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Mobile interfaces are plentiful these days thanks to IK Multimedia’s early confidence in the iOS platform and its first iRig interface. Interfaces have since been released by numerous manufacturers, and Peavey has finally updated its AmpKit device to bring it up to the standard of its most prominent competition. The most significant change is in its ability to use a 30-pin docking port rather than the headphone/mic socket to connect to your phone. The previous solution was no doubt cheaper to implement, but such devices often exhibit problems with crosstalk, which results in a grainy sound, a high noise floor and susceptibility to feedback.
Along with connections for an iOS device, Peavey also includes a regular USB cable so you can use it as an audio interface for your computer (as long as it’s a Mac). This offers great value for money and it’s easy to wire up as the headphone port is on the device, meaning you don’t have to be that close to the computer itself.
The iOS/OSX connection to the unit is quite solid so there’s no fear of it becoming unplugged if you start thrashing around. A jack socket connects your guitar to the device and there’s gain adjustment to manage input levels. We tested the unit with a Superstrat electric and found it came in a little hot, occasionally overloading the input. To counter this we had to adjust the level on the guitar’s own volume pot, but this is a workaround and not ideal.
A 3.5mm line-out is also provided if you want to split your signal off to elsewhere, so along with the unit’s ability to charge your phone when plugged into a mains adaptor (not supplied), the connectivity options on offer are quite well thought-out.
On both our iPhone and MacBook Pro we experienced an acceptable latency response. The fidelity is good, albeit with a slightly bright characteristic, but sadly the noise floor isn’t the lowest we’ve heard, and high-gain amp settings will really highlight this. Given the well thought-out connectivity, however, a little noise might be a price worth paying.