REVIEWS

POSITIVE GRID SPARK MINI | REVIEW

Published 4 months ago on November 15, 2023

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Positive Grid Spark Mini

MSRP: (UK) £199 / (US) $299

You've never heard a small amp sound like this. Positive Grid's Spark Mini is a battery-powered portable practice amp and Bluetooth speaker with smart app integration and big, beautiful multi-dimensional sound. Take your tone anywhere! Nick Jennison tells us more.

We love our big amps here at Gi. In fact, we have a whole studio full of them! I always get a little sulky when I can't take my Super Kraken to a gig/session/rehearsal etc, and I know many of you feel the same about your favourite amp. But what about a front room jam with friends? A late night practice session at home? A lesson across a busy city? What about a trip to the beach?  

Enter the Spark Mini from Positive Grid. Following in the footsteps of their hugely successful Spark line of amps, this tiny little amp is possibly the ultimate jamming and practising tool for pretty much any guitar player. Despite being insanely compact and lightweight, it offers a crazy level of punch and width thanks to the stereo speakers under the grille cloth and the omnidirectional bass woofer on the bottom. It's powered by an internal battery that offers up to 8 hours of playtime without needing to be connected to a power source. When it's time to charge, you can use any standard USB-C cable (like the one that comes in the box) and your phone charger, the USB power supply on the wall in a hotel room, on a train, a 12v charger in your car or even a portable power bank. 

The top panel is very simple, with three knobs for guitar volume, music volume (more on this in a bit) and preset selection. The amp can store up to four presets, but you can access a near-infinite number from the Spark app, including user-made tones on Positive Grid's ToneCloud. You can also upload your own tones here to share with your friends! 

Within the app, you also have access to a huge arsenal of amps and effects that draw powered by Positive Grid's award-winning Bias software. There's everything from Deluxes and Dumbles through to SLO100s, Dual Rectifiers and Friedman BEs, complemented by a whole host of overdrives, distortions, fuzzes, reverbs, delays, modulation effects… if you want it, chances are it's in here. Editing is super intuitive too. There are no menus to delve through; you just touch the virtual knob you want to adjust and tweak it as if you were using the hardware equivalent. The amps and effects all sound and feel phenomenal too, with huge spatial width, great touch sensitivity and no perceptible latency. 

As well as being a killer-sounding amp, the Spark Mini is also an absolutely excellent Bluetooth speaker. It's true stereo with a powerful low end and a very smooth upper mid and treble delivery. It's great for playing backing tracks through, but it's also perfect for everyday music listening and wipes the floor with many of the portable systems on the market in terms of both battery life and sound quality. You can stream from any app on any Bluetooth equipped device or directly from the Spark App where you'll get a curated list of backing tracks and lessons, all with chords and tab on screen. 

The Spark Mini is more than just a fun jamming and practice tool though, andoffers a ton of functionality to pro users too. If you're a content creator, you can capture video directly from the app to your smart device with the audio from the Spark, making it a breeze to post-playing clips on your socials or to prepare videos for your students. You can also record using either the headphone output or over USB direct to your DAW of choice, or the include copy of Studio One. 

The Spark Mini is something literally no guitarist should be without. It offers a near-unlimited spectrum of superb tones, it's an outstanding Bluetooth speaker, it has incredible practice and productivity functionality, and you can take it literally anywhere. Colour me impressed!

For more information, please visit:

positivegrid.com

For more of our latest reviews, click here


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