Published on December 18th, 2012 | by Greg0
GuitarJack Model 2: All-in-One iPhone Recording Studio
One of the best parts of the iPad is GarageBand. And we’ve tried apps for the iPhone as well, since in some ways, it’s a musician’s dream- applications like FourTrack turn your iOS device into an instant multi-purpose instrumental and vocal studio. But the trick has always been the input, which is why we love the Alesis keyboard that we checked out, and continue to appreciate the excellent Mikey series from Blue Microphones. Today, we’ve got another option, the perfect one for those wanting a way to get their guitars hooked up.
The Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack Model 2 connects to your iPhone 4s or earlier via the 30-pin dock connector, and offers a few basic features. You’ve got your 1/4 inch instrument input for your electric or acoustic guitar, as well as an 1/8 inch stereo microphone input, and an extra stereo output for headphones as well. No extra batteries are required, and we loved the build quality. The unit feels solid, and looks great.
The basic apps are free, but limited- enough to strum out a few tracks though and play with leveling (no hardware controls onboard). The sound quality was amazing though- no noise, no fuzz, no background hum. Everything was clean and crisp, possibly thanks to the 24-bit DAC built-in (digital/analog converter, though in this case it’s bidirectional, and really only supported up to 16-bit).
For a bit of extra reach (especially if you’ve got a case on your phone or tablet), we suggest also checking out the docXtender. It does precisely what it sound like: give you an extra two feet of room, serving as one of the few solutions we’ve seen to help a common problem of dock connector blockage or issues with angling the adapter.
iOS 4.2 or later is required, which shouldn’t be an issue for most anyone. And it will work with newer iPads and iPhones as well, if you use Apple’s Lightning-to-30pin connector. With no other cables to worry about, the GuitarJack 2 is a great all-in-one solution, and feels like it could withstand some serious time on the road. We dropped it with no issues, and the only complaint we had was that fingerprints do show up pretty easily on the glossy surfaces.
A great buy for any guitarist with an iPhone or iPad- they might not know they need it, but they’ll love it. Excellent fidelity, lovely looks- it’s just too bad that it doesn’t automatically make us sound better. A good value too, if you want to record both instrumental and vocal audio simultaneously. $150, available now, online and in stores.