I pre-ordered the Spark Amp back at the start of April; my unit will not arrive until June, however – and that kinda sucks…
If you pre-ordered Positive Grid’s Spark Amp, like me, chances are you’re chomping at the bit about FINALLY getting your hands on the practice amp.
However, the recent global pandemic, combined with the popularity of the unit, has coalesced to create the perfect storm (from a logistical perspective) for the company.
Global lock-downs, limited shipping, and limitations on the movement of those in the workforce have delayed production and this, in turn, means those that pre-ordered the Spark Amp will have to wait longer until they receive their unit.
Case in point: I ordered mine in April, near the beginning of the month, and I got an update from Positive Grid last week informing me that my unit would not ship until June. Previously, it was expected to arrive between April 27 and May 7.
UPDATE #1: My Spark Amp has now arrived; it came today (July 13), so way outside the expected delivery time of late-April, Early-May. In total, I had to wait almost three months for my Spark Amp to arrive. Thankfully, it was totally worth the wait – I am now totally in love with this thing!
UPDATE #2: A good friend of mine based in Melbourne, Australia, order a Spark Amp not so long ago. It took less than a month to ship out to him which is a damn sight better than the close-to-four-months I had to wait.
This tells me that things are now starting to speed up a bit with deliveries. The worst of COVID, or, at least the shock and awe phase of the pandemic, appears to now be behind us. Businesses are getting on with their business.
Finger’s crossed these delivery times keep reducing. Realistically, even with world-wide shipment, it shouldn’t take longer than a week to ship one of these amps. Not when you can order something from China and get it shipped to the UK within 7 days.
Here’s an official statement from Positive Grid on the current shipping situation for Spark Amp pre-orders:
“Our factory is running non-stop, producing thousands of Spark amps. Despite worldwide shipping delays, we have worked to optimize the transportation of Spark units to get them to you as fast as possible. The challenge we face now is the delay caused by backlogged customs agencies around the world.”
It added: “We now estimate that Last Chance Special supporters will begin receiving their Spark amps in mid-June. While we wish we could fulfil all the orders right now, we’re working our hardest to expedite the process for you.”
Spark’s CEO has now taken to emailing customers, explaining why orders are taking so long to ship out. Here’s the full statement:
In November and December of 2019, the early response for Spark far exceeded our expectations. We had to significantly increase our production capability, operation and logistics, and solve resource challenges.
In January and February of this year, the COVID-19 outbreak hit which closed our factory and many vendors in our supply chain, dramatically affecting our production capability. Once the production issue was resolved, the pandemic had spread worldwide, affecting our logistics and shipping.
As a small team, it has been very challenging to navigate the large scale uncertainties of producing and shipping in the world today. But we should, and we will get better. This I personally pledge to you.
We have ramped up production and shipping extensively. Most pre-orders (90%) will be shipped by the end of July. The remaining orders will ship by mid-August.
We are revamping our order tracking system and customer service team to make it easier for you to track your order, and to be more responsive to you when you have questions so that we can reply in a timely manner.
Some customers received tracking numbers many weeks prior to their amp’s delivery. Tracking numbers were automatically generated the moment our warehouse received a shipping order. We are working to improve the process to ensure tracking numbers are not created until they are in fact scanned and in the shipping process.
Yes, we are shipping Sparks in the order they were received, and based on their location in the world. We did make an operational mistake and shipped a few hundred units out of order. We’ve fixed that and it won’t happen again.
Positive Grid Update For 2021 on Spark Delivery Times
Positive Grid has now updated its FAQs re: the Spark amp. The new FAQs seem to confirm that there are no longer shipping delays with the Spark amp. The statement is listed below in full:
For most parts of the world, Spark should be shipped within 5~7 working days after the order has been placed. However, please note that different countries or regions may have different ETA, the estimated delivery time should be listed in the checkout page for each country.
What is The Spark Amp?
Positive Amp’s Spark Amp, if you’re into guitars, is something of a game-changer. The 40W practice amp connects to your phone or tablet and allows you to access thousands of different guitar tones – from classic tube amps to custom setups used by famous guitarists like James Hetfield and Tom Morello.
It’s basically a smart guitar amp that runs on the company’s amazing BIAS software, not to be confused with its Mac/PC-based BIAS FX 2, whereby users can pretty much build professional-sounding guitar tones using just software – it’s basically a cheaper version of the insanely awesome but massively expensive Kemper Pro.
If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing practice amp, and you really should if you play guitar or bass, then check out my post about why I pre-ordered the Spark Amp as soon as it became available.
Or, you can just check out Positive Grid’s official website for more information about this amazing practice amp.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.