Provides: iOS device guitar signal adaptation
Minimum Requirements: iOS device, guitar cable, guitar
There are already a number of good ways to connect your guitar to your iOS device for use with various guitar apps, but that doesn’t mean this problem has been solved yet. Both Griffin and IKMultimedia have good solutions, but now Peavey is getting in the game. Their AmpKit LiNK claims to be the only adapter that can really handle high gain amplification simulation. This is a claim that I’ve come to believe.
The AmpKit LiNK is similar in some ways to the IKMultimedia iRig. It has a cable that connects to your iOS device through the headphone port. On the end of this cable is a box with headphone and guitar cable sockets. This is completely different from the Griffin GuitarConnect cable, since it still requires the use of a separate guitar cable. It’s almost like Peavey looked at the iRig and made many of the improvements you could reasonably ask for.
Instead of a painfully short cable connecting the adapter to your iOS device, this cable is the right length. You can dock your iPad upright and still have the AmpKit LiNK sitting on your desk, instead of dangling in the air (or worse, falling over) as with the iRig. Also, this adapter uses 2 AAA batteries. To my knowledge, it’s the only guitar adapter for iOS devices that uses batteries at all. And while your knee jerk reaction is to worry about changing or charging them, know they’re here for a good reason. These batteries power something that helps your iOS device keep the bleeding of input and output signals to a minimum. If I lost you there, this means you can use this adapter with high gain amp simulations since it won’t feed back like other adapters will. You can still get it to produce feedback (not the good, semi-controllable kind you can control with a real amp), but you’re really going to have to crank up the gain, even by Peavey standards.
Actually, without Peavey’s AmpKit app, it’s harder to tell the audio differences between the iRig and the AmpKit LiNK. This is due mostly to the fact that Amplitube for iPhone or iPad just doesn’t offer the same high gain options that Peavey does. So, if high gain is your thing (and it is for me), you’ll want this adapter and app combo over others.
It’s hard to find anything wrong with the AmpKit LiNK. It has a longer cable than the iRig, which was one of my biggest complaints about it. You won’t have to worry about your iOS device being tugged around by this guy. I thought about mentioning the need for batteries, but after testing the AmpKit LiNK head to head with other adapters, these batteries really are desirable. When you’re not playing anything with your guitar hooked to a high gain amp sim, other adapters will produce uncontrollable feedback since there isn’t enough isolation of the input and output signal (they travel inside the same cable). The only way to stop this is to start playing something or unplug. So trust me, you want the batteries. Plus, the draw on these batteries is apparently very minimal, so you won’t be changing them that often.
So, we have a new winner. The AmpKit LiNK is the best of the guitar-headphone port iOS device adapters currently available. It has a long enough cable to not interfere with the orientation of your device, plus it has batteries that help improve sound quality and eliminate feedback, especially with high gain amps. Put simply, it’s just better.