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  1. #1

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    Hi All,

    I had planned to change out a friend’s Gibson ES-175 output jack this afternoon because the guitar was making cracking sounds through the amp. It seemed like the cable plug was wiggling around in the jack making intermittent contact. But when I attempted to pull the jack up through the f hole I found what appeared to be a small metal can with a braided cable going into the end of the can opposite the jack end (see photo below). I assume it’s some kind of shield for the jack but the can diameter appears to larger than the widest dimension of the f hole and the cable is very short and prevents the can from being removed through the f hole even if it could accommodate it. Needless to say what would be a ten minute job will take much longer with removal of pots, de-soldering wiring from pots, and removing the bridge pickup. Is this a common configuration for this guitar? I believe it’s from the 1970’s but don’t have an exact date for it.

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson ES-175 Output Jack Issue-477f17d0-9177-4ef7-9928-d57c3f9852b7-jpg 

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  3. #2

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    It's not uncommon. The can is for shielding. You don't have to unsolder the pickups, just remove the bridge pickup and bring the can up through the pickup hole, change to the new jack, and reverse the process. I advise covering the top of the guitar with a cotton towel or similar to protect it. It might be sufficient to use electronics cleaner on the contacts inside the can, using it on a plug inserted and removed repeatedly. It's not likely that the jack is broken, just some corrosion on the contacts. My first try at a fix would be this, not replacing the entire can.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It's not uncommon. The can is for shielding. You don't have to unsolder the pickups, just remove the bridge pickup and bring the can up through the pickup hole, change to the new jack, and reverse the process. I advise covering the top of the guitar with a cotton towel or similar to protect it. It might be sufficient to use electronics cleaner on the contacts inside the can, using it on a plug inserted and removed repeatedly. It's not likely that the jack is broken, just some corrosion on the contacts. My first try at a fix would be this, not replacing the entire can.
    Excellent advice! Will try that before anything else. And no plans to unsolder the bridge pickup. Although if I have to remove the jack it looks like I would have to unsolder the wire from the the bridge tone pot to the jack sleeve contact. That wire appears to be very short and would limit removing the jack out of the body. And I have pieces of thick leather to cover the top for this kind of work, but always a good reminder. Thanks!

  5. #4

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    Bill, if it's not oxidation, try bending the tab in the jack to exert more pressure on the male plug before deciding to replace the whole unit. it my have just lost tension from being plugged in and out so many times over the yrs.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Bill, if it's not oxidation, try bending the tab in the jack to exert more pressure on the male plug before deciding to replace the whole unit. it my have just lost tension from being plugged in and out so many times over the yrs.
    That’s definitely worth a try, George. The tab is basically a leaf spring and may have just lost tension as you say. If the contact cleaner doesn’t work, I will try to bend the tab a little to exert more pressure against the plug tip. Would be so much easier without the can shield covering the jack. Oh well. Thanks!

  7. #6

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    Switchcraft still makes the shielded jack. I got a new one recently. Though I was using it in a speaker cabinet to keep it air tight, rather than because it was shielded.
    Gibson ES-175 Output Jack Issue-dumble-cabinet-4-jpg

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    Switchcraft still makes the shielded jack. I got a new one recently. Though I was using it in a speaker cabinet to keep it air tight, rather than because it was shielded.
    Gibson ES-175 Output Jack Issue-dumble-cabinet-4-jpg
    Thanks for letting me know it’s still available. I was actually going to install one of these Pure Tone multi contact jacks: Pure Tone Mono Multi-Contact 1/4″ Output Jack – Pure Tone Technologies.

    But I have to say that I and the 175 owner finally figured out what the problem was with the existing jack or more accurately put, the cable plug. I always use a cable with a 90 degree angled plug for the guitar and a straight plug for the amp. In fact I bought one for my friend thinking he would obviously use the angled plug for the guitar. But he was consistently using the straight plug into the guitar output jack and putting excessive force on the plug which would make and break contact with the prong inside. I would bring the guitar to my place and insert the angled plug into the guitar jack and never get any noise. Then my friend would take it home and insert the straight plug and get noise. We finally figured out what was going on. And we both felt kind of stupid for not figuring it out initially. So no jack replacement and my friend is now using the angled plug for the guitar.

  9. #8

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    I make my own cables using Neutrik plugs. Properly made, the electrical connection stays solid unless the cable is physically broken. It takes enormous strain to break the cable. I use 90 degree silent plugs for the guitar end, straight plugs for the amp end, mostly. The Neutrik plugs are larger and heavier than the Switchcraft type, but they're far, far stronger and more reliable. I have never had one fail or even cause minor problems.

    NP2RX-AU-SILENT | Neutrik

    NP2C | Neutrik

    I usually buy from mouser.com. You can also buy ready-made cables with Neutrik plugs. Any search engine should turn up multiple sources.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    I make my own cables using Neutrik plugs. Properly made, the electrical connection stays solid unless the cable is physically broken. It takes enormous strain to break the cable. I use 90 degree silent plugs for the guitar end, straight plugs for the amp end, mostly. The Neutrik plugs are larger and heavier than the Switchcraft type, but they're far, far stronger and more reliable. I have never had one fail or even cause minor problems.

    NP2RX-AU-SILENT | Neutrik

    NP2C | Neutrik

    I usually buy from mouser.com. You can also buy ready-made cables with Neutrik plugs. Any search engine should turn up multiple sources.
    Yes, my Mogami cable has the Neutrik 90 degree angled silent plug and I can definitely attest to it’s build quality and silence. I wouldn’t go back to anything else at this point. And, I think the solid connection of the Neutrik plug vs. the easily torqued straight generic plug that my friend was using contributed to our mistaken belief that it was the output jack causing the problem. You have given me the idea of making up some cables with the Neutrik plugs for my friends as gifts for the holidays. Thanks!

  11. #10

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    FWIW, I prefer George L cable. There might be better, but I haven't found it.

  12. #11

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    Klotz

  13. #12

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    Had heard of George L but not Klotz. At least not as many choices or as expensive as in the audiophile world. Some of those prices are insane.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Klotz
    George, Just wondering what your preferences are in the Klotz line for both complete cables with connectors and in their bulk line? Thanks!

  15. #14

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    I use Klotz LaGrange cables w/Neutrik connectors exclusively Bill
    I believe their bulk line is called AC110

  16. #15

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    The Klotz AC110 cable has a slightly higher capacitance/meter than the George L cable, but in use the difference is unlikely to be hearable. I haven't tried Klotz, mostly because I already have what is probably a lifetime supply of cable. George L sells proprietary solderless plugs, and I own some. I don't use them that much, though. The advantage of them is that if there is a problem/failure, it's a quick and easy fix - just cut the cable a short length and reattach the plug, using a small screwdriver. The disadvantage is that failures are more likely, and you need to have diagonal cutting pliers (or quality trauma shears) and screwdriver readily available. I prefer the Neutrik plugs, even though I have the necessary tools with me most of the time. I learned about trauma shears while flying EMS, from the med crews. They will cut through instrument cable as if it was cotton twine. But back to the subject at hand, I suspect the Klotz and George L cables would be indistinguishable in use.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The Klotz AC110 cable has a slightly higher capacitance/meter than the George L cable, but in use the difference is unlikely to be hearable. I haven't tried Klotz, mostly because I already have what is probably a lifetime supply of cable. George L sells proprietary solderless plugs, and I own some. I don't use them that much, though. The advantage of them is that if there is a problem/failure, it's a quick and easy fix - just cut the cable a short length and reattach the plug, using a small screwdriver. The disadvantage is that failures are more likely, and you need to have diagonal cutting pliers (or quality trauma shears) and screwdriver readily available. I prefer the Neutrik plugs, even though I have the necessary tools with me most of the time. I learned about trauma shears while flying EMS, from the med crews. They will cut through instrument cable as if it was cotton twine. But back to the subject at hand, I suspect the Klotz and George L cables would be indistinguishable in use.
    Yes, under real world conditions, the slight increase in the capacitance of the Klotz cable should be indistinguishable. Both the Klotz and George L cables are high quality. The idea of the George L solderless plugs is certainly attractive for quick repairs if you put a lot of stress on your cables, have the appropriate tools at hand, and don’t mind occasional failures. But I’m comfortable with electronics soldering and really like the Neutrik connectors. So I will go with those connectors and either the George L or Klotz cables depending on availability, price, and bulk cable lengths.

    And thanks for the tip about the trauma shears. They will definitely come in handy cutting appropriate lengths off the bulk cable spool. A good friend of mine was a medivac helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and would tell me about his experiences over there. Very intense duty. But he followed a different career path after the war and ended up in the same field that I was in.

    Thanks!