How to Plug an iPod Into a Guitar Amp

Written by matt mckay
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How to Plug an iPod Into a Guitar Amp
iPods and other MP3 players are easily connected to guitar amps. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

iPods and other MP3 players may be connected to any guitar or musical instrument amplifier to play along with favourite songs or provide high volume listening without headphones. A standard conversion cable for connection of the iPod's stereo 1/8-inch headphone jack to standard mono 1/4-inch guitar plug is all that is required, and no damage to either device will occur due to the low voltage emitted by the iPod.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 1/8-inch stereo to 1/4-inch mono cable

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  1. 1

    Purchase a cable with a stereo male 1/8-inch plug on one end and a mono 1/4-inch male plug on the other. Since the iPod plays music in stereo and standard guitar inputs are mono, this configuration will ensure that the left and right stereo signal are properly merged.

  2. 2

    Turn the power off on both the iPod and amplifier and ensure the amplifier volume is at its lowest setting.

  3. 3

    Plug the cable's 1/8-inch stereo plug into the iPod's headphone output jack and the 1/4-inch mono plug into the guitar amplifier input jack.

  4. 4

    Turn the iPod power on and adjust the volume to the lowest setting.

  5. 5

    Turn the amplifier power on and turn the volume up 3 to 4 notches.

  6. 6

    Turn the iPod volume up until you begin to hear sound and adjust the amplifier volume and tone controls to achieve the desired loudness level and sound quality.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with volume controls on both the iPod and amplifier to help reduce possible sound distortion. Generally, keeping the Pod at a lower setting than the amplifier will prevent this occurrence.
  • Some amplifiers have an auxiliary "line-in" jack which is reserved for the connection of iPods and other external music devices. If using the line-in jack, use the iPod volume to control sound level, as the amplifier's volume control has no effect on line-in devices.
  • Do not plug the 1/4-inch cable plug into a line-out or speaker output as damage to the iPod may result. Always use a guitar input or line-in.

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