A Spark review for Android users



  • Received my Spark today and those who use Android are not going to be pleased. There are so many things either not working or not working as intended with the app that I dont even know where to begin explaining. I guess the only good aspect is that the app did install on my 3 Android devices (a Motorola 1 phone, Amazon Fire tab, and HP Chromebook x360. So no review from the software side. My advice for those really wanting the software to work is to wait a few months and see if they fix the app. Based on the reviews I saw, seems like the IOS app works much better. Thing is there are far more Android users than IOS/Apple users, We are essentially beta testers for this app..well not even that as beta testers usually report minour flaws...this app has majour flaws..flaws they surely know about, and misbehaved in the same manner on all 3 of my devices, so has nothing to do with my devices. This is unfortunate.

    Onward to the hardware.....

    The hardware is great. It's producing tube amp tones without having to crank up the output/master volume to window rattling stage. Ditto for hi gain. Settings are unlimited. Easy to dial in any type of quality tone you might want. I;m comparing it to my Vox VT40x which is a 40w modeling amp with a tube. The basic presets all sound nice and also sounds good with my acoustic guitar. The amp can get quite loud. I dont have a bass to try. Unfortunately linking to the ToneCloud just doesnt work right. There are presets from my fav players I was hoping to download. The bluetooth paired nicely. Playing music through it sounds ok...The one negative about the hardware is I wish they would have put in better speakers..they work fine for guitar, but dont hold a candle to studio monitor type speakers (but i am used to sending sound via wi-fi not bluetooth and that produces a better signal). Thats pretty nit picky. Im a bit of a tone snob.

    Amp was nicely packaged and it was good they included the usb cable. The PresSonus DAW thrown in is a nice touch. Amp appears to be well constructed...I think it will last a long time

    Final verdict: I;m keeping mine mostly because I bought in at super early bird price. Hopefully the company will make the effort we deserve to get the android app fully functional in a timely manner...there are so many android devices out there...its really really rough in its present state (wish i would have known) Hope this helps <END>



  • @ameliaislanded said in A Spark review for Android users:

    Received my Spark today and those who use Android are not going to be pleased. There are so many things either not working or not working as intended with the app that I dont even know where to begin explaining. I guess the only good aspect is that the app did install on my 3 Android devices (a Motorola 1 phone, Amazon Fire tab, and HP Chromebook x360. So no review from the software side. My advice for those really wanting the software to work is to wait a few months and see if they fix the app. Based on the reviews I saw, seems like the IOS app works much better. Thing is there are far more Android users than IOS/Apple users, We are essentially beta testers for this app..well not even that as beta testers usually report minour flaws...this app has majour flaws..flaws they surely know about, and misbehaved in the same manner on all 3 of my devices, so has nothing to do with my devices. This is unfortunate.

    Onward to the hardware.....

    The hardware is great. It's producing tube amp tones without having to crank up the output/master volume to window rattling stage. Ditto for hi gain. Settings are unlimited. Easy to dial in any type of quality tone you might want. I;m comparing it to my Vox VT40x which is a 40w modeling amp with a tube. The basic presets all sound nice and also sounds good with my acoustic guitar. The amp can get quite loud. I dont have a bass to try. Unfortunately linking to the ToneCloud just doesnt work right. There are presets from my fav players I was hoping to download. The bluetooth paired nicely. Playing music through it sounds ok...The one negative about the hardware is I wish they would have put in better speakers..they work fine for guitar, but dont hold a candle to studio monitor type speakers (but i am used to sending sound via wi-fi not bluetooth and that produces a better signal). Thats pretty nit picky. Im a bit of a tone snob.

    Amp was nicely packaged and it was good they included the usb cable. The PresSonus DAW thrown in is a nice touch. Amp appears to be well constructed...I think it will last a long time

    Final verdict: I;m keeping mine mostly because I bought in at super early bird price. Hopefully the company will make the effort we deserve to get the android app fully functional in a timely manner...there are so many android devices out there...its really really rough in its present state (wish i would have known) Hope this helps <END>

    You mention the Amazon Fire tablet. Is your Fire rooted? Or do you just have the Google Play Store app installed? I have an unused Fire hanging around, but don't see the Spark app on the Amazon app site.



  • Hi I tricked up the Fire Tablet w.o rooting it. Cant rem exactly how I did it. If you do a search you should be able to find. It required a windows machine..had to install drivers on it and then I used a menu driven app that gives you a ton of options as to how to set up your Fire Tab. If you cant find, reach out again and I;ll try and help. Seems to me there are multiple ways to get the full Google Play store working w.o rooting the device

    That was my plan..use the Fire Tablet as a dedicated machine for the spark amp, but unfortunately the App is quite crippled and can also cause multiple crashes...the app is very highly unstable and not very unusable



  • @ameliaislanded
    Thanks, that's what I assumed. I am more likely to just get an iPad as I would have other uses for it anyhow. And I suspect the experience would be vastly superior.



  • @johndagostino thats prob the best idea if you want a working setup as who knows if or when they will get around to fixing their android app...for me, having to buy a different tablet just to make the amp work seems unreasonable...and the spark doesnt work with Win or Mac or Chrome OS unfortunately. good luck..its a nice amp at least



  • @ameliaislanded This should not be taken as a slam on the amp. It seems really outstanding after a couple of hours of use. But there are a couple of things that bother me.

    1st, I really would prefer a Mac/PC app. That's more a "me" problem as that's what I am used to and prefer. I am getting older, and seeing a phone or tablet from a distance is not ideal.

    2nd, I need to figure out if the Spark can act as an interface in the same manner as the THR amp. I suspect that it can, and I will figure it out.

    Overall, I do think it is a step above the THR. But if those 2 above aren't resolved, I may end up just keeping the THR.



  • I reached out to PG to complain about the situation w. their Android app and this is what I got
    <paste>
    We are indeed still working on the app and tweaking some final details and bugs. We've been testing it on several Android devices and despite having some minor issues here and there, unfortunately we haven't come close of discovering at least 25 obvious issues. It's been performing relatively fine on our and many others' Android devices.

    So, please provide further information on the devices (brand, model, Android version) and list some of the issues, so we can narrow them down and fix them ASAP.
    <end paste>

    I found this insulting. My 3 android devices all exhibit the very same issues....big issues. I;ve been avoiding ridiculing PG for all the lies and misdirects they;ve done to us (their customer) mostly around production and shipping...until now...this lie is just one more in a never ending stream. I;m not gonna take an hour to list all the stuff that is wrong w. this app...they surely must know...instead they chose to insult my intelligence...i;ve been using android devices for a decade i think..they either work right or they do not..this app is laden with issues...big issues and you cant get straight answers from the company..they just make stuff up. maybe this is their first android app....android apps always take longer to develop than IOS apps because of the huge variety of hardware platforms and variations to the OS...i dont think they tested much at all..they just got it working in the most rudimentary condition and inflicted it upon us..hopefully they will actually get around to fixing all the many issues at some point..i seriously doubt any of the you tuber reviewers were using the android app and i think even the IOS app still has issues....bah



  • Hi, can you get Spotify working in Spark Android app? It worked for me right after installation but it's not working anymore... It was also promised that Apple music works with the app, but I can't even see it in the main menu, can you see it?

    Cheers

    Anton



  • @aaiigee no it's broken for me too. it is the only music app that shows up in the menu but it is broken along with a number of other things. in fact just clicking on spotify crashes the app and closes it on at least 2 of my devices. I use YouTube music as do millions of others and it doesnt show up either in spite of what PG tells us. the app is a mess.



  • @johndagostino said in A Spark review for Android users:

    @ameliaislanded This should not be taken as a slam on the amp. It seems really outstanding after a couple of hours of use. But there are a couple of things that bother me.

    1st, I really would prefer a Mac/PC app. That's more a "me" problem as that's what I am used to and prefer. I am getting older, and seeing a phone or tablet from a distance is not ideal.

    2nd, I need to figure out if the Spark can act as an interface in the same manner as the THR amp. I suspect that it can, and I will figure it out.

    Overall, I do think it is a step above the THR. But if those 2 above aren't resolved, I may end up just keeping the THR.

    I know it can be used as an interface. I think there may just be a firmware problem at the moment. Remember this hasn't fully been released to the public yet. i had the THR as well and returned it for this amp.



  • I am running stock Android 10 and installed the app the day it became available on the play store. Obviously w/out the amp i cant fully test it but wanted to check out the settings etc. Basic functionality seemed fine. I updated the app last night (build 1.0.1088) and now it seems much worse. I can change pedals, amps etc. But the buttons for anything else are now unresponsive (all menu options).
    Anyone else having similar issues? Nokia 6.1, Android 10 w/ all latest updates.



  • New update: When i updated the app it asked for "Location" permissions and I denied it. Now i tested it allowing "Location" and it works.
    This needs to be fixed ASAP!!! There is absolutely no reason Positive Grid needs my location so i can change stompboxes. I try to be very security conscious when it comes to what data companies collect from me. PG needs to address this...



  • Another update: checked play store and there is another update available (v 1.0.1.1109). This latest update seemed to have solved the location permission issue. Thank you PG!



  • it's very disappointing this company would advertise an Android companion app and deceive us into thinking the app would actually work as intended..the app is a mess. i started the return process, but they wont even cover return shipping cost even if the product is defective.

    so i;ll eBay it or something i guess,

    to summarize: we get to loan this company the money so they can ship us this product. they repeatedly mislead us about the shipping date and also the functionality of the companion app and we get to pay to have this mess returned. mine also has a problem with the tuner.

    no thank you. no more Positive Grid dealings for me. this company should be reported. they also wont answer my simple question as to if or when they plan on having the app functioning properly...it could be months...or never. this was a horrible experience with a very deceptive company. i;m not wasting any more time on this company



  • @edmit15 said in A Spark review for Android users:

    I am running stock Android 10 and installed the app the day it became available on the play store. Obviously w/out the amp i cant fully test it but wanted to check out the settings etc. Basic functionality seemed fine. I updated the app last night (build 1.0.1088) and now it seems much worse. I can change pedals, amps etc. But the buttons for anything else are now unresponsive (all menu options).
    Anyone else having similar issues? Nokia 6.1, Android 10 w/ all latest updates.

    I think I read it only works up till Android 9 software somewhere, I'm not sure if the latest ver supports Android 10.
    I've got Android 9 and everything works besides the Spotify songs, it only plays and displays the songs and chords off YouTube.
    I don't have the amp yet to test the presets.



  • Like many, ordered early (in October) and waited several months to get it. Arrived 3 days ago.
    I got it almost exclusively for the SW since I already had a small Fender amp for hardware end of it. But, the state of the SW (for Android at least) is absolutely ridiculous. Like you said, this isn't "beta"---this is just non-functional. To be honest, given the vagueness on the web-site, I don't even know what it is TRYING to do. Their best effort gets me a rotating red orb for the "SmartJam" feature. That's it. Trying to launch Spotify to get chord analysis crashes the app. The only thing working reasonably well is downloading tones from the Tone Cloud.



  • @crystalpit Mine is non-functional on Android 9.



  • @huduwedu yes this is unfortunate. to make things worse this company had the nerve to tell me they are experiencing very few problems w. the app..that it just needs a little tweaking. (i tries it on 4 diff devices...all experienced the same obvious huge problems). i found that really insulting. they act like they are doing you a favour by letting you lend them the money to buy these...essentially a loan. then when you politely ask them to return the product because the app is a mess, they tell you that you must pay for return shipping. like you i bought the amp mostly because of the software..there is plenty of great hardware out there. this company is very careless with their words..they should be ashamed of themselves. ..i;m not wasting any more time on this amp or this company...



  • I can't even log in! Good grief.



  • This is a good review. I got my Spark about two weeks ago. I really like the hardware side of things. It sounds fantastic.

    But the app.....ugh. It's not intuitive at all. There are many things I simply can't figure out how to do. Since this is a review thread, I'll start a different post with my questions. But I do agree that the Spark App for Android needs lots of work. Lots of work (repeated for effect!). I ordered my Spark in early October. I was disappointed to have to wait so long for it. I know, lots of people in that boat. But one of the updates said the reason for delay in shipping was that they were working out the bugs to ensure a great experience. It's not a great experience.

    I bought the Spark in the hopes that I could use a practice amp to....practice my guitar playing. But, so far, I've spent more time trying to figure out how to use the Spark app and/or getting the app to work than......practicing guitar. That's not a good recipe for success.