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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through December 18, 2006 » Rogue "Rogue" Input Jack. Much Popping Going On! « Previous Next »

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Username: fender32

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do about my new Rogue. If I move the jack plug around slightly whilst plugged in, I get a loud "pop" and some crackling, just as you would with a faulty lead or socket. The thing is, neither the lead or the socket appear to be faulty!

Let me explain. Whichever lead I choose, I have this problem and yet, these leads never behave this way with any of my other basses. Equally, I've had the cover plate off the bass and checked the connecting wires on the jack socket for loose connections. As you'd expect, there are none!

Unlike cheaper basses input sockets, the one on this Alembic is a solid, barrel-type affair, with no visible contacts that can be bent to grip the plug more tightly. So, I'm at a bit off a loss really! The problem is caused by the jack plug moving slightly inside the barrel of the input jack, but I really don't want to change the jack socket unnecessarily.

Any ideas? Should I be using a certain brand of cable/jack plug? Is there a quick fix that I can do with sticky tape? Am I the only person here who's ever had this problem?

Please HELP !!!!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3900
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 1:22 pm:   Edit Post

I think it is the case that all shaft sizes on instrument cables are not the same. I'm not sure, but for some reason I'm thinking that some European plugs may be 6mm rather than 1/4". I would try some different cables. Also, it was recently posted that "gold" connectors are regular 1/4" connectors with a gold plating on them; thus they are a bit thicker than normal.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3901
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post

Also, I think it is probably against the laws of the known universe to do a "quick fix with sticky tape" on an Alembic. <g>

Find a cable with a good quality G&H, Neutrik or Switchcraft connector and see if that fits better.
Intermediate Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 170
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 8:13 pm:   Edit Post

Well, if you're having symptoms that sound JUST LIKE a failed jack, then the chances are that what you've got is a failed jack! If the cables work with all other basses and all other amps, then you've eliminated that as the source of the problem and identified your Rogue's jack as the problem.

The good part of all this is that of all the parts that you might have to replace here, the jack will be the cheapest one. So get a new one and replace it! Even if you order the replacement from Alembic and after shipping, it will be hard for this to cost as much as a good quality audio cable.

The loud pop may actually be poor contact on the secondary contacts (the ring contact) that switches the battery on and off. If you interrupt power to the preamp you'll lose sound and usually get an enormous pop when it happens.

By the way, I believe the 1/4" standard (which dates back to the commercialization of the telephone!) is a single standard (e.g., it's a weird size in metric countries), however, the exactly implementation varies from company to company, and some companies in more recent years have taken to intentionally fixing oversized plugs as an external expression of their "quality". It's not better, it's just different, and probably not good.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3906
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 8:21 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks David!
Username: jeffrey

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2006 - 8:42 pm:   Edit Post

Yep, I'm having the exact same problem. I hope George L's connectors fit snug. I have always used any cable for my bass. My guitar stuff I have pedals and lots of small 3" type connections between them George L's are the best since the plugs are so easy to assemble and you can make your custom wire lengths with no tools besides good wire cutters!

Otherwise im going to take my bass to the local shop and try every cable they have :D
Username: fender32

Post Number: 11
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys.

I suspect that it might be best to just try ordering up a new socket and trying that, instead of throwing away all of my cables (some of which are already gold-plated and extra-thick)! Maybe I'll try cleaning out the socket with some abrasive polish on a cloth, wrapped over the end of a pencil first - afterall, what can possibly go wrong with that plan? ;-)

Besides, I need to order some other bits too (see my next thread), so why not?
Username: bassmannen

Post Number: 4
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 12:11 am:   Edit Post

I've had the same problem with my Europa. I've changed the input once, and need to to it again. It's a little surprising that Alembic can't find an input tha lasts longer.
But you get 2 for $25 from Alembic so it's not that bad. Only very anoying
Username: mica

Post Number: 3361
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 8:43 am:   Edit Post

We did find a better connector, you won't find the Switchcraft barrel jack on our new products. Switchcraft makes the best barrel jacks, and even they seem to fail in the five year range, which is really fast in Alembic time.

The "new" connector is really an old one, the same as used on telephone switchboards, these are also made by Switchcraft. These "long frame" jacks have welded paladium contacts are are built like tanks. Sadly, since these are physically quite longer internally, and smaller where they mount to the bass, a retrofit is rarely possible.

For any instrument with the barrel type connector, I would suggest using a cable that has an actual 1/4" diamter connector. The larger diameter so-called premium cables will wear these connectors much faster.

Tor has stated the price of the connectors correctly, we sell one for $15 or a set for two for $25. We figure if you're replacing one, you might as well keep a spare in the case since it's bound to happen again. These come prewired with the friction locked connector, so when it's time to replace, there is no soldering.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 462
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post

I found that the connectors get a build up after time (I suspect it is oxidation). I run an old connector is and out a few times then get some rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip and clean the connector really well. This clears the problem up for me. It's worth trying before replacing the connector.

I will second the use of the old switch board connectors. AT&T really used to know how to build stuff. They usally spec'ed 25 years mean time to failure for their parts.


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