Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • Does not color your tone
  • Powerful performance
  • Versatile sonic possibilities

Cons:

  • Gain can get muddy with certain instruments

Sometimes it is hard to find the proper words to describe all the opinions I have about different units. It feels like I am trying to do something that is humanly impossible. Though it’s not that difficult to put sounds in words, they can never be expressed fully in written articles. Man, they cannot even be expressed fully in demos as playing them yourself is a completely unique experience. The first time you take a pedal and emit those tones cannot be compared to anything else. Though it becomes more interesting as you learn how to tweak everything, the beginning of the journey evokes a certain thrill that causes your soul to urge for more. That strive has caused many financial problems for me, yet I cannot control myself. Anyway, enough about my experiences. I simply wanted to describe what I felt when I first saw and tried this one out. TC Electronic Spark is a booster from outer space as it delivers a high quality performance that is combined with sonic versatility. It is hard to make this effect diverse enough but somehow this brand managed to capture a wide variety of sounds. If you want to find out more information about the capabilities of this one, then I have a really simple answer for you: just stay with me and read this article attentively. Let’s start!

Features

I sound like a broken record when I start talking about the pedals from TC Electronic. I am sorry for that but that is not exactly my fault. They always manage to create the pedals that have consistent quality that recurs in every new release. And I usually cannot help appraising that effort each and every time. Spark is not an exception either as it is featured in a rugged enclosure made out of die-cast metal that will provide you with years of troubleless experience. This fella is true bypass, which is a particularly significant property when we are talking about boosters. It does not color or suck your tone when disengaged, making sure that your rig remains in its perfect condition. More importantly, this bad boy can boost your sound with up to 26dB, making it possible to enhance your sound quite a bit. This means that it will make sure your creations are heard. It can also add some girth to your sound and intensify its character even more. It offers three different modes of operation that are basically an extension to the two-band EQ. You can tame down or emphasize lower or higher frequencies while being able to mess around with mids. This way you can cut through mix and shape your tone with precision and accuracy. This baby can be powered by a single 9V battery. All you have to do is rotate one screw on the bottom plate and swap batteries whenever needed. Of course you do also have the option of using an adapter. I cannot end this section without mentioning the design of Spark: its white body features golden painting and writings that are extremely pleasing aesthetically. As you can see, we have a full and multi-faceted package here.

Controls

The control section is one of the reasons why this thing works so well. Spark’s encoders and switches are laid out intelligently, making it possible to tweak the settings conveniently. Each and every rotation will result in audible difference that will let you roam between various territories. This way you can access endless possibilities to your rig and experiment with new opportunities each and every time.

The first knob here is Gain which intensifies your signal and breaks it up a bit. This way you can add a subtle overdrive to your sound just to make everything a bit fuller. Then comes Level, which is the main knob here as it sets the overall volume and lets you boost the hell out of your sound. Bass and Treble are your typical equalizers as they boost or cut lower and higher frequencies, respectively. The most interesting control here is the toggle that enables you to switch between three modes: Fat accentuates the basses, Clean triggers standard operation, while Mid boosts the mid-range and lets you shine through the mix. A single footswitch on the bottom enables you to turn on Spark or bypass it without any tonal loss. Everything seems simple yet extremely usable here, which is the best thing that could happen to a boost pedal.

Sound

TC Electronic Spark will definitely suit any player. With its full-bodied flavor it will improve any performance with beautiful textures. This baby can act as a clean boost when the gain is fully counter-clockwise, making it possible to amplify your sound without distorting it. But once you engage that gain, you start hearing a mild overdrive that is reminiscent of sweet tube amplifiers with break up. But it does not end there. In fact, everything starts when you start messing around with toggle. Everything we have discussed above is in Clean mode where your sound really starts to open up. Fat voicing enhances the bass response and makes it fuller, grainier and more pronounced. This way you can thicken up your single-coils, but beware of muddiness with humbuckers. The Mid mode is a perfect way to bring back those mids and make everything defined and audible. The full scope of this pedal is only unleashed once plugged in real life, as it has hardly any drawbacks and offers full-blown performance.

Conclusion

There is one simple truth about boost pedals – it is really hard to diversify them. Due to such character you will usually come across one trick ponies that only succeed at one job. TC Electronic Spark, on the other hand, offers a wide range of wonderful sounds to work with. We have 26dB of boost, 2-band EQ with three voicings, high-grade components and quality sound – all of these in one, compact enclosure. You will have a really hard time finding a more capable boost pedal out there but you can always try to. If you fail, Spark will be there to keep you company. Good luck! 

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