Not meaning to be harsh here, but - how does it sound? I mean, this thing is designed to plug in a guitar or bass and jam along... that's the only reason for its existence. After this long, detailed review, we don't know the most important things about this accesory:

-Can we plug in a guitar or bass and have some fun?
-Which instrument sounded better?
-Did single coils offer enough gain, or where humbuckers too distorted?
-Does it offer clean and distorted sounds?
-Is the sound more or less pleasing?
-Can keyboards be possibly used too?

Also, you make quite a few points that you don't offer an explanation for:

-Why is it suitable for "amateur" musicians and not for pros? And why for "younger" ipodders?

I suggest you hold off on this review until you can get a few musicians to put their instruments through the JamPod. And if you have already done so, please tell us the results... I'm a pro musician myself and would love to get one!!! grin

Posted by iPod Noticias on March 31, 2005 at 1:47 PM (PDT) Comment 1

iPod Noticias- its suitable for the non-pro's because:

"So long as you're not continuously tweaking volume levels and aren't hoping for professional-grade audio quality, you won't mind, but we'll warn audiophiles up front - ironically part of the device's target audience - that they mightn't be satisfied with the overall results."

Posted by christomapher on March 31, 2005 at 2:09 PM (PDT) Comment 2

Hmmm... maybe there IS something to the Made for iPod program wink

I often do the reverse: I have my PowerBook mix my iPod audio with its own (an option in Audio MIDI Setup). No gadgets needed for that: iPod plugs into the 'Book's audio, and then you listen to the result with headphones, stereo, or the laptop's own speakers. Now I have my UT 2004 sound effects PLUS my iPod for music control/display without pausing the game smile

Posted by Nagromme on March 31, 2005 at 2:51 PM (PDT) Comment 3

christomapher - you simply _can't_ get professional-grade audio quality from a guitar using a headphone amp. Also, a practice heaphone amp that plugs into the iPod can never be a "professional" tool. If you're a guitarist and need that, you don't want to plug your guitar into the iPod, youi want to plug your iPod into your whatever-widget-you-prefer (like a Pandora).

In fact, not even the iPod has "professional-grade audio quality"! wink

Posted by iPod Noticias on March 31, 2005 at 3:41 PM (PDT) Comment 4

I have no idea how iPodLounge got a review unit of the JamPod, as the product is not in production. All we have had was small batch of hand assembled units, put onto photocopied blister cards, that we had made up as photo samples for our distributors and resellers. There was no requirement that these samples even be functional.

Along with this review, another review has emerged on PlayList. So, obivously, I am going to have to interview our staff in the morning to find out just how on earth these hand made cosmetic-only samples got sent to the press as actual review units.

Given this information, it would seem the right thing to do to remove the review, or, at a minimum boldly note the lead paragraph with this information.

Frankly, it's a miracle the plugs didn't completely pull out of the body, and, that it worked at all, given that it isn't even glued together. I tried to play around with one of these samples, and it pulled completely apart at the bottom, and did not function.

I'll take the responsibility for this, as it had to be somebody on our staff who screwed up. I'll make sure that iPodLounge gets a production unit when we have them next week. In the meantime, I would appreciate this article being deleted or annotated.

Jack Campbell, CEO
DVForge, Inc.

Posted by MacMice on March 31, 2005 at 7:56 PM (PDT) Comment 5

Here's the annotation: as we mentioned to Jack in a private e-mail, the unit we received came in what appeared to be a production blister pack with a card stock insert. The insert shows no signs of having been photocopied.

We had previously told DVForge that we were not interested in receiving pre-production JamPod hardware and only wanted a final reviewable unit for review; DVForge agreed, and acknowledges this was the case. The unit we received looked (and looks) in every way like a production sample.

We do not like to review products twice. That's why we always ask for final representative shipping products only. However, we'll gladly update this review if we test a sealed unit that's materially different from the one we've already tested and reviewed.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on March 31, 2005 at 9:20 PM (PDT) Comment 6

Jack has a spotty history, at best. Figures he'd claim this after a bad review.

Posted by iPod Junkie on March 31, 2005 at 9:42 PM (PDT) Comment 7

I was thinking about something like this a few weeks back. PSP not out in the UK yet, but contemplating one when it arrives. Thinking that it would be nice to be able to have a tiny little mixer that could mix audio from my iPod with audio from PSP into one set of headphones. Is this a possibility with this piece of kit?

Posted by handsomefish on March 31, 2005 at 10:55 PM (PDT) Comment 8

While this company and its ownership may have a "spotty history," I must admit that I was disappointed in the review. I see this product as a fun way to play along with my music without bothering anyone else or advertising my admittedly amateurish guitar ability. Sound quality need only be pretty good to be good enough for such a use. I think you've missed your mark with this review as the "number of amateurs and tinkerers" is probably the target audience for this device and is also many more people than you suspect based on your comments and grading scheme as explained at the end of the review. Perhaps your bias against the owner has colored your review.

Posted by gratefulmed on April 3, 2005 at 10:48 AM (PDT) Comment 9

We have no bias against the owner. Period. And I doubt you honestly believe that the potential audience for this device didn't include people who cared about the sound quality of the output.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on April 4, 2005 at 8:14 AM (PDT) Comment 10


Posted by EQUINOX341095 on April 4, 2005 at 10:50 AM (PDT) Comment 11

I respectfully feel that you are missing the point. Sound quality is paramount when listening to music for its own sake. When "jamming" along with your tunes, however, the fun of hearing yourself along with your music is presumably the unique aspect of this device. Wonderful sound quality would certainly be a plus but decent sound quality strikes me as good enough for this use. I doubt this is targetted at audiophiles, but rather at people who just want to have a little fun. Requiring "audiophile" sound quality, or even very good quality, should more appropriately disqualify headphone and speaker and FM transmitter devices, some of which have gotten good ratings from you despite admittedly limited sound quality.

Posted by gratefulmed on April 4, 2005 at 12:52 PM (PDT) Comment 12

Actually, we intentionally built the amp section to have bit of an "grungy" edge to the sound quality, as this is a toy intended to allow just-for-fun jamming along with your iPod's music with an electric guitar. The amp circuitry is similar to our JamPlug mini guitar amp in that regard. So, that is one element of the product that will not change when we supply a production unit next week. It will still sound a lot like a humming, sputtering, nasty little tube guitar amp. grin The last person on earth who would be pleased with either of these little products is an audiophile; they're made for wailing away on an electric guitar, not for sonic purists.

Posted by MacMice on April 5, 2005 at 6:27 PM (PDT) Comment 13

I love this thing. If only my fingers worked as well...

Posted by luvthepod on April 7, 2005 at 9:50 PM (PDT) Comment 14

Reposted from our news section:

DVForge said today that it has stopped production of its new JamPod electric guitar iPod accessory due to quality issues. DVForge CEO Jack Campbell told iPodlounge that his company created two versions of the JamPod — a cheaper version that cut corners to keep the price down, and a higher-grade version that would cost more to manufacture and sell.

“The simpler design could be sold for about $30. The more sophisticated design would have had to sell for about $50,? Campbell said. “We showed the $50 piece at Macworld Expo, and saw a surprising resistance to the price among showgoers. Based on the feedback from the show, we decided to take the less expensive version to production, we began accepting pre-orders about 3-weeks ago, and, we began shipping the product this past Thursday,? Campbell said. “We began getting comments back from many of these customers expressing concern about the sound quality and the fit and finish of the product.?

Based on the complaints from customers, Campbell said DVForge is halting production of the cheaper design and will soon offer the higher quality version for a higher price. He also said that his company would offer refunds to those unsatisfied with the JamPod.

“We decided on Sunday to simply trash the entire first production run of the JamPod, refund product and shipping costs for any dissatisfied customer, and, to take the earlier (higher performance) design to production,? Campbell told iPodlounge. “We will be rereleasing the JamPod in approximately 8-weeks at a retail price of $49.99. It will be the version that we showed at Macworld Expo, with the impeccable fit and finish, and the strong audio performance that our more demanding customers have requested.?

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on April 18, 2005 at 12:15 PM (PDT) Comment 15
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