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Pure Tone Jacks?


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Anyone tried these new-fangled pure tone jacks?

 

The 1/4 inch jack/socket was first used back to 1878 so any new innovation has been a long time coming.

 

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Pure_Tone_Jack_Comparison_1024x1024.jpg?

I'll be replacing the Pots on my CIJ thinline telecaster soon with some lovely mojotone CTS ones and I can't remember whether or not I changed the jack to a switchcraft when I first bought the guitar. If I didn't then I have a switchcraft and a pure tone sitting here which I'll choose between.

 

The pure tone looks like it should be as good as the switchcraft but its a totally different design, however in the pic above it is being compared against a crappy cheapo jack rather than a switchcraft or neutrik and that one's plug isn't even pushed in all the way - so i suspect there might be some element of marketing bullsh!ttery going on even if the product is good.

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The pure tone one I bought was about the same cost as a switchcraft. I recently bought a neutrik one which went into my bitzer telecaster. That one looked very much like a switchcraft but was stamped “CHINA” rather than “Switchcraft” and was a bit cheaper. It seems to be working well and had the correct thread to screw into an electrosocket like a switchcraft.

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Voice of reason here.

 

I'm all for ensuring the plug doesn't come out of the socket, but seriously, additional contact points aren't going to change things significantly from a signal perspective.  Even after heavy use, whatever that is.

 

Think back to your schooldays; tangent of a circle, anyone?  The contact points are already tiny, so (with the Pure Tone) you're just multiplying tiny by two.  What about the socket in your amp?  That's still going to have one contact point.

 

Jack sockets/plugs are just old, archaic (telephone exchange) tech; a means to an end.  It's amazing how we have all this kit which is reliant on two infinitesimally small contact points to function; it's a huge pity that the whole plug/socket system hasn't undergone a complete overhaul by now, even if it utilizes existing cable tech (XLR etc.).

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1 hour ago, Hellzero said:

Just in case, real Neutrik must be stamped "Made in Lichtenstein". Now you now why they don't make mini jacks. 🤣 

 

Looking into it I think my 'neutrik' one is actually Rean, but the vendor listed it as a product of the parent company.

 

Perhaps they make them in China as there isn't enough space to stamp "Made in Lichtenstein" on them.

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On some forums, there are those stating that the Pure Tone, are better built and will last longer than the Switchcraft.

 

Now considering that there's plenty of kit out there with their original working Switchcraft jack's from the 1950's, that's a pretty brave if not ridiculous position to take. 

 

If I make it to 120+, the longevity of a jack socket will be the last thing on my mind. In the meantime, I'll live with stuff that's been tried and tested for longer than I've been alive.

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The Switchcraft jack sockets have gained their reputation for the grade and consistency of the spring steel they use.  I have replaced a lot of standard jack sockets on my own instruments and other peoples in the last 10 years...but to my recollection, I have never had to replace a Switchcraft one.  The barrel sockets are another matter...even the Switchcraft barrel sockets fail eventually.

 

I don't have many pro players I do work for, so it's not a statistically sound example, but all of the ones I do often ask for stereo sockets to be fitted as @Hellzero mentions above.  Whereas on cheapo jack sockets it is usually the spring of the  hot contact that looses its flex and cause the failures, the other weak spot on a mono jack is the ground contact.  On a mono, this is wholly reliant on the barrel keeping contact with the jack stem.  Using a stereo jack, the earth is connected to a proper spring contact.  They are also noticeably harder to pull out with the old 'standing on the cable' trick.   

 

So I think this is the principle that the Pure Tone's have adapted and added to.  It would be interesting to know the spring-steel grade they use - if it's good, then it is probably a decent belt and braces for high usage players.  That said I would probably personally stick with stereo Switchcrafts for that category, simply because they are a known and proven quantity.

Edited by Andyjr1515
typo
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On 14/08/2021 at 09:40, NancyJohnson said:

  The contact points are already tiny, so (with the Pure Tone) you're just multiplying tiny by two.  What about the socket in your amp?  That's still going to have one contact point.

 

 

But all other things being equal (though they never are) you are reducing probability of signal loss.

Same principle is applied to high quality (eg Penny & Giles) faders in mixing desks where 'multi finger' wipers are used.

Lose contact on one "finger" - no issue - the difference in impedance wrt circuit / track impedance is negligible and there's no glitch in the signal.

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18 hours ago, rmorris said:

But all other things being equal...

I do agree, that P&G are quality. But the situation is slightly different. No moving parts, just two contacts. Current plug is feasible in its use. It may also be good though that the plug is a fuse, the breaking part. When the bass top breaks because of the good locking contact, instrument builders should make the instrument such that they could withstand the pulling when someone walks to the cable etc.

To the original point, I see nothing special in this so called "new" jack. As @Hellzerosuggested, use a stereo jack if in need.

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I was under the impression that multiple routes for a signal made for the potential for noise. 'Star-earthing' is there to make sure exactly that doesn't happen. I don't understand the electrics enough to know whether the above arrangement would actually cause issue, but I do know enough about honesty that not pushing the first plug in properly so as to make it look worse has already biased me against them!

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13 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

I was under the impression that multiple routes for a signal made for the potential for noise. 'Star-earthing' is there to make sure exactly that doesn't happen. I don't understand the electrics enough to know whether the above arrangement would actually cause issue, 

 

It won't cause a noise / interference problem.

"High-Rel" electronic connector systems usually have more than one contact point even if it's not obvious.

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I've checked my telecaster and it looks like I must have fitted a switchcraft in it when I first bought it, so it'll only be the pots & capacitor swapped out when I get around to doing it.

 

I received a new Squier bullet mustang today so I have put the pure tone socket in that to replace the stock one so it won't get a chance to play up. In use its not a lot different to a switchcraft.

 

The stock one was, as expected of the design that will eventually lose its springyness - shown below (with a switchcraft in the background for comparison) shortly before being binned.

 

I wonder how long before the pots & switch will also need replacing...

 

IMG_5317.thumb.jpg.b94182e09e749b23fc96a653759edbc0.jpg

 

 

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11 hours ago, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

The stock one was, as expected of the design that will eventually lose its springyness

 

In my experience, this style either fail quickly or last decades.

 

The biggest problem is when they have a too-large diameter hole, causing the jack to move around causing noise, rather than the spring losing its mojo.

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On 16/08/2021 at 19:07, itu said:

 No moving parts, just two contacts.

 

Yes - but the absence of movement can be a problem where there is not a gas tight connection (as will be the case here). Surface contamination / oxidisation may occur. But that's a different issue to the loss of 'springiness' of the conductor in a jack plug.

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Some in-out with a Krackle Killer and Deoxit D5 works wonders.

1597755456_PXL_20210826_073751795s.thumb.jpg.468ab4bec61f38185670324c8beba260.jpg

Bending the contact is a bodge - better to order a new Switchcraft jack... which will last decades...

The worst are the tubular jacks which need replacing every few (?) years.

 

Avoid cheapo 'gold plated' connectors - whatever they are plated with (it aint gold) quickly wears off and gums up the jack contacts.

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