If you see the bolded sentence in my above post, you'll see that I found even a non pre-amped line in (on my Focusrite) provided a louder input than my old onboard soundcard did, both in an absolute sense and with respect to signal to noise. So that makes me wonder out of curiosity if maybe the TASCAM US-1800
USB would have been acceptable for plugging in a guitar directly (without a D/I box) and then using some high gain patch on Guitar Rig or something, yet still being able to feed it enough input to get a fully driven sound yet without being super noisy. Can anyone tell me if the specs on it reveal something about how close these line ins would come to approximating a pre-amped signal?
What's the telling stat? Impedance? input level? the noise rating?
For example, the TASCAM's line inputs were:
Guitar Inputs (Unbalanced) terminals (GUITAR 9-10) Connector: 6.3 mm (1/4") TS Standard Phone jack
(Tip: HOT, Sleeve: GND)
Input impedance: 700 kOhm
Nominal input level: -6 dBV (0.501 Vrms)
Minimum input level: -52 dBV (0.0025 Vrms)
Max. Input level: +10 dBV (3.162 Vrms)
But the Focusrite's line inputs are:
Line inputs 3-8
• Input level: +10dBu for 0dBFS (balanced inputs)
• Noise: -100dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
• Input impedance: >10k Ohm