Is the acoustic guitar Pain in the buttocks to travel with. They're big, brittle, and often more expensive than their hard-body electric guitar counterparts — and they make us look hairy. So why do so many of us drag them on planes or leave a stiff case behind the SUV for a camping trip? Volume. There are no guitar amps in hotel rooms or in the woods.
But, if if there were? That's where the new Positive Grid Mini 7 comes from It's an app-controlled Bluetooth speaker that lets you play your favorite tunes And At the same time your favorite ax. It has USB-C recharging for easy juice-up and it even comes with buttons for a guitar strap, if you want to move.
As far as portable guitar practice, performance and even recording goes, Spark Mini is a one-stop shop for non-studio jams. Bring a beater solid-body electric guitar (or bass) and an instrument with him, and you too can mimic Eddie Van Helen anywhere.
The Spark Mini offers a lot of functionality in the Positive Grid app, but the device itself is very plug-and-play. Unbox the 6-inch cube, charge it and get ready to rock the small amp (which really makes your favorite marshal look like a compressed ray). Much like its predecessor, the full-size Spark (8/10, wired recommendation), it was designed for practice and recording use in bedrooms and small studios. This new version is smaller and has a battery 8
Press a power button on the back and hold the Bluetooth pairing button to connect to your phone. Now you get yourself a great little stereo Bluetooth speaker, the volume of which is controlled by a knob at the top labeled “Music”. Plug your guitar to the top quarter-inch jack, choose one of the four amp presets and you can play to your tune using a “guitar” knob to match the music volume. It's a simple, elegant system that lets you play in minutes.
The Little Amp has feet and a guitar strap holder on each side to keep it steady, with everything from a string to an original leather strap around it. It comes in white or black, which is a nice touch for people with matching white guitars. You can even substitute the standard gold and black speaker grille for red if you want it to look more metallic.
Other than that, it doubles as a guitar interface for recording via USB-C port or rear line-out jacks, which is extremely helpful for sketching song concepts if you have a laptop (see below for some basic recordings).
The ten watt solid-state amplification pushes the sound to two small angular drivers, aiming to give you a decent stereo effect even when you're sitting very close to the amp. The four main presets (custom, solo, lead and rhythm) attached to the left knot offer a variety of basic sounds, including crunch, reverb and delay, but you'll really get the most out of the Spark Mini using the Positive Grid app and your tone there. Customize.
Inside the app, you can choose (and edit) thousands of different presets for literally any guitar tone under the sun. You can map new sounds in Preset Knob, which makes it extremely easy to switch between rhythm guitar and lead tone alone. You just need a free second to twist the knot. Positive Grid also makes a feetwitch, but at $ 100, I'll save cash unless I play a lot live.
The app lets you play with the song and it can even detect cords if you struggle to find something to play. I don't really use these features, but they can be helpful if you are a beginner. It's nice that they're just bundled for free. You can also tune your guitar using preset knob lights, but to be honest it's pretty hard, and won't tell you if you've tuned in to the completely wrong note. Stick to a headstock tuner or an app on your phone.
I find the word itself more fascinating. It's amazing how far guitar amp-style digital signal processing (DSP) has come over the past decade, and the Spark Mini is a shining example of cutting edge. I own and play regularly with Vintage Fender and Roland guitar amps, and the Spark Mini is exceptionally good at replicating these tones – albeit a little less oomph I can hear two 10- or 12-inch speakers.
As the weather in Portland, Oregon is getting nice, I started playing with the Spark Mini on my patio at the end of the day. From the windowless house it is a welcome vacation that I usually practice. Changing locations can often be the key to ending a song I'm struggling with, or to let go after a long day on the keyboard. The cool electric guitar tone (and the actual song to play with!) Makes me feel less like a poor man Jack Johnson.
Base players will prefer that this is a difficult option for them, although the lower edges from the small included upper are somewhat limited. Still, it's good enough to hear yourself (and has a decent tone at low volume).
As an interface, it offers stereo out, and recording quality is difficult. For studio sessions, I still want to reach for my Universal Audio OX and a real tube amp, but the lead line or single-note stuff from the Spark Mini could turn it into a final track altogether. I've included a few word samples so you can get an idea of what I mean. (Excuse me playing my noodle blues and out-of-tune barre chords, I'm a drummer first!)
Below 200 200, it's really hard to name one of my favorite guitar-playing instruments. I hope it has more than eight hours of battery life, but otherwise I can't find much to love. If you like to play the electric guitar alone (or with a small band) outside of your bedroom or studio, this is the way to go.