PRS Cables GuitarBud Cable
Paul Reed Smith has made a name for themselves by merging guitar building techniques of the past with revolutionary, modern styling. So, it seems only fitting that they would see the futuristic benefits of a portable recording studio that can also fit in your pocket. Indeed, the company was one of the first to the game with the GuitarBud cable from PRS Cables, released in January 2010.

The GuitarBud cable is pretty standard, build-wise. There’s a separate input jack to plug in headphones, and separate male plugs for the iPhone’s headphone jack and the guitar’s input jack. Again, I would have preferred a ¼” input rather than their own output plug, as I would prefer to use an external instrument cable. The simplicity of only needing one cable to record was a major benefit, but if the cable starts to short or loses a solid connection altogether, the entire product would need to be replaced.

The GuitarBud is the only interface that does not have a corresponding app, so I tested it with other popular apps. Grabbing a 1978 Ibanez Iceman, I ran the GuitarBud cable into the headphone jack of my iPhone, and fired up Sonoma’s FourTrack software. Striking a few chords resulted in a lot of clipping, which I was unable to completely dial out since the iPhone doesn’t have an option to reduce the jack’s input level. A softer touch helped, but I wasn’t able to achieve the volume and punch that I wanted with a gentler playing style. The cable seemed solid and sturdy, and there wasn’t any crackling when coiling it up in my hand. For an inexpensive, simple solution for recording, the GuitarBud cable is a good choice that is hampered by the lack of an input level control on Apple’s devices.

MSRP: $29.99

In this roundup:
Peterson iStroboSoft Adapter Cable (with iStroboSoft)
Griffin Technology GuitarConnect (with iShred)
IK Multimedia iRig (with Amplitube)
Sonoma Wireworks Guitar Jack (with FourTrack)
Peavey AmpKit LINK (with AmpKit)
PRS Cables GuitarBud Cable