My kid has a Cort AD880 acoustic guitar with a built-in CE304T active ceramic pickup (amplifier and EQ). I failed to find any documentation about this piece of electronics, but connecting it to my laptop through a TRS cable results in a two-channel recording. I wonder if these really are separate channels (for example a piezo pickup and a microphone -- sounds unlikely) or just the same signal sent both ways for direct headphones/PA support. Interestingly enough, plugging the guitar into a combo box via a TS instrument cable also works, so shorting the ring to ground does not kill the tip signal (and the amplifier, at least not immediately). But that would be dangerous design anyway, speaking of a guitar... So my question is: how is this output meant to be used, what are its characteristics (impedance, level, channels)? How do I record it properly? Do I need to connect it to a mono "instrument" input or to a line level stereo (or mono) input? Does it tolerate a TS jack without damage, can I safely connect it to an electric guitar amplifier?

  • The output of the preamp will be a line level, low impedance, monaural signal on a TS-type 1/4" jack. You said that connecting it to your laptop with a TRS cable resulted in a two-channel recording, but that's a little vague. How did you actually do this? – Data Processing Nov 27 '20 at 2:46
  • @DataProcessing I linked them with a simple 3-wire audio cable with TRS plugs (male) on both ends, and a 1/4" to 1/8" TRS converter on the computer side, then recorded the guitar in stereo. I expected usable signal on one channel only, but the level meters moved and the signal was visible on both channels. After zooming in, the waveforms were clearly in phase, so it definitely wasn't a balanced signal. Since you confirmed my expectations, I'm going to run further tests to rule out a broken (shorted) cable, connector or wiring inside the laptop. Maybe it can't record true stereo line-in. Thanks – Ferenc Wágner Nov 27 '20 at 12:53

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