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Planet waves DIY solderless kit

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Unemploid, Apr 22, 2015.


  1. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Your distrust is well placed.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have a cable with these ends, it's my best / favorite cable at this point, but I bought it as a unit, I don't know if it's got soldered or solderless connections on the insides. Yet. ;)
    Edit: The entire planet waves circuit breaker series (the ones I like) use the solderless connections. So is there a specific reason for the distrust? Have they actually failed on anyone? I have lots and lots of cables, at the moment, this is the most reliable of them. If that means I should buy new cables, I guess I should not have just ordered two more of these (with right angle ends). Again, the premade ones, but same on the inside.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    My distrust is theoretical, when you have a mechanical connection, you also have a potential point of failure. Stress, oxidation, and use over time all contribute to cable break down. Soldering minimizes the potential for failure. YMMV
     
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm not disagreeing, just wondering if there's evidence of an issue, I haven't seen one yet, the ends seem very solid and well built. I figure I can always open it up and solder the connections anyway. ;)
     
  5. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I have multiple cables that utilize the PlanetWaves solderless jacks that I have use for years. If there is a failure it is in the cable and all you have to do is remove the jack, snip off the very end of the cable and reattch the jack.
     
  6. KPJ

    KPJ

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    There is probably less stress on this set up than a standard soldered jack. The cable makes connection with hot to a spike and the ground is a set screw in the side that pieces the insulator and contacts the shielding. It is pretty sturdy and not much flexing occurs.
     
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I have one of those Planet Waves cables made with the solderless 1/4" connectors that I put together ~9 years ago, right around the time they first came out. I put it together precisely because I wanted to see whether it was a viable technology.

    My conclusion, unfortunately, is inconclusive: While the cord has certainly lasted for these past ~9 years with no signs of intermittant behavior or any other performance anomalies, the actual cable is so stiff with such an unforgiving lie that I almost never use it!
     
  8. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I actually did have one of the Planet Waves Circuit Breaker cables fail on me, at the circuit breaker part (years ago). Since it was a solderless connection, the usual lifetime warranty did not apply to that cable, so if I wanted to fix it, I needed to drop $8 for a new end to put on it. Easy enough, but for me, at that point I just bought a new regular PW cable that did come with a warranty.
     
  9. T2k5

    T2k5

    Feb 16, 2011
    Kerava, Finland
    I used them on my pedalboard for a few years without any fails, but a circuit breaker cable I used from bass to pedalboard did fail after a year of gigging (the breaker switch part, similar to Jon Moody's experience). The main selling-point of solderless cables is the quick setup, so the most common place to use them is on a pedalboard, where stress is not a huge problem, but the PW cables are really crappy in cramped spaces (a major design fail, as they sell pedalboard kits). If you make very short cables, the plugs can pop out of pedals very easily due to the cable's ridiculous stiffness, and since the plugs are so big, you have to make uselessly long loops for top-mounted pedals, when you could instead run a 4cm straight cable from output to input with George L or Lava cables.

    For other uses it depends; if you only need a few long cables, I would either get some decent and flexible ready-made ones or solder something myself. Overall, I can't think of a place where the PW solderless cables would be worth it.
     
    Unemploid likes this.

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