Spark amp is it shit?



  • I play a standard tele and strat, nothing unusual.

    1. Amp on most settings Notes cuts out, way before strings stop vibrating, so useless sustain.

    2. Many “tones” I can’t play a simple scale at moderate speed, without several notes simply not sounding, totally muted.

    3. Many tones struggle to maintain constant volume, making strumming feel very unrewarding . .

    4. Some of the dirtier tones from the cloud, cut out so quickly they are unplayable.

    I have experimented with the gain staged, very little improvement

    Anyone else suffered these issues? Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance



  • The Spark is great but it has 2 problems that have not yet been fixed. The first is the currently unuseable noisegate and the second is the ungrounded power supply.

    1. Load presets from the cloud you like.
    2. The noise gate may be activated, but currently only works properly if the left poti is on the left stop. Should be fixed with one of the next updates.
    3. The strong hum you are hearing now is because your power supply has no ground.
    4. Get a grounded power supply from a laptop and the hum will go away.
    5. Finally you can enjoy the really good sounds without hum and without killing the tones.


  • @de_cunny

    So the issue of notes being muted on runs and arpeggios, is that a noise gate issue?

    My amp was supplied with laptop style switching ps.

    Cheers



  • The big favorites in the cloud with many hundreds or thousends of downloads do not come from the Spark app but were still taken over by Jamup, with the settings from there, also with open Noisegates if neccesary there.
    But the NG in the Spark app is almost unusable in its current form and kills the tones if you open it.
    Put the NG in the effect chain if you need it, but let it closed. So it brings the noise down a bit and helps.
    But positive grid has to solve that.

    Could you make a pic of the power supply and the power plug.



  • I’m not a huge pedal fan, but as I understand it - the noise gate pedals are a solution to overcoming some of the physical limitations of pedal design and noise, yes? So why do we need a noise gate pedal with entirely digital representations of pedals? And if it’s about “authenticity” of tone of classic pedals, what’s the excuse for putting out a crap noise gate? Newbie asking for education please.



  • @hamilton-mackenzie To combat 60 hertz hum on single coil pickups from the guitar (not to be confused with the issue with some spark amps humming on their own). It silences the guitar hum when you are not playing a sound. Some work better than others.

    Of course I hear it needs better adjustment with a software update.



  • @hamilton-mackenzie i'm having the exact same issue. How did you solved it?



  • It comes down to the question, that I still haven't found an answer for. Why is there so much hiss in some of the amp models?



  • I think your best bet is to see who's within driving distance of you that's got one, and try it out for yourself...
    I've let 5 people try mine out, and only one ordered one... and he's still waiting to get it, and now has doubts as well...
    my view is... if you just want a cheap Bluetooth speaker that can take a guitar input and has amp modeling on board... you can't go wrong....
    If anyone expects anything other than that, I'm sorry, you've either been misled or just misinformed....
    You only get what you pay for...
    There's no excuse to not googling a bunch of products, their prices and features... and making an informed decision.



  • @crystalpit Very true! With all the discussions here on this forum, also on the Spark Amp Owners Club at Facebook as well as the Spark Amp Tone Club at Facebook, combined with all the demos (both the paid endorsement kind plus all the purchased-by-the-user videos at YouTube, there's no reason for a person to not learn all he/she can before buying the Spark amp. And the app is a free download and it's possible to give some of it a try-out before making a purchase, so nothing is hidden beforehand. People who thought it could do more than it can simply didn't do their homework before ordering one.

    For what it claims to be and for what it can do, it's an awesome product (with the proper power supply) and at the price point it sells at, it's unbeatable!



  • yea, don't get sucked in by the YouTube hype and 5star reviews.
    Id still try find someone near you to try it Unfortunately for you, but lucky for PG, no retailers have them in their stores yet.
    Not that's its totally cr@p,but still, better to try than to cry....



  • @valascia they are high gain models... if you plugged a into a high gain amp you would get the same hiss. Put a noise gate in and it should solve the issue. You need to learn how to alter the threshold. The other thing you can get is hum from your home electrics. If you have a dimmer switch for example it will play havoc with your amp.



  • @hamilton-mackenzie I assume you have low output pickups put through a noise gate. The noise gate is perfectly fine, it just needs tweaking for different guitars. I use everything from single coils to EMGs and have no issue. Boost pedals won’t help either... but it’s the same with real pedals. Try to use the gain settings on the amps. Find the amps you like with a gain structure you like and avoid boosts. Treadplate is my favourite.



  • I got mine 6-7 days ago. I had the same problem. Thought there was something wrong with the amp.

    Turned out to be a dirty jack. The input jack to the amp was a bit dirty from the factory. A few in and outs from my wireless solved the problem.

    It seemed to be more of a problem with louder sounds but pretty much everything was a bit shaky.

    Today I'm going to spray a bit of electronics cleaner down there just to be sure it's good to go. The problem was probably a bit of grease or something on the new jack from manufacturing.

    Try cleaning the jack input.



  • The gate is really good for me. YMMV. Play with the threshold setting!



  • Snatched an used Spark in "mint" condition for $60 from a guy that hated it. I took it apart just to see what was inside of it.
    Honestly I was expecting to see something like the internals of an iPhone, you know high tech stuff, (Apple devices have a label with the the famous 'Designed in California, Assembled in China' in the back of their products, and you can tell the amount of R&D they did when you take one apart)
    On the Spark, this is what I saw:
    One PCB with the words "JamUp Pro" etched on it (nothing that says Spark), two minuscules speakers, and a very basic cabinet made of MDF (glued together)
    The PCB had two wires coming out, one for the speakers and one for the BT antenna.
    Looked more like 'Designed in Guangdong and Made in China'
    I guess with the Spark, people are paying for software, because the hardware itself is very simple, my cheap BT speaker has more technology inside, specially the molded plastic components, the Li-ion battery, the charging board, protection circuitry and the speaker/sub-woofer array.
    I put the Spark back together, I think Im going to sell it for about $150, Im sure someone, somewhere, will still want to spend money on them.



  • @elgrantimo64 It sounds great, it plays great, has lots of innovative ideas, looks good sitting next to the home entertainment center in my living room and LOTS LESS space than my combo and pedalboard took up. Why should I care what's inside component wise?



  • @stinger0625 Good for you. You are perfect customer for Range Rovers. Who cares if the transmission fails after 40k, or if the panels come off after few months, or if it rattles in about a year, or if it leaves you on the road during a family trip? So long it looks cute on the driveway !!! LOL.



  • @elgrantimo64 I get the argument you're trying to make, but you neglected what may be the most important part for many people, which is cost: the spark amp is relatively cheap compared to other amps- especially for what it does offer, and the Range Rover (analogous to the amp in your argument) is relatively very expensive for what it offers relative to other vehicles. It would've been a more valid argument had you instead used a relatively cheap vehicle such as a Nissan Versa or Hyundai Accent instead of a Range Rover.



  • To each his own, but what I received vs what I paid for puts me in the "happy" column. Sure, I wish it was much better, had less bugs, I didn't have to order a replacement power supply, I didn't have to tweak it to get rid of excessive bass, etc, but considering what I paid for it and what else I could get for my money for a practice amp that meets my needs, I'm good. Ie, if I had my money back and could start over, would I buy it again, yup.