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NEED slender 1/4" plugs!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by redrabbit, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    I have a (don't laugh) ROLLS 8ch line mixer which I use for my various synths - into my soundcard. For the price, it's well built and very quiet...plus one sends in/out.

    The problem is I like to make my own cables. But the 1/4" mono jacks on this unit are too close together for me to use my fav. Neutrik plugs (NP2C)......they crowd eachother , and will not fit.

    I have looked for more slender types, but the quality is not there - especially in the cable crimp dept. What I like about the Neutrik is the cable pinching/hold-down system they use...very secure.
    Canare and Switchcraft both use a metal crimp that looks ...well...slippery.
    Am I crazy in my opinion of this? or justified?

    Does anyone have a recomendation of a brand that will fit my needs? I need something about 1/8" slimmer , so they will fit next to each other.

    BTW, Neutrik is coming out with an "x" series this fall/winter which are slimmer, but I'm the impatient type, and am reinstalling things NOW.


    ......... on their XLR jacks there is an extra soldering tab that seems to ground the metal shell. What is that for? :
    Pins 1,2,3,and that tab? Nothing regarding this on their site.
    Could this be for unbalancing the signal??
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Have you looked into wiring your own 1/4"'s?...and getting rid of that bulky protector that's on the store bought wires?...

    You could pick up a bunch of 1/4" connectors for really cheap...get a roll of wire....and solder your woe's away....
  3. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    Um, I am wiring my own cables. The Neutrik plugs I buy have a shell that is too wide, in order to sit side-by-side. Re-read the post.
    Thanks for responding though.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I use NYS202 plugs (TRS). The pinch is just a metal wrap, but I don't drag my gear around by the cables - they've been fine.
  5. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    I'm pretty rough on cables. For instance, when it's 2am and I can't get that prefect sound I want from a misbehaving reverb unit.....I'll grab a spare 3' XLR and beat that box 'till it does what I want. Or, one time my neighbor needed to haul a swamp cooler up to his roof, but we didn't have any rope....well we learned the hard way to use 'locking' XLRs , and ALWAYS TIE THE DOG UP away from any potential impact zone.

    Seriously, I think I'll do a test tonite and wire up one Neutrik and one Switchcraft ....put each in a vice...and PULL. We'll see what kind of abuse they can take. I'll let you know.

  6. djui5

    djui5 Guest


    Yeah....I guess I missed the part where you make your own cables......

    Life goes on.
  7. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Apr 24, 2004

    I have just finished my home-brewed "Cable Pull Test" using 1 each :

    1/4" Neutrik NP2C mono plug (plastic 'cinch' crimp)
    1/4" Neutrik "Switchcraft style" mono plug(metal bend-over crimp)

    .......connected on either end of a length of Canare L-4E6S quad wire/braided shield and soldered well.

    I put the tested plug inbetween a partially open vice ,lengthwise as to allow the cable travel freely but stop the plug from moving/traveling through the vice openings( like as if , say, you were pulling a rotwieller through a mouse hole on a leash).

    "Switchcraft style" was the first victim: Pulled hard. Real hard. Even harder.....and snap! (results follow)

    Neutrik NP2C: Pulled just as hard or harder....nothing. My grip on the cable was matched by the Neutrik's opposite grip on the cable. But I was determined to seperate this cable from it's temporary home, so I got a square piece of steel with some holes in it and tied my best "cable yanking knot" and made some sort of lever/folcrum(sp) thingy to pry it out of it's socket. That worked.

    Where do you think the weakest point was? or where did it break?

    They both tore away at the wire - in that little space between the solder joint and the cable's jacket/sleeve. The solder was fine. Both plugs remained undamaged (I will reuse these!). The "Switchcraft style" had a small tear where the sharp metal crimp had been. The other left no damage, but the plastic "cinch crimp" just seemed to hold on tighter.

    What does this all mean? Well to my thinking, it means that a tearout will not likley ever occur in a studio setting. The plug will just pop out of it's jack first. And a more real world situation is when you wrap that cable around your foot and yank it while running to catch your Gibson Les Paul from sliding off the chair you stupidly left there.
    And in that case, the cable/plug will jerk at an angle - and given my tests here, will damage the next weakest link, THE JACK ON YOUR GEAR!

    So I have discovered not to worry about a superior crimp system,
    but worry about the quality of inferior (interior)gear jacks!

    SHORT CONCLUSION: The strain relief on the NP2C is better, although you can make some extra strain prevention on those Switchcraft ones by creatively using some heatshrink tubing .
    Don't wiggle/bend those cables so much, and ....put that Les Paul on it's stand next time! Or better yet, give it to me for safekeeping.

  8. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    please don't ever come in a studio I'm working in....
  9. radioliver

    radioliver Guest

    haha...how to make a funny post about 1/4" jacks.
  10. redrabbit

    redrabbit Active Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    I got sidetracked but my original questions still remain.....

    Does anyone know of any companies that make slender type TS/TRS similar, to the Neutrik?


    In what situation would I make use of that "extra 4th tab" in a cable end XLR?.....(come to find out, it is used as a chassis ground)

    I have opened up some pre-made/store bought XLR cables, and it is not being used.


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