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switchcraft and active input jacks

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by soundoholic, Jul 11, 2005.


  1. Recently I have been having some problems with my bass. A warwick FNA Jazzman. It has active pickups so it has a switched jack. It would cut out for no apparent reason after I had been playing for a long time, like an hour or two. So usually at a gig. I replaced the battery and even had a new jack installed. I still had the same problem. Then I talked to a guitar tech guru. He told me that it was the cable I was using. I used to use the planet waves standard instrument cables with the compressions springs that "lock" the cable into your input jack.

    He told me that non-switchcraft type 1/4" jacks should not be used on switched input jacks(active). If you hold up a standard 1/4" switchcraft jack and a non-switchcraft jack(usually made in asia) like the planet waves cables you can see that the tips are different. He said that this along with the compression springs on the planet waves cables are probably what are causing my problems.

    Since it takes awhile for this problem to occur I'll let everyone know if the guitar tech was correct or if it was just bs.
     
  2. Wow! How do you know if you are using a switchcraft jack or not? Besides signal loss after two hours....if this guy is correct? Just curious as I have a Stambaugh custom in the mail today (I think) and I am running planet waves cables myself. The jacks (yes 2 of them) are locking but I didn't ask what the manufacturer is.

    Thanks!
     
  3. The only way I can tell is if I hold up a jack that I'm sure is switchcraft and compare it to another jack.

    I wouldn't take this advice to heart yet, but this guitar tech is the ****. So unless you are having problems I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. Right on! I was just curious as it's the first time I've heard the term. *POP* That was me pulling my head out of the sand! I'll google on it later and see what I find.
     
  5. BTW~ Do you ever come back to Denver to play shows? I was just checking your calendar...
     
  6. Hey! I didn't even notice. Another Colorado bassist. Very cool.

    I'm actually living in Spearfish, South Dakota right now for the summer. I'm interning up here.

    I wiset gigs in Denver. We are looking at getting a gig at the... x-saloon? I can't remember the name. Once I move back and start up school again I'm going to go on a crusade to getting Denver gigs.
     
  7. Cool man! Post it when you do get some gigs and I'll check your site every once in a while!
     
  8. Thanks!
     
  9. Audere

    Audere Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 7, 2005
    South Beach, OR
    Owner: Audere Audio
    In this case the planet wave compression springs will not cause a problem. The region with the compression springs does not extend past the sleeve on any input connector I have seen - Switchcraft or others.

    However I have seen problems with cheap cables which are under sized. Some cheap cable ends are undersized since the manufacturing consistency is low and by going small they never have that "hey it will not go into the hole" phenomena.

    Past that I have a planet wave cable and the ground in the cable is less than acceptable connected on one end so their price and quality might not be in a reasonable relationship.
     
  10. I've got a Warwick with the same type of barrel jack.

    Some plugs would fit in the jack nice and tight. Most of them would be fairly loose though, easy to get crackling and intermittent connections. So I changed the jack--3 times, with both Switchcraft and Neutrik as well as an Allparts jack.

    Same results, still snapping and popping on some cords if the plug is bumped! I finally concluded the contacts in the barrel jack just aren't as big as a regular jack, and can't accomodate a whole lot of variation in the plug.

    Solution: I removed the barrel jack, drilled a 7/8 inch hole where the barrel jack was, fabricated a cover plate to go over the hole, and put in a regular 1/4 inch jack. Now all of the plugs I've got fit firmly and snugly. No more snaps and pops. A little work, and there's a cover plate where there once was this hidden little jack, but the net result-to me-is worth a little cosmetic surgery.

    Hold up a regular 1/4 jack next to a barrel jack, and you can see that the contacts in the barrel jack must be a lot smaller and less "springy" than the regular jack.
     
  11. I'm not ready to make that drastic of a change but I have changed out the barrel plug and on my other warwick I also had the the barrael plug changed out.