The Positive Grid Spark 40 has changed the game for the guitar amplifier, and there is no going back. It has changed the game with its features, offering the first truly smart amp, and by sheer force of numbers – with more than 100,000 guitar players worldwide making the Spark the crucial component in their at-home rig.
What's more, Spark users find themselves playing more than ever, and deriving more joy from their guitar practice, too.
Those sales figures are crazy numbers, and they have put the Positive Grid team in a pretty good mood – so good, that they are offering a 10 per cent discount on the Spark 40 until September 21st, 2020. Available exclusively via Positive Grid, the Spark 40 retails at $299, and… Well, it might just change your life.
How so? Well, you could read our five-star review here, or you could ask any one of the 8000 guitarists who have joined the Spark Amp Owners Club on Facebook. That’s where Spark users share tone tips and gear epiphanies, and dig deeper into some of the amplifier's capabilities.
Players like Tom F, whose Spark has replaced the need for pedals, and has made his envious glances at other players' setups a thing of the past.
“The Spark does everything I need and more,” says Tom. “I don’t have lots of amps and pedals and this is a great way to explore sounds without having to break the bank.”
As Tom sees it, Spark is not so much an amplifier – it's “a little box of tricks.” He is not wrong – what lies under the hood is magic, just not in the conventional sense...
Spark is a 40-watt Class D amplifier with a pair of 4-inch custom designed speakers. It uses Positive Grid’s BIAS amp modeling technology to offer a choice of 30 amp models and 40 onboard effects.
It has Bluetooth connectivity, a USB out, and when you connect via the bundled Spark App on your mobile device, you can use some very cool next-gen features such as Smart Jam and Auto Chord technology.
Guitar players are choosing Spark because it addresses their needs, and not just those of tone. Take the Smart Jam feature, which allows you to stream backing tracks from the Spark App.
Say you want something bespoke, and you’ve gamed out a cool chord progression, Smart Jam will generate a custom backing track then stream it from your mobile device to the amp so you can play along.
There is nothing that will improve your timing and get your chops up quicker than playing with an accompaniment, and if you can't get in a room with your bandmates, Spark offers the next best thing. Also, unlike your drummer, it will never get tired.
Then you have its Auto Chord technology, a smart feature that is just plain showing off. Simply stream one of your favorite tracks to the amp and Auto Chord will transpose the chords so you can play along.
The app has an extensive library of songs to expedite the process, but if your track isn’t there, it’ll take a moment, work out the chords and off you go.
The Spark App is a trove of valuable resources, with a library of over 10,000 guitar and bass amps, and effects presets to download. With a USB output, it is ideal for home recording.
It's no surprise to learn that the pros are getting in on the act, too. Doc Coyle of Bad Wolves has a drummer who is excellent, but even he admits the Smart Jam feature makes Spark "a game-changer when it comes to practice amps."
"I was completely stunned when I heard the quality of the tones," he says, "The ease of use when trying different amps and effects by integrating the Spark with my smartphone, and the ability to use backing tracks as a practice tool puts it over top as the best product of its kind on the market."
All these features might sound intimidating but fear not, the Spark looks and feels just like a guitar amplifier, rocking a desktop amp profile that’s finished in black textured vinyl and a black-and-brown grille cloth. It has a removable leather handle so you can easily carry it from room to room. And it only weighs 11.46lbs.
Crucially, the control panel is reassuringly simple. You don’t need a degree in electrical engineering to work out what’s going on.
A rotary dial allows you to select from seven amp types – Metal, Hi-Gain, Crunch, Glassy, Clean, Bass, and Acoustic. That’s right, Bass and Acoustic – it’s not just for electric guitar. There are controls for gain and master volume, a 3-band EQ, modulation, delay, reverb and output. A smaller knob on the top controls the volume of external audio, and there is a tap tempo feature for the delay and a tuner.
Tone-wise, Spark has no right to sound as deep and wide as it does, but there you go. Spark will cover all styles, and you can save your favorite tones down as presets. No wonder it’s the choice of over 100,000 players worldwide.
The question is: when will you be joining them?
The Positive Grid Spark 40 is compact, portable, packed with features, and no matter what level you are at, it’s a game-changer. Find your Spark here.
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