Best TT patchbay?

Discussion in 'Patchbays' started by erockerboy, Sep 10, 2001.

  1. erockerboy

    erockerboy Active Member

    Mar 16, 2001
    Hey gang,

    What's the current wisdom regarding the "best" make of TT patchbay?

    We're using a combo of old Switchcraft and ADC bays right now. After years of use, and despite a whole lotta Cramolin, many patch points are getting noisy/intermittent. Plus we're adding a bunch of gear, so it's probably time for a studio-wide upgrade anyways. I was going to go out and buy a bunch of new ADC bays, but was wondering if there are any other brands to consider. Heard about Audio Accessories, Mosses & Mitchell, and ReAn (?) TT bays. Is there a clear winner? I only wanna do this once, so price is far less important than quality. These bays get used heavily, so we need bulletproof reliability. Any suggestions?

    BTW, how important is "nickel plating" on a TT bay? My tech geek was trying to tell me that nickel makes a big diff on contact reliability. True?

  2. etnier

    etnier Guest

    Hands down, no question, it's Mosses and Mitchell.

    I have used ADC and Switchcraft in various studios in various environments over the years and constantly had to hit the Cramolin and the little metal cleaning gizmos. Sometimes I'd have to yank jacks for replacement.

    I moved into a basement studio, with the sort of air quality that implies, ten years ago. The first TT patchbay in here was ADC and it was more of the same, only more than a bit worse.

    When I had occasion to fabricate a new bay, in March of 1996, I specified Mosses and Mitchell. I use the same Mogami cables I had been using with the older patchbay.

    I haven't had a single, solitary problem with the patch points since. I mean, literally, not one.

    Hope this helps.


    And now, dear patchers, your Graemlins of Zen, just the right size for reaming with a TT cord:

    :cool: :cool:
  3. hollywood_steve

    hollywood_steve Active Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Can't comment on the M&M bays other than to say that I have heard nothing but good comments from anyone who has gone that route.

    But if quality is your number 1 concern, have you considered full size longframe bays instead of TT size bays? I had originally planned on using Switchcraft TT bays, but finally decided on the 1/4" longframe format when I finally purchased the jackfields this summer. From an installation standpoint, the TT format seems like a nightmare of too small spaces; the 1/4" format is small enough for adult hands and middle aged eyes. The TT format seems like a cruel joke meant to frustrate us.

    If you are starting out fresh with a whole new patchbay system, you have the opportunity to consider all of the options. Several books and articles recommend 1/4" format as being more robust than the smaller bantam scale. It seems obvious, but no one has offered any proof. But unless you are so tight on space that a couple of rack units is a big deal, why not look at the full scale models?

  4. sjoko

    sjoko Active Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    There's some good advise here:
  5. erockerboy

    erockerboy Active Member

    Mar 16, 2001
    Thanks for the responses guys. The longframe thing isn't really an option due to space constraints. So at this point I am leaning towards Mosses & Mitchell or Audio Accessories.

    Who is the best source stateside for the M&M bays? Seems like Marshall (?!) was importing them for awhile. Anyone got the skinny?
  6. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    Since nobody has answered your geek question on nickel plating, I must chime in.

    Nickel plating ain't bad at first, but the key word is that it's only plating. A typical thickness for nickel plating is five ten thousandths of an inch. That is mighty thin, and experience has shown me that after several thousand patch cord insertions and removals, the plating wears through, and you are left with a noisy hum-filled mess that often won't even pass phantom power. Worn plating can also behave as a capacitor, trashing your frequency response.

    Your best bet is to buy a bay with SOLID nickel contacts. The extra cost is nothing compared to the time it takes to solder each section.

    Jeff Roberts
    A guy with a noise free patchbay
  7. erockerboy

    erockerboy Active Member

    Mar 16, 2001
    Jeff, thanks! Exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

    So I guess the next question is, who makes a patchbay with solid nickel contacts? I assume ADC and Switchcraft are probably out of the picture. Mind sharing what bays you're using, Jeff?

    Thx all!
  8. sjoko

    sjoko Active Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Did you look at the link I posted? That will give you likely the best supplier in the US. I always purchase my bays from him, never had a single complaint
  9. erockerboy

    erockerboy Active Member

    Mar 16, 2001
    Sjoko-- yes, I followed that link. Am I missing something, or does he only deal in *used* patchbays?

    Last time I did a studio install we dealt with a couple "used" bays and it was a minor nightmare. We ended up having to re-do most of the normals manually (big pain). And down the road there were problems with intermittent contacts and/or noisy patch points. Based on that experience I wouldn't go for a "used" p-bay again.

    Am I crazy?

    (wait... don't answer that...)
  10. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    I bought my solid nickel contact patchbay sections from what was then called

    Yale Electronics
    6616 Sunset Blvd.
    Hollywood CA 90028

    I know that they have been "acquired" and have a new name that escapes me now. I used to deal with David Langford, who in a previous life was the chief technical troubleshooter for for Neve in the UK.

    I can tell you the brand of bays tomorrow if someone doesn't beat me to it in the meantime. I do think it was a premium grade ADC or Switchcraft though. Cost was about $250-300 per section.


    P.S.- could one of you left coasters remind me what the new name is for what used to be Yale Elex on Sunset?
  11. SlideMan

    SlideMan Guest

    I have in my lap an ADC TT patch bay section with solid nickel contacts.

    The part number appears to be "ADC PJ 739".

    Good luck with your new quiet patch bay. And happy hunting.

    Jeff Roberts
    Minnesota Soldering Guy (MSG)
  12. sjoko

    sjoko Active Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    He sells new ones as well as reconditioned ones, and always checks everything thoroughly. Over the years I've pointed a lot of people his way, and they have all become 'regulars' with him.
    One of the most essential parts of any set-up, so get it right! Good luck
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