Just when you thought it was safe to assume great tones couldn't come any smaller—play whenever and wherever you feel inspired with the Positive Grid Spark GO portable guitar amp—a tiny, app-supercharged beast! We're talking seamless integration with the acclaimed Spark App that's chock full of amps, pedals, Auto Chords, Smart Jam, 50,000 tones on the cloud, and so much more. Nick Jennison reviews.
Since NAMM 2022, I've been waxing lyrical to everyone who would listen about how good the Positive Grid Spark Mini is. It's tiny, portable, sounds enormous and feels great to play. It looks fab on my desk, and works as an absolutely phenomenal bluetooth speaker. I've taken it on road trips (my car is an older Jag without an aux in), to barbecues on the beach, and most recently to provide music in a large courtyard at a friend's wedding - and we even got a noise complaint!
As a practice amp, it's basically perfect. Imagine my surprise when, less than a year later, Positive Grid announced the even smaller and even more affordable Spark GO. At an impressive 5w, given that it's a similar size to a compact camera, the Spark GO is small enough to fit in your pocket, or dangle from your guitar strap. It weighs just 346g/0.76lbs and still pushes out 82dB SPL - similar levels to a passing freight train!
The physical controls are very simple, with a large volume ring to control how loud your guitar signal is, a button to toggle between four presets (which all sound excellent, and represent a good cross-section of the sounds the Spark GO can produce) and a rocker switch for controlling the volume of the music you're streaming over Bluetooth. The majority of the control comes via the Spark app, though. Connect to your favourite mobile device over Bluetooth and you'll have full control over your signal chain, from amp type to effects selection, with each "block" offering a good level of tweakability without getting too granular (you can tweak the treble middle and bass, but not the transformer ripple, for example). You can also save, recall and share your favourite sounds, and download presets from the ToneCloud if you're looking for a shortcut to a particular tone - or just looking for inspiration.
Sonically, the Spark GO is as impressive as I've ever heard from such a tiny amp. There are some compromises compared to the Spark Mini - specifically, the Mini is stereo as opposed to the mono output on the GO, and the GO does roll off more low end than the Mini, cutting off at 110hz. What's the same is the excellent amp and effect modelling, with a comprehensive variety of tones that all sound very authentic and feel excellent to play.
As an ultra-portable practice solution, the Spark GO is an excellent choice. It feels great to play, has a ton of useful practice tools and looks very cool (like a small vintage camera or something). It works as a great-sounding Bluetooth speaker that competes well with similar-sized speakers - but with the addition of killer-sounding amp models. Given its diminutive size and equal diminutive price point, it's kind of a no-brainer!
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