Darkglass Electronics have a nifty new device on the shelves that looks like a handy little box of tone for the home jam session. It packs 5 speaker cabinet simulations (customisable through their Darkglass Suite app), two headphone outputs, a balanced XLR output, auxiliary TRS line in, a 1/4″ input, an extra 1/4″ output for connection to an amp, bluetooth connection for backing track playback and connection to the app.
It’s all packed into a pretty sleek looking knob-less box that uses touch sensitive controls to control the cab sim model, volume and blends of input signals. This makes it ideal for headphone jams using your usual pedal board without having to get your amplifier involved. The dual headphone output is a little puzzling with only one guitar input and cab sim, though I suppose a second person could plug in an electronic device like a drum machine or laptop to the TRS aux input and jam along – effectively making this box a 2 channel mini-mixer.
I was surprised to find Element does not run on batteries — PSU only. The website addresses this briefly, ‘ Due to ecological reasons, it does not accept batteries.’ I can’t say I can recall a manufacturer ever citing ecological reasons for not utilizing battery power — I’d be curious to hear more from Darkglass on this stance.
Elsewhere, the output options are also interesting but have left me scratching my head a little. There’s a number of diagrams on their website to explain connections to amplifiers in various setups, but their descriptions of the jack labels do not match what’s shown in the official YouTube..and there’s no product images on their website (quite odd) so we can’t check them.
“Use the input labelled “INSTRUMENT IN” on the Element.” Ummmm..
Side note: Why do all the manufacturers insist Bluetooth connections are for backing track playback? Everyone just uses them to watch Netflix and noodle around on their guitars simultaneously right?