Price paid: $ 130
Purchased from: La Pedale - Paris
Ease of Use: The device is easily configurable. The knobs and three predefined tone settings (fat-clean-mid) are extremely easy-to-use. The tone is pretty clean and since it is a True By-pass pedal, it does not effect your original signal at all when it is off. Then it's on, its filters are working pretty clean.
There is no manual out-of-box. TC Electronic directs you to download online. I think that it's OK with an environmentalistic approach. However it'd be good to have it on their web site as I was directed as a customer. As of 04.07.2012 still there is no product manual available for download at TC Electronic's Product Manual section of web site. // 8
Sound: TC Electronics Spark Booster is a very nice boost pedal that actually does two things:
1. If you are playing both rhythm and lead and if you are suffering for the lack of expression when switched to solo section, this is a great solo booster. I see that the whole 26dB spectrum is way much enough. I usually use it at 30%-40% boost behind an amp which is definitely strong enough for getting one step in the front. But that's not it. Since it has bass and treble knobs, you can differentiate the tone into a totally different pattern when you switch on to Spark Booster. That makes you possess a variety across rhythm and solo. I believe that it is a a very important feature and it's unique among the other boost pedals which have a single boost knob.
2. Increasing the GAIN provides simple and fair overdrive. If you expect a strong rock Overdrive it will not be sufficient. In that case, I recommend you to locate it after a separate Overdrive pedal in your effects loop. This pedal has fat, clean and mid tone coloring options. It's kinda like a set of predefined eq settings. Fat is nice but it provides a little extra hum. I use it mostly at its clean setting. Mid is somehow bright sounding. It can be used to express British type solos in my opinion. // 10
Reliability & Durability: The build quality is nice. It's not heavy but it's solid as a tank. The switch button is very steady up to now; I appreciate that. I'd prefer if its LED would be a different color than the white one. It may be kinda like a little hard to notice when there are spots over you. It uses the standart 9 V negative polarity adapter. // 9
Overall Impression: I am playing guitar for 20 years. I play at two rock bands nowadays in an amateur sense. I previously tried to express a boost by applying different gain and level settings across my Overdrive and distortion pedals by entitling them with different roles (one for solo and the other for rhythm). I noticed that it's not a good way since I am limiting my freedom hence.
I think that Spark Booster is a very useful boost pedal which enhances your capabilities and does what it has to. For band players from any genre: jazz, blues, rock, heavy metal, etc. It's a must since you'd need to express your solos and also play rhythm parts. I think that it's pretty affordable and I'd buy again if it were lost. I compared it to BBE's Boosta Grande, MXR's line driver and booster. I think that this one provides more options against those boost pedals. // 10