Spark Amp Knobs - Your Default Settings



  • Hi all,

    I was wondering, I use the app majority of the time as I love exploring the sounds. I’ve had the amp around a week now and my knobs are still as they were when I got it out the box.

    I wondered what everyone’s preset was and your ideal setup sound? I know it depends what you want out of it but I’m new to this so thought I’d ask :)

    Also, I assuming the app sounds overwrite whatever the knob presets are, unless you turn them whilst on a preset which will alter the sound but won’t save (unless you tell it?)

    Cheers



  • Following. I need a tutorial on the knobs



  • @michaelinthesun What's to know? You turn the knob, it affects the sound. Each knob has a function that is clearly labeled. The Gain affects how much of the original guitar signal is fed into the effects/amp chain. The Bass/Mid/Treble knobs are for the EQ (such as it is) to adjust the tone, The Master is how loud/soft the signal is that is then sent to whatever effects (if any) are enabled in the Mod, Delay and Reverb slots in the effect/amp chain as established in the app. Each of those slots has its own level adjustment on the amp as well as in the app. The Output knob is the final volume adjustment which controls the level of the sound coming out of the amp. Typically in an amp, the Gain boosts/cuts the signal that gets acted on by the rest of the amp and effects, and the Master controls the overall level of sound coming out of the amp, but the Spark provides this third level so that we can get an awesome tone through judicious use of the Gain and the Master controls but still have that awesome tone come out at a low volume so as not to disturb others in the building. The first control knob is important only if you're trying to use the amp without the app -- you can select various default (built-in) amp models which the other knobs will then work on. The very small Music Volume knob beside the Headphone jack controls how loud the additional input through either direct cable into the Aux input jack on the back of the amp or through bluetooth, so that we can get the proper mix between whatever backing trax we want to use and the amp's guitar/bass output.

    It's best to experiment -- as long as you keep the Output knob turned down so you don't hurt your hearing or anger anybody else nearby, play around with the knobs and listen to the effects they have and how they vary the sound. And realize that when you are using a tone from the tonecloud through the app or one of the four presets (which you can replace using the app or edit using the amp itself) until or unless you turn the knobs on the amp, they have no effect on the tone you're playing with. The effects of the knobs can be controlled through the app entirely if you wish. Whatever changes you make to the knob settings in the app however are not reflected in having the knobs move because having motorized/coordinated knobs would have made the amp a lot more expensive.



  • @byronlovell As with any amp the settings will change significantly depending on the:

    1. Size of the room you're playing in

    2. The volume level

    3. The shape of the room (parallel walls as opposed to angled, and high/low/vaulted/flat/acoustic/hard wood beam ceilings)

    4. Hard, painted open walls or wall coverings (cloth), or acoustic tiles of any kind, large picture frames, furnishings - and glass windows or doors, curtains, vertical blinds etc

    5. Flooring: wood, concrete, carpet (how thick/soft), throw rugs etc.

    6. Amp placement - (NEVER on the floor with a small amp!) - on a chair or stand, enclosed shelf, below/at/above ear level, type & thickness of the surface it's placed on (think "resonance").

    7. YOUR instrument. The type (solid body, semi-hollow, hollow) and pickups (voicing and output - Fender-ish "scooped mid or P90-ish mid-forward, or Rick-ish "jangly" single coils; low output PAF-type, or mid output "modern". or ultra hot ceramic magnet metal humbuckers) - plus string-thru, top-load, stud tailpiece, once-piece bridge/tailpiece, trapeze tailpiece, or tremolo of some kind (same guitar with a Bigsby (or roughly similar) will have a very different "voice" and sustain level than one with a Floyd Rose, Kahler or other locking design)

    8. Your playing tendencies - hand "locked" to one position or moving between saddles & fretboard, hard or soft pick, how hard you grip it, and whether your attack is hard, soft, or varied (tip - for most styles a hard pick, light grip, varied hand position and softer attack - digging in for emphasis - causes less strain and provides better and more varies tones.)

    9. The STYLE of music you're playing (tone settings for clean playing with some medium distortion/overdrive are very different...or should be...than tone settings for primarily distorted tones with sporadic clean playingeplus your guitar's settings should be changing when going from clean to overdrive and distortion to clean).

    ALL of these factors enter into amp settings, which is why using someone else's settings or posting "guide settings" are usually irrelevant. They just don't apply unless the site conditions, musical styles and physical playing actions/tools are identical.

    Example - I use multiple gig amps so I can run near the top of clean headroom in whatever venue I'm playing (anything from a Champ to a 50 watt Marshall) and all amp controls are at "ZERO" when I set up, because - unless I'm playing the same place - the settings will HAVE to be different!

    And thew same rules apply to the Spark - where you place it in any shape room (high or low; in the middle of a wall or near a corner) will require changes in basic settings. But the nice thing about the Spark is you don't need an amp tech to service, adjust and voice it to your playing style like you do (or certainly SHOULD be doing!) with tube amps.

    Note - I've been playing live and in the studio since 1968, and performed service, setups and repairs on guitars, other instruments and tube amps as a "side job" since 1972, so the above is based on lot of years of doing it wrong and having "sucky tone" (snicker) - and eventually getting it figured out by following the advice of seasoned pros.

    I hope that helps!



  • @silverface wow, many thanks for that detailed response. Very informative. Appreciate that



  • @byronlovell When a preset is loaded into the amp (whether by App, preset button, or whatever), it and it's settings take effect. If you adjust it on the App, that takes effect. After preset is loaded, IF you move a physical knob, it will take effect. App will show that change. If you then change setting in app, after using a knob, it will override, and it will not show on physical amp.

    NONE of that will stay in effect, past a shutdown of the amp, UNLESS you save it to one of the 4 hardware spots, and shut the amp off ON that preset.

    That said, ONLY if you leave the amp knobs set to what that preset was saved at, will they reflect what the amp is set to, at startup.



  • @cybermgk said in Spark Amp Knobs - Your Default Settings:

    NONE of that will stay in effect, past a shutdown of the amp, UNLESS you save it to one of the 4 hardware spots, and shut the amp off ON that preset.

    Not entirely accurate. Any current settings can be saved as software presets as well and accessed via the presets button on the amp/pedals screen. They can also be saved as a preset to the ToneCloud. So yeah, the amp will start up on the last hardware preset used, but you don't have to lose current settings and you aren't limited to the four hardware presets.



  • @thermality Not actually what I said (meant). All you said is true. I was referring to settings set via the physical knobs. I.e. I load a preset, tweak stuff on the physical amp, and want the amp to match what is set to when, restarted. To do that, I have to save the preset to a hardware spot, and shut down with that preset active.

    I do see, my post wasn't clear in that regard.



  • I'm not trying to be critical or argumentative but your clarification is still not entirely true -- or perhaps I should say it's not complete. Changes with the amp's knobs are reflected real time in the app and that revision(s) can be saved as either a hardware preset (via an amp preset button or via the app) or as a new software preset. Since software presets can be accessed almost as easily as hardware presets I think it's important to point that out to new users because we're not limited to four presets. You are correct that ...

    • if new revisions aren't saved as a hardware preset it will revert back to the latest saved version of that preset when a different hardware preset is selected or the amp is turned off;
    • the amp always restarts with the last saved hardware preset you were using, never with any software preset you happened to be using.


  • @thermality Frankly, you are trying to 'be right'. PLEASE point out how my clarification is not complete in explaining how one can have the amp start up and match the physical knob settings? It wasn't my intent to explain the entirety of how to save presets, use presets, etc. Just because YOU feel " I think it's important to point that out to new users because we're not limited to four presets. You are correct that ..." that doesn't mean that was my intention here, nor imho, does this thread need nor warrant it. Point of fact, if you searched other posts of mine WHERE a new user was confused, I go into all aspects of presets ad nauseam.

    Almost, with out exclusion when someone says "I don't mean/want to xxxxxxxxxx, BUT " they are actually being xxxxxxxxxx, and some part of them knows it, thus the BUT .....

    And, frankly, that is EXACTLY how I perceive your posts. Why? Because, you directly address me, and, I paraphrase, tell me I am wrong, or some similar. If your only intention was to educate new users, you could accomplish that, without that direct reference/correction.

    For instance, INSTEAD of:
    "I'm not trying to be critical or argumentative but your clarification is still not entirely true -- or perhaps I should say it's not complete."

    a simple "Good points, I'd also add ..................."

    See the difference? The 2nd is NOT trying to correct, or be argumentative, the first is.



  • Wow, thanks for your hyper-defensive, super-heated assumption of the worst. You're dead wrong about my intent, I actually meant exactly what I said. How about this, I leave you alone, you leave me alone. I'm out.



  • @byronlovell said in Spark Amp Knobs - Your Default Settings:

    Hi all,

    I was wondering, I use the app majority of the time as I love exploring the sounds. I’ve had the amp around a week now and my knobs are still as they were when I got it out the box.

    Yep, that's the way to use it. Leave the knobs alone. Forget about them, never touch them again. All your changes should be done on the app. Only the Output knob should ever be moved. The rest? Leave 'em alone.

    Use the app, Luke.



  • @thermality said in Spark Amp Knobs - Your Default Settings:

    Wow, thanks for your hyper-defensive, super-heated assumption of the worst. You're dead wrong about my intent, I actually meant exactly what I said. How about this, I leave you alone, you leave me alone. I'm out.

    says someone as they are being hyper-defensive and hyoer-sensitive, and oblivious to the fact.