Experience Jimi Hendrix Upgrade on Spark Amp

Steve Holt

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If you bought the Spark amp from positive grid, you probably got an email recently about a Hendrix upgrade they came out with.

Screenshot_20211016-193531_Spark.jpg


I was on the fence, and wouldn't have done it if it was much more than 20 bucks. But I got it last night. I had to use my phone app to send myself a link to get on my computer and download an installer so I could download the update, hook the amp up with a USB and update it. It was a bit of a pain. But the upgrade is pretty cool!! It has a wah pedal now! And to me the tone is pretty solid. I've only had a chance to play it briefly, but I'm loving the wah and eager to explore some more presets.

Anyone else try it?
 

rstaaf

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Yup, got it the other night as well.

I did the USB upgrade of the Spark firmware a few weeks ago.
The Hendrix Experience should be available through the app if you have already done the firmware update.
Not sure what was different about this past firmware update, the first one was through the app.

I briefly played around with it using my Strat. Didn't tempt me to set my Strat on fire, but it was fun :D

20200821_144221062_iOS.jpg 20211017_172700000_iOS.png 20211001_233545482_iOS.jpg
 

Steve Holt

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Not going to lie I'm pretty upset they are charging $20

Yeah I agree. To me I can justify it by calling it a 20 dollar wah pedal. I've never been an effects or amp guy. I've rolled through 30 or 40 guitars in my 20 years of playing I've owned 3 pedals and half a dozen amps. So I'd been wanting a wah, but hadn't gotten around to it. This scratched that itch pretty cheap.

Also I clicked buy, then backed out and Google offered me a 2 dollar discount. So I got it for 18 bucks.
 

OldPup

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I was wondering how Spark would monetize their product enough to continue to maintain the software down the line and this is it. I’m totally good with it. They might introduce a subscription service eventually. There’s no such thing as free. If it’s free, you’re the product.
 

Steve Holt

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I was wondering how Spark would monetize their product enough to continue to maintain the software down the line and this is it. I’m totally good with it. They might introduce a subscription service eventually. There’s no such thing as free. If it’s free, you’re the product.

Good point. I'm happy to chip in to a team of designers that continues to upgrade their product. They could do it like every other company and just come out with an entirely new product for another 250 bucks that only adds one new feature.

The good news is they released a package of guitar sounds that intends to capture what I believe to be the epitome of guitar tone. Than Hendrix tone on songs like "Like a Rolling Stone" is what I'm always trying to emulate.

Had they released say, for instance, a U2 package I would have passed without a second thought.
 

DrBGood

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I don't know how it works out for you, but I went to see 4 videos on it and they all sound dreadful.
 
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EugeneWeemich

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If you bought the Spark amp from positive grid, you probably got an email recently about a Hendrix upgrade they came out with.

View attachment 910584

I was on the fence, and wouldn't have done it if it was much more than 20 bucks. But I got it last night. I had to use my phone app to send myself a link to get on my computer and download an installer so I could download the update, hook the amp up with a USB and update it. It was a bit of a pain. But the upgrade is pretty cool!! It has a wah pedal now! And to me the tone is pretty solid. I've only had a chance to play it briefly, but I'm loving the wah and eager to explore some more presets.

Anyone else try it?
I jumped on it. amp update without a hitch.

plugged in. earphones in. wow.

toyed with some of the new individual devices, making my own patch, and holy sheets. just wow. a monstrous something. drag your stings across the low end, or strum (once hard) 4/5/6. boom.

https://spark.app.positivegrid.com/preset/6ATMAwhwHyGdJjfX8

will toy with the jh presets later.
 

EugeneWeemich

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Not going to lie I'm pretty upset they are charging $20

I'm not. They are a business and need to make money to continue...plus they probably laid out some serious costs to license the JH name, etc. they have to charge to recoup those costs.

$20 is not exorbitant for this update.

also, this is just a good practice amp, so guage how much you want to invest in it....or save for the real world amp hardware.

plus there are tons of other patches you can create, or pull down from the tone cloud, all free.

Why do they owe this update for free?
 
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Tim S

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There’s no such thing as free. If it’s free, you’re the product.
So, installing the free firmware upgrade that Positive Grid released earlier this year that added graphic eq, Klon & ODS makes me a product??

I’m a dinosaur who remembers when customers paid for hardware and support while software was free (treated like recipes). Computers used to be used to create things. Now they are just used a mean to continually consume services. Recurring revenue forever.

I think it would be a shame to see that happen in the amp world. Luckily, there are still choices to be made.
 

Zoso420

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I'm not. They are a business and need to make money to continue...plus they probably laid out some serious costs to license the JH name, etc. they have to charge to recoup those costs.

$20 is not exorbitant for this update.

also, this is just a good practice amp, so guage how much you want to invest in it....or save for the real world amp hardware.

plus there are tons of other patches you can create, or pull down from the tone cloud, all free.

What do they owe this update for free?
Is it though the spark already has Marshall and fenders. It might just be me though. I started playing my real tube amp more as of late and the dynamics and feel of the spark doesn't do it for me anymore.
 

Steve Holt

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I don't know how it works out for you, but I went to see 4 videos on it and they all sound dreadful.

Yep. This is certainly a YMMV scenario. I happen to like the Fender HRD as well and a lot of guys around here consider them to be garbage compared to better fender amps. I think it sounds pretty good. I figured if I absolutely hated it I could contact positive grid and ask for my money back. But I won't.

Be wary of how things sound on YouTube through your phone or computer though. But you could hear it in person and still think it's dreadful.
 

OldPup

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So, installing the free firmware upgrade that Positive Grid released earlier this year that added graphic eq, Klon & ODS makes me a product??


Perhaps. I don't pretend to know Spark's business plan. I don't know what the purchase of the amp covers and what it doesn't. At some point, purchase of the amp becomes last year's profit. Investors, CEOs, et. al will look ahead to further monetize their market share. Be it through outright sale of products or selling your habits on their software to people who will at least attempt to monetize it. I didn't come up with the adage that if it's free, you're the product, but we'd all do well to not be naive about it. Not just with Spark, but with facebook, TDPRI, "free" apps, etc. My dad told me a long time ago - before the civilian internet - that nothing in this world is free. It's no less true today than it was then.
 

Tim S

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I held off buying the package, hoping for a Black Friday/CyberMonday sale that didn’t happen.

So this morning I assented to purchasing the package within the Spark app on my iPad. After supplying a fingerprint (and $19.99) the extra amps and pedals became instantly available to me. I haven’t turned on amp yet, but the Spark app on my iPhone now shows I have access to these new items too. (So I guess the AppStore is tracking and validating the package purchase —that’s a little spooky)

Edit: Two things —
1) I finally used the upgrade I bought this morning. When I tried to use a new fuzz pedal, I was prompted to upgrade the firmware (apparently August’s firmware upgrade didn’t include the Hendrix stuff)
2) Buying the Hendrix package doesn’t eliminate seeing his name and image every time you fire up the app.
 
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AndrewSydney

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Just bought the Spark and Hendrix package. Won't open until Christmas. But before I install, checking that the Hendrix add-on can be across multiple devices. i.e. if it's installed on my phone first, can it still be added to a tablet?
 




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