Title essentially sums up the problem. I have a VHT AV-RL-20R combo amp that I am trying to hook up to my computer for recording, but every time I plug in my amp via the output jack on the rear panel, both the internal speaker and my PC's audio monitors start giving some awful feedback and make it impossible to record anything. I thought it may have been the cable I was using at first, as it's one of the cheap-ish Real Tone cables used for the game Rocksmith, but after plugging it in directly to my electric guitar, it produces a very clean sound free of noise, which hopefully means I've managed to isolate the issue. Any advice is greatly appreciated, it's one of the only issues I haven't been able to solve yet.

2 Answers 2


The best way to record guitar using the equipment you have would be connecting the guitar directly to computer using the RealTone cable and an amplifier modeling plugin in the DAW. The RealTone cable is a small audio interface in itself.

If you want to record the tone of your amplifier, you need a microphone.

Recording the speaker output does not work, both because the electrical properties of the speaker output are very different from guitar or line output and because the guitar speaker itself affects the tone by filtering out high frequencies and adding some distortion. There are dummy load boxes that take the speaker output and emulate the speaker, but these are made for recording powerful tube amps at low volumes and you probably don't want to pay for one. If you are happy with the tone from the amp's headphone output, plugging that to a line input may work, but the RealTone cable probably won't work with it.

  • This helps clear a lot of things up, I think I might give the mic route a shot because trying to wire it directly has been a pain. Thank you!
    – CrafterJG
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 15:39

The socket on the rear is a speaker output. I'm surprised you haven't blown a circuit yet.

You cannot even plug the headphone output directly into a computer's headphone input, the pins won't match. It's not really designed to do what you're trying to do with it. You'd have to get a cable made up to take one side of the stereo headphone output to the mic input of your computer's headset socket… & even that would really be too powerful for it.

Better to either mic it, or get a proper USB interface that can take line level.

Rather limited spec manual, for those so inclined.

  • I'm glad you were able to explain that a bit more clearly, thank you. So my understanding of what you said is, it would be more practical of me to buy a proper audio interface and run the headphone output to a line input on the interface? The cable I have currently is a 1/4"-to-USB, if that helps at all. In case it isn't obvious, I'm better at the music side of things lol.
    – CrafterJG
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:17
  • 2
    "1/4"-to-USB" is an unusual beast. What is it supposed to do? Whose is it, where's it from, do you have a link?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:19
  • 1
    It's the Real Tone cable bundled with the Rocksmith series of games, manufactured by Ubisoft (store.ubi.com/us/rocksmith-real-tone-cable/…). It works fine when it's plugged directly into the guitar, but trying to use it through the headphone out on the amp produces no output in my DAW. Would investing in a proper interface and using a line input solve this issue, or would the amp still not connect?
    – CrafterJG
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:41
  • That might work with something like this - ebay.co.uk/itm/… - stereo plug to two mono sockets. Plug your existing cable to one or other of the sockets - BUT it's going to be too loud for it, so you are really going to have to start at minimum volume & see what it will take before distortion. It might be noisy too.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:49
  • 1
    the DAW/USB issue maybe should be a separate question. Hopefully @Tetsujin has made it clear that the output on the back is potentially dangerous current when plugged into the wrong thing. The headphone output is two-channel "Tip-Ring-Sleeve" and microphone-in is always/usually mono, so 1-channel "Tip-Ring". Tetsujin is saying to look for a "female TRS to 2x male TR splitter" adapter.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 21:00

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