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Thread: Pure Tone PTT1 jack sockets (TS type for guitar/bass)

  1. #1
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Pure Tone PTT1 jack sockets (TS type for guitar/bass)

    Pure Tone PTT1 jack sockets

    I’d read about these somewhere, but the written description didn’t seem all that convincing, just talking about ‘double the contact area of a normal jack socket’. It wasn’t until I was looking for a replacement Switchcraft jack socket to replace a dodgy one in a Strat I was fettling and came across a picture of one that I took more interest, read up about them on their web page https://puretonetechnologies.com/ then ordered a load to fit to my guitars (and obviously the Strat).

    They’ve been available in the US since 2016, but now seem to be available in the UK at quite a few outlets (no idea about Australia or elsewhere). I'm surprised I haven't heard about them until very recently.

    So here it is, the Pure Tone PTT1 TS jack socket:



    And here is it compared against a standard Switchcraft jack socket:




    And the view from the top:



    As you can see, you’ve got two spring contacts for the tip contact, both of which have curved contact points (as opposed to the single flat contact point on a Switchcraft (or other standard jack socket), so there is certainly at least twice the contact area of a traditional jack.

    You also have two extra spring contacts making contact with the sleeve. This provides extra support for the jack plug, which stops it from being able to wriggle around in the socket and also makes a more positive ground contact than just the sleeve touching the inside of the threaded barrel of the socket. These are all part of the sleeve solder connection and are positioned so that in the event of a TRS jack socket being inserted, they make contact with the ring connection and ground it out.

    Here’s a standard Neutrik TS jack inserted into the Pure Tone socket:



    …and the jack in a standard Switchcraft socket:



    It should be obvious from the pictures Pure Tone jack is a more compact solution (length-wise) than the Switchcraft jack socket, which has benefits where space is an issue. I'll highlight Strat jack sockets, which for me are an abomination that should have been sorted out years ago. The socket rout is on a Strat just that bit too small to easily accommodate a standard jack socket.

    You have to fit the socket in one position, and one position only, otherwise the spring for the tip presses against the back or the sides of the rout and you can’t fit a jack in. If you copper shield the socket rout, then there’s every chance that the tip will short out on the copper. If you then insulate the copper with tape, you’ll probably find the tape prevents the jack from being inserted properly. Sometimes you just have to get out the Dremel and make the rout a bit wider.

    Using a Pure Tone jack socket on the Strat made it easy to fit it in, without needing to do any modifications and without any shorting. You could certainly wiggle an inserted jack plug strenuously (both standard and Silent Plug types) with no hint of a crackle or pop.

    The extra contact area also makes them suitable for basic loudspeaker cabinet jack use, where there aren't any switching contacts required.

    You may need to use slightly more force than normal to push a plug in, but not much. There's a bit more resistance to pulling the plug out, but I see that as a good thing. But you certainly don't need to be extra strong to use one.

    The Pure Tone PTT1 jack sockets cost only slightly more (store prices currently vary from £5-£7 in the UK so shop around) than standard Switchcraft jack sockets (normally just under £4 in the UK).

    The only negative comments I have are that they only come supplied with one washer and nut for the barrel. I’d have liked to have seen another nut and a toothed lock washer included. A you may have noticed, the length of the PTT1 threaded barrel is longer than that of the one on the Switchcraft unit. So it’s fine for a Strat, where it doesn’t really matter if there’s 2mm more thread poking out from the dished plate, but for a Tele, Les Paul, SG, Precision or Jazz bass etc. where you want to minimise the amount of barrel poking out from the mounting plate, you’ll need a positioning nut and washer underneath the mounting plate. So you'll either need to utilise any from the existing jack, or buy some suitable nuts and washers from someone like Allparts (e.g. https://www.allparts.uk.com/products...nd-input-jacks )

    Note that the barrel thread (like Switchcraft) is Imperial, so nuts and washers from metric jacks won’t work.

    Pure Tone jack socket options:

    PTT2 TRS jack socket (looks like the PTT1 except the two sleeve spring contacts are now ring contacts with their own solder connection).

    Nickel or gold finishes.

    There is a Pure Tone TRR5 barrel jack socket (TRS) available, which I presume has the double tip and ring contacts internally, but details on the website for this are sparse, so I can’t guarantee it.

  2. #2
    Member Hardcoretroubadour's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review Simon, looks like a good simple upgrade for most builds

  3. #3
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    These look great! I have an ongoing strat build, and the jack in my Frankenjazz has gotten loose. These look like they're not only better they're surprisingly affordable. Thanks for the tip!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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  5. #5
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'm unconvinced about conductor area on a guitar (output side on amps is a different thing entirely, but the right change there is to replace jack with speakon) but the more compact design looks like quite a benefit.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
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  6. #6
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Barden View Post
    I know StewMac stock them in the US.
    Just got two from Amazon for under $10 with free shipping. I see them all over now that I know what to look for. From just under $5 to about $7 (the SM price). That's only a little higher than a mono Switchcraft which is $4.25 at SM. Always nice to see a really superior product at a reasonable price.

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  7. #7
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC View Post
    Interesting. I'm unconvinced about conductor area on a guitar (output side on amps is a different thing entirely, but the right change there is to replace jack with speakon) but the more compact design looks like quite a benefit.
    I agree. It's more about the compactness and grip.

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  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Certainly the conductor area isn't really an issue with a guitar/bass jack, but certainly a standard jack can lose its springiness over time, so that a pull on a lead can move the tip of the jack away from the contact and you get crackling. That is far less likely with this design as a pull in one direction away from a contact is normally pushing in the other direction against the other contact.

    As the tip of a jack is a wiping contact, you aren't likely to get oxidation of the contact if the guitar/bass is used regularly. So it's now a question of fitting some and seeing about long-term reliability.

    I think there is certainly a benefit in fitting them on speaker cabs and output jacks for valve amps where all the connections are via jacks, as you don't want to lose a speaker connection and damage the amp. And certainly if you are talking about a 100W or above valve amp, where the maximum output can be nearer 200W than 100W, then the extra current carrying capacity of this design would be very useful IMO.

  9. #9
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    The reason I like normal Switchcraft open jacks is that I have never had one fail...until now. I put a set of EMG Geezer Butler pups in my Frankenbass. I thought I had put a Switchcraft in when I installed them, but they came with a wiring harness and I may just have used what they sent, figuring "it's an EMG harness how bad can it be?". In whatever case the jack is getting loose...and this looks like a good replacement.

    I think if you have a cab or amp that is already using a 1/4" TS jack these might be a good replacement. Aside from power handling and grip, why wouldn't you use the better jack if it's only a couple bucks more?

    On the other hand for someone building a cab, I think the Neutric combo jacks are still my favorite, due to their practicality. They are a good solid TS jack, but will also accommodate 2 conductor speakons Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    They also offer the PTT1 in black, might be newer since availability appears more limited than the other two. Might give it a try since it will match the black hardware I'm going to use with the EX anyway.
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