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

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


  1. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Finally back in stock at Sweetwater @ $69.99

    I got one on the way.
    Looking forward to putting it through its paces.
     
  2. BeauZooka

    BeauZooka

    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    @jmjbassplayer had a TC Spark on his board when he played SNL with St Vincent recently:

    7784E89C-C2EA-4021-8D6A-3A721E620E29.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  3. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Got it yesterday.


    I get it now.
    Quite a bit of range and gives a solid fatness to my tone.
     
    Sascha Erni, Poke and BeauZooka like this.
  4. That's pretty cool. I remember when he was first recommended to try it here on TB.
     
    BeauZooka likes this.
  5. Howardzark

    Howardzark

    Nov 11, 2020
    One year ago, I placed a Spark on my board. Always on. Bass>tuner>comp>Spark>DI>FOH. It simply works.
     
    dedpool1052 likes this.
  6. cusar5

    cusar5

    Feb 17, 2008
    Planet Iommia
    I see an Empress Phaser there too. Excellent choice!

    I keep meaning to try the Spark. Gotta pick one up one of these days.
     
    BeauZooka likes this.
  7. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    NY
    I just ordered one of these. I've never used effects in my life I've always played through a clean amp and gotten a good sound with my fingers. Recently I've been playing in a rehearsal space that has a Mesa walkabout and have been loving the tube tone with the gain slightly above noon. There's also an old fender bassman there for another tube flavor. I'm hoping the spark will give me some of that slightly pushed tube sound in front of my super clean AI clarus. Do you guys think this will get me there?

    I'm not a rocker and don't like heavy crunch but that subtle tube distortion is killer. I once saw Matt Garrison playing in an otherwise acoustic jazz band through a ampeg b15 and it was one of the best electric bass jazz sounds I'd heard. Anyway I bought it through Amazon prime if I don't like it I can return it for free.
     
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  8. I picked up a Spark last year and was initially pretty disappointed. At the time, I was craving an OD with the gain of the Mojomojo but the brightness and clarity of the Spark. The Spark on its own just didn’t have enough grit; the Mojomojo was too dark. So I shelved the Spark and sold the Mojomojo.

    After reading an analysis of the circuit over at tdpri, I gave the Spark another chance, and I’ve changed my tune. It does so many things well, I’m ashamed that my earlier expectations were so narrow. I use it as a preamp in Fat mode for a pseudo- “early Motown through a B-15” vibe. I still wish it had another 25-30% more on the gain knob but c’est la vie.

    And it is by far, absolutely the best clean OD on guitar I’ve ever played. Period.
     
  9. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Yup.
    Other than that, it's an excellent pedal.
     
  10. BeauZooka

    BeauZooka

    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    It gets just that for me, but everyone is different. Let us know how it works out for you!
     
    basss likes this.
  11. I actually just stacked two Sparks on my experimental board the other day. Bass > Tuner/Mute > Spark (Clean Switch, quite OD-ish) > Compressor > Spark (Fat, some OD) > DI. Initial findings were promising, but I’ll keep at it a couple of more weeks before voicing a final opinion.
     
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  12. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    Has anyone compared the NuX Boost Core Deluxe to the Spark booster? I realize that the NuX is not a Spark clone, despite the shockingly similar looks/layout, but both pedals look very promising to me and do seem designed to cover the same ground. Apparently, the NuX includes clones of the Xotic RC Booster, the AC Booster, and the Rangemaster Treble Booster.

    o_1e7k03ip11f8r1p3i7l4cdb12u61u.gif
     
  13. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    NY
    I got my spark yesterday. One of the reasons I haven't messed with pedals before is that I've been afraid that I wouldn't get any serious practicing done. I spent 2 hours yesterday noodling on the bass and tweaking this thing and getting no serious practicing done. It was fun!

    Everything you guys say is true - it adds nice subtle tube fatness that reminds me of the tube amps in that practice room. It even does the bouncy attack thing that tubes do - kinda rounds out and fattens the ping at the front of each note in a pleasing way. I have to turn up the gain quite a bit to get any crunch but when I do it's warm and not fake sounding. I like the clean setting on the toggle, the fat and mid settings cut too much bass. I'll have to see what it sounds like with a band but so far I'm impressed!
     
  14. Current version looks like this – and I like it a lot.

    218292EC-C4B8-4F17-9C89-DD11D71FC50B.jpeg

    The Spark next to the Diamond is always-on and does preamp duty, set to “Fat”. The one on the right is in “Clean” mode and used to either boost the other Spark into stronger OD, or drive the Big Muff. Works like a charm.

    It’s a bit tight on my Nano+, top jacks would come in handy. But hey, still, six pedals, that’s not bad.
     
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Something else you can try...have an envelope filter that just doesn't 'grab' but you don't want to run a full distortion/fuzz or whatever out front? The Spark does a really good job of giving enough harmonic content to get your envelope to work better. Also because you can add a bit of treble content that filters love.
     
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  16. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    Earth
    Same here, at first I kept it in fat mode thinking that would be a bass boost, but I ended up preferring my MojoMojo. Now I have it in Clean mode and push the gain up more, I have more deep lows and I prefer the Spark.
     
    basss likes this.
  17. BeauZooka

    BeauZooka

    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    I use mine as a sometimes on tubeish overdrive/distortion. It sounds glorious!
    Fat mode
    Gain @ 12
    Treble @ 10
    Bass @ 2
     
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  18. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    That's not far off from where I run mine.
    I up the bass and treble to 3 & 12.
    Big ol' crunchy tones.
     
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  19. Rich67

    Rich67 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    North of Austin, TX
    Snagged a used on off of GC online due to this thread... Arrives in the next day or so. Very psyched to try out!
     
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  20. Mine is currently serving as a tube amp simulator. It sits after my other drive pedals in Fat mode with the Gain all the way off (counterclockwise). When hit with other drive pedals it reacts like a tube amp that's almost overdriving, adding warmth and midrange. It's really nice since I run a completely clean solid state amp and wouldn't otherwise have those type of sounds available to me. It's especially flattering to big muffs since they benefit so much from that sort of thing. The Spark sure can do a lot!
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 22, 2021

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