NAMM 2020 VIDEO: Positive Grid's Spark amp, direct from the showfloor

There's a host of innovative products battling for your playing time out there, but Positive Grid are trying to win you round with a compelling proposition with its new Spark amp and app – to make jamming easier and more fun.

• Update: We've crowned Positive Grid Spark 40 the best amp on show at NAMM. For the rest of the winner's head to Best of NAMM 2020.

Not only can it jam along with you, Spark can work with Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to allow players to choose any song for the Spark to display its chords in real-time as you play. 

If you get stuck you can slow a song's tempo or loop a section until you've got it down. It even responds to your voice commands.

The Spark's Tone Engine offers amp modelling and effects powered by Positive Grid's acclaimed BIAS so realistic tube amp sounds are a given.

(Image credit: Positive Grid)

The jamming functionality of providing bass and drum backing that's suited to the style of playing is especially intriguing. On paper it seems like a similar concept to the DigiTech Trio, but combined with the other functionality here (you can use the Spark as a USB recording interface) it sounds like a very comprehensive package.

The hardware itself is a 40-watt combo amp with onboard controls for bass, mid and treble tone plus mod, delay (with tap tempo) and reverb effects. You can also store your tones from the app's 10,000+ tone library and access the built-in tuner.

Pretty impressive specs all round from a company with a great reputation for tone, and the Spark could see Positive Grid break into a whole new market for beginners.

The US company has a adopted a Kickstarter-style approach to preorders too here with a special 'super early bird' price for the first 100 Spark and app ($179) packs, and packages including a carry bag or headphones too. 

Estimated delivery is early December 2019. Check out Positive Grid for more. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.