I've noticed on several guitars I play, that I will get a satisfying -click- when I plug the jack into the guitar. But on one guitar I own, there is no haptic sensation. You can feel that it barely catches.

Does anyone know the engineering of a jack port? How do I get that satisfying click every time?

  • I have one cable that doesn't click home in my guitars the way the other cables do, so you might double check that. Otherwise Tim's answer has got good info on the jacks themselves. – Todd Wilcox Mar 6 '16 at 18:24

They vary quite a lot. The basic ones - but still usually good - are just a sort of springy steel that clips onto the neck of the jack plug. In itself, that part can be bent so that the clip action is stronger, although if you go too far, the plug jams on that part of the mechanism.

A problem I've found is that occasionally the neck on the plug is quite thin, and the contact is only over a small area. The 'click' is obviously the end of the jack locating on the springy steel part. Some sockets that are enclosed are not easy to adjust. Some of these are switched sockets, which have another spring loaded contact.

Using quality plugs is obviously a good solution; I found Neutrik about 30 yrs ago and never use anything else. And, they make a really good switched jack that saves the 'thunk' every time the plug is inserted/taken out. Invaluable for electric guitar teachers!

Here's a picture of a basic jack and plug that shows how the plug is retained in the jack:

1/4" plug and jack

  • Okay. I've tried to do my own homework. Seems simple, right? But I still can't seem to find a conclusive answer on the Internet for what it means to have a jack that is switched vs. one that is unswitched. (For guitar, anyway). @Tim, do you mind helping me understand the difference? – Jason P Sallinger Mar 8 '16 at 13:51
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    @JasonPSallinger - you'll usually find a switched socket on an active guitar. Which is why the jack needs taking out after playing, otherwise the battery will go flat. They're also on the send/return on amps. But - switched or not won't affect the decent 'thunk', I don't believe. – Tim Mar 9 '16 at 13:31
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    I just replaced the jack on my Strat: it was pretty loose as described in the Question and when I removed the screws and lifted the assembly out, the tip connector/contact simply fell off. Presumably, the tight space and wiring conspired to hold it in place enough to make an electrical connection. – Yorik Mar 10 '16 at 18:58

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