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  #1  
Old 06-21-2022, 02:36 PM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Default Spark Mini (as an acoustic amp)

I was an early supporter of the Spark Mini. It finally came today! I haven’t tried it on an electric yet, but it sounds absolutely fantastic on my Godin Multiac! Very similar to the Yamaha THR30II, but with no mic modeling, and less headroom. It certainly sounds as good at a moderate home practice level. Programming is very easy once you connect the app.

This amp is 10 Watts. Keep in mind that the THR amps are only full power plugged in. On battery power they are only 15 Watts. The older models were only 10 Watts on battery power, and also had similar sized speakers. So I would say this amp is comparable to the original THR amps on battery power.

They are way smaller though. There is a real disconnect between the size of this amp and the sound you get. It is also very light. To the point where I thought that maybe the box was empty when I picked it up!

They are currently on the Positive Grid website for $195, and it seems like a very good deal.

The only negative I can see is that while you can use the headphone output as a line out (either mono or stereo), it mutes the built in speaker when you do this.
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Old 06-21-2022, 04:05 PM
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srick srick is offline
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Congrats on the new amp day!
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:05 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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I just took moved the Spark Mini from the coffee table to the floor to check to see if that would improve the downward firing bass resonator thing’s bass response.

Oh wow…now we’re talking! This thing is so tiny, and yet it sounds just huge!

For anyone looking for an inexpensive acoustic/electric amp for home and portable practice/recording use, this is it!
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:16 AM
nickv6 nickv6 is online now
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According to their blurb you can set the lineout to not mute the speakers....maybe it's in the app somewhere?
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:45 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickv6 View Post
According to their blurb you can set the lineout to not mute the speakers....maybe it's in the app somewhere?

I can’t find anything like that. There is a switch which switches the headphone jack to mono for use with a mono 1/8” to 1/4” adapter, but it still mutes the internal speaker.

Where did you see this mentioned? I would love to be wrong.
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Old 06-22-2022, 06:38 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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I'm quite curious how this compares to the NUX Mighty air. Right now that is my travel champion for light and small.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:00 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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I have no experience with the NUX Mighty air, but the reviews are good, and that built in guitar wireless is dope!

What is so surprising about the Spark Mini is how much low end it has. I suppose this is due to the downward firing bass resonator thingy. As compared to my Yamaha THR 30ii amp, this has a similar amount of low end in spite of being a much smaller size. The negative is that it bottoms out at a lower volume, but that volume is well above how loud I practice at at home. If you were to take both to a coffee shop to play to a small audience, the THR might make it (but barely), whereas the Spark Mini definitely wouldn’t.

With the Spark Mini at home practice volume, there is a real disconnect between what you see and what you hear. It looks absolutely tiny, but sounds about the same as a bigger amp.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:57 AM
nickv6 nickv6 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
I can’t find anything like that. There is a switch which switches the headphone jack to mono for use with a mono 1/8” to 1/4” adapter, but it still mutes the internal speaker.

Where did you see this mentioned? I would love to be wrong.
It's on their page

https://www.positivegrid.com/spark-mini

Quite far down in and under a red square labelled record at home.
Seems to offer a choice.
Nick
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:27 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickv6 View Post
It's on their page

https://www.positivegrid.com/spark-mini

Quite far down in and under a red square labelled record at home.
Seems to offer a choice.
Nick

The “smart out” is just their way of saying that plugging anything into the headphone/line out automatically disconnects the speaker.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:54 AM
nickv6 nickv6 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
The “smart out” is just their way of saying that plugging anything into the headphone/line out automatically disconnects the speaker.
It doesn't read that way to me. It says
"choose between headphone or line out for versatile listening "

If they mean it mutes either way, that isn't really a line out and they should be called out on it.

Nick
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2022, 11:31 AM
lkingston lkingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickv6 View Post
It doesn't read that way to me. It says
"choose between headphone or line out for versatile listening "

If they mean it mutes either way, that isn't really a line out and they should be called out on it.

Nick

When you choose “headphone”, it outputs in stereo. When you choose “line out”, the output is mono. Either way, it mutes the built in speaker when you use the jack.

The line out is useful when you want to use a mono 1/8” to 1/4” adapter.

I really wanted to be wrong…. :-(
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2022, 03:37 PM
nickv6 nickv6 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkingston View Post
When you choose “headphone”, it outputs in stereo. When you choose “line out”, the output is mono. Either way, it mutes the built in speaker when you use the jack.

The line out is useful when you want to use a mono 1/8” to 1/4” adapter.

I really wanted to be wrong…. :-(
Sorry I misled you and gave you false hope.
I think it's rather disingenuous of them frankly.
Otherwise it looks like a great product though.
Nick
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:10 PM
AeroUSA AeroUSA is offline
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I tried it with acoustic today. It sounded a little dull. I think it’s because it doesn’t have a tweeter…
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Old 06-23-2022, 05:12 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspiring View Post
I'm quite curious how this compares to the NUX Mighty air. Right now that is my travel champion for light and small.
I returned the Mighty Air. A decent Bluetooth speaker and a Mustang Micro for reverb and EQ sounded much better and louder. I suspect that combo, if the feature set meets your needs, would be competitive with the Spark Mini too.

A friend who owns the same Klipsch Groove and Mustang Micro has a Spark Mini on order. If the thread is still around when he gets it, I'll report back.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2022, 08:02 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
I returned the Mighty Air. A decent Bluetooth speaker and a Mustang Micro for reverb and EQ sounded much better and louder. I suspect that combo, if the feature set meets your needs, would be competitive with the Spark Mini too.

A friend who owns the same Klipsch Groove and Mustang Micro has a Spark Mini on order. If the thread is still around when he gets it, I'll report back.
I actually have the micro in addition to the mighty air but haven't tried it through a speaker yet.

I found the mighty air took a lot of tweaking to get a decent sound at decent volume particularly for lower gain acoustic pickups but I also didn't like the stock presets very much.
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