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Replacing output jack, have a go to brand?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by keiththebassist, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. So it's time for me to replace my output jack as I'm constantly having to mess with it, it's intermittently cutting my signal and obviously this won't do.

    Frustrating enough, it's replaced less than a year ago at a pro shop when I was getting the nut replaced. The tech told me they used a switchcraft brand jack. Seems to me a new jack should last a LOT longer than that. Anyway, given that even the high end ones are not too expensive, do you guys have a go to brand for these?

    I really like one with a strong SNAP when you plug it in, some seem so weak, I wanna feel that sucker really pop into place.

  2. Also, maybe a MOD should move this to the luthier section????
  3. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Flush Mount or barrel? As in Fender or Spector/Warwick type?
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Switchcraft or neutrik.

    Also, making it snap is not so hard, you just gotta bend the connector in a bit (not too much though).
    Since they're of thinner metal, having a connector bent out slightly is not unusual.
  5. I believe it's a flush mount type. This is in my LTD (ESP)
  6. Yeah, the one that's in there now is a Switchcraft and it's dead after less than a year. No glowing reviews coming from my corner.
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Is this a review one one single jack though?
  8. Not sure I understand your question.
  9. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    OP are you using Monster brand cables? in other threads it has been suggested that at least some Monster cables use a slightly over-sized pin. this has caused extra jack wear and even breakage.
  10. No, I've been using gold plated road hog cables mostly.
  11. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Is this a barrel jack? If your bass is active, this is likely. If so, it's rare, but not unheard of, for the contacts to loosen up that much in a year, but it does happen. You can't bend the contacts in a barrel jack; when the one on my Cirrus began spitting out my cord, I replaced it with a stereo jack & an electrosocket.
  12. Just to balance things up, I had a Korean jack replaced with a Switchcraft and it's in a different league. Very much the "shove in with force required" that the OP was seeking. I don't have a jack socket fitted, but Neutriks of other types I have are quality.

    I know how the OP feels, in fairness. I fitted a new CTS to an OLP and it snapped (faulty, not hamfist) almost immediately. The replacement is OK but I'd probably try Bourns in future.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    barrel jacks just wear out, that's what they do. you can't bend the thin little internal contacts back out again, you just have to replace the jack.

    switchcraft is the best brand, but they still wear out after a few years.

    with panel jacks, switchcraft should last decades. how many 40-50 year-old fenders and gibsons are going strong with original switchcraft #11 panel jacks?
  14. Hi.

    Neutrik is my go-to brand.

    If it's a side jack, and You don't mind some modding, Neutrik NJ3FP6X-X will last a long time compared with the regular barrel type.

    Sure You can, with a dentist's hook.
    Done that quite a few times back in the day when the availability of the said jacks wasn't as good as it's now.

    The longetivity of that kind of repair IME equals to cleaning a potentiometer without dis-assembling it though, so temporary at best.
    The tabs tend to break after only a couple of re-tensionings as well, so just as the potentiometer cleaning, a band-aid solution to get the gig/tour done.
    IMHO anyway.

  15. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Step one would be take out the current jack and see if the previous shop was fibbing.

    Not to mention you have to beware of knockoff counterfeit "name-brand" items. Which is still on the shop that sold it to you...sometimes the manufacturers have helpful guides to spotting the knockoffs on their websites.

    If it's really a switchcraft, try Neutrik. If the tech was fibbing or there are signs that it's more of a "switchcraft" than a switchcraft, try Neutrik or Switchcraft. Just don't try "neutrik." Crap is crap....
  16. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I just looked in my LTD ESP and I see what the problem is. The jack is not a barrel type, (which are total crap no matter who makes them) but it's not the normal switchcraft open jack either (like on Fenders). It's one of those plastic body cheapo jacks that have rather thin contacts that don't hold tension much better than barrel types.

    One reason for that type of jack is that it usually includes some switching contacts as well that do things in active basses. Best would be to replace it with a standard switchcraft open Fender-style jack although that usually means some wood will have to be removed (in other words not a simple job).

    For example I have some of those plastic jacks in some guitars that are not only active but can switch between mono and stereo if you use a TRS cable. There are no other jacks that will work to do this.

    Other solution would be to see what neutrik offers and if they have anything that will fit. It may not be great but should be better than the plastic thing.
  17. Alard


    Nov 18, 2004
    Shelby Twp., MI
  18. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Yep, they're a well proven commodity. One guy getting one bad Switchcraft jack doesn't change history.
  19. I have heard that claim before so I decided to check out the
    cables around here. I found almost all of my plugs to have a
    shaft that was 0.247" to 0.248" in diameter. This includes
    Monster and other brands.

    However, I did find the ball at the tip of the plug to be about
    0.234" for Monster plugs versus about 0.230" for most other
    brands of plugs around here. Could that be enough to
    damage jacks? I'm skeptical.
  20. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Those kinds of jacks tend to wear out quickly.

    The reason is the contacts are fairly small and fragile.

    Make sure you loop your cable through your strap to give some strain relief.

    I used to replace those fairly often on some of my basses. I finally got tired of doing that and modded the bass to use an electro socket jack. But that's a pretty drastic mod to do.

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