NEW VERSION (UPDATE) SAFE TO INSTALL YET??
cmsaw83 last edited by
What's up forum?! I've been getting a pop-up every time I go to use my Spark here recently, saying that a new version of the Spark App is available and that I need to download it if I want to enjoy the newly added content. This seems like a cool thought, especially when I can see the additions on my existing version even if I can't actually use them yet, and one of the things I noticed was a Klon Centaur type pedal included in the ODs. This would definitely be a great addition to some of my clean and crunch tones using the AC30-ish, Twin Reverb-ish, Matchless-ish, and JTM45-ish type amps.
Problem is, I frequent the PG forums, and from what I can see through the past several weeks, there are an extremely significant, and I would imagine also extremely irritated number of people who have installed a new version/update and wound up with malfunctioning amps after the fact. There are issues where bluetooth won't pair, others where no sound will come out of the speakers when playing guitar, only music will play, and then others still who are having something happen that has been dubbed "the 5 lights of death" where the 5 preset lights begin blinking in unison and basically the entire amp goes into $250 paperweight mode.
Goes without saying, I would prefer to continue being able to actually use my amp, and if that costs me not being able to update it, well, thats fine by me. It was well worth the $250 when I bought it, and that hasn't changed. I am still happy as can be with the functionality and even the tone of my Spark. It's by no means the nicest piece of gear I own, but its still hands down, one of the coolest, most bang for your buck purchases I have made in quite a long time.
So, does anyone happen to know, has PG resolved the issue(s) with the new version of the Spark App? Or is it still causing problems?
Anyone downloaded and installed it within the past couple days, or week? If so, what say you? Everything working up to par? Or, have you experienced problems? And if so, what kind of problems have they been? Thanks in advance for any replies
dhbailey last edited by
@cmsaw83 The Spark App hasn't been causing the problems -- it's been the upgrade to the firmware inside the amp that has to be run from a computer using the PG ASIO driver. The upgrade to the app is necessary if you want to access the new amp models and effects included in the firmware update. All the complaints have been about the firmware update, not the app.
guymarshall last edited by
No, its not. I tried updating my Spark today and its now borked.
cmsaw83 last edited by cmsaw83
Damn, that sucks man. I was about to try and update mine, but I guess I'll just continue waiting. It's most likely not going to be safe to update until Positive Grid comes out with an entire new and all together different firmware update than this currently plagued one, and by that time, it will be an irrelevant topic and a moot point for me personally.
What blows my mind is that they certainly know what's happening to folks with this update, yet they don't can it all together. They should disable the link, or the tool the link takes you to, or whatever. At least until they can release similar firmware that is not compromised. At the very least they should be contacting owners with an email and suggesting that we not install this update and explaining that there have been widespread problems. However, it would seem they are doing exactly the opposite. Every time I enter my Spark app, there is some other part of it where they've added a red tag or a new amp model or effect, all of which lead you to another page where they tell you to send the link within the page to a computer and then connect you Spark to update it. It's like they are pushing for people to use it. This is insane because Positive Grid administrators monitor these Forums (this IS a Positive Grid forum, not a third party or otherwise unofficial forum), not to mention the fact that after a month of this going on, you know they've had an endless number of people reaching out to them VIA the support page on the Positive Grid website, and complaining (rather enthusiastically I would imagine) about their amps crashing after installing the very update they are pushing so hard for people to install, so you know they are fully aware of the fact that this is happening to tons of people.
This speaks VOLUMES about just who and what Positive Grid are as a company. I have suspected this for a while. I also have Positive Grid's Bias FX 2 software, though in hindsight, I certainly wish I had researched the world of guitar plugins more thoroughly prior to choosing Bias FX 2 to purchase because I would have spent my money elsewhere, most likely on IK's Amplitude 5. At any rate, before all the buzz began on the forum involving this Spark firmware fiasco, I ran into an issue with my Bias FX 2 program out of the blue, where suddenly my plugins were not visible within my DAW because the DAW could not find/recognize the VST and/or VST3 files associated with Bias FX 2 when it would start up and scan for them. This problem is what led me to the forum, only of course after realizing that Positive Grid does not provide a means for their customers to contact them by phone, so I left a message with Positive Grid support (because I don't think they even have a Customer Service department) that did not get any type of response, and so I decided to try the forum to see if anyone there might know how to help me. Within a couple hours I was fortunate enough to have had 2 individuals reply to the "Please Help" thread I created, both of whom were knowledgeable and patient, and they were able to help me resolve my issue.
But it was in that moment that I came to realize that Positive Grid is not so much a great company with great products, as it is a company that is willing to direct an enormous amount of money, time, manpower, and resources in general, to their marketing department. This is extremely evident in the fact that they do not provide customers a way to contact and communicate with them either in person or by phone. A company who's philosophy permits them to operate in such a manner is one that does not care for or about its customers whatsoever. The only thing they are interested in is "the sell". Once they have successfully gotten their money, they are not the least bit concerned about the functionality of whatever product they sold us, nor how we as customers feel about those products (whether we enjoy them, or regret purchasing them), because once we've spent the money, that avenue is closed to them and their main concern is moving onto the next person they can sell to again. Customer Service would mean having to take man power away from their marketing (the bait) and sales (the hook) teams, or increasing their overhead by hiring on people to work jobs that are not focused on their bottom-line, the money. Neither of which they are prepared nor willing to do.
I will give them the fact that the Spark was certainly a most innovative idea, and one that was a huge leap forward in the world of guitar gear in the way it essentially bridges the gap between a guitarist (or aspiring guitarist) and their gear, in that rather than just being something they turn on and "use", it has become something that interacts with them, and something that they can interact with as well. It can teach you to play your favorite songs, let you listen to your favorite music, and for those who already play, it can take the place of your mates and jam your favorite songs with you. You can even create your own original licks and riffs, play them to Spark, and it will create a backing track to accompany you with that as well.... It was indeed a great idea, and well thought out and well played too on their part, taking it from the idea to a product that actually delivers from every angle. There are areas that certainly need some more fine tuning and advancement, but as a whole, they accomplished its creation. Now, its just a waiting game to see which one of the great companies out there will pick it up from here and bring out a similar, yet more refined and advanced product using the Sparks' technology as their foundation. I'm sure whoever decides to pickup that torch will offer customer service, and their products will be all the better for it.
As of last night, I have put my Spark 40 amp up for sale on my local Craigslist pages, and a week before that I decided to count Bias FX 2 a loss, and I deleted it from my PC. After doing so, I migrated to IK's web page and downloaded Amplitude Custom, which I have been using since and has integrated seamlessly into my DAW and my workflow. What it has done more than anything else, is cause me to question why I didn't try it out before settling on Bias FX 2. But I know the answer to that is simply ignorance and the fact that I was new to recording at the time and had no idea there were more options out there. I saw all the options and "bells n whistles", and I jumped blindly. I learned a valuable lesson though, so it wasn't a total waste of time and money. If you are looking for a quality guitar plugin, Amplitude is the way to go for sure.
Hopefully Positive Grid will wake up and smell the coffee, but I don't see it happening any time soon.
guymarshall last edited by
I got a helpful reply from PG support today who sent me an updater with log which worked, so I'm happy, but I'll be very careful before I patch again.