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A high-voltage spark-discharge source acting as an impulsive ultrasonic generator has been designed and tested. Ultrasound generated by this source has been detected and compared with ultrasound generated by a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser pulse focused to produce a plasma on the surface of the metal sample. The two sources have been shown to exhibit similar ultrasound generation characteristics. Additionally, a surface breaking crack has been detected using spark-source-generated acoustic waves, and surface damage caused by the spark source has been investigated.