TC Electronic Spark Booster. Underrated champion of low-gain overdrives

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by _godspeed_, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Have you tried looking on Craisglist/Kijiji/Facebook Marketplace. I've seen quite a few around in my area anywhere from $50 to $100 CAD. I believe I paid $40 for mine.
    Fonkamex likes this.
  2. Fonkamex


    Oct 23, 2018
    Yes, I do all the time, I just saw a big Spark pedal on Kijiji at 140$CAD. I will keep looking. Thanks for your advice.
  3. WhoopingHonky


    Jun 8, 2019
    After doing some soul searching, I'm rearranging my board and going to be running the Spark into a Q\Strip for my always on tone. I was wondering if folks found any fun pedals to run in front of a Spark set to a low drive. I have a DG Harmonic booster on the way I'll be trying out, in the market for other ideas as well.
  4. Big Muffs are notably amazing to run into a Spark. The Fat mode on the Spark brings back the mids that you lose with a Big Muff and makes the whole sound more viable and usable. You'd think it'd be the Mid mode to use for that but actually the Fat mode is the way to go. You'll never want to run a Muff without it again. In fact I run all my fuzz pedals into the Spark 100% of the time.

    I like my octaver before the Spark too. It overdrives the Spark in a really cool way that's not too much but still really badass and ear grabbing.

    A compressor also goes very well both before and after a Spark. In a vacuum I actually prefer the compressor after, but due to other considerations I currently have it before and it's still great. I get the tiniest amount of dirt imaginable from it, to the point where it's not even perceptible as dirt and just registers as a slightly more knockabout version of my basic sound.
    vivaknoxvegas and RayWithFlats like this.
  5. Hachimitsu


    Jun 6, 2019
    New Zealand
    Cockroach - Albert King bass cover (Duck Dunn content)
    I just posted this cover using my TC spark booster, full gain on fat mode, bass 3 o'clock, treble full. Love this pedal. When I play with my band I usually keep the gain around 1 o'clock and bass 2 o'clock, treble flat.
    IronLung1986 and Christophe C like this.
  6. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    You can pretty much run *anything* into the front end of a Spark. I actually use one as an amplifier simulator. The response of the pedal to everything before it is wonderful.

    In fact, I just posted in another thread that I could happily play a pedalboard with six Sparks on it, all doing different jobs.

    1. makeup volume/eq for a second instrument
    2. pre-OD gain boost
    3. overdrive 1
    4. overdrive 2
    5. post-OD volume boost
    6. amp simulator
  7. Only Spark owners know how unironic this really is lol.
    Zbysek, amper and BunchyMutt like this.
  8. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Anyone here try the mini as a straight up simple preamp???
    bassbrad likes this.
  9. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    Has anyone else compared the Bass Soul Food with the Spark? I'm thinking of replacing (or making an addition to) my MojoMojo. Based on YouTube videos, I think I prefer the BSF, but it's hard to say.
  10. aekisz


    Jul 4, 2006
    I run a Night Owl Edison tube pre-amp in front of mine and rounds out and beefs up the tone nicely. I can get a lot of variety just from having both on versus one other the other that covers most of the tunes on our set list. Downstream from it I have a CabZone X cab/power amp sim and last in the chain is my Q Strip.
  11. Hachimitsu


    Jun 6, 2019
    New Zealand
    Where in your chain do you have your full size spark? I've always had mine right at the front (always on, gain 9/10 o'clock, fat mode). I'm wondering about putting it last so to be able to use the level knob to control final volume without affecting other pedals' gain settings
  12. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    I did not like the BSF at all. I tested a half dozen different bass OD’s at a store and it was one of my least favorite.
    4 knob TC Spark all the way!
    Zbysek and bassically_eli like this.
  13. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    I do this: Comp>Spark>Modulation
    Hachimitsu likes this.
  14. Marihino


    Mar 25, 2010
    I run compressor>fuzz>octave>Spark>chorus>dirty di(ToneHammer)

    Spark and comp are always on, at least in the rock contest of my, currently, only band. I may switch the ToneHammer on or off depending on the amp; the other three are for special effects.
    Zbysek and BunchyMutt like this.
  15. Karlo.kc


    Dec 16, 2008
    Hello! I see that you use Pork Loin and Spark, how would you compare these two?
    I use Pork Loin most of the time as an always-on preamp (with great results), but I would like to have something with more EQ options... Spark seems like a good alternative!
    BunchyMutt and bassically_eli like this.
  16. arepa_funk


    Nov 2, 2020
    Hey everyone, this is a great thread. Thank you all for the tips!

    For all the Spark users here, how would you say it interacts with separate compressor and preamp pedals? If used as a light OD only, where in your signal chain do you put it?

    I use a Keeley Bassist as compressor and Ampeg Classic preamp as always-on pedals. I've had some issues with how ODs have interacted with these in the past. I tried signal chain adjustment (preamp/compressor first) but hasn't quite done the trick. Thanks!
  17. MartinB


    Jun 7, 2017
    Birmingham, UK
    I use a Keeley Bassist before a Spark. It allows me to effectively set a maximum level of overdrive - so if I accidentally hit a note too hard, it doesn't get fizzy/farty.
    Zbysek, arepa_funk and BeauZooka like this.
  18. WhoopingHonky


    Jun 8, 2019
    Reviving this to bring up a win, I gave up on other amp sims and tried Comp -> DG Harmonic Booster -> Spark Booster -> Q-Strip, and ho-lee crap is it nice. This is the most responsive I have ever had my setup. Playing with my thumb, easy fingerstyle, digging in, and with a pick all sound completely different to one another, and they actually sound good. God help me if I ever learn how to slap.
  19. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    Marihino, Lammchop93 and BunchyMutt like this.
  20. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks! It’s out of stock but still at the reduced price. Wicked good deal
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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