Wednesday, June 1, 2016

tc electronic Spark Mini Boost Pedal Review


As a guitarist, sometimes there is need for a little extra oomph when soloing or reaching a dramatic passage in a song, so a boost pedal or volume pedal can be a wise choice. But these things usually take up quite a bit of valuable real estate on the pedalboard. This is where the tc electronic Spark Mini Boost pedal comes in handy. Mini, as in 2 ¼ by 2 ½ by four inches, or about half the size of a normal effect pedal.

The Spark Mini Boost is a simple piece of equipment, with a Level knob, footswitch, and LED on top, single input and output jacks on either side, and a socket for an AC adapter in case you do not want to use a 9-volt battery (the power supply is not included). The footswitch uses tc electronic PrimeTime feature, where a quick tap of the switch will turn the boost ON or OFF, or if you hold the switch down a little longer it will only stay ON for as long as it is pressed. This feature is pure gold!

This pedal will boost the signal from your guitar up to 20dB, and depending on where it is in your signal chain, you can use it to provide extra volume or extra volume. For more volume position it before your drive pedal(s), and for more gain place it at the end of the signal chain.

In the real world, the Spark Mini Boost works very well. It is a purely analog boost, and it has a very natural tone that is a little bit fuller, and does not sound processed. And it has true bypass, so there is no coloring of the signal at all when the boost is off. I did an A.B test and this there is no difference in tone with the pedal plugged in until the boost is activated. Just in case you were In case you were wondering, the normal-sized Spark Boost has 3 more knobs: Mid Boost, Treble and Bass, and it costs twice as much

I think the tc electronic Spark Mini Boost pedal is a winner as it has a clean sound and does what it is supposed to do; I like having it in my signal chain. It is not terribly expensive either, coming in at around $50 on sale (list price is $137, and normal stet price is $80). Try one out and see what you think, it might be just what you are looking for.


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