Low Output on iOS guitar interfaces

Update: As far as I can tell upon much much much testing, while the most I can coax out of this thing is 0.684volts or around -4dBu (as compared to Sonoma Wire Works StudioJack Mini’s 1.3volts or a solid +4dBu at 0dBFS with the 0dBFS being according to the iPad Levels app running in Audiobus 3 ), it is in excess of the -10 standard. I just flat out don’t know why the amplifier FX returns or PA inputs I have tried it in don’t seem to like how quiet it is.

For the real surprise, I was shocked by just how crazy loud even my passive guitars were. Yes, its still true as below that the iRig output was at best 12 dB below my guitar, but holy good golly miss molly, my EMG guitar ended up measuring a whopping 1.8volts or a WHOPPING +7dBu….OK

Just to test my sanity I compared I/O levels with that guitar going into different devices, and aside from desktop audio interfaces, they all came out lower than what the guitar was putting out, including an ART Tube MP. A digitech RP 360 XP for a reference came out at 0.32volts, just about right on the money for a -10dBV

I don’t know if I was totally wrong in this whole situation, but I certainly wasn’t getting or putting out the whole picture, so I’m doing my best to correct it

now onto the original post, saved to show my humiliation 

I have been testing a few of the iOS interfaces available. The specs for the iRig HD 2 show the maximum output at being 1.6vpp, which is roughly equivalent to a guitar output (my EMG 707’s put out about 1.5vpp if I hit an open A chord). If anything, these devices should be capable of MUCH more output, a regular audio interface will be on the order of +10 – +20dBu (1.6vpp is around -2.7dBu for reference). But I digress

I can’t get the actual output going through this device and through any software (even with everything bypassed) to get anywhere near this level. Here are the results of some testing I did, first setting guitar to DI to -15dBFS for reference levels

guitar into DI = -15dBFS

guitar into iRig HD 2 (not connected to lightning) into DI = -28dBFS Gain controls have no effect but Thru/FX switch mutes when set to FX

guitar into iRig HD 2 (connected to lightning) into DI = -15dBFS Thru/FX switch set to Thru. Gain controls have no effect

guitar into iRig HD 2 (connected to lightning) into DI Loudest with no distortion = -28dBFS Thru/FX switch set to FX. All Amplitube FX bypassed.

guitar into iRig HD 2 (connected to lightning) into DI Using Amplitube’s in/out controls to set for highest output, allowing distortion = -27dBFS
Thru/FX switch set to FX. All Amplitube FX bypassed.

I have exchanged some emails with IK’s tech support over this, and tested roughly the same on an iRig 2. Anyone know if the Sonicport has higher output levels?

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