A screaming input jack

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Fretlesser, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. I need help here guys...

    About a month ago, I bought a used Zon Sonus Special six string. When I first tried it I heard a high pitch sort of "screaming" sound coming from the input jack when dislocating the cable slightly but I thought what the heck, it can be fixed, problaby some oxides (spelled correctly..?).
    But I told the seller about it, and he cleaned out the jack and everything seemed to be fine. Then maybe a week and a half after I bought it, the sound came back. And yet, if I just unplugged the cable and put it in the bass again, it disappeared.

    Then, for every week it got more worse. It came more frequently and was harder to get rid off. So when I had the bass at a local luthier to get me some new straplocks I told him to fix the jack. He sprayed it for oxides but a day after I got it again, the sound was back AGAIN! So I'm thinking it could be a faulty connection due to it could be a bit worned out. So I opened up the preamp compartment and tried to sort of put more "tension" on the thing that grips the cable... But I had to pull out the jack a bit to get access and one soldering fell off, even though I pulled very carefully. So I problaby have to take it to the luthier again maybe to change it, but some of you may know what to do save the jack.
    And just so you know, OFF COURSE I have tried it with several cables, I'm not that stupid.

    And about the sound... it is not super high pitch, but more like around the pitch of a guitar E-string (the high one).

    So... anyone had any experience on this..?
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Sounds like maybe a little capacitance interfering with the output. Can you just replace the jack? You should be able to find one at your local electronics store, or if not you can find them online at stewmac.com, tubesandmore.com, or any of a dozen other online parts supply places. If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can do it yourself, shouldn't take more than five minutes for the whole operation.

  3. Well, I really don't want to change it because if it can be fixed it would be a hella lot cheaper. But that is if the problem is simple.. And I don't have a soldering iron, if I did have one, I wouldn't want to do it myself near a open circuitboard (the board is completely exposed and if I would screw it up, my bass would be in deep ****). It problaby takes a complete dufus to mess it up, but I don't want to risk it anyway..

    And what is capacitance?
  4. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003

    $10 for a top of line Switchcraft input jack
    $10 for professional installation.

    Go ahead big spender.

    I'm sure you can find enough spare change lying around.
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Okay, fair enough. A tech can do it for you, for a "minimum bench charge". (Forget about capacitance, it's just an electronic term, it's not important unless you want to learn about electronics).

    Generally speaking, it would probably be better to replace the jack than to try fixing it. Anytime you have a "flaky" connection in an electronic circuit, you risk "intermittent" problems. Which means, it could be working fine for a long time, then suddenly one day you'll be in the middle of a gig and your bass will start squealing. "Reliability" is a good thing for bass players. :)

    Manufacturers these days use a lot of cheap parts. It's the bean counter mentality, cost savings and all that. Anytime I run into that in any of my instruments, I replace the questionable components. I've replaced plenty of jacks for exactly the reason that you've encountered. My view is, it's not worth the effort and grief to mess around with them. Just replace 'em and be done with it, then you'll have an instrument you can rely on.

    Edit: the other thought is, it's possible it may be some other component besides the jack that's causing the problem. That's where I was going with the "capacitance" thing. That happens sometimes in electronic circuits, you'll get an oscillation or something, and it'll go away when the load changes (ie when you temporarily unplug the instrument). A "good" tech will be able to diagnose your instrument and tell you "for sure" what was causing the problem. I can't really help with the money thing, but I'd think it would be well worth spending a few bucks to achieve reliability (look at it as an "investment" into your bass playing career). :)

  6. Yeah, I guess I can see your point... :p

    But the local repairguy said that he was quite unfamiliar with the jack that was in it, and I guess that sort of means that he doesn't have one in stock. And I just simply can not buy from the internet, because I don't have anything to buy with, I'm 16..

    Sure he could get me a new jack, but he would problaby have to order it and BLABLA=I have to wait ages for it to get finished. I need the bass on tuesday. And it doesn't help that he already has a huge ass pile of work before me..
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Holy crap! Find a new repair guy, this is ridiculous. Nothing unique at all about that jack . . .
  8. Well, I guess he mostly works with passive guitars... And may not be so sure of which cable that goes where...there are 4 cables from the jack into the circuitboard.

    But I'll check with him just to make sure...
  9. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003

  10. HA!

    Please, look were I live.. I can only imagine what the shipping costs would be, if that's what you are going for... :rolleyes:

    No, but seriously... It's a input jack, and that's all there is to it. No voodoo magic here. Or is it? :bag:
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    No, I think the idea is that you email them and ask what THEY think. And if the jack's special, you can get one from them.

  12. Yeah, I do get that too but what I meant with shipping costs was having to buy a jack from them, I would like to look around first before considering that option. And I'm not beeing cheap here, I do have the money but could use it for other stuff if possible..

    But I could mail them I guess... Although I don't think there's a "Zon Special" jack..

    But I shouldn't blabber to much before I have talked to some people.... So, if anyone gives a crap later, I can tell you how it went and maybe have this thread for other troubled bassists with screaming jacks..
  13. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Whenever I have a screaming jack, I send him to his room with no supper... ;) :D

  14. You are a funny guy! What's your secret?

    *Pissed off from not being able to play my bass*
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Don't toy with angry teenagers! Them whippersnappers are feisty.

  16. Sorry for my bad manner, sir. I won't post here again until I'm 30.

    When hell freeze...