Hello gentlemen.
I am semi new to guitar playing. I started a few years ago and had to drop it. I am about to pick it up again. Im starting with an electric this time but I have budget constraints. I can buy a guitar right now but I dont have enought for an amp. I want to simply use my laptop as and amp. Here are the key things to know about my problem:

My laptop only has one jack for both audio in and out.
It is a pretty high end i7 laptop the Sony Vaio SVT15117CXS.
I cannot afford an amp and the guitar right now but I can get one soon enough.
Will the 1/4 to 3.5 mm adapter somehow damage my pc? I read pc cant handle the input of instruments
Is the USB a better choice than the analog adapter?
A specific adapter in mind?

As a final note. I chose the Squire Strat Bullet but I am debating maybe the affinity over the bullet. If you also had any advice on that, that would be great.

Thank you for the help in advance
Buy a Behringer Guitar Link UCG102 interface for $40. Use it with any of the dozens of excellent free amp simulators that run on Windows.
Will it work fine for a windows 8.1 pc?

Also, after looking more into it at amazon. It seems to have more 1 star reviews than 4 stars. Its is only a 3.3 stars. Many people seem not to like it.
Last edited by arielcastillo27 at Jan 11, 2015,
If you go to the recordings forum, there are some introduction stickies which provide recommendations for all the software & hardware you need for this.

I know you don't say about recording in the OP, but in reality the only difference between recording & practicing through a PC is whether or not you hit the record button.

Just please don't try using a jack converter to use the mic input on your computer. If you get it to work it will sound terrible, and there are known instances of it damaging the pc's input because of the wrong type of signal.

But read the stickies over in recordings, they'll tell you everything.
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Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
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I know Im blind but I couldnt see it. I still dont. Which one is it? I saw the one with the list of emulators but no the one on how to set up a recording with your pc
The introduction to recording thread:

You need to read the most of the first page to get the full story, there was too much information for a single post! The main thing you're looking for is the interface recommendations though, then once you're all set up you can use the sticky about VSTs to figure out exactly what plugins you need to simulate the sound(s) you're looking for.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
My SoundCloud
You will need an audio interface to play guitar through. Line 6 UX1 is one example of an affordable alternative.

But, on the other hand - if all you want is a small practice amp, you will probably find a reasonable one cheaper than an audio interface, and on top of that it won't require you to have good heaphones or speakers for the computer.

I'd strongly advise against both the Squier Bullet and Affinity Strat. I had the former as my first guitar, and it is a plywood guitar with questionable fretwork and noisy electronics. Playing guitar isn't that fun on such a cheap instrument, and it will probably not be an economical choice in the long run. Squier make some good instruments in the Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified series, but the cheapest alternatives isn't very good. A Yamaha Pacifica 112 or similar on the other hand, is a much better guitar that will probably hold up well as you grow as a guitarplayer.

Now, you don't need an American Fender or Gibson to play well, but there's limits to where cheap becomes useless crap. I upgraded to an Epiphone Les Paul Standard after half a year of playing, so it certainly wasn't a good choice of first guitar.
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Last edited by HomerSGR at Jan 11, 2015,
So now that I got the interphase, I can say that it sucked for me. I spent like an hour trying to get it to work. No dice. All Im getting is static and or super lag. Im thinking Ill just return it and save up for a decent amp instead. But I do have one question. I know plugging in a guitar directly to my pc will mess it up but will plunging in an amp do the same?
without knowing what interface you bought or how you set it up i can't offer much help there. All i know is that i have no problems at all with my Apogee Jam on my iMac.

When looking at amps, many will offer a digital recording out which you can plug into a computer. Alternatively use the 'headphone out' direct into the computer as that will be a safe level input.
i use presonus audiobox usb and amplitube 3, works great.
Ibanez Rg 321mh
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A
If all you're looking for is to practice/play alone then you can look at a Vox amplug? Personally I find playing through the computer too much of a hassle unless you want to do recording.

As for the Squier, I'd say try them out before you buy them. A friend of my friend had one of the lower end ones (probably bullet) and it's pretty crappy.
Get a Pocket POD. Unless you need other people to hear you play. You plug your guitar into the POD and a set of head phones. You get the added ability to experiment with different sounds and on top of that you can plug it into an amp when you are ready to go that route.
I got a fender front man amp 10 watt from sweetwater no tax free shipping.
For 60 dollars new,its a nice little a plenty loud for partice
I'm thinking of getting the peavey vypyr vip 1. The problem is that this will mostly be my sister's amp and she plays bass. We have a rumble 25 I want to know which is better or how they compare as bass amps
hi guys!
Does make any big difference in sound quality using a 300 dollar guitar against a 250 dollar guitar if those would be used only with computer?
Quote by taklamakan
hi guys!
Does make any big difference in sound quality using a 300 dollar guitar against a 250 dollar guitar if those would be used only with computer?

dude this is a year old thread make a new one. the answer is no probably not though.
guitar link is the way to go, i use it

for softwares i'd recommend guitar rig
i think guitar rig 5 is absolutely free and it comes with all kinds of great presets
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just thought i'd throw this in the mix -
Since your new to electric, don't think the PC is inferior for growing your skills. pedals, tube amp, ect...can cost lots and you may be overwhelmed with your choices.

Best thing i ever did was just get a pair of monitors (speakers) for the computer and switch to bias fx. Not a promo for bias; just like the ease of testing out a handlful of sims for a one time cost.

Plus viewing tab and using audacity on your pc is super helpful. having all your tools right in front of you is pretty nice.
Squire Bullet? Yes it would appear your definitely on a constrained budget, As to the laptop as an amp thing, You wouldn't be the first or last, In your case as your using iOS I'd take a look at the iRig2, They're not that expensive and made for Apples iOS, and if you have some type of Bluetooth speaker even better yet,
Granted I'm a MS kind of guy but I have checked out the stuff Apple has, Or shall we say considering jumping ship, Windows 10, what a POS nightmare atrocity that's turning out to be, system seems to have a lot of shall we say conflicts of interests, With Apple in this case the iRig was made for it and actually works as advertised, That's my two cents,