Spark 40 Amp Bricked After Firmware Update
grafzepp last edited by grafzepp
I've had my Spark 40 for a while - enjoyed it quite a bit - Used the App, Jammed along with my iPod, Bluetoothed Spotify from my phone, downloaded and set presets, etc...
Got word that a new firmware update was available (first I've had since getting the amp) and I tried to update as described in the link provided by the Spark mobile app... The firmware updater never showed my Amp's serial number and the update failed. Right after, my app would no longer connect via bluetooth... (my phone settings indicate they are paired, and it attempts to connect after searching, then fails). All the Preset and Tap lights are flashing red.
After looking at the support page I decided to do a factory reset (I'm not fussed about any existing presets) and start over. However; the reset process won't behave as indicated. Turning the Amp on with the "Tap" button held doesn't prevent the lights from blinking steadily. Just turning off and back on exhibits the same behavior: the 4 preset lights and the tap light blink. So at this point it will only turn on and show the lights:
Power: solid red
Tap - Flashing red
Each preset 1-4 - flashing red
And if Bluetooth has been disconnected/forgotten - then the blue light flashes in an uneven pattern... if Bluetooth is connected to Spark 40 Audio - the blue light is solid
Spark 40 Amp: S040C206N583
Phone: iPhone Xs
Phone OS: 14.7.1
Spark App: 188.8.131.5246
Computer: iMac, 32GB RAM, OS 10.15.7
Spark App Firmware Updater: Version 1.0.0.
Firmware reported in Updater app: 184.108.40.206
So this all happened when I attempted to install the Firmware update. I usually have my Spark attached to my computer via the USB cable, so I can see it as an interface in Logic. I had regularly used the Spark App and have tested and used the Spark 40 Audio to play Spotify, and had plugged in my iPod occasionally to jam along - all features had worked. Now the Amp won’t play via Bluetooth or even with an iPod plugged in directly via cable. It is bricked. I have provided screen shots and video to the support folks via WeTransfer.
Might need some kind of nuclear option for the reset - which would be fine, I don’t care about the presets - but trying to reset by the method described on the support page doesn’t work.
I've been in touch with Support via email and I've tried what they suggested (switching usb ports, trying to update again) but no love yet... I've only seen a couple suggestions here, so far - which is to try from a different computer, or to re-set to an earlier Firmware version. Anyone had success with those steps?
@grafzepp Just an update on the steps I have tried after help with Customer Service:
Switched USB ports
Tried different computer
Checked sound settings & DAW - Spark is seen when connected via USB
Don't get sound when selected in any app
Launched Updater with Spark already connected via usb
Launched Updater without Spark Already connected via usb
Unpaired, forgot Spark
Checked Spark 40 Audio pairing - Spotify will see the Spark but no sound comes out
Unpaired, forgot Spark
Tried to connect directly with Spark App
Factory reset doesn't work
iPod plugged into mini-jack won't get sound
Ran from two computers
Tried a "de-bug enabled" version sent by Customer Service
I update it whenever there is a software update
Deleted and reinstalled it
So far, no joy. Has anyone else tried all these or other steps and seen a recovery of the amp?
@grafzepp Just another quick update: after returning the debug logs I've heard from Customer Service that they'll review and get back to me with any next steps. Looking forward to any progress!
josh.mcleod last edited by
@grafzepp im having this identical issue, tried everything you did as well with no luck. Following for a hopeful fix
Just another Update - Customer Service got back with further suggestions - switch on, switch off, switch USB ports, run firmware updater multiple times...
Pretty much exactly what I've already done, but this is after they got the log data...
Ran the updater 10+ times and it failed with the same error, and reported getting through 6-16% of the update - it was variable each time.
Provided that feedback to Customer Service, now I'm hoping for a new approach. Starting to fear that I'll never get to play through it again...
So Customer Service asked me to try a new computer/usb cable with the debug Firmware Updater.
And... it updated... seems to be back to functioning. I need to do a deep dive to review all the functions but seems to be back...
It was weird, as I had tried a different computer/cable before, and this was the same comp/cable/port as before - only the Firmware Updater was different. But in any event, the CS team was diligent and we kept working it and I seem to be back.
I'll update later after a thorough review of all features.
dhbailey last edited by
@grafzepp Thanks for letting us know that it finally updated for you! Enjoy the new features!
cmsaw83 last edited by
Threads EXACTLY like this one are running rampant all over PG forums and TGP forum and others. This is BAD. For once I am glad I've recently moved to an area where I have to use my mobile hotspot for wifi, so performing updates on anything, PC, Xbox One X, Spark 40, PS4, all take some figuring out on my part. I actually look into such updates now instead of blindly installing them, which as it turns out is a VERY good practice to get into, as updates many times are more trouble than they are worth and can sometimes even cause catastrophic hardware failures it would seem based on all these posts I've seen for the red lights of death on Spark Amps. Reminds me of the Red Ring of Death thing on the Xbox 360 back in the day which was a nightmare I went through twice over myself. Such goings on are completely unnecessary and only serve to cause valuable consumers like us A WHOLE LOT of anxiety and stress. This type of BS could be avoided completely if companies would THOROUGHLY test their updates BEFORE releasing them for their paying customers to act as their "guinea pigs" and so freely risking the integrity of hardware these customers spent hard earned money on. It's difficult enough to get a problem like that resolved if you are under warranty, and if you are so much as a day out of warranty, FORGET IT, it's just money wasted that you will never get back. There should be laws against this kind of thing.
My best advice to anyone... Moving forward, considering your hardware is still functioning properly (whether its a Spark 40 or a PS5), look into updates prior to downloading and intalling them. Find out what exactly they are supposed to do, add, or fix, and then, find the official forum related to the update and check it thoroughly for any signs of individuals experiencing problems. If you NEED the update, AND you find no evidence of bugs, glitches, or problems, then proceed to download and install the update. I'm beginning to find that I'm an "if it aint broke, don't fix it" type of guy. I definitely always check any hardware I purchase for an "auto-update" feature and disable it immediately before using it for the first time.
I may be missing out on 2 new amp models, but I've still got every other amp model that came on my spark, along with the effects, and the amp itself still 100% functional. I don't know that I will ever update it. It's worth noting that issues with updates aren't only popping up in regard to Spark 40 on PG forums, but Bias FX2 as well, and at least one other that I know of. That being said, I am beyond weary of any update PG may produce whether it be for hardware or software, and I can say I likely will not spend any more of my hard earned money on a PG product in the future as they seem to be more trouble than they are worth.
They create alot of buzz and hype surrounding a products release and spend a veritable F%$# ton of $ on marketing and advertisement, but it would seem they don't invest the same amount of time and money into the products themselves. This type of business practice will always create a high expectation from consumers, and those who spend their money will all too often be let down after they have had the opportunity to spend a little time with the product, whatever it may be. Much better to release a GREAT, FUNCTIONAL, and USABLE product and let it ride off it's own merit. If a product is genuinely great, it will sell, and your customers will advertise for you and it won't cost a dime. Word of mouth and great reviews are still the best and most effective means of advertising!
abchurch last edited by
@grafzepp I'm having the exact same issue with my new Spark 40. Never even got to hear the first note--it asked for a firmware update as soon as I opened the mobile app and bricked a few moments into the process. Your report could just as well serve as my report!!
This is my second Spark amp, my original is at a relative's house out-of-state where I often stay.
I see that you were provided with some sort of debugging software. I have contacted PG but have yet to hear back. If you still have the special software they sent you that seemed to work I'd greatly appreciate a share. A good address is abchurch at optonline dot net.
Thanks in advance if you're able to help out!! ABChurch
guymarshall last edited by
I had the same issue and raised a support ticket with PG. They sent me a link to an updater with log which worked a treat. Hopefully they can help you too.