TC Electronic Spark Boost

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by Kim Lucky Day, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Kim Lucky Day

    Kim Lucky Day Well-Known Member

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    After much positive feedback regarding this pedal, I decided to buy one myself to see how it would work for me. I've been looking for a boost to run through my SV20H's effects loop to give a volume boost for soloing (I'm now realizing this is impossible based on the amp's design). I was using an EH LPB-1 but was interested in the three boost "voicing" of the Spark.

    I found that it does add a great extra kick for soloing but doesn't really add volume. However, I ran across an interesting situation at last night's band rehearsal. I use a Fender Bassbreaker 30r at my rehearsal place. When I use the LPB-1 in the effects loop on this, I get the volume boost I'm looking for without further coloring the tone. However when I used the Spark, not only did it color the tone (regardless of which voice setting I used) but the volume was very noticeably cut. I had the level fumed on the pedal and it was still significantly quieter than if I had it turned off. It isn't a battery issue, I'm powering it with a MXR DC brick.

    This was a huge disappointment for me and, had it not sound so great as a lead boost in my SV20H, I'd strongly consider returning this. Any thoughts on why it reacted so differently in the Fender?
     
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  2. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    No but return it. It's not going to get any better for you and you're already disappointed.
    BP
     
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  3. Bogmonster

    Bogmonster Active Member

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    Possibly a stupid question, are you running the SV20 flat out? If so then the spark won't add any volume, just gain and compression.

    If you're using the Fender, I'm guessing the master volume isn't wound all the way up and this leaves the headroom for a volume boost.
     
  4. Kim Lucky Day

    Kim Lucky Day Well-Known Member

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    Not a stupid question at all. On the SV20H I jump the high input on the normal channel to the low input on the bright channel and plug into the high input on thr bright channel. I vary the volume settings on both but tend to be anywhere from 4 to 7 on both. I find anything beyond 7 just adds fizz. Really when played with humbuckers, I get decent crunch even at volume settings below 3.

    On the Bassbreaker, I am running the volume around 2-3. But this amp also is different in that maxing out the volume doesn't equate to overdrive tubes. It acts more as a master volume and has a separate adjustable gain control, as well as a push button to engage an extra gain stage for a more saturated tone.

    When I first got the SV20H, I was using the LPB-1 in the effects loop and it seemed to be giving me the volume boost I was looking for without the added gain. I'll be dammed if I can replicate this now. Assuming I won't ever be able to replicate this, what I will likely end up doing is using my attenuator set to a level that is a reduced volume for rhythm playing and when solo time rolls around hit the attenuator foot switch to turn it off/bypass it to play straight through the amp and back to attenuation once the solo is over.
     
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  5. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    thats a hell of a boost.
     
  6. tce63

    tce63 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I run my TC Spark Boost in front of my SV20H, works great, have you tried it ?
     
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  7. Kim Lucky Day

    Kim Lucky Day Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've tried it both ways and have gravitated toward putting it in front of the amp instead of the loop.
     
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  8. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    That's a really good point.
    The preamp hits a limit brick wall of compression and there will be no more gain available.
     
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  9. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    doesnt belong in the loop.
     
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  10. Bogmonster

    Bogmonster Active Member

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    It sounds to me that you may have run out of headroom for the boost on the SV20. If the power tubes are working hard this could be the case. On my Super Lead, between 4 and 7 they don't really get that much louder, just more compressed. Granted, I'm using a 100W through an attenuator but when they're cooking a boost will just add gain and compression.

    Have you tried an EQ pedal to bump up the level and some more mids? Sometimes "perceived volume" is all you need to cut through. A healthy dose of highs and mids should give you that.

    I've owned a Spark and the switch crapped out on me after a year. But while it worked, it sounded great. Loved it as a solo boost. I ran it in front of my SL with various drives and it always worked a charm. I don't really crank my SL. Usually around 4 gives up the goods and then a few nice drives for different flavours.

    I'm using a Fulltone 2B right now and I love it.

    If you're using an attanuator to switch on and off for a solo boost, Weber have that option as an extra. It's basically a footswitch to turn it on and off.
     
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  11. blue

    blue Active Member

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    How about putting the boost, or another pedal, in the loop with the pedal volume turned down when it's switched on, then switch the pedal off for full amp volume. That would be just like a solo boost
     
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  12. bad565ss

    bad565ss Well-Known Member

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    I use the TC Spark mini for clean solo boost with 50 and 100 watt JMP, 2204, and 2203X.
    It works great for me. It's all about headroom or the boost just becomes more gain.
     
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  13. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member

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    I love the TC Spark mini , I found it to be a problem solver .I think I have one on 3 pedalboards ....buy em when I find em
    I use it with everything from 100w Marshall to a Champ. Works great for me. No loop . Im too old to know what a loop is ......
    I had sort of the opposite experience .....couldn't get satisfactory results from the LPB-1 . I found it "muddy" ,for the lack of a better term . I feel like givin it another chance though . I used to love the old LPB-2 , still have a couple
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 12:07 PM
  14. Bull Rock

    Bull Rock Active Member

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    Love my Spark mini in the loop. It's, barely on 2 and boost the volume quite nicely for leads or whatever. Seems pretty transparent to me.
     
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  15. Tiboy

    Tiboy Well-Known Member

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    I have a SV20. My current board has a Suhr Kokoboost Reloaded, Tumnus and EP Boost. Would adding a Spark mini be redundant? Is the Spark a better alternative to what’s there?
     

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