TC Spark, Phat Phuk B or another (dirty) Boost to drive a tube amp?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by arbitrary, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I'm looking to overload/drive the front end of my orange ad200. Right now I'm using a WMD parametric eq as an always on boost (am barely using the eq), but am curious about using a dirty boost instead. I don't need the boost itself to be super dirty on its own, as the amp itself will help with that. But tone-wise, how do these two compare and contrast, and help me in my journey?
    Any other recommendations?

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Man that's a toughie! I have both and love both. If you wanted to know which is the better clean boost, that's easily the Spark as the Phat Phuk B is always just a little dirty even with the bias all the way down.

    Tone wise, the Spark is essentially your tone just louder (or quieter, if need be) with the addition of an EQ and some voicing options which you probably wouldn't use as they completely change the sound of the pedal. The gain on the Spark is rounder and fatter than the PPB and you can dial in as little as you want.

    The PPB has a certain tone magic to it. It's Germanium so it's a little raspier sounding than the Spark and it adds some sweetness to the mids which is nice.

    Overall I'd say I like the PPB better as a dirty boost. There's just something about it!
    alecduncan and arbitrary like this.
  3. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA

    I have a feeling you're right about this, but I may take a flyer on a spark since they're a bit cheaper and I have some funds in my pp currently.
    Side note, are there any drawbacks to using an eq pedal as a boost, compared to a standard clean boost pedal? Or which would make a better clean boost (wmp para eq or spark)?
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Yeah plus the PPB is no longer being made so you'll have to get a used one. It was replaced by the Suppa Phat Phuk but a few folks here tried it and said it does not sound the same.

    I can't see any real disadvantage of using an EQ as a clean boost, unless you are dependent on the sound of the EQ and I will miss it when it's switched off. I think the Empress Para EQ has a seperate boost function. I haven't used the WMD so I'm not sure how it compares to the Spark but it looks like a killer pedal!
    arbitrary likes this.
  5. Dod bi-fet 410(reissue), it's bottom heavy and slightly dirty.
    Way huge angry troll, sounds similar. Can do clean boost but also slightly dirty.
    And yes spark also sounds great pushing a tube amp.

    I'd say use whatever you like to push the front end. For a while i used to boost with an ebs multi comp, only using the lvl-knob. Worked excellent as a slightly dirty boost.
    Boosting with an eq also has the benefit of just raising one eq-spot also if needed.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    The only disadvantage I can think of for using an EQ pedal as a boost would be it's size, depending on which EQ. Most boost pedals are MXR sized and a lot of EQ pedals are in a 1590BB.

    Not really a disadvantage unless pedalboard real estate is at a premium.
  7. stambroker


    Aug 12, 2011
    This is a really good comparison. My Phat Phuk B is always on and adds a wonderful harmonic quality and grit to my tone. I've played through the Spark that belongs to a friend of mine a ton and I love, love love what it does to my tone. If I had more room on my board, I'd run one at the end of my chain. The Spark would serve great as a dirty boost and has some cool EQ options, but the PPB does something magic that I've never seen replicated in an EQ or boost.

    I'd get a Spark if you could see yourself fiddling to turn the dirty boost into a clean boost or EQ, but you can't go wrong with either.
    mmbongo likes this.
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