Every music teacher I’ve ever had has given me similar advice: try to buy an instrument that aesthetically inspires you to play more often. For me, it’s a guitar. Unfortunately, for anyone with a small living space (or cohabitants with functioning eardrums) achieving inspiring guitar sound at low volumes has been difficult.
Small amps have long been a waste. You put on the perfect Led Zeppelin T-shirt and distressed jeans, pretend the crowd is singing your name, plug in your guitar, and come out with a thin, muddy sound. Blech. But thanks to the magic of modern digital signal processing, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth upgrades in small speakers, shoebox-sized amps like the new Positive Grid Spark are changing the world. things for the best.
With Spark, you can easily get closer to any of your favorite players, even in that cramped Harry Potter bedroom under the stairs. In addition, a set of quality built-in practice tools can help you write new songs or decode your favorite music, once you’ve chosen the perfect sound. If you’re looking for an affordable workout solution that also works for recording (and as a bluetooth speaker), I highly recommend checking out this amp.
The spark, like the excellent Yamaha THR30 II that I tested a few months ago, is truly an all-in-one unit. Other than an instrument cable, a guitar, and a smartphone, there’s nothing else needed to get almost unlimited guitar sounds right out of the box.
It has a built-in tuner, dozens of built-in pedal and amp simulations, and even a huge library of user-created sounds online, should you want to browse. You can even save up to four presets if you want to keep your staple tones handy.
Each of the 40 digital pedals and 30 amps modeled Positive Grid bears a striking resemblance to the beloved tube amps and pedal pedals of the physical universe. You can easily simulate the sounds of Vox, Fender, Marshall, and other famous amp sounds, and the built-in overdrive, delay, and reverb effects look like pedals you can recognize from Bosses and the like (they look alike). even in the interface of the Spark app).
If you’ve been playing guitar for a while and have a relatively standard setup, you’ll be able to set up a fully digital version of your usual gear. I usually plug my Burtone Telemaster into an old Blackface Fender Bassman, via overdrive, tremolo, delay and reverb pedals. This is what I simulated in the Spark app, and it hardly took a long time. With very few adjustments, I was very close to my “real” sound in about 10 minutes.
And that sounds pretty good! The 4-inch speakers and the 40-watt Class-D amp aren’t as loud as the real, tube-type, but the speakers do well for modeling the various speakers inside conventional amps. ; the closed design really helps keep the low end punchy too.
The downside here is that the Spark doesn’t have a battery, losing the portability feature of more expensive Yamaha THR models. It’s still extremely easy to get around with you (the built-in strap is a good idea), and there’s a really long power cable to help you find an outlet.