I have a braided 25ft Ernie Ball cable that I decided was just too long for what I needed, so I cut it and made it into two cables using REAN silent jacks. The cable is a twin core cable with a braided shield - this is the closest image I can find.

After soldering, the cable is noticeably lacking volume and high-end. Before I take it apart and try something different, is there any advice on what the correct way to connect the two cores?

I haven't found any information about soldering dual core cables to guitar jacks- all the information I've found is for single core cables. I had found someone else that had done this, as described in this comment on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/RSIPNZK0HCXC3/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07N6V5WRG

I bought the 25ft version and a pair of Rean NYS224S silent jacks for a fiver on eBay, cut the cable into a 10ft and 15ft section and soldered the new jacks on the ends. For £30 I now have two fantastic quality cables both of which allow silent instrument changes. Highly recommended!

Note that these cables are twin core shielded and one of the cores is connected to ground with the shielding so you’ll need a multimeter to know which core to connect to the tip and which one goes to the sleeve of the jacks.

I did what is described in the comment, found the core carrying the signal and soldered it to the tip, and soldered the other to the sleeve with the shielding. I'm wondering whether this is creating a ground loop or something, but want to understand why it's happening and how to fix it before pulling it all apart again. Thanks in advance.

  • On the assumption you connected each end of the cable in the same way each end was originally connected - as in if all 3 wires were connected at both ends of the original, the same happened with both altered cables - you either didn't do a good soldering job (dry joint/short) or a plug is faulty.
    – Tim
    May 7, 2022 at 8:06
  • Assuming that you do have a multimeter at hand make sure that both tips and both sleeves are well connected, as well as there should be no connection between tip and sleeve.
    – Lazy
    May 7, 2022 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


In a directional guitar cable:

  • core carrying signal is connected to the tip on both plugs
  • core carrying ground is connected to the sleeve on both plugs
  • shield is connected to the sleeve only on one of the plugs – the one going into input of the amp or an effect.

If you cut such cable, you get two different halves, which needs to be treated differently.

What follows:

  • on both of them you need to connect signal core to the tip of the new plug and ground core to the sleeve.
  • on the cable that has the shield already connected, don't connect the shield to the new plug, and use the new plug to connect into output of the instrument (or an effect). However, if you do connect the shield, you basically obtain a regular concentric guitar cable, which should work as well.
  • on the cable that doesn't have shield connected, connect shield to the new plug, and use the new plug to connect into input of the amp or effect. If you do not connect the shield, you get a cable with floating shield. This cable would still work (via two core conductors), but might be more prone to interference. This is not exactly what you describe, but it's still something to check.

The symptoms you describe may suggest there is some parasitic connection between signal and ground. Maybe the new plug is faulty, or was damaged during soldering, or something else didn't work out. Another possibility is a bad contact of one of the new connections.

  • So, put basically, the shield (outer braiding) only gets connected to the jack that goes into the amp, etc (i.e. not the silent jack) - which I've used for years and love them! Great in a teaching environment! That's a new one on me, is there anything I can read up from?
    – Tim
    May 7, 2022 at 6:52
  • @Tim you may want to ask on electronics SE for details. Directional cable is supposed to reduce noise picked up by the cable. It won't help for the noise picked up by the guitar itself. It also won't make a difference when the noise picked up by a normal cable is already low enough... May 7, 2022 at 18:10
  • Thank you for the response. I haven't yet had chance to go back in and try the changes, but will do so. As you mentioned, I would have expected one of the cables to be 'right', if the jacks were wired differently (unless my soldering really does suck! :) ). The factory ends have heatshrink, and I was trying to avoid damaging it, but it may be the best way to get a solid cable out of it.
    – Kobrakai
    May 9, 2022 at 23:52

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