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Stick with Switchcraft jacks or give Pure Tone a try?

Chris Kline

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
129
In high-end audio, a few manufacturers tout the advantage of minimal connector mass and a point contact for RCA connectors - companies lie ETI, WBT, and KLE.

Their contention about the latter is that it a small mass, point contact sleeve (ground connector) reduces ground loops.

Of course, there are a lot of wacky things going on in this arena (6-nines copper, etc.), but I find it humorous that contentions are 180 degrees opposite of PT's stance.

... Thom
It's a whole different thing, I preferred Xhadow RCA & XLR connectors when I had my company making highend cables. I never found the minimalist theory of WBT and especially Eichmann/ETI to pan out as better fidelity. The only time I used Eichmann connectors were their solid silver ones when I was rewiring tonearms with a direct connection from clips to RCA's mainly because they are so light and put less strain on the 38awg wire I used for the job.

There is very little crossover from highend audio to guitar because the end goals are very different. Highend audio you are striving for the absolute least amount of distortion while avoiding being sterile which is a fine line to tread. The paradox is the higher end you go the more important it is to have your room and setup spot on. You spend 100k on a system and just throw it in your family room that is a total waste of money. When I was really into it I had a room completely dedicated to my hifi and the reality is there is one spot in that room that is optimal for listening. It is really a solitary hobby.

Guitar audio you a specifically looking for harmonics and lushness and distortion that is completely foreign to the highend audio world. One of the few things that does crossover is NOS tubes. I have a pretty decent stash of NOS tubes and have yet to have a guitar amp that doesn't sound significantly better with a nice set of tubes but you can go nuts with that too by mix and matching NOS tubes till you go bonkers. I have a relatively good idea of the characteristics of the tubes I have and tend to pick out a nice set and put them in and let it be unless there is a issue that is what stays in the amp.

Like I said they two different worlds, things that seem completely ridiculous for guitar audio, like high purity 6 9's or 8 9's copper or UPOCC copper, are ridiculous for guitar audio because they are completely inconsequential. I the highend audio world they are only important if you have a system that has the resolution and is setup well enough to hear it. I had one system with Revel Ultma Studio II's and it was like a audio electron microscope, I could hear the most the infinitesimal changes in the system. It was great for designing cables but honestly it was not especially fun to listen to because it was so analytical.

I left that world because it was a pretty anti-social hobby but mostly because the vast majority of people in it can't really hear a difference, they listen with their eyes and judge gear on how much it costs and what others are telling them is good. I can't tell how many audio show I did that when you went around and listened to the rooms setup the best sound at the show was some guy with a 5k system that brought speakers appropriate for the room they were in while the 500k rooms sounded awful but because they were so expensive people 'thought' they sounded great.
 

spi

Senior Member
Messages
364
When I built a partscaster last year I chose puretone. It was a one time cost of like $2-3 compared to switchcraft. If the price difference had been greater I would probably not have.

I didn't believe it would improve the tone, but I did think it would hold the jack firmly, which it does.

I wouldn't swap existing working parts to puretone, but for a new part, why not give it a try?
 

galibier_un

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,011
It's a whole different thing, I preferred Xhadow RCA & XLR connectors when I had my company making highend cables. I never found the minimalist theory of WBT and especially Eichmann/ETI to pan out as better fidelity. The only time I used Eichmann connectors were their solid silver ones when I was rewiring tonearms with a direct connection from clips to RCA's mainly because they are so light and put less strain on the 38awg wire I used for the job.

There is very little crossover from highend audio to guitar because the end goals are very different. Highend audio you are striving for the absolute least amount of distortion while avoiding being sterile which is a fine line to tread. The paradox is the higher end you go the more important it is to have your room and setup spot on. You spend 100k on a system and just throw it in your family room that is a total waste of money. When I was really into it I had a room completely dedicated to my hifi and the reality is there is one spot in that room that is optimal for listening. It is really a solitary hobby.

Guitar audio you a specifically looking for harmonics and lushness and distortion that is completely foreign to the highend audio world. One of the few things that does crossover is NOS tubes. I have a pretty decent stash of NOS tubes and have yet to have a guitar amp that doesn't sound significantly better with a nice set of tubes but you can go nuts with that too by mix and matching NOS tubes till you go bonkers. I have a relatively good idea of the characteristics of the tubes I have and tend to pick out a nice set and put them in and let it be unless there is a issue that is what stays in the amp.

Like I said they two different worlds, things that seem completely ridiculous for guitar audio, like high purity 6 9's or 8 9's copper or UPOCC copper, are ridiculous for guitar audio because they are completely inconsequential. I the highend audio world they are only important if you have a system that has the resolution and is setup well enough to hear it. I had one system with Revel Ultma Studio II's and it was like a audio electron microscope, I could hear the most the infinitesimal changes in the system. It was great for designing cables but honestly it was not especially fun to listen to because it was so analytical.

I left that world because it was a pretty anti-social hobby but mostly because the vast majority of people in it can't really hear a difference, they listen with their eyes and judge gear on how much it costs and what others are telling them is good. I can't tell how many audio show I did that when you went around and listened to the rooms setup the best sound at the show was some guy with a 5k system that brought speakers appropriate for the room they were in while the 500k rooms sounded awful but because they were so expensive people 'thought' they sounded great.
Amen brother. Two different worlds with different product design goals. Audiophile group-think is real, and dealing with those who judge by price, appearance, and are influenced by herd mentality can be quite depressing.

Fortunately, I seem to self-select customers who are not as prone to typical dysfunctional audiophile behavior, but this behavior is very real.

Most of my customers have been through it all, and are on the verge of checking out. They're like Charlie Brown who finally realizes that Lucy will always pull the football away at the last moment - just as he's about to kick it. Me? I like to let them kick the ball and have some fun ;-)

If you think the Guitar and Amp sub-forums over here can get toxic, you haven't seen anything in comparison with behavior on audiophile forums.
Pure tone jacks are better for 2 reasons, first is double contact points and second is that it's less likely that stepping on the cable won't result in pulling out. The price difference is negligible and Switchcraft makes outstanding products, so you really can't go wrong with either one.
The best "pull-out" protection remains the traditional loop through your strap, which shifts the stress away from the strain-relief junction at the plug ;-)

... Thom
 
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Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,464
If you think the Guitar and Amp sub-forums over here can get toxic, you haven't seen anything in comparison with behavior on audiophile forums.
No matter how one looks at it there seems to be 2 opposing factions on every issue.
One says 'I can hear it (so) I am better than you.'
The other says 'You have been fooled (so) I am smarter than you.'

The stakes are high. Rationality vanishes.:stir


It is like a global microcosm.:drown
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,240
The best "pull-out" protection remains the traditional loop through your strap, which shifts the stress away from the strain-relief junction at the plug ;-)
yep

the quickest way to spot an inexperienced or oblivious player on stage is to see the cable hanging off the guitar straight to the floor

to that end, for everything except a strat you ideally want a right-angle plug going into the guitar. for tele players, swapping out those terrible loose jack cup things for an electrosocket is de rigueur, especially because if you screw in the switchcraft* jack without any washers you'll be able to use right angle plugs


*see what i did there? :p metric import jacks like the puretone won't thread in
 

galibier_un

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,011
What upgrade(s) did you see changing to the Puretone?
I think this is an unfair question to ask of him.

He did after all change all of the electronics, and given pot value variances, this alone could have an audible effect (either better or worse).

... Thom
 
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Messages
71
I think all "tone" claims about puretone (or others) are pure marketing BS...
but they really "grab/secure" the connector so much more than any other jack I´ve encountered.

For me its not about tone but security and long term durability of the input (only had them for 2-3 years and FOR NOW I´ve had no problems or concerns)
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,151
I recall Eric Johnson talking about Virginia and he said there was an extra, fat washer on the output jack. When removed he didn't like the change. So I wonder if having a little extra mass there makes a difference?

The audiophile link above says they like low mass but often audiophile tone and guitar tone are at opposite ends of a spectrum, ie we often like to shelf the lows and highs and they want full range.

I have a few Puretone jacks for some new builds but I doubt I'll be swapping out perfectly good Switchcrafts...with a big fat washer. ;)
 

John Hurtt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,326
I think this is an unfair question to ask of him.

He did after all change all of the electronics, and given pot value variances, this alone could have an audible effect (either better or worse).

... Thom
He also put this on the end:

PT jack = Lovely upgrade.

I don't think it's unfair to ask him how that specific item was an upgrade. He made the statement, I'm just curious what it is.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,240
I recall Eric Johnson talking about Virginia and he said there was an extra, fat washer on the output jack. When removed he didn't like the change. So I wonder if having a little extra mass there makes a difference?
OK that's a new one, and no, the mass of a washer won't make a difference

that doesn't even make sense, and frankly reveals how much of EJ's "golden ears" mythology is probably just placebo
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,240
I really dislike the way 'ground loop' has become some sort of catchphrase that has lost the original meaning of the words.
right?

just like how people bring me instruments complaining of "static", "shorts", and "feedback", words all used randomly and interchangeably to mean "unwanted noise in the electronics"
 

galibier_un

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,011
I really dislike the way 'ground loop' has become some sort of catchphrase that has lost the original meaning of the words.
I think that in this case, the term is correctly used, but whether a loop actually forms (and whether it's audible or measurable) is a different story.

I'm trying to wrap my head around whether a ground sleeve on an RCA can result in a voltage potential difference.

It's either this, or the ground collar is more of a shield, and therefore, a good thing :confused

... Thom
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,151
OK that's a new one, and no, the mass of a washer won't make a difference

that doesn't even make sense, and frankly reveals how much of EJ's "golden ears" mythology is probably just placebo
I haven't looked into the EJ mythology but I remember him saying that a lot of his 'snake oil-ish' claims have been validated (the whole battery thing for his FF for sure). Lots of things don't make sense on the surface when it comes to things like this but sometimes its real.

Could there be any ferrite bead-ish effect? Just throwing stuff at a wall there.
 

John Hurtt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,326
OK that's a new one, and no, the mass of a washer won't make a difference

that doesn't even make sense, and frankly reveals how much of EJ's "golden ears" mythology is probably just placebo
Could be...he's also started to make fun of his own obsessiveness the past few years...and I've heard a few of these types of things said about him that proved to be falsely attributed to (or made up) him.
 






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