Lead not sitting securely in input

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 1987, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. 1987


    Jun 17, 2006
    Hey guys,

    Apologies if this is a no-brainer - leads don't seem to be sitting in my bass' input jack securely. The input seems to be working fine but if the lead gets pulled on and moves slightly (while still in the input) the amp loses signal or it becomes filled with hiss. It seems to vary from lead to lead as well (the leads are cool - I've checked them with other instruments).

    Any suggestions on how I can fix this problem? Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    replace the jack
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    With what? Not being contentious; there's about a half dozen different styles / configs (barrel, neutrik locking, etc) available. I had the same problem with a standard (?) jack when using the stock 1/4" on my wireless unit.

  4. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    A new one of the same style. We can only assume that the jack in question has wear from use. Maybe the OP can clarify.

    How old was your jack?

    These things wear out and some manufacturers use cheaper stuff to start with.

    jacks are supposed to be tight enough to make good contact even when you jiggle the cable. If not, they get replaced.
  5. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    buy a Switchcraft jack
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes, I just saw another thread addressing the same problem whereas the contacts spread over time. Given that tidbit, does any one particular design have significant advantages over the others in terms of durability? It appears as most control cavities have adequate volume to accommodate the internal "footprint" without modification. OTOH, installation may be hindered by the widely-varying methods of external mounting....flush mount, recessed, both with and without plates, etc.

  7. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    My general preference is an open style Switchcraft. I've replaced more sealed jacks than anything.
    The life of most jacks can be extended by routing your cable around your strap to act as a strain relief. Ideally, you want the plug just sitting in the jack without pulling against the side of the jack in any direction
  8. If the socket is an open-style (or "skeleton" as us brits call them - much to the amusement of a guy in Radio Shack in Miami), then try bending the tip contact with a pair of pliers to increase the spring effect that holds the plug in the socket.

    You should definitely loop the cable though the strap as a strain relief and be mindful of where your lead/cable is at all times. Be aware of how long it is so you don't pull it out straight and put tension on it, try not to stand on it, and you'll avoid the problem of the plug moving in the socket.
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 to all that. the barrel-type jacks just wear out over the course of a couple years and need to be replaced. the open panel-type ("skeleton", I like that) will last just about forever, just needing the part that holds the tip of the cable to be pushed back to re-tension it every now and then.

    make sure that the open-panel type doesn't get jammed against the side of its hole when a cable is plugged into it, and you should be fine.
  10. slyjoe

    slyjoe Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Valley of the Sun (AZ)
    What the others have said - open all the way. And make sure you replace that input jack with an output jack. ;)
  11. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Here's a couple of tips:

    - use a stereo jack. The extra pressure helps hold the plug in place more securely.
    - not all leads and jacks are the same; some are made to Metric tolerance (6mm) while others are Imperial (1/4" = 6.3mm).

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