When Positive Grid reached out to American Songwriter about their new Spark Mini amplifier, I assumed that it was just a scaled-down version of their popular Spark (which we covered HERE.)
The Spark Mini weighs in at a mere 3.3lbs and is only 5.76 x 4.84 x 6.49 inches. Controls on the top of the amp are simple and straight forward with a ¼” plugin for your guitar, Music control know, Guitar control knob, and a Preset knob to activate your amp of choice (custom, solo, lead, or rhythm). The back of amp connectivity includes a 1/8” line out for headphones/earbuds, 1/8” auxiliary input, USB input for charging, pairing button for Bluetooth (which also activates the tuner) and a power-on button.
The real fun with the Spark Mini is when you pair it with the Spark App, which then provides you access to 43 different effects and 33-amp models all on your smartphone. Virtual titles include Pop, Blues, Rock, Metal, Alternative Bass, and Acoustic. The fun part is dialing in these effects and amps to your own personal tastes by turning the virtual knobs and saving your settings. There are also other virtual packages you can purchase, like the Jimi Hendrix one, to expand your virtual arsenal of effects.
When you aren’t using the Spark Mini as a guitar or bass amplifier it can double as a Bluetooth speaker and sounds full, thanks to the bottom bass port, 2 x 2” custom-designed speakers, and a passive radiator.
Want to Read More About Mini Amps? See 10 of the Best Mini Amps for Guitarists
Key Features: Spark Mini Amp is a small but powerful amplifier that sounds much louder than the 10 watts it is rated for. Includes a carrying strap and charging cable, plus a downloadable Spark App for your smartphone or tablet. Spark Mini also comes with Presonus Studio One prime recording software.
Build Quality: This is a solidly build vinyl-covered enclosure that has a removable grill cloth just like the bigger amplifiers. The rubber dampening feet on the bottom keep down noise and the bass port on the bottom is efficient. Only simple controls are mounted on the amp since the real control and capabilities are generated from the APP.
Sound and Tone: I felt that the Spark Mini sounded best with acoustic or electric guitars. You can also play bass guitar through it but I would be careful with your levels, so you don’t overdrive it. As a standalone Bluetooth Speaker, it sounds amazing also.
Hardware: Straightforward amp cabinet with three control knobs and simple connectivity for a guitar, headphones, and aux in. You can add the wireless, programable, Bluetooth foot pedal for an extra $109 and control the APP effects, amps, and tracks with your feet.
Pros: Most versatile rechargeable amplifier I have ever played. Built solid and the APP and foot pedal provides a number of options. Price is not excessive either considering what you get.
Cons: You will need to spend some extra time in the APP dialing in your virtual effects and amplifiers to your sound taste.
Verdict: I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by the Spark Mini Amplifier by Positive Grid, but the more I played through it the more I wanted to use it and try different sounds. For the money, the Spark Mini is the ideal living room or home practice amplifier and Bluetooth speaker when you aren’t playing your guitar or bass through it. If you plan to practice with tracks or record with it I would recommend the additional foot pedal. The only request I would have for Positive Grid is the addition of a carrying bag option to protect it. I prefer the Spark Mini to the full-size version just because it is lighter, has a smaller footprint, and still had all the options of the Spark App. Fun and addictive little amplifier.