Review: GuitarConnect Cable

GuitarConnect Cable by Griffin was the first guitar interface I purchased for my iPhone. I found it on eBay and noticed in the product description that it worked with iShred LIVE. That was convenient for me as I had already heard of that amplifier emulator and was interested in trying it out. It was almost like destiny—the predetermined fate kind, not the funky Jacksons album from 1978 kind.

I’ll be honest and state that when I first saw it I thought it couldn’t actually work. All the other interfaces I’d seen were little boxes that you plugged your standard guitar cable into. This just looks like your average guitar cable with connections (style and quantity) that don’t initially make sense. But once I’d purchased the cable, I saw immediate advantages to this system. I also saw that it clearly worked well.

As is the case for many guitar/iPhone interfaces, GuitarConnect Cable plugs into your iPhone using the headphone jack. The other end of the cable plugs directly into your guitar. The 1/8″ female connection that is located right next to the 1/4″ guitar connection is for you to plug in your headphones (or other speaker source I imagine).

Let’s look at the pieces individually, then as they work together once connected.

As I mentioned, it looks almost like a standard guitar cable (if you squint while looking at the images below you might see it … try it). The 1/8″ male connection plugs into the iPhone’s headphone socket (or the headphone socket of a similar iOS device).

If you look closely at the images below (perhaps squinting again) you might be able to make out that I’ve got iShred LIVE open on the iPhone. That’s not coincidental. I’ll provide a sound sample of a very rough recording taken from iShred LIVE using the GuitarConnect Cable at the end of this article.

Of course to make that recording I needed a guitar. I happen to have one of those.

Finally, I needed to be able to hear the emulated sounds I was creating using the iShred LIVE software and the GuitarConnect Cable. To allow this to happen, I needed headphones. I have those too.

Those are all of the components I needed. Now I needed to put them together like some kind of ready-to-rock jigsaw … of rock! You can see how the pieces came together for me in the images below.

There you have it. The simplicity of the GuitarConnect Cable by Griffin. One of the advantages of this interface is that the headphones plug into the cable right next to the spot the guitar plugs into the cable. As you’re generally likely to be near your guitar when you play it, this means the headphone connection is conveniently located. Another advantage is that the cable doesn’t have any boxes or weighty components weighing it down. This is one of the lightest options available. It’s simple and it does the trick.

In my testing, I found the GuitarConnect Cable successfully connected with all but one of the apps in my recent reviews of 11 iPhone amplifier emulators. As I’ve mentioned in other recent reviews, the only app not able to connect to the interfaces I have is the Mobile POD app by Line 6. I am however very confident that app doesn’t work on the iPhone 3GS.

For a full rundown of the apps GuitarConnect Cable does work with (according to my tests), please see the handy document I created below.

The results are also available as a PDF complete with links to all of the apps mentioned (click their icons).

Of course the final and perhaps most important feature of the GuitarConnect Cable is its sound quality. I’ll once again be honest (it’s what I like to do) and state that I like this interface. I’ve not experienced any quality issues (other than those when I forget to turn my Airplane Mode on) and can quite simply play guitar on my iPhone until the phone’s battery runs out. I need to turn on Airplane Mode as my house has possibly the world’s largest collection of unwarranted power-points and light switches. Everything buzzes in my house.

But I’ll once again let you decide for yourself. I’ve uploaded a sound file from iShred LIVE directly to SoundCloud that was recorded using the GuitarConnect Cable. Enjoy.

Clean Connection by Scarebear

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