Guitar jack input

Guitar jack input DEFAULT

Pure Tone Technologies Releases Multi-Contact Guitar Input Jack

Pure Tone Technologies and AP International has announced the release of the new Pure Tone Input Jack.

Designed to address the many problems native to the standard 19th-century jack design, the Pure Tone Jack contains dual-tension grounds and dual-positive tips for optimal signal and lowest possible noise.

Greater surface area at all contact points creates a more stable connection, locking the cable securely in place and carrying more signal. As a result, high and low frequencies are greatly improved, creating a more balanced sound while eliminating frequency spikes. Most importantly, the Pure Tone Jack eliminates the infamous “crackle” noise caused by pressure grounds.

Pure Tone Technologies is the brainchild of Dave Linsk, lead guitarist of Overkill. The jack was created as a result of constant failures of the current-production jack models. Road-tested and market-ready, this jack is built to withstand the everyday abuse that causes traditional jacks to fail.

AP International, distributors of Floyd Rose, Babicz Full Contact Hardware, KTS Titanium, Haramis Musical Hardware and more, is pleased to be taking on the exclusive distribution of the product.

The Pure Tone Input Jack is available now. Find out more at


Symptoms of a Bad Input Jack on a Guitar

Bad input jacks are one of the most common problems with electric guitars. The jack is held in place with a single nut at the base of the guitar. Once this nut starts to come loose, the input will start to jiggle. This jiggling can break the two solder connections on the interior of the guitar and prevent transmission of sound from the pickups to the amplifier.

Humming or Buzzing

If, when you insert your cable lead into the input, there is a deep humming tone or loud buzzing sound, it may be an indication that the input ground wire may have come loose. The buzzing or humming is similar to when you touch the end of the lead to a metal object. There is no completed circuit so a feedback loop is created which is the cause of the sound. Resoldering the connection should fix the problem.


If you are not getting a humming or buzzing sound but instead are suffering from a crackle while playing, it is a sign that the positive connection has come loose. If you are still able to generate sounds from the strings, the connection is not completely broken. The crackling comes from a lack of signal, or dead point, in the electrical cord. This dead point causes a crossover from the negative to positive soldered connections and delivers a surge to the amplifier creating the crackle. A quick solder will fix this problem.

No Sound

A no sound problem indicates a full break in the positive connection on the interior of the guitar. The negative connection is still secure or there would be a humming or buzzing sound. The lack of positive input will prevent any transmission from running through the wire because there is no complete circuit. Soldering may fix this problem but the jack may have burnt out and may need to be replaced.

Check the Cord

Before running out and getting a replacement jack, first check that the jack is the problem. All of the symptoms that can be attributed to a faulty jack can also be indications of a bad cord. Connect a different cord to the guitar and see if the problems persist. If they don't, then the problem is with the cord, not the jack.


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How to Correctly Replace a Guitar Output Jack

Replacing an output jack on a guitar is a quick and easy repair, just make sure you have a good soldering iron or station, and a good quality jack. Follow the step by step guide below to perform this inexpensive and fun upgrade. 

If you don’t have a soldering station yet, I highly suggest getting one. Performing electronics repair work yourself is not only fun, but it will save you a ton of money in the long run. Check out this article for Which Type of Soldering Iron to Use for Guitar Electronics.

One more note, does a guitar have an Input Jack or an Output Jack? Technically, it’s an output jack because the guitar’s signal is being output from the instrument through the jack and on through the rest of the signal chain. They are used interchangeably however, so don’t worry about it too much. If you read or hear input jack in reference to a guitar, they’re actually referring to the output jack. 

What You’ll Need to Replace Your Guitar’s Output Jack

Step 1: Remove the Old Output Jack

Remove the Output Jack in a Stratocaster style guitar

The Strat style guitar makes it very easy on us to remove the output jack as it’s contained in its own removable plate. Unscrew the plate with the two screws and carefully lift the plate with the jack out of the recess. 

Be careful not to pull on the wires as they can break off from the electronics further in the body of the guitar which will create more work for us. 

Use a nut driver or pliers to unscrew the threaded nut holding the jack tightly into the jack plate. Hold the back of the jack while you unscrew the nut stopping the jack from spinning in the back. 

The best tool to use for output jacks is the appropriate size of nut driver, however a pair of pliers will work if you’re careful. It can be incredibly easy to scratch the shiny metal finish of the jack plate, so cover the tips of the pliers with masking tape before diving in. 

Remove the Output Jack in a Telecaster style guitar

Most Tele&#;s have a funny recessed cup and metal bracket which hold the jack tightly in place. These work pretty well but can be a pain to work with. Consider replacing the cup with this Electrosocket style which makes pulling the output jack in and out exponentially easier.

Once the nut is off the jack, the cup will come right off, push the jack through the keeper bracket and pull through the body cavity.

Sometimes the jack and the metal keeper are quite difficult to pull apart because the clearance is so tight. I always take a couple passes at the metal keeper bracket with my ream before putting the jack back through. That will make your life much easier.

Remove the Output Jack in a Semi-Hollow Body guitar

Some Semi-Hollow and Hollow body guitars have small jack plates which the jacks are mounted to. This makes things very easy and the jack plate can just be removed so the jack replacement can happen just outside the jack cavity. 

However, many semi-hollow body guitars just have a hole drilled to the size of the jack and the nut clamps the jack down around the guitar’s body material. This means that we’re going to either need to pull the bridge pickup in order to gain access to the output jack, or pull it out through the F hole. In this case I’m going to pull mine out through the F hole which will be quicker overall. 

I’m a big fan of making custom tools to make your life easier when working on your guitars. Here I’ve made a jack puller with an old ¼” male input jack tip, a couple inches of ¼” tubing, epoxy, and an old guitar string. 

There is a star washer on the other side of the jack that I don’t want to fall into the guitar. By first inserting my jack puller, this washer will be contained and lining the jack up with the hard-to-reach output jack hole is super easy. Put the jack puller into the output jack before loosening the nut. 

You can see the star washer around the output jack but it can&#;t fall off because I have my jack puller inserted into the jack. From here you&#;re going to want to fish the jack through the f-hole. This isn&#;t hard if you have the right tools. Check out these dental tools I use for times like this. Dental tools are extremely handy for guitar repair and should be a part of anyone&#;s toolbox.

Now you can easily do the repair on the jack, and pull it back through the output jack hole as your jack puller is still threaded through it. Save yourself the pain and frustration of digging around the body for the lock washer and build yourself a jack puller.

Step 2: Desolder the Old Jack

Before desoldering the old jack take note of which wires go to which lugs. Generally speaking there will be a black wire that goes to ground, or an external wire shield which is the ground wire. I like taking a quick photo to make sure I can always go back and verify. 

In this example, the light brown wire is the one soldered (and quite poorly I might add) to the ground lug. The orange which I have already desoldered in the photo is the hot lead.

I don’t like to snip the wires that are soldered to the old output jack in order to retain as much wire length as possible. The exception to this is if the wires have been wrapped around the lugs of the jack, as it’s nearly impossible to remove every single bit of solder and it’s dangerous to yank wires with molten solder on them. 

Remove as much of the old solder as possible from the wires, then re-tin them with new solder.

Step 3: Fit New Jack to Plate or Jack Hole in Guitar Body

Before we solder the new jack onto the guitar, we want to check that it will fit in either the jack plate or the guitar’s jack hole. If the new jack doesn’t fit because it’s too big, you’ll have to ream out the plate or guitar body. 

Whatever you do, DO NOT use a drill bit to do this. Once a hole has already been drilled, it’s very difficult to enlarge it with a bigger bit, and you’ll most likely end up doing damage to the guitar. Use a ream to do this step. I use this ream below, and it works great for both metal and wood. I have two of them so my metal one doesn’t ruin the one I use for wood reaming. 

General Tools 1/2&#; Hand Reamer, Amazon

Step 4: Solder New Jack

Once we know that the jack will fit into the plate or the guitar body, it’s time to solder in the new jack. 

This is the easy part. As noted, don’t wrap the wires around the lugs of the jack as this will make a future repair more difficult. 

When soldering, make sure to heat up the work rather than the solder. With the iron on the wire and lugs, hold the solder on the opposite side from the iron. This ensures that all of the metal has been sufficiently heated by the iron. If the metal is not heated enough you can get cracks in your solder joints and a poor electrical connection which will mean static, pops, or crackles in your output jack when it’s plugged in. 

Step 5: Test the Output and Put it Back Together

Once the new jack is soldered in, test it out before you put everything back together. Make sure to remember the star or lock washer on the jack so that it doesn’t loosen and spin. Once you’ve verified that there is output, put everything back together. 

There you go! Just like that you’ve replaced the output jack on your guitar, saved some money by doing it yourself, and hopefully you’ve gotten to know your guitar a little bit better. While the jack is a small thing to improve, a quality one that doesn’t pop or crackle makes a big difference.

Why Would You Want To Replace Your Guitar’s Output Jack

There are two reasons to replace the output jack on your guitar, it’s either cheap and poor quality resulting in pop, crackles, or static when plugged in, or it’s corroded or worn out resulting in those same problems and it needs to be replaced. 

A guitar’s output jack should hold the instrument cable firmly in place. If the tolerances of jack allow for some wiggle, the connection will be momentarily broken causing loud pops and cracks when plugged into an amp. 

On older guitar’s I’ve seen output jacks that are just worn out from years and years of plugging and unplugging. Sometimes these jacks can be bent back into place, but if this is starting to happen it’s best to replace the jack, unless you’re working on a vintage guitar with original electronics.

What Size is a Guitar’s Input or Output Jack? 

The inner diameter of a guitar’s output jack should be &#; (1/4&#;). On cheaper quality jacks you&#;ll find that their inner diameter is larger, and even just a slight increase can cause popping and humming as the cable plug moves around.

That was the case with the jack that I swapped out for this article. The cheap jack was &#; larger than it should have been. And while that seems like a pretty small number, it makes a big difference when a cable is wiggling around and popping in there.

Output Jack TypeInside DiameterOutside Diameter
Cheap Import Jack&#; (mm)&#; (mm)
SwitchCraft Jack&#; (mm&#;&#; (mm)

I also took some measurements with my micrometer of 1/4&#; male instrument cables. These ranged anywhere from &#; to &#; depending on the quality of cable. Lessoning the tolerances between the instrument cable and the output jack is the key to creating a dependable connection to the guitar.

I use my micrometer all the time, and think it should be a standard part of everyone&#;s bench. Check this one out from Amazon: Neiko Digital Micrometer

What Type of Output Jack For Guitar

I recommend using a Switchcraft jack for your guitar or bass, but there are a handful of types out there, which one do you need? Any of these jacks will actually work in a pinch, but the recommended jack is the 1/4&#; mono. You can buy them in bulk on Amazon for very cheap.

Switchcraft mono 1/4&#; jack, Amazon

Another common type of jack is the 1/4&#; mono with shunt tip. If you look carefully you can see that this is the style I use for my repair in the article. I don&#;t utilize the 3rd lug which grounds the hot lead when an instrument cable is not present. These types of jacks are used of input jacks in pedals or amplifiers where grounding the input side is necessary when a cable isn&#;t plugged in.

Switchcraft 1/4&#; Shunt Tip Female Mono Jack, Amazon

The third type you might see is the TRS jack. These are a stereo jack that are very uncommon in electric guitars. Electric guitars have handled stereo output in different ways, but it&#;s very unlikely you have one of the odd ones that used a single stereo out.

You could still manage to wire this for a guitar, but at this point it&#;s best to just get the mono plug that should be in there.

Switchcraft 1/4&#; Stereo TRS female jack, Amazon


Swapping the output jack in your guitar is a great way to easily upgrade your instrument, and a fun project to dip your toes into guitar electronics. If you have any questions regarding this repair please let me know if the comments or email at [email protected]

PureTone Multi Contact Input Jack Guitar/Bass

Guitar Jack Types? Understand [ALL Types] Of Guitar Jacks!

Did you know the common output jack for electric guitars is the mono jack? However, there are many guitar jack types that you can experiment with! 

Types of guitar jacks? Did you know that there are many different types of output jacks? These include mono, stereo, TRS, barrel, and power types. Even though they are different, they carry out the same job.

In this article, we will discuss the output jack types in more detail&#; So let us get started!

1. What is a Guitar Output Jack?

Before we go through ALL the types of guitar jacks we first must understand exactly what a guitar jack is and does!

A guitar output jack is a component that attaches to the electric guitar pickups to transfer the signal from your guitar through the instrument cable into the amplifier.

A guitar output jack (also known as a ¼” jack)  is an aluminum unit that fixes onto the side of the guitar (usually towards the rear) and is the bridge between the guitar cable and signal that is captured from the pickups.

2. Why Are Guitar Output Jacks Important?

Guitar jacks are important because they are the connection between the lead and the pickups. Without a guitar jack, the output picked up by the pickup would not be able to send the audio signal to an amplifier where it is transposed into sound.

3. Types of Output Jack Configurations

The jack configurations are the method by which the jacks are wired to ensure compatibility to the electronics of the guitar. There are FOUR types of wiring found on guitars. These are important to understand to ensure that the jack functions as it is supposed to when installed; below we discuss them in more detail:


The most common output jack for electric guitars is the mono jack. You will find that mono jacks are commonly found in both acoustic and electric guitars with passive pickups.

Example of a Guitar Mono Jack below...

Switchcraft Output Jack, Mono - 6 Pack
Switchcraft Output Jack, Mono - 6 Pack
  • The industry standard for output jacks
  • Accepts standard mono 1/4" plugs
  • For electric guitars, basses, amps, and pedals
  • Mounting nut and flat washer included
  • Pack includes 6 output jacks (each with mounting nut and flat washer included)

The mono jack only has two lugs. One lug is for the ground, whilst the other lug is where the audio signal travels. This lug is part of the long, bent flange that connects to your guitar cable.


You will find stereo jacks in both acoustic and electric guitars. These have stereo outputs or active electronics that carry two signals that are carried to two speakers.

Example of a Guitar Stereo Jack below...

A Stereo jack is similar to a mono jack, but it is equipped with a third lug. This now includes two a second (shorter) bent flange and a common ground lug. The extra bent flange is used to for carrying the second signal to the amplifier (whilst sharing a lug for common ground to complete the circuit).


You will find that TRS jacks are used with Active pickup systems with either an under-saddle transducer or on-board microphone. The TRS jack functions as a stereo jack. However, it allows you to add a second pickup source by containing the fourth lug. This is so you can independently control the stereo signals by sending each to its own preamp, direct box, or amplifier. You will find these systems on acoustic guitars with both an under-saddle pickup, as well as an on-board microphone or a body sensor.


The power jack is a stereo or TRS jack, which attaches directly to a preamp. Because most power jacks are soldered to a printed circuit board, they are difficult to replace without damaging the electronics. This means the whole unit will need replacing if there is a failure.

4. Types Of Output Jack Units

The output jack units are mainly the housing of the jack. There are various types of jack units that can also have the above-mentioned configurations. Each type of the output jack units can come in different forms as well. Common examples will be:


Electric guitars with passive pickups typically have open jacks. These are called open jacks, as they do not contain any protective housing. However, the protection comes from the seal of the guitar slot. If you install these properly, they can be heavy-duty in construction.


Low budget guitars that are made in china will usually come with enclosed or panel jacks. Often encased in cheap plastic, these jacks are inexpensive and tend to wear out faster than a well-made open jack does.


Barrel jacks are known to replace a guitars endpin (this is where the guitar strap attaches to the bottom end of the body). This is common for Acoustic-electric guitars as the electrics passes from the pickups to the guitars tail block/endpin.

Barrel jacks can have mono, stereo, or TRS configurations, whereby some preamps are housed within the cylindrical barrel jack.


Takamine acoustic-electrics, as well as some other acoustic-electrics, use flange jacks. Just like barrel jacks, they have integrated endpins, and come in mono, stereo, and TRS configurations.


As you can see, you get a variety jack units that cover all types of wiring configuration. So it is important to ensure both the jack unit and configuration setting are taken into account when looking to replace you jack socket.


Input guitar jack

How to fix a broken guitar jack socket

Of all the perishable items bolted to our electric guitars, the jack socket is the one we all forget about until it goes wrong.

We can just about survive a broken string, even a faulty pickup switch providing it still works in one position. But when a jack socket snuffs it, the rehearsal is over. Worse still, imagine you’re at a gig and you’re suddenly the silent partner in the band. It doesn’t matter how cool your guitar looks if you can’t make a noise.

The good news is that a dodgy jack socket can often be mended. And better still, it can usually be mended by you, with some simple tools, for nowt! You can even prevent it breaking bad in the first place by following our advice.

Before we crack on with this easy guide, we should point out that pulling bits out of your guitar can invalidate your warranty.

Like most of the sticky situations we find ourselves in throughout our lives, in guitar maintenance, prevention is always the best cure.

So, keep an eye on your guitar’s jack socket. If it starts to work loose, don’t ignore the problem until it’s too late. Grab some pliers and tighten the nut.

Your jack socket stands a better chance of a long life if you take the strain of the weight of your guitar cable off it.

Run the cable between your guitar’s strap and its body. Now, if you accidentally tread on your cable you won’t pull it out of the jack socket or cause any damage. 

Classic scenario: your signal is cutting out. Must be the socket, right? Well, put the tools down and don’t be so hasty - it’s more likely that your cable is to blame.

Imagine stripping down a car engine then realising you just ran out of petrol. You’re better than that. So, test with another cable to see if the problem is still there.

Okay, your cable is fine but the guitar is still cutting out or dead. Let’s eliminate other potential scoundrels first. You could have a dirty pickup selector switch.

For a quick test, run the switch back and forth quickly to see if the guitar springs into life. If so, you need to clean or replace your switch. If not, the socket needs to come out…

Most guitars have a jackplate - a piece of square, oblong or rugby ball-shaped plastic or metal that anchors the socket where it needs to be.

Grab your screwdriver and remove the plate’s mounting screws. Now, put them somewhere safe where they can’t get lost or scratch your guitar’s finish.

Hopefully, when you remove the jack socket, what you have looks the same as the little guy in our photo. Old-school sockets such as these can usually be repaired if they aren’t badly corroded or missing parts.

If your socket is the long enclosed barrel type (shown below) then it will have to be replaced. They are impossible to repair. Let’s move on…

Assuming that you don’t see any loose wires, the first thing to do is make sure the socket is holding your jack plug securely. That responsibility falls to the long metal clip below.

Test-fit your cable and see how secure its plug is in the socket. If the plug wiggles around or falls out then that long metal clip will need to be adjusted.

Gently push the long metal clip towards the hole in the centre of the jack socket. You want to bend it a bit without breaking it.

Bend it a little then test fit the jack plug. When it snaps firmly into place and doesn’t move around, test the guitar through your amp. You should be back in business, but don’t screw tit back in place just yet…

Gently push the long metal clip towards the hole in the centre of the jack socket. You want to bend it a bit without breaking it.

Bend it a little then test fit the jack plug. When it snaps firmly into place and doesn’t move around, test the guitar through your amp. You should be back in business, but don’t screw tit back in place just yet…

To protect your sanity, always test the guitar before you put it back together. You don’t want to do guitar maintenance while miffed.

Take your time and ensure that you don’t trap any wires under the jackplate, strip the screws that hold the plate in place, or damage the guitar’s finish. You have been warned!

Get used to thinking about the health of your guitar’s inner workings. When a control feels loose, get on it right away. If you hear a buzz or crackle, don’t wait until it ruins a gig.

The volume and tone pots (aka potentiometers) and the pickup selector switch can usually be cleaned. We’ll bring you up to speed on that soon.

Of course, you might have pulled out the jack socket to find the ultimate horror: a loose wire. This can occur when the socket is loose and spins around in its jackplate.

To fix the problem, you’ll need to become proficient in the noble art of soldering - consult our step-by-step guide to get started!

How To Solder Guitars (5/6) - Soldering to a Jack Socket

The ABCs of Output Jacks

There are many different types of output jacks, including mono, stereo, TRS, barrel, and power types (Photo 1). Ultimately they all have the same job: transfer the signal from your guitar to the instrument cable. Output jacks can eventually wear out, causing the signal to be intermittent—usually at the worst possible time. Ever been onstage and heard a crackling sound or even silence when you jiggle your guitar cable in the jack? No fun.

When it's time to replace a cranky output jack, there are several things you need to know before firing up the ol' soldering iron. The first step is to identify what kind of jack you have and what will make the best replacement.

Form and function.

Almost every type of output jack used on both acoustic and electric guitars is referred to as "a 1/4" jack," but as gearheads we have to be more specific. Here's a list of the most common types of 1/4" output jacks:

  • Mono: Used in most acoustic and electric guitars with passive pickups.
  • Stereo: Used in acoustic and electric guitars with stereo outputs or active electronics.
  • TRS (tip-ring-sleeve): Used with active electronics, active pickup systems, or acoustic-electric guitars with two independent sound sources (such as an under-saddle transducer and onboard mic).
  • Power: This is usually a stereo or TRS jack attached to a preamp.

Each of these can be found in different forms, including the open or skeleton jack, the enclosed or panel jack, the barrel jack, and the flange jack. Let's take a closer look.

Electric guitars with passive pickups typically have open jacks. I prefer the Switchcraft brand, because they have heavy-duty construction.

When it's time to replace a cranky output jack, there are several things you need to know before firing up the ol' soldering iron.

Imported guitars, especially budget models, usually come with enclosed or panel jacks. Often encased in plastic, these jacks are inexpensive and tend to wear out faster than a well-made open jack.

Acoustic-electric guitars often have a cylindrical barrel jack that passes from the inside of the instrument through the tailblock. Secured externally with a nut and threaded strap button, this jack replaces the guitar's endpin. Barrel jacks can have mono, stereo, or TRS configurations.

Takamine acoustic-electrics, as well as some other acoustic-electrics, use flange jacks. These have integrated endpins and structurally resemble barrel jacks. They too come in mono, stereo, and TRS styles.

Guitar applications.

The most common output jack for electric guitars is the mono jack. It has two lugs: One is the ground, and it's part of the jack's interior or case. The other lug is the hot or primary lead. This lug is part of the long, bent flange that connects to the tip of your instrument cable.

A stereo jack is similar to a mono jack, but it's equipped with a third lug and a second (shorter) bent flange. The latter acts as a power switch for active pickup systems by connecting and disconnecting the third lug when a standard 1/4" plug is inserted or removed from the stereo jack. For example, when the black (negative) wire of a battery snap is soldered to the third lug, inserting a 1/4" plug into the jack engages the battery by connecting the negative battery wire to ground and completing the circuit.

The TRS jack functions like a stereo jack with the addition of a fourth lug and third flange that allow you to add a second pickup source. By using a stereo cable and TRS plug, you can independently control these two sources. This is useful when you want to send each to its own preamp, direct box, or amplifier.

A common use for a TRS jack is in an acoustic guitar that has an under-saddle pickup, as well as an onboard microphone or a body sensor. For electric guitars, the TRS jack works great for using magnetic pickups in conjunction with a bridge configured with piezo-pickup saddles, like the L.R. Baggs X-Bridge.

Power jacks attach directly to a preamp and can have either a stereo or TRS configuration, and some preamps are housed within a barrel jack. Power jacks are found in many different systems, including the L.R. Baggs Active Element, Fishman Matrix, and Taylor ES1 and ES2. Because most power jacks are soldered to a printed circuit board, they are difficult to replace without damaging the electronics. If a power jack fails, your best option is to replace the entire unit.

How do I wire this thing?

Photo 2

With the exception of the power jack, all of these are simple to wire if you take the time to map them out. All of them will have a ground and a primary lead, but they differ in other ways. Here's a breakdown of those details:

  • Mono jack: The ground lug is attached to the case and the primary lead lug connects to the bent flange (Photo 2).

Photo 3

  • Stereo jack: The ground lug attaches to the case; the primary lead is the short lug that connects to the longer bent flange, and the long lug is the power/battery switch that connects to the short bent flange. Photo 3 shows the wiring for a stereo open jack.

Photo 4

And Photo 4 is a stereo barrel jack.

Photo 5

  • TRS jack: The ground lug attaches to the case. The primary lead is the short lug connected to the bent flange, and the medium power/battery lug connects to the short bent flange. The longest lug connects the secondary pickup to an isolated output (Photo 5).

Okay, got all that? Great—someday there will be a test and you'll be ready.

[Updated 9/9/21]

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