Positive Grid’s Spark Amp was a huge, divisive success for the company. But now there’s a smaller, more portable model available. Is the Spark Mini any good? Let’s check out the reviews to find out…
The original Spark Amp was one of the most successful product releases in recent history in the guitar world. It launched at NAMM, created a huge amount of hype, and – with a few exceptions – it actually managed to live up to said hype. I pre-ordered one after seeing a demo and it has remained a super-useful addition to my home studio ever since
There were issues with the Spark Amp, of course, the most notable of which was the fact that Positive Grid could not keep up with demand. It took almost five months for my amp to arrive. But this was during COVID, so delays were par for the course back in those dark days. Nowadays, you can order a Spark Amp and have it in your possession within a few days.
Looking to build on the success and momentum generated by the Spark Amp, Positive Grid has now released a new, smaller version called the Spark Mini. It runs much the same features as its bigger brother, including access to ToneCloud and all the effects and amps, but it is considerably smaller, making it a far more portable option. And it is rechargeable too, so you can take it with you on trips.
But it does lose some of the OG Spark Amp’s hardware functions like the three-band EQ, Delay, Reverb, Modulation, Gain, and seven-mode selector which are gone. As with most things that have been reduced in size, concessions have to be made. The big question here is whether the Spark Mini is worth it? And that is the entire point of this post, so let’s get to it…
Let’s first have a look at the Spark Mini’s specs, then we’ll take a look at some reviews. After that, I’ll add in some color and analysis in order to help you make a decision about whether or not this amp is a good choice for you. I’ll also highlight some Spark Mini alternatives too for good measure.
Spark Mini Specs
- TYPE: Digital modeling combo
- OUTPUT: 10 watts
- SPEAKERS: 2×2” active stereo with passive radiator
- ONBOARD EFFECTS: 33 Amp Models, 48 Effects
- SOCKETS: 1/4” guitar input, 1/8” aux input, 1/8” headphone out, Bluetooth audio, USB-C
- DIMENSIONS: 135mm [w] x 162mm [height including feet] 125mm [d]
- WEIGHT: 1.361 kg
As you can see, Positive Grid has packed in a ton of tech inside this incredibly small practice amp. You have a 10w speaker built in that, while no way near as loud or as big as its bigger brother’s, is perfectly suited to at-home practice and playing, where volume is usually an issue.
The amp has four hardware modes built into it, for quick plug-and-play jamming. You have Custom, Solo, Lead, and Rhythm. With custom, you can assign any amp or custom tone you like. If you have a go-to tone that you like to play a lot, it’s a good idea to assign it here. That way, as soon as you plug in you have the exact tone you want.
Like its bigger brother, the Spark Mini also doubles as a smart speaker too, so you can use it to stream music from your phone and/or PC and laptop. Again, you have plenty of power here. More than enough for a medium to a large room. The bass response is excellent, thanks to its 2in active speakers, which means both music and your guitar tones sound great.
And then you have ALL of Positive Grid’s simulated amplifiers and pedals. I could talk about how good they are for hours. If you’ve ever used BIAS FX before, or the OG Spark Amp, you’ll know what I’m talking about. They’re good enough to record with, jam with and brilliant for practicing. Just 10 years ago, this kind of thing wasn’t possible. You’d have to spend thousands on pedals and amps. Nowadays, all you need is a phone.
Spark Mini Reviews
Is The Spark Mini Worth It?
I’m a huge fan of Positive Grid. I own the Spark Amp and have loved it since the day I first plugged it in. The Spark Mini is essentially the same deal, just smaller with a few missing hardware controls. It isn’t as powerful as its bigger brother, owing to the fact it is one-third the size, but for an ultra-small practice amp, it more or less sits in a league of its own from a tone and sound perspective.
If you’re a beginner or even a more advanced player and you’re looking for a small, portable rig that sounds professional, has millions of customization options, and can produce literally any guitar tone under the sun, the Spark Mini is literally the only game in town right now. I cannot think of another product that does ALL the things this mini amp does.
And it only costs about the same as a decent fuzz pedal. Let that sink in for a moment: you get access to myriad amps, cabinets, pedals, and FX for the price of a single fuzz pedal. Not only that, but the Spark Mini can plug into your PC via USB, so you can use it to record, and it doubles as a smart speaker too. The amp itself is fully rechargeable too, so you can take it on holiday, to the beach, and even when you go camping.
RichardRichard has been playing guitar for over a decade and is a huge fan of metal, doom, sludge, and rock music in general – though mostly metal. Having played in bands and worked in studios since the early 2000s, Richard is a massive music production geek, a fan of minimalist recording techniques, and he really likes old-school guitars.
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