Alternative to top mounted jacks

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by G.Bisson, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. G.Bisson

    G.Bisson Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    So I have a P Bass with a top mounted jack that is unreliable. The signal cuts out if you wobble the cord around. This isn't the first instrument I've had to replace a top-mounted Switchcraft style jack because of mechanical damage.

    Is there an alternative piece of hardware that would be more durable? Will it fit within the tight routing channel of a P bass? Maybe a locking jack?
    I am willing to alter the 13-hole pickguard to fit a more robust jack, but not willing to route the body wood.
    Was looking at the Strat syle jack plates, but it doesn't look like it would fit.

    As a last resort I could buy new cords with right-angle jacks so less flexing and stress occurs, but that would be more expensive and more hassle than replacing a small part.

  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    What cables do you use? Do they have the removable metal ends like below?

    If so, you can just put a new right-angle plug on the end and it'll only cost a few bucks.

    You should just be able to pull off the pickguard and bend the jack prong back in so that it's making solid connection again. Tighten 'er up, good as new.

    I don't know that a sealed jack wont suffer the same issue so long as your cord is pulling it in all directions. Always run your cord up through your strap to reduce wobble.

    You can try the Neutrik locking jack if you'd like, but I'd try the cheaper suggestions above before sourcing one and modifying your pickguard.
  3. I use a right angle cable made by ExaltBass here on TB. I never have issues with my top jack.
  4. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    IMO Switchcraft has the best 1/4" female jack available. Were it my bass, I'd replace with a Switchcraft and change to Switchcraft 90deg jacks on the cables and loop the cord through the strap to prevent strain. A straight plug sticking out of a guitar body is an accident waiting to happen. Using the same brand of jacks for both male and female ensured the parts mate as they should. Not all 1/4" plugs are the same size and profile since the Bell Telephone standard went by the board years ago.

  5. G.Bisson

    G.Bisson Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Looks like changing my cords plug ends is the cheapest and easiest solution.

    Is there a general consensus that Switchcraft female jacks are the most durable?
  6. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    I'm in...
  7. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    In the jack world, Switchcraft and Neutrik are the big boys. Either is a good choice.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I'd say yes, but it sounds to me like the jack contacts are bent internally. You can probably just take the PG off, straighten them and keep using the jack.

    But I agree with others - use a cable with 90-degree plug to insert in the female jack. Much less leverage tugging sideways on the jack contacts, and less sticking out to bump into things.