Using Guitar Output Jack to Replace Multi-Effects Jack?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Blue_Whistle88, May 12, 2017.

  1. I've got a Zoom multi-effects unit with a loose input jack, and I was wondering if I could replace it with a standard guitar output jack. It's a mono jack, as far as I can tell (i.e. it only has 2 contacts), so I'm guessing that it should be possible. It looks like it has the same screw thread for attaching it, so it'll just be a question of whether or not the guitar physically fits inside the housing I guess.

    Has anyone had any experience doing this? I'm guessing that amp repair technicians would know a lot about this, but I don't personally know any.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    As long as you know whether it's TS or TRS and you replace it with the same it will work.
    A TS input on a pedal is a little strange though, they're usually TRS.

    Got a pic?
    Rattman likes this.
  3. I haven't taken it apart yet, but I might try to get a photo looking down into the jack later. I've already got a bunch of spare TRS jacks (both my basses are active), but I figured that it's a TS because I only see 2 prongs (versus the 3 prongs that I can see on each output jack, plus the Control Input jack).

    So basically, if I determine whether it's TS or TRS, any jack of that type should work - correct?
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    IIRC you can use a TRS jack to replace a TS jack, but not the other way.
  5. Yea, you just don't use the extra terminal. But they're cheap enough that I don't mind buying a few TS jacks even if I don't end up needing them for this.

    I'm just trying to figure out whether or not the jacks used in multi-effects units are generally the same as the standard jacks used in guitars (WITHOUT taking my unit apart first). My intuition says 'yes', but I was really hoping to get confirmation from someone who's fixed one such unit before.
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    You might not need to replace it at all, just screw it back together...
    LowActionHero and Lvjoebass like this.
  7. Do you mean tighten the nut that holds the jack on to the chassis?
  8. For what it's worth, I just tried this and it didn't solve the issue :/
  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The Zoom jacks are not the same as those used in guitars.

    Zoom 506

    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  10. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    BadExample likes this.
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Most effects jacks that I've encountered are like the ones in your Zoom - board mounted jacks. With some soldering skills, they can be replaced. If there's room, they can be removed and replaced with guitar style jacks, but again, only if room permits, You'd need jumpers to go from the connectors on the jacks to the board. The best scenario would be to replace them with the same type. Perhaps Zoom customer support can help with a jack replacement order or part number.
  12. That tool is used to tightening the jack's mounting on the chassis (which is fine with my unit). I'm talking about looseness inside the jack itself, which causes the cable to get unplugged too easily.

    Does anyone know how to tighten input jacks without removing them? Is such a thing possible? It's looking like this will be what I have to do, as I can't find any local/ebay suppliers of PCB board input jacks, and I don't think Zoom will replace it under warranty as it's not technically 'broken'.
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  13. If it were guitar style sockets you can just bend the long pin a little so that it grips the cable tightly. With these sealed units there's no easy way and replacement is the answer.

    You'll likely find it is a TRS (stereo) socket, especially if the unit has the option to run on batteries.
    Honch likes this.
  14. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    All jacks on multi-fx pedal boards are those "hardwired" onto the circuit board. As in your pic. They won't take another replacement but the exact kind of model. You can't replace it with a regular guitar input/output jack. At all. It's better to leave it in for repair with someone who knows how to deal with soldering and swapping those things out. They do go south now and then. Usually it's the solder joints in the circuit board that cracks up, and get loose band connection. I've tried to do this myself, to some extent, but found it too finicky and too cumbersome to deal with, because you may have to use special tools. It all depends on the circuit and the design.

    I know, I did once a expanded deep rack mount for a lexicon reverb unit. They had all ouputs mounted on board and we jacked the rack casing and swapped it out for a deeper one. Then we unsoldered all mounted jacks and soldered wires onto them that went into "regular" guitar output jacks. Made the rack deeper. So no teleplug would ever have the chance/risk of dislodging or inducing stress onto the circuit board making the solder joint crack later on.
    @Blue_Whistle88 it's actually no good tightening everything up, believ it or not. Small movements in the plug will just need micrometers of movement to make anything hard dry plastic to break up in tiny microcracks in the solder. We did put the circuit board on slicon tubes and didn't screw all things down hard. On all screws, it was left half a turn before they hit bottom. Major touring acts does this too, whenever inside large rack cases, in order to withstand jumping up and down inside the trailer while transporting, all these schock absorbers makes sense INSIDE the rack units. Small rubber rings around output jacks and so on.

    Instead of going into details here, it all has something aking to this moronic connection between stomp boxes pedals, the pedal couplers instead of patch cables:


    I e you always think all circuits boards are straight on a horisontal plan to a tee, but they aren't.
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    Jeff Elkins likes this.
  15. BooDoggie

    BooDoggie Typical Dumb-ass with a degree

    Mar 29, 2014
    ^ More likely than not the jacks inside your pedal look like these. ^
    The part of the jack that contacts the tip of the cable has probably lost it's tension against the cable tip causing it to be loose and pull out too easily. There is really no good way to fix this without replacing the jack. You have several options to get a replacement part. You can try to contact Zoom's tech support for a replacement part, or you can probably get a manufacturer name and part number off of the jack and Google that info.
    I have read where others were having problems with signal drop-out due to the solder connections at the circuit board, but I think by your description your problem is a faulty jack. I have replaced many PCB mounted jacks in all sorts of devices including laptop computer motherboards. If you have good basic soldering skills it should be no problem at all. If not, find someone you trust that does. It is a great deal harder to remove the old one than to install the new one. I have had to carefully break away the plastic parts so that I could remove the metal bits connected to the PCB without damaging the PCB.
    I Googled Zoom 506 replacement input jack and found a listing for this. This is a typical PCB mounted TS type jack with four terminals. Two are active the other two act as a switch when the cable is plugged in, so be sure to get the "right" part.
    s-h506_0.png s-h506_specification_sheet.png
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    Honch likes this.
  16. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Yep, this is the part I had huge issues with as well. Eventually I gave up. But I remember doing it on the large rack thing.
  17. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Wait, it's under warranty? Loose parts are not a warranteed failure? Call zoom. If you broke it with abuse and they can determine that, they might void your warranty. If you solder on the board, they will surely void your warranty.
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    AshInAmsterdam and mapleglo like this.
  18. Yeah I missed that comment. definitely replaceable under warranty if you haven't opened it yet....!
    BadExample likes this.
  19. I've had luck gently bending it back with something like this (Harbor Freight, about 6 bucks). A little tricky, but might be worth a try if you're gonna replace it anyway.

    BooDoggie likes this.
  20. Hey guys, I've actually decided to just return the unit and get a full refund (I've been in possession of it for less than 10 days). The unit in question is a B3n, and basically it's just not as much of an improvement on the older B3 as I was hoping for. The quality of the effects are good (and slightly better in some respects), but the physically quality of the chassis just seems a bit worse. The old B3 had good stiff jacks (the ones on the B3n were quite loose right out of the box), and the overall structure seems less robust (courtesy of the plastic side-panels, compared to the B3's all-metal construction).

    This whole process has made me realise that I probably want better quality than this line of Zoom units can afford me. Therefore, I've decided that I will simply eschew effects for the time being, and being building a small pedalboard later in the year (4-5 pedals).

    Thanks for all your replies though! Your collective wisdom has shed some light on the nature of these PCB parts, so I definitely appreciate that :)
    BadExample and Honch like this.