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GuitarJack Model 2 Audio Interface for iOS - £167


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1/4 Inch Input

1/4 inch instrument input with configurable Pad, Lo-Z and Hi-Z modes. 60 dB of continuous level control.

1/8 Inch Output

1/8 inch stereo output with increased drive for headphones.

1/8 Inch Input

1/8 inch stereo mic/line input with Pad, Normal and Boost modes. 60 dB of continuous level control.

 


Control Panel

"Dual inputs (1/4" and 1/8") mean that you can record both your guitar and vocals to separate tracks, taking full advantage of this software." Premier Guitar's Review


Compatible Apps

GuitarJack is the perfect companion for GuitarTone (free), Taylor EQ (free), FourTrack and StudioTrack. Enables $19.98 worth of GuitarTone amps and effects. Works with most 3rd party audio apps like GarageBand.


Sleek Design












Engadget.com - "GuitarJack Model 2 is a handsome, well-built adapter for capturing ideas in instrumental and vocal form. Machined aluminum housing looks nice...also alleviated fears about damaging in a gear bag."


Tape Op Magazine - "Physically, it's a thing of beauty - and sturdy too. It feels like a nice solid block of aluminum and is about half the size of an iPhone. Yes, you can do simultaneous recording of both guitar and a mic'ed signal - the GuitarJack 2 is likely the smallest iOS device that allows this. I tried the GuitarJack 2 out on both my iPad and iPod Touch, using a variety of apps such as FourTrack, GarageBand, and Moog's Filtatron (a fave). Worked like a charm and sounded fantastic with both electric guitar and line-level signals. Very quiet with plenty of headroom, and not a hint of RF hum."

Rolling Stone - "GuitarJack remains the top-of-the-line instrument-to-iPhone interface...impeccable sound with no discernible noise. Its solid aluminum body also has a 1/8-inch input for a microphone, so you can record on two tracks simultaneously, using the company's FourTrack or StudioTrack app."

Premier Guitar - The industrial design of GuitarJack suggests a tiny Steinway grand piano crossed with a silver Ferrari. The laser-etched SWW logo on the glossy steel housing adds to the impression of quality — GuitarJack, in other words, comes across as a proper piece of studio gear, not a mere accessory...higher quality data transfer, less crosstalk, and better fidelity...The better news is that it sounds as good as it looks. That’s because it boasts a proper 24-bit AD/DA converter...yes, you can record using both the guitar and microphone inputs simultaneously into FourTrack or StudioTrack. That's huge. GuitarJack is made right here in America, too.

The Loop - "The proof is in the sound. GuitarJack worked beautifully...the quality of the signal was evident...a clean, clear signal for your guitar. I've been a fan of Sonoma Wire Works for many years. They are a company that cares about its users and they make very high-quality software and hardware products. If you’re looking for a device to play your guitar on the iPhone or iPad, I highly recommend GuitarJack."

SonicState - "This is the Rolls Royce...the GuitarJack Model 2... it's made of out metal...it's a completely different kettle of fish from the other ones. This has got a guitar jack in, a headphone output, and it's also got a stereo input. If you use Sonoma's own software, you can actually record multiple inputs simultaneously. it's just beautiful, it's just gorgeous. It sounds great. The converters on this are designed by someone who's famous for Universal Audio front end stuff, so it's got good heritage."

 

About GuitarJack

GuitarJack Model 2 is the highest quality audio interface that connects a wide range of instruments, microphones, and other audio hardware to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via 1/4" instrument and 1/8" stereo mic/line inputs. GuitarJack's 1/8" stereo line/headphone output offers increased drive for headphones. GuitarJack features software controllable input level control with 60 dB of gain plus 12 dB pad for 72 dB of adjustment, software configurable Lo-Z and Hi-Z modes, a 24-bit AD/DA converter*, and the highest quality sound. GuitarJack can record in stereo and simultaneously record vocals and an instrument when used with apps like FourTrack and StudioTrack that support those features.

What You Can Do with GuitarJack

•Connect a wide range of instruments, microphones, and other audio hardware to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via 1/4 inch instrument and 1/8 inch stereo mic/line inputs.

•Record in mono, stereo, or simultaneously record your voice and instrument on separate tracks using GuitarJack with Apps like FourTrack and and StudioTrack.

•Jam to the GuitarTone amps and effects App and the song tool in FourTrack and StudioTrack. More GuitarTone amps and effects enabled free while GuitarJack is connected. Also works well with most third party audio apps like GarageBand.

•Enhance the sound of your guitar with Taylor EQ, optimized for use with Taylor guitars and GuitarJack.

•Listen to music using the stereo output on GuitarJack, which has increased drive for headphones.

Hardware Features

•1/4 inch (6.5 mm) instrument input - nickel-plated solid brass Switchcraft (10,000 MTBF) jack

•1/8 inch (3.5 mm) stereo mic/line input - (no phantom power is provided)

•1/8 inch (3.5 mm) stereo headphone/line output with increased drive for headphones

•Dock connector designed for use without removing most cases

•Device powered for ultimate portability - requires no batteries or power adapter

•GuitarJack Model 2 includes a 24-bit AD/DA converter, however only 16-bit audio playback and recording is currently possible until a firmware update becomes available. More about 24-bit

•Sleek and rugged aluminum shell

Software Features

(Control Panel in GuitarTone, FourTrack, StudioTrack & TaylorEQ)


•Level Control: 60 dB of continuous level control

•Input Modes:

•Instrument (1/4 inch) - mono - Pad, Lo-Z or Hi-Z mode

•Mic/Line (1/8 inch) - mono, dual-mono or stereo - Pad, Normal or Boost mode

•Both inputs - Mic/Line input on the right channel and Instrument on the left channel

•Included Software:

•GuitarTone and TaylorEQ are available free

•GuitarJack enables additional amps and effects in GuitarTone, FourTrack, and StudioTrack while connected ($19.98 value)


Made in the U.S.A.


GuitarJack is Made in America

*Requirements

•GuitarJack Model 2 is compatible with iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (3rd and 4th gen.) Sonoma has also tested GuitarJack with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S, and the New iPad with no issues.

•GuitarTone requires iOS 4.2 or later, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or iPod touch (4th generation)

Tech Specs

Line/Headphone Output

•One 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo unbalanced output

•Continuously variable gain

•Responds to iPod volume up/down buttons

•Specifications:

•Maximum output level (into 32ohms): 1.00Vrms (63mW)

•Maximum output level (into 10kohms): 1.00Vrms (+2.2dBu)

•Frequency response (20Hz to 20kHz): +0.05/-0.40dB

•Noise level (RMS, A-weighted): -97dB

•Dynamic range (RMS, A-weighted): 96dB

•THD (600mVrms into 10kohms): 0.0020% (-94dB)

•THD (0dBV into 10kohms): 0.0036% (-89dB)

•THD (0dBV into 32ohms): 0.026%

•Stereo crosstalk (100Hz to 10kHz): -88dB

Line/Mic Inputs:

•One 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo unbalanced input

•Selectable pad

•Continuously variable gain

•Specifications:

•Minimum input impedance: 4.7kohm

•Maximum input level (pad on, line-input): 6.5Vrms (+18dBu)

•Minimum input level (boost on, full scale mic): 7.5mVrms (-40dBu)

•Frequency response (40Hz to 20kHz): +0.06/-0.65dB

•Noise level (RMS, A-weighted): -96dB

•Dynamic range (RMS, A-weighted): 96dB

•THD (-3dBFS): 0.008% (-82dB)

•Stereo crosstalk (1kHz): -96dB

•EIN (equivalent input noise, 20kHz BW, 150 ohms): -115dBu

•Latency - see FAQ

Instrument Input:

•One 1/4" (6.5mm) mono unbalanced input

•Selectable pad

•Selectable impedance

•Continuously variable gain

•Specifications:

•Input impedance: 470kohm

•Maximum instrument input level (Lo-Z Pad): 6.5Vrms (+18dBu)

•Maximum instrument input level (Hi-Z, 1% THD): 700mVrms

•Maximum instrument input level (Hi-Z, 10% THD): 1.5Vrms

•Maximum instrument input level (Hi-Z, 20% THD): 2.5Vrms

Device connection

•Apple 30-pin dock connector

•iPhone 4 - Made for iPhone certified

•iPad 2 and iPad - Made for iPad certified

•iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation) - Made for iPod certified

Dimensions (std/metric)

•Length 2.55"/64.8 mm (including-30 pin connector)

•Length 2.24"/56.8 mm (not including 30-pin connector)

•Width 2.30"/58.5 mm

•Height 0.61"/15.6 mm

•Weight 2.25oz/65g

Materials

•Case

•6061 Aluminum

•Black nickel plated with stainless steel side panels

•Laser etched logo

•1/4" connector

•Switchcraft

•Nickel plated Brass

•10,000 insertion MTBF (with switchcraft plug)

•Electronics

•RoHS certified components


GuitarJack 2 – Review

August 6, 2012 By John 1 Comment


With musicians embracing smart phones and tablet computers as practice, composition and recording tools in increasing numbers, hardware manufacturers are bringing a growing range of add-on audio input/output hardware to the market. Not surprisingly, the biggest share of this market supports Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Some of the first examples of this technology were aimed at guitar players. For example, the iRig – which has now been around for quite a while – provides a very affordable means of getting a decent guitar signal into your iDevice so you can use amp sim apps such as Amplitube, AmpKit or the amp models included within Garageband while monitoring the output via headphones or external speakers.

While devices like the iRig are both convenient and cost effective, those that use the analog connectivity of the iPad/iPhone are perhaps not going to offer the same audio quality as (more expensive) I/O devices that connect via docking connector. Thankfully, for guitarists – and recording musicians in general – providing you have the power in your pocket, there are now some more upmarket options to consider.

Guitar hero


One of the sexiest (am I allowed to say that about a piece of audio equipment or does it just make me sound weird?) to hit the market is the GuitarJack 2 from Sonoma Wire Works. With a very sleek metal finish (and a soild, weighty feel to go with it), the physical design of the GJ2 is one of the few add-on gadgets I’ve used to-date that looks as sleek as my iPhone. This is seriously cool looking device.


Physically, the GJ2 is the same width as the iPhone 4 models. It is devoid of any buttons and, aside from the digital connector, it features only three jack connections; a mono 1/4 inch jack for guitar or mic input, a 1/8 inch stereo output (for headphones or feeding a monitoring system) and, on the opposite side, a further stereo 1/8 inch mic/line input. This last input can be used either on its own (perhaps connected to a stereo sound source) or used with the main 1/4 inch jack when it becomes mono-only and provides the right channel to the 1/4 inch jack’s left.


All of the Guitarjack 2′s settings can be configured via software as here within the free GuitarTone app.

With no physical controls to set levels, etc., for the various inputs and outputs, these settings need to be made via software. A number of apps are available that support the GJ2 settings. These include the free Guitar Tone app and, as shown in the screen grab, this provides all the necessary settings to configure the hardware. This includes being able to switch the main 1/4 jack between different input levels suitable for guitar or a mic. Usefully, once you have configured these settings in one of the compatible apps, they are then retained when you switch to another app such as Amplitube or Garageband.

Can you hear me?

Once configured, I had no problems getting the GJ2 to function with a range of other audio and music apps – Amplitube, Ampkit, Garageband and Auria included – all worked absolutely fine. Equally, I was able to record with both a guitar and a mic. Either a dynamic or externally powered mic ought to work OK but there is no phantom power provided.

So far, so good but, aside from the beautiful looks, the key thing here if you are going to consider paying the price premium over something like the iRig, is that you also get a hike in audio quality. Thankfully, I think the GuitarJack 2 achieves this with some style. What struck me most was just how clean the guitar tones were – and I’m using the term ’clean’ here in the audio quality sense rather than in the amp style/settings – so the tone you get here does not have any significant amount of electronic hum or interference. This make is possible to really get the best out of your amp sims and, if recording the guitar tone in something like Garageband or Auria, the results really can be very good indeed.

In the dock

So, the GuitarJack 2 ticks the necessary boxes in terms of looks and audio quality but are there any other issues to consider? The only minor quibble I’d have is with the docking connector. Unlike the various power connectors I use with both my iPhone and iPad, I didn’t always feel that the GuitarJack was firmly ’locked’ in place. This meant I had to be fairly careful with how I organised the hardware, laying both on a flat, firm, even surface rather than just plonking it down on the couch. Equally, if you have your iDevice in some sort of protective case, you might find you need to take it out in order to hook up the GJ2. That said, this is all minor logistical stuff and I soon found myself getting used to what was required. You could also purchase a dock extender cable to sit between your iDevice and the GuitarJack if this made things easier.

As a slight aside, in a previous post on the features I’d like to see in my ideal iPad audio interface, I did wonder how 3rd party manufacturers might respond if Apple changes the design of the docking connector in future generations of their devices. As I write this review, there is growing speculation that this is exactly what will happen when the iPhone 5 is launched in the autumn of this year. I do hope there is a simple solution – for example, a short breakout convertor cable – that will allow existing add-on hardware to stay relevant. And it would be even better if Apple included such a solution straight out of the box (:-) I’ll not hold my breath!).

Runners and riders


GuitarJack 2 in action – looks and sounds great.

With the audio quality certainly up to the task, what about the competition at this price point? With the GuitarJack 2
available at a street price around the £120-130 (and equivalent $/€ prices), it comes in at about the same prices as the Alesis iO dock
(c. £130) or the Tascam iU2
(c. £125) and a little cheaper than the highly regarded Apogee ONE
(c. £170). The first two of these both include dual mic preamps (with support for guitar input) and provide MIDI support. The Apogee ONE has only a single mic preamp, no MIDI but does include a very useable condenser mic as part of the hardware. While all three of these units allow a guitar to be connected to your iOS device, they are more generally aimed at recording musicians as opposed to just guitarists.

The GuitarJack 2 can do I/O duties for recording but, as its name suggests, it is targeted primarily at guitar players. It is undoubtedly the most robust physically of these various products and, for my money at least, it wins in the cool stakes. If you are really just interested in getting the best out of your favorite guitar amp sim app – or demoing a few guitar lines in Garageband – then The GuitarJack 2 will look great while it gets the job done with ease. However, if you are more interested in the general recording capabilities of your iDevice, then perhaps the competition is somewhat stiffer.

In summary

Sonoma Wire Works have, in the GuitarJack 2, created something that is stylish enough not to embarrass your iPhone or iPad. Thankfully, however, it is not all looks and no brains. During my own testing, the audio quality matched the build quality with ease. For iDevice owning guitar players who are perhaps less interested in the generic recording capabilities of their iPhone of iPad and just want to get the best out of their amp sims, the GuitarJack 2 is currently the most stylish solution available.

 

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