simple guitar jack?? Why ?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by murph7489, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. ya know I have wondered why guitars and basses don't have a xlr type output jack rather that the simple output jack...I understand the whole impedance thing, but that could be rectified through electronic means, or why not design a cable that is the same as the standard one that has been used forever with something that locks like an xlr does...
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    It's been done before and the market didn't respond, probably because no matter how good the "new" connector is, they still have other basses and amps and pedals with 1/4" jacks. But despite our lack of foresight, as bass players we are still more forward thinking than guitar players, where 90% of the market is for products designed before 1970. At least we adopted the Speakon connector.

    The truth is we do have locking 1/4" jacks but it's really a solution in search of a problem. Having a plug accidentally pull out from time to time prevents more serious damage that could happen when all sorts of stress is put on one small part.
    Lownote38, FunkHead, byacey and 3 others like this.
  3. John Cribbin

    John Cribbin

    Jan 5, 2018
    There's plenty of guitars running their original Switchcraft 1/4 jack sockets from the 50's 60's.

    If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1. Cost. 1/4" phone jacks are cheap. Making a dozen guitars/basses a year removes economies of scale. But Fender, Ibanez, Gibson, etc. make THOUSANDS of guitars and basses per month. If they can shave a few bucks each from the cost, times hundreds of thousands of units, it adds up. Never mind that it would take retooling factories to drill different holes.

    2. Simplicity. Phone jacks have relative few parts. There's not much to break.

    3. Reliability. I had a locking jack on several basses over the years. I had to replace them several times. My old standard 1/4" jacks have rarely let me down.

    4. For me, bulk. I use 90° plugs on all of my cables to keep them out of the way. XLR plugs are more bulky. Honestly, I'm wondering why some haven't gone to 1/8" plugs.
    abarson, zoonose and Pewter camaro like this.
  5. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    they're big and clumsy and cost more and and weight more and require people to get adapters or buy xlr cables. personally, as one who has been on stages that turned into mosh pits and have played out on the floor in the pit, i'd rather not be that attached to the guitar. i've had my 1/4" plugs pulled out by stage divers and have had my pedals stampeded on. i remained intact while the other stuff took flight with no harm to the guitar.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
    walterw, dwizum and Lobster11 like this.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I must have been playing on the wrong kind of stages; I missed all that fun!
    RSBBass likes this.
  7. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    hardcore punk and death metal. stuff happens.
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I'm with these guys: The benefits of a more solid connection are probably outweighed by the potentially catastrophic costs.

    Besides, it seems to me that simply looping the instrument cable through the end of your strap is adequate to prevent most accidental disconnects (e.g., from stepping on your cable).
    Jeff Scott and 96tbird like this.
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Yep. If you accidentally step on your cable and yank a locked connector you could damage your wood or break the connection, causing the bass to be non-functional. That's sorta bad in a live situation.
    If we're wishing, I'd wish for the guitar industry to be smarter. Why not a magnetic connector like back of a Macbook?

    Or you could get a wireless kit for about what it would cost to have someone burrow in an XLR jack.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    You never want to damage your wood.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020

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