Powered amps for electrical guitars have gotten some neat tips powered by fashionable cell tech through the years, however the brand new Constructive Grid Spark ($299) is perhaps the one which packs probably the most intelligence and flexibility right into a single bundle. From a companion app, to voice instructions, to tunable modeling and residential recording — on high of doubling as a standalone Bluetooth speaker — the Spark provides options for novices and execs alike.
The Constructive Grid Spark appears bodily like your common, moveable follow amp. It’s simply over a foot lengthy and about half-a-foot large and tall, and it weighs just below 12 lbs. There’s a detachable leather-based carrying strap connected for transferring it round, and it features a 1/four″ guitar enter, a 1/eight″ auxiliary enter and a 1/eight″ headphone jack for connecting your audio gear, in addition to a USB port for recording and performing as a USB audio interface for connecting to your pc.
The Spark has a number of built-in controls, together with a dial for selecting from a lot of preset amp sorts, in addition to particular person dials for adjusting achieve, bass, mid, treble, grasp, mod, delay and reverb on the fly. There’s a bodily management for output quantity, and for music quantity, in addition to 4 user-programmable buttons for calling up presets, and a faucet/tuner button for accessing the onboard tuner and different options.
Constructed-in to the amp are 30 totally different potential amp fashions, in addition to 40 results to assist you to customise sound, together with a noise gate, a compressor, distortion, modulation, delay and reverb. The Spark additionally options Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio. Inside, there are two four-inch audio system for true stereo sound, and it’s rated at 40 watts.
Options and design
The Spark’s design on the skin isn’t very far off from most traditional follow amps on the market — but it surely feels top quality, and the grill is completed in a pleasant, retro end that appears actually good even when it’s not in use and simply sitting on a facet desk. The leather-based is artificial, making it extra sturdy and extra moral, and the knobs have wonderful color-matched brass-tone detailing that completes the look. The metallic flip swap for energy on and crimson LED depart no confusion as as to whether you’re able to jam, and the contact buttons have related shiny backlighting.
Spark’s built-in deal with, which you’ll take away whenever you’re not utilizing, is snug and does its job effectively. The amp additionally options rubber toes to maintain it elevated off surfaces and supply stability whereas it’s in operation.
By way of primary efficiency and options, the Spark is already a superb amp. Even should you by no means obtain the Constructive Grid app (which you must) and as an alternative simply plug in your guitar, bass, ukulele or electric-acoustic, you should utilize the bodily management to arrange a sound you want and go to city. However whenever you obtain the app, you get an entire bunch extra performance that basically extends the worth of the Spark to raise it above nearly each different amp in its worth vary (and past).
The app has a lot of options, together with Constructive Grid’s “Good Jam,” which successfully learns your fashion as you play and may then create auto-generated bass and drum tracks to accompany you. It’s a really cool function that takes all of the work out of looking for generic backing or accompanying tracks for whenever you’re simply trying to jam and give you some fascinating compositions.
There’s additionally an auto-chords function for whenever you’re not trying to give you your personal stuff, however are fairly trying to grasp your favourite present tune. This integrates with Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, which means you ought to be coated regardless of which music service you subscribe to, and can robotically show the guitar chords for a tune in your machine as you play alongside. You possibly can even decelerate the monitor, or loop particular sections, should you’re caught on one bit or simply beginning out.
The Spark app additionally gives entry to greater than 10,000 guitar and bass amp presets, extending the flexibility of the amp hardware. Plus, it’s voice managed, so you possibly can simply ask it to offer you a digital band, as an illustration, and it’ll do this on demand.
The Constructive Grid Spark is a novel providing within the discipline of amps, providing plenty of extensible smarts through the companion app — or an awesome, highly-customizable however extra bare-bones expertise should you’d fairly depart your telephone out of it and simply get to enjoying. At $299, it’s arduous to argue with it as a high choose, given how way more you get on your cash when you issue within the superior software program options and its versatility as a reasonably nice Bluetooth speaker, too.