Apogee Electronics, www.apogeedigital.com
High-quality connection to Mac and iOS devices
Doesn’t work with all iOS guitar apps
$119 (Apple Store)
The Apogee Jam was the first guitar interface to create a high-quality connection with less crosstalk by using the dock connector. A little bigger than a Bic lighter, it has a clean and simple design, and a .25-inch input lets you connect your electric guitar or bass using a standard instrument cable.
A connector on the top allows you to connect one of two included cables: a 1m USB 2.0 cable that connects to your Mac or a 50cm cable that connects to your iPhone or iPad’s dock.
A gain slider lets you easily adjust your input level, while an LED flashes red for high levels, green when connected and ready, or blue if not ready. No battery or external power is required.
We were able to plug the Apogee Jam into both an iPad and a MacBook Pro and start playing without installing any drivers. The Jam was designed to work with GarageBand, but we were able to use it with a number of iOS apps, including AmpKit, GuitarTone, GuitarToolkit and 4Track. Not IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube apps.
On the Mac, we were was able to use the Jam to record to Logic as well as GarageBand. By adjusting the gain using the Jam’s slider control and the noise cancellation feature of GarageBand, we were able to get clear and crisp clean tones as well as crunchy distorted sounds.
Compared to other iPad guitar inputs we’ve used, like Griffin’s GuitarConnect Cable and IK Mulitimedia’s iRig, the Jam had the clearest sound. The Griffin is too overdriven and could benefit from a gain control knob. The iRig sounds better than the Griffin, but there’s a little noise in clean tones. Neither the Griffin or iRig can plug into your Mac.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
The Jam is a simple-touse, high-quality guitar interface. It costs considerably more than available headphone jack adapters, but its clean, clear signal and versatility make it a great little guitar gadget.