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Airtight 1/4" Cab Inputs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lo-freq, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Is there a way to make unused quarter inch inputs on a speaker cabinet airtight, but still usable?

    I use Speakon connectors to connect to my cab and don't plan on using the 1/4" connectors, but I can envision some weird scenario where I might need them down the road in a crunch.
    Otherwise, I just plug them with a silicone sealant and forget them.

    A surprising amount of air blows through these things when I'm pounding my bass.

    I'm thinking sealing them off might tighten things up (even more).

  2. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Try some foam earplugs inserted into the jacks.
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Sounds like a great idea.

    I'll give it a try.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    you can also get small rubber stoppers (corks) from a hardware store. These are a more solid fit.
  5. I cut down a couple of of old plugs and just leave them in the sockets, but I think foam earplugs are the simplest solution.
    Both my Nemesis combo and Eden 210XST had jack contacts that would buzz like harmonica reeds when I hit a low note.
  6. I bet somewhere there's going to be somebody arguing on the sonic benefits of various types of earplugs stuck in the little 1/4 holes here. :rolleyes:

    Why I'm sure there's gotta be some $100 plugs that will give the bass more authority. Like lifting a veil off the music :D :D Does Tara make foam earplugs?
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    When I sent my cabs in to Marc Serio (Dr. Bass) to make some modifications, he sent it back with little black plastic caps in the 1/4" inputs that look like they were made just for this job. So yes, they do exist. I'm sure Marc could tell you where to get them if you can't find them.


    I make no claims as to the sonic benefits.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm pretty sure Accugrove have "self sealing 1/4 jacks", or something like that, so someone out there is making and selling such a device.
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The Nemesis NC-210P that I used to have had some of these ('cept they were blue).

    I'd be worried they might become plastic bullets flying out of my Schro 410 though (I haven't seen any of these since).
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    That's the thing that actually triggered me starting this thread.

    I'd been thinking about it ever since I noticed how much air moves through the holes (which was a couple of months ago).

    The foam earplugs sounds like the simplest solution, but I'll look around a hardware store and see what I can find.
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I am in a constant tweak mode with my system's EQ settings so I can't absolutely attribute my cab's improved sound to having the quater inch inputs plugged, but DAMN, it sure sounded a lot better to me at practice last night.
    Very tight and solid low end (much better than usual).

    I used the foam ear plugs that are rounded and smaller at one end.
    They seem to fit pretty securely; there's only about a quarter of an inch of the ear plugs hanging out of the input.

    Thanks guys for the suggestions.
  12. Hire a big chested blond to stick her fingers in them.
  13. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    My wife would wonder why I'm constantly staring at the backside of my cabinet. ;)
  14. Monomer


    Jul 22, 2005
    ditch the standered 1/4 jacks.

    neutrik makes speakon 1/4 jacks. its a speakon jack with a 1/4 in the center, sealed.
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Wow! That'd work.

    Thanks for the info.
  16. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    That's fine if you are building your own cab from scratch, but it is rarely a viable option for a commercial cab. Most of them have integrated jack panel/crossovers in which the jacks are soldered to the crossover PCB. Retrofitting a Neutrik into the 1/4" jack position on an Eden crossover sounds like major surgery to me.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I was just thinking about this last night.

    This is not an inconsiderable problem; I was reading a long thread about a maddening spook noise in a high-end Vox amp that was driving owners nuts until it was discovered to be coming from an open jack in a sealed combo cab.

    When I was servicing this Basic Black that I got, which has the amp inside the cab, I saw how SWR dealt with this with those old, first-generation plastic jacks, and that was by sealing them (not very well) with electrical tape. They just gave up with the two metal Switchcraft headphone and extension jacks.:spit:

    Anything that plugs into the jack and makes a good seal is fine, but it has to be short enough not to open a normally-closed jack.
  18. i was under the impression that in most cabs the jacks were inside a sealed box inside the cab box? so just the wires need to go through this seperate chamber... i'm sure this is how my ashdown is, i'll check at some point but it seems like a better solution to me.
  19. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The only downside to that approach would be losing precious internal volume, but I guess if you're talking about 0.2 cubic ft, it's no big deal.
  20. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Another reason not to push those earplugs in too far! :p