Hello, all you axe wielding, string picking, amp maxing. It’s time for another guitar related review, this time for the GuitarJack 2 USB connector from Sonoma Wire Works.
The GuitarJack 2 has a mini USB input on the front and inputs on the sides for 1/4” instrument in, 1/8” microphone in and 1/8” headphones out. Also in the box are 2 cables: 1 x 32” male USB to male mini USB and 1 x 4.5” male mini USB to female USB.
Since the GuitarJack 2 does not have an iDevice port on the front (the original version did) I needed to use an iPad camera connection kit, which, of course, my iPod touch does not support. So, I besought the benevolence of my editor in chief, and yea though he is wroth when disturbed, he did verily grant great beneficence when I did ask, “May I use your iPad?” to which hid most nobly replied, “Yeah, sure.”
The iPad objected to the power drain, but it worked just fine. The guitar was jacked into the GuitarJack 2, the mini USB was plugged into the GuitarJack 2 and the USB end was plugged into the iPad camera adapter (which, of course, was plugged into the iPad). Lastly, I plugged some headphones into the GuitarJack 2 to check the output. Once the many connections were in place, we fired up a music app and started playing. The sound was clean and the latency was negligible. There is a little signal degradation, which is to be expected with all the connections, but it was insignificant. The output from the iPad and the headphones was descent – the difference in the sound quality was due to the innate properties of the speakers.
We also tested the rig through a Mac, and the signal was strong and clean. If you need to plug in, record and manipulate audio, this adapter does a respectable job of getting you connected and delivering good signal. If you are an Apple rogue and you want to plug in to your PC, this unit works Windows XP/7/8.
The up-sides of this unit are the construction and size. Sonoma Wire Works produces this unit in the USA (always good to see), and the connector is machined from durable materials and assembled to be a solid piece of gear. The unit is only 2.375” square and has four small rubber feet to help keep it from sliding around.
One of the down-sides is the mini USB port on the front which requires extra cables/connectors/adapters and rendered my iPod touch unusable. I think the iPort version might have been better, but we didn’t try that one out so we can’t be sure. The other concern is the cost, which is $199.00 (currently at a $129.00 sale price on the manufacturer’s site); a bit on the high side.
As always with guitar gear, list what you want/need and compare your options. This unit gets a 3 at its normal price—good quality, but the connections and expense don’t make it a must-have piece of gear.
Buy the GuitarJack 2
Provides: Guitar input for mobile devices and computer
Developer: Sonoma Wire Works