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Thread: DIY USB Guitar Cord

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Lightbulb DIY USB Guitar Cord

    Hi. I know they are cheap but I am trying to learn about electronics and get practice building my own gear.
    My question is: How would I go about converting a normal guitar cord into a USB connected guitar cord?
    I have looked around online and can't get a clear answer.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by brodie65708 View Post
    Hi. I know they are cheap but I am trying to learn about electronics and get practice building my own gear...
    Buy one, and disassemble, then reverse-engineer and build one. Then you have two. At least, that's my usual take on stuff... especially if the "genuine article" is "cheap."

    "If you're using one of those Digiyuk module type things..." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  3. #3
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Your question needs to be a little more specific - what do you want to connect your guitar to? Guitar is analogue, USB is digital with power supplied to the interface. You can't stick a USB connector on the end of a guitar cord and plug it into a port. There has to be an interface to convert the guitar's signal to digital. All of the cables you see have an embedded A/D interface built into the USB connector. Quite an adventurous project to build one from scratch, even if you built the interface into a typical Hammond stompbox-sized enclosure

  4. #4
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Very much doubt it can be done at home.
    Functionally it must have an analog front end, and Analog to Digital converter and some interface to convert that Digital Data into the proper format, handle protocols, secret handshakes, etc. so the computer USB input can receive it and route it to the proper area.

    Tha actual cable innards may look simple, just because it certainly usas a dedicated IC which does all that and then some.

    Those things are cheap just because they are made by the Millions and the dedicated ICs must cost cents.

    Ad then thereīs the software side of the problem.

    No doubt a specialized company in China with a few Electronics and Software Engineers in its staff can reverse engineer a competitorīs product and sell a knockoff for a few cents less, stealing their idea and markets, but for us mere mortals, is way out of reach.

    Now if you want to reverse engineer some analog pedal, a barrety powered guitar amp, etc. , thatīs within reason.
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  5. #5
    Old Timer oc disorder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Land Down Under
    There are a few out there surprisingly cheap! For example there are heaps of "knock off's" of the Behringer UCG 102.
    They are so identical one could be forgiven to think that Behringer gave them all the plans and tooling !! e.g.

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