Positive Grid has a new ultra-portable version of its high-tech Spark guitar amplifier. Designed for musicians seeking a versatile and powerful practice amp, the 3.5-inch-tall Spark Go works with a companion app loaded with virtual amps, pedals and other effects — and it can even flesh out your sound with AI-powered drums and other backing instruments.
Like its predecessors, the Spark Go pairs with an iOS / Android app to go far beyond amplifying your strumming and picking; it enhances it digitally. It includes 50,000 tones (ranging from boutique to modern), 33 amps and 43 effects and pedals, giving you plenty of novel ways to shape your sound. The app can even “jam along with you” by listening to and learning from your playing, generating an appropriate backing track. And if you want to learn new tunes, the app can sync with Spotify or Apple Music to display AI-generated chords for the song you’re hearing.
Engadget’s 2021 review of the Spark Pearl (a larger model in the same line) found the app to have some rough edges — including a less-than-convincing AI drummer. However, the company has had plenty of time to smooth it out, so we’ll reserve judgment on the current iteration until we test it again. After all, you may have heard generative AI has made some impressive leaps since then.
The amp has a rugged construction and “extra hardshell grille” to (at least in theory) live up to its on-the-go branding; Positive Grid says it even fits on a pedal board. The company suggests laying it flat for omnidirectional sound or standing it on its edge for “in-your-face sound.” In addition, it uses computational audio that delivers “surprisingly big, full sound” from its tiny package. (And you can plug in headphones to practice in private.) The amp’s battery allegedly lasts up to eight hours and recharges with USB-C. Finally, it supports four presets for when you find a mix you want to keep handy.
Positive Grid is accepting early signups to be notified when Spark Go pre-orders go live. Whenever they open (the company hasn’t yet announced a date), the company will offer the amp for an aggressively priced $109 — although it will eventually increase to a suggested $149.