jacks on Ken Smith basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Kirk P Brosius, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Hello all,

    Have any of you Ken Smith players replaced the stock jack with an aftermarket jack? The OEM versions don't seem to like Monster cables and tend to stop working if subjected to a little careless handling. I'm very careful with my gear but, stuff happens! I've replaced my jack once in ten years but I'm not looking forward to spending another $25 ($15 for the jack, $10 for shipping) if it fails again.

    There are plenty of bass manufacturers using the flush mount jack which engages the pre when the cable is inserted and I'm just wondering!!!!

    Later, Kirk
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    My Ken Smith has had the same problem. Monster cables were notorious for having connectors that are a few thousandths larger than average (I'm not sure if this has been remedied in recent years). Using these oversized connectors weakens the tension of the jacks and makes other cables feel loose and sloppy. I suggest getting your jack replaced and switching out your primary instrument cable.
  3. Hey testing,

    Thanks for the words. I now use a PlanetWaves 90deg/straight and it works fine. I also put in a new jack about a year ago (very easy to do, thanks to Ken for the engineering) and all is well! I'm just thinking ahead!!!

    Later, Kirk
  4. Ronen


    Feb 9, 2003
    Hi Kirk,
    Which jack did you choose for a replacement? I can see this problem coming my way soon enough.
  5. Hey Ronen,

    I bought the OEM jack from Ken along with a new set of Compressors. I figured that since I was buying strings, I might as well pick up a jack as well.

    I'll keep you posted.

    Regards, Kirk
  6. Ronen


    Feb 9, 2003
    Thanks Kirk!
    Since I'm not in the US I wanted to know what exactly to look for, maybe I can find it here.
    Do you know if it's a stereo or a mono jack?
  7. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    Switchcraft stereo barrel jacks are the jacks that fit ken smith basses. I replace these frequently at my shop. These types of jacks are notorious for failing.
  8. Ronen


    Feb 9, 2003
    Thanks. I'll look into these, maybe order a few to have around.
    The connections on my jack are fine but it feels loose when I plug a cable in. I'm afraid it will come out just by itself.
  9. Hey gfried and all,

    Thanks for the heads-up on Switchcraft.
    They are available at AllParts for $9.50 ea. and are in stock. Now, where's my soldering iron?

  10. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
  11. They don't just fall out. I've never experienced that, but they do get damaged very easily by rattling around and by TRS cables if I remember correctly.

    Ken Smith jacks are different in that they don't require soldering; they have a connector that justs plugs into preamp more conveniently. I guess he knew that they were failing too often. This is a major flaw in an otherwise perfect instrument in my opinion. Reliability is so important. A jack can't just signal out randomly.
  12. Is that link to the exact same model of OEM jacks that Ken sent you? I've been struggling with this problem for years and it has made me almost give up on my Ken Smith bass because it happens so often.
  13. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    Wondering the same thing. I need to replace mine.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it's just a switchcraft #152B stereo barrel jack you can find at any decent music store, you guys are over-thinking this.

    they wear out every few years and need to be replaced, totally normal.

    avoiding monster cables and always using right-angle cables slipped through the strap will lengthen their life.
  15. Is there another type of jack that could replace this type of jack that would have a longer life? I'll try to start investing in right angle cords but its hard to throw away 15 cables.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    not without routing out the bass for a jackplate, and it's not too hard to put right-angle ends onto existing cables.