of tones
- Like shooting fish in a barrel to customise and create your own
- Sound like your favourite songs
Although there are quite a few headline features, this was the holy grail for me. Being able to estimate, say, Slash or Jimmy Page’due south signature sounds – without requiring the knowledge and time to perfect the fix-upwardly manually – was amazing. Not to mention the money to buy a new Marshall tube amp or an unabridged furnishings pedalboard for overdrive, reverb, and then on.
Spark makes it truly piece of cake. The mobile app offers several pre-gear up tones for different genres, but the real magic comes through the community sourced tones created by fellow users.
You can search for a specific song – for case, Living Colour’south Cult of Personality. Sure enough, aslope the official YouTube video and chords, there’due south a tone replicating guitarist Vernon Reid’s booming, heavily distorted sound. Tap to download to your Tone Locker, where it can exist accessed whenever you wish. If you’re a existent fan of a particular tone, information technology can be saved equally one of the pre-sets, accessible via concrete buttons on the amp itself.
The great thing almost this is you’re not limited to how the tone is configured. Every knob on the amp is adjustable via the touchscreen past swiping up and downwards on information technology (hence the reason the tablet app is preferable). As is every knob and switch on the effects pedals in the array. And, if you don’t want the delay or reverb at all, you tin can swipe up to turn that pedal off completely.
One time you lot become a footling more than experience, you can design, relieve and share your own tones with the customs.
Information technology isn’t a perfect replacement for the effects pedals, though. Sometimes you just demand that little stomp to switch from the clean to distorted channel, when playing Smells Like Teen Spirit, for case. Since initial testing of the Spark Amp, the company has released its own Spark Control pedal, which makes information technology easy to switch between pre-set Tones easily-free.
There is a third-party option bachelor, besides, the Airstep from Xsonic, which is wireless and specifically designed for employ with this amp – although I haven’t tried that.
Spark Amp Auto Chords
- Transcribe chords for whatsoever song automatically
- Play along with your faves
- No tabs though
For those commencing their guitar journey, Auto Chords could exist the top reason to purchase the Spark Amp. The Spark claims to be able to listen to whatsoever song from Spotify, Apple Music and and so on, and transpose the chords. Lots are already function of the library, only for others it’south but a example of linking your music streaming account to the Spark app.
That enables guitarists to play along with any song via an embedded YouTube video, and is especially handy when too using the app equally a Bluetooth speaker.
I prefer to use the bankroll tracks put together by the Ultimate Guitar app crew, rather than the song itself. So, I gear up the amp to the “Yard n R Sweet 02” tone and played information technology through the amp via Bluetooth – all of a sudden I was jamming along, playing lead guitar on Paradise Metropolis with a guitar that sounds somewhat like Slash’southward fix-upwardly.
The default play-along feel itself isn’t particularly aided by the limited interface of chords, which we plant difficult to follow. Chord changes, as depicted on-screen, felt a little out of time with the track itself.
There are no tabs, then in many cases you’re getting quite bones chords; cracking for beginners, but non for players at a level above that. Y’all tin alter the speed of the rail to make learning a fiddling easier, and alter the primal in which the song is played, which volition be handy. Y’all can also set a loop to repeat the vocal’s master riff, for instance, if that’due south what yous’re looking to learn.
The third headline feature is Smart Jam. If you’re playing a home-grown riff or a lick, Spark can listen and come up up with a drum line and a base line that matches the mode and tempo, essentially completing the band.
It’s a swell tool to help with your timing and rhythm. For a bedroom guitarist, it’s a rare opportunity to feel part of a group. Information technology tin also exist an excellent tool for improvisation. You can jam abroad, endeavor new things, motility upwards and down the scales when playing lead guitar, retaining the discipline of playing in time with your virtual group. I enjoyed this feature immensely.
Should you buy it?
If you want a near-perfect do amp with unbeatable versatility and learner-friendly features, then the Spark Amp delivers.
If you’re an experienced guitarist, already a master at finding your sound, and demand a gig amp then look elsewhere.
Positive Grid has delivered the perfect practice amp, reigniting my want to play electric guitar every day and perfect new songs. It looks and sounds amazing, defying its desktop size. The ten,000 tones practise a wonderful job of replicating the total assortment of amp sounds and effects, while the companion app enables near-limitless customisation. Motorcar Chords and Smart Jam are fantastic tools for beginners in what is, undoubtedly, the best digital practice amp solution out in that location.
How we test
We exam every device we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we utilise the phone as our primary device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what nosotros observe and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Used as our main guitar amp during testing
Tested using acoustic and electric guitars
Downloaded hundreds of tones to thoroughly test features
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Is at that place a foot pedal?
Aye, Spark has no released a foot switch to easily change channels
Can you lot utilize it for gigging?
Conceivably, in small venues, merely information technology’south mainly a practice amp
Is it suitable for beginner guitarists?
Definitely! It saves you money on dozens of effects pedals and can help you lot recreate any sounds
Can I record using the guitar tones?
Aye, in that location’s a USB out for the amp which allows it to be used with your favourite PC recording software
First Reviewed Date
Positive Grid Spark Guitar Amp
xiii.7 x lxx ten 7.iv INCHES
USB, 3.5mm headphone jack, guitar jack
Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth Sound
Posted by: Sadiyev.com