Have you ever wanted to have an edge in the night? But you don't have the money to pay thousands of $ for gen 3? Here steps in the Spark by Armasight.
In their CORE(Ceramic Optical Ruggedized Engine) line, I will discuss why this is not your normal Night observation device(NOD).
1.)First Impressions; My first impressions of this NOD, is that it DOES NOT feel like a toy at all! It is quite the solid unit. The build quality is top notch for something
that is less then 1000$. It comes in a cardboard box, and includes a nice soft carrying case and a battery, so you are set up right out of the box(besides mounting).
I would love to see this come in some sort of hard case, but I understand they want to make it as wallet friendly as possible. Everything about this NOD just
took it that extra step further. When I got the NOD, I was so excited, I couldn't wait until night. So I went downstairs, turned the lights off, and WOW
THIS THING IS CLEAR! It literately blew me away.
The spark on my helmet:
2.)Build Quality; As I stated before, the build quality is top notch. It is made of a very Hard plastic, I tried to push on it, and nothing, no cracks or squeaks.
It feels like a very solid unit. The lenses are crystal clear and adjusting the focus is very smooth and easy. I feel like the lenses could take a bb hit,
but I would still cover it up to be safe. The lens cap is quite nice too, I thought I Would upgrade to a flip cap, but this is lower profile, and just as easy and quick.
The unit weighs .9 lbs, so its not the lightest thing in the world, but I don't have a problem with it even after a few hours. The IR illuminator is not anything special,
but it is still nice that it is on there. Overall, If you plan on putting this on your .223, or use it in night games, I cant see it getting damaged any more then high
end NODS such as a PVS 14 would.
3.)The Tube; This is probably what most of you are interested in, how clear the tube is. Let me just say this, I had my girlfriend across my yard hold up
numbers on her hands, I could not get far enough to NOT see her fingers. My yard at the longest part is around 130 ft. So I was pretty impressed. The clarity
is amazing, its up there with gen 2, and some gen 3 units. I find the clarity the most impressive thing, at 100 ft, people still look like people, not like blobs.
The light intesifing aspect in this is very impressive for gen 1, I can say a external IR illuminater is not really needed. Its nice for those pitch black days, but if there
is a tiny bit of light your good to go. The only downfall is that there is still a "fish eye" effect. But after a tiny bit of use, you get used to it and
I dont even notice it anymore. I have no spots on my tube either, as I said, ITS CRYSTAL CLEAR! All in all,
I would not feel as I am at a big disadvantage against someone using a PVS 14. The reason this is so cheap, is because it has all the clarity of a gen 3,
but its not as "smart" as I like to call it. Because there is no autogating function, so you have to be weary, and other then that and the fish eye effect,
This is the closest thing to a gen 2(or even 3!) you can find that is under 1000$. If you cant tell already, I REALLY like this thing!
4.) Accessories; Armasight offers a plethora of accessories for the Spark, from different mounts, to magnifiers. I have the rifle mount, and it is pretty nice, is has
a QD lever, that is adjustable for out of spec rails. Now I did not feel like paying 100$, for a mount on a helmet, so I built my own using a wilcox adapter, and a few
rail risers and adapters for bringing it around 60$, and a lot more versatile. In the manual they show a mount to bring 2 Sparks together to create a Binocular setup
I'm not sure if this was just a prototype, or something you have to special order. The lenses will not accept PVS 14 accessories such as wilcox amber filters or Re-focus rings.
So therefore you will have to make your own lens protectors if you plan to use this for airsoft games, or other rugged activities that might compromise the glass.
5.) Value; This thing comes in at around 500$ retail, and there are specials popping up all over the place, just recently optics planet put a sale up to bring this down
to about 419$! Which is a STEAL! If you cant find a great price on it, and you don't want to wait for a sale, I would have NO problem putting down 500$ for a new one
of these. I seriously can not say enough great things about this unit. If you want gen 2, but don't have the cash, or simply don't know how improtant NODs are
to you, this thing is HARD to beat.
Picture of the Spark:
6.) Improvements; No matter how great something is, there can be improvements. I would like to see a "deluxe" model, that came in some sort of pelican case that
was good to go right out of the box to a helmet or rifle. Also came in black or tan for all the tan lovers out there. I would like to see them remove the IR
Illuminator and see if they can remove the "boxyness" of the housing, as the IR illuminator is nice, but not really needed. Other then that, I would just like to see
them make more accessories for it.
7.) Who It's For; So who is this NOD for? EVERYONE! This can be for the night time hunter, who wants to kit out a extra rifle or 2 without spending a arm and a leg.
This can be for the LEO who works night shifts, who's department wont pay for a PVS 14, but still wants to have an advantage at night. For the camper/hiker that
wants to explore at night. The airsofter who wants to play night games with NODS that doesn't have a ton of extra money. Or even for the hardcore gen 3 guys that want
to have a loner system to lend to friends who are less fortunate, but want them to enjoy the night like you. Or if you just want to enjoy the stars under NODs
There is so much more that this unit can do, if you are looking for a inexpensive unit that will still be a force multiplier, the Spark is for you.
8.) The Future; The future of the CORE line of products is going to be growing in the next 6 months. Armasight will be releasing a dedicated rifle scope, binoculars, and goggles.
Although the person who I spoke to did not have any info on the magnification of these Items, all we can hope for are multiple to suit everyone's needs.
9.) The Company; Armasight is a somewhat new-er company, but their customer service is AMAZING. This will be a small talking point, because there is nothing negative to say
about Armasight, they have answered every question I have asked them, and in a very timely manner too. I would have no problem trading my money for some more of their
10.)Pros and Cons;
Very clear, high resolution
Being a monocular, its pretty versatile
Awesome customer Service
Easily to focus
A lot of accessories to fit everyone's needs
Light intensifying aspect is very high
Heavy, after a few hours you will feel like you have binos
"fish-eye" effect is small, but still there
Size is pretty big, so it could be a bigger target
11.) Wrap Up; If you take anything away from this review, its this, there is no other gen 1+ unit that is worth your money. When you look through this thing, what goes
through your mind is "there is no way this is gen 1!". If you are on the fence of buying this or not, I would say pull the trigger and get one. I don't plan on ever
selling mine, and if 5-10 years down the line, the tube takes a dump, I think I will sent it to Armasight and pay for a replacement(if they offer that) if not, I
will buy another one! So if your a NVG enthusiast on a budget, or want to have a great value, this is a must have!
12.) Link; https://www.armasight.com/night-vision/ ... park-core/
Here is a direct link to the Spark on Armasights website so you can read about the specs.
13.) Pics; These do NOT give this NOD justice, they look 5x better to the naked eye, I took these on a dark night, with my phone that could not focus well either. If you want the high res pics, just pm me as I will be posting this on multiple forums and some have a picture size cap.
Also I don't work for or with Armasight, they did not send me the Spark. They did not pay me to write this review and 100% non bias.
On one last note, if anyone was wondering, I have had about 30 hours or so behind this optic.