Right Angle Plugs - Does anything last?

cooljuk

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These are my favorite right angle plugs. I've never had one fail, and I have some that must be 30 years old, which have been on multiple cables over my lifetime. I will say that the two screws used to assemble them took a dip in quality about 3-5 years ago. They used to be very precise and robust, with the same fillister head design as a PAF pole screw. Now, they are wobbly and warped, with uneven slots and non-crisp edges. Perhaps stamped heads, made of softer steel? It makes them harder to assemble (I'm nit-picking) and more likely to cross thread or have a head twist off.

switchcraft_228_SPL.jpg


Get the REAL Switchcraft 228s, though. There are so many crappy knockoffs out there, and they DO fail. Wobbly plugs that separate from the body. Thin plated brass sleeves. Burs on the inside that can knick your insulation or thumb, etc.
 

Big electric cat

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I like a right angle plug on my LP for sitting-in-a-chair-or-on-a-bed practice. Over the years I've used a number of types and they all have eventually failed.

For a while I used Monster cords.Molded plug and sure to fail. But, the only option I found. They had a "Lifetime" warranty. Store was local so I swapped them every year as they died. "Lifetime" warranty now defunct.

I next found Whirlwind cords with a Switchcraft 226 right angle jack at one end. Lasted two years, a year longer than the molded Monster. It now has play where the 1/4" part attaches to the housing. Likely warranty replacement but requires shipping, etc. And, it's another dead end street.

I see that Neutrik has a number of jack options including the NP2RX, NP2RC, NP2RCS, NYS207. NYS208. Are they any good? Are any of the Neutrik more reliable?

Something else that lasts?


I bought 2 12 ft Planet waves cables, angled end and straight end on both cables. They have gold ends on them and have molded ends.
Until Covid hit I was gigging at least 120 times a year. The Planet Waves Cables have lasted for 17 years. Finally I got new Planet waves cables and retired the old ones.
I definitely got my money out of those cables!

Stay well in 2021
 

John

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I've been treated well by D'Addario/Planet Waves. Only had a couple cables go awry for me, but they were more than willing to replace the faulty cables under their warranty.
Same thing for PRS when they first sold some Neutrik ended cables. In any case, their customer service was cool in honoring the warranty out of another old cable I got just over a decade ago despite being locked out of my old uni email that had the e-receipt as proof of purchase.
 

cousingrandpa

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I have been using the same 3 PRS cables for around 20 years, I use them at home & for gigging. 2 of the cables have a straight & an angled end & I have never had a problem with any of them. The angled ends are Van Damme (I think they might be manufactured by Nuetrik) & the straight ends are Nuetrik.
 
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Thrill

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Ive been using a Planet Waves circuit breaker cable for years, and never had a problem. The only time Ive had problems with cables is when I use a cheap-o one, and eventually the connection breaks. I always make sure to buy ones that have removable shields/covers/whatever so I can go in and re solder it if it breaks.
 

Rds

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I hope you find something you like.
Everybody has a preference on cables. I only have one angled cable. I've used it for several years and never broken. have some others too, diaddario, planet waves. But this one is a basic old cable never breaks.

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MP4-22

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I use the Xvive wireless these days..... So liberating... check them out.
 

HogmanA

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I think you mean the plugs and not jacks, based off your part numbers, but how are the Switchcraft ones not as good as the Neutriks and which Neutrik part #'s are you comparing to?

Do you mean better for the way you assemble them or are you getting failures? I've used both forever but everyone uses gear a little different so I'm curious if you're getting some type of failures.

The Switchcraft aren't as good for a few reasons, and in my opinion that includes the Switchcraft angled that you prefer.

The Neutrik are better quality overall.
The Neutrik cable clamp arrangement is superior to both of those Switch craft ones where you either bend the tabs and that is all that is holding the cable or the cover of the plug doubles as the cable clamp.
The first is flimsy, allowing the cable to move and flex the solder connections, which just fail in time. The screw down type isn't adjustable and is a problem with larger diameter cables.

If you look at the construction of the switch craft, you can see that the metal cable clamp/ solder tab and live tab are riveted to a thin piece of plastic.
I know how to solder well, but the factories where these are assembled aren't consistent - and people with lesser soldering skills sit side by side with people with the required skill level.
Even if soldered well (ie plastic not melted, wires nearly shorting, cable placed in clamp securely), the flexing of the cable will make the soldered connection fail over time.
Heatshrink helps a bit, but is not really good enough, plus again there's not enough room for larger diameter cables.

So, I replace with Neutrik straight Jack Plugs: they dont fail, accommodate larger diameter cable (but is adjustable for the right amount of pressure for any cable by design), part number NP2X (or similar - there are Neutrik with tab type clamps - I I'm not referring to those).

Also - look how the Neutrik shield solder tab is part of the body, more robust and acting like a heatsink too.

edit* plus, any plug that requires threadlock to keep it from unscrewing in normal use has been poorly/ cheaply designed!

Pictures below:

switchcraft internal 1.jpg

switchcraft internal 2.jpg

neutrik internals 1.jpg

neutrik internals 2.jpg
 
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geddy

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Just an observation , but the connectors (and to a lesser extent, the cable) are the weak point in most systems. They take a lot of abuse; inserted , removed, moving around and changes in pressure on points of contact. These are parts most likely to fail. I wonder if , as you use them sitting, the connector is making contact with chair/bed, whatever, increasing the stress and driving failures. Having said that I don't experience an excessive failure rate but I do tend to stand when plugged in. Just my 2p worth. I have 40 year old cables where the connectors are still fine. The screens at flex points in the cable have gone in most of them though.
 

freefrog

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When it comes to angled jack plugs, I'm happy with Hicon HI-J63MA05.

They include "eyelets" in which hot and ground wires can be inserted and twisted before to be soldered.

Personally, I find this system easier to work on and sturdier than the "hollow half barrels" used to solder in Neutrik plugs.

YMMV.
 

Lester

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When it comes to angled jack plugs, I'm happy with Hicon HI-J63MA05.

They include "eyelets" in which hot and ground wires can be inserted and twisted before to be soldered.

Personally, I find this system easier to work on and sturdier than the "hollow half barrels" used to solder in Neutrik plugs.

YMMV.

I'll check them out. I don't really lke the half barrel soldering option. Switchcraft is the same way for the ground. although once it's done, I suppose it's done, it's done... and it's the durability of the right angle assembly that's always the issue.
 

Freddy G

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I use the Xvive wireless these days..... So liberating... check them out.

I just checked it out. The U4 for in ears. I was getting very excited by the features and price until I saw the one spec that instantly said "fail"

it's mono
 

Freddy G

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I have a big bag of those to try out with some mini-Mogami cable, for a mini pedal board with mini pedals. :)
I decked out my entire rig with those.....the straight ones too. Love em. Excellent strain relief, the insulator between tip and sleeve is polycarbonate....much more heat resistant than plastic or nylon.

I've used them all.....the go to's were usually switchcraft 226 & 228 pancakes (don't even think about the generic ones.....shudder!) , Neutriks and Amphenols (too bulky)....
Yes sir....the Square Plugs are all I'm using now. And of course I make all my own patch cables....always have....well I haven't bought a pre-made cable in 35 years anyway.
 

Freddy G

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Hey Freddy! These look cool. Will they fit on a regular guitar cable that needs new plugs? I have about eight cables in the basement that students have discarded over the years.

They will accept cable that is 5.0 -5.8 mm diameter. Will work with Canare GS-6 which is 5.8mm.....my preferred cable anyway.

The only connector in my rig that is not a SquarePlug now is the plug I use on my guitar > pedalboard cable....the main cable.
I have a Neutrik plug with Swarovski crystals.
237657.jpg


I have to have it....it amuses me to no end because some people get so fired up over it. "how can you waste money on something so trivial and narcissistic? There are starving children in the world!"
 
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SWeAT hOg

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They will accept cable that is 5.0 -5.8 mm diameter. Will work with Canare GS-6 which is 5.8mm.....my preferred cable anyway.
I'll have to check what I have. Guaranteed these are all generic Yorkville cables.
 

cooljuk

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The Switchcraft aren't as good for a few reasons, and in my opinion that includes the Switchcraft angled that you prefer.

The Neutrik are better quality overall.
The Neutrik cable clamp arrangement is superior to both of those Switch craft ones where you either bend the tabs and that is all that is holding the cable or the cover of the plug doubles as the cable clamp.
The first is flimsy, allowing the cable to move and flex the solder connections, which just fail in time. The screw down type isn't adjustable and is a problem with larger diameter cables.

If you look at the construction of the switch craft, you can see that the metal cable clamp/ solder tab and live tab are riveted to a thin piece of plastic.
I know how to solder well, but the factories where these are assembled aren't consistent - and people with lesser soldering skills sit side by side with people with the required skill level.
Even if soldered well (ie plastic not melted, wires nearly shorting, cable placed in clamp securely), the flexing of the cable will make the soldered connection fail over time.
Heatshrink helps a bit, but is not really good enough, plus again there's not enough room for larger diameter cables.

So, I replace with Neutrik straight Jack Plugs: they dont fail, accommodate larger diameter cable (but is adjustable for the right amount of pressure for any cable by design), part number NP2X (or similar - there are Neutrik with tab type clamps - I I'm not referring to those).

Also - look how the Neutrik shield solder tab is part of the body, more robust and acting like a heatsink too.

edit* plus, any plug that requires threadlock to keep it from unscrewing in normal use has been poorly/ cheaply designed!

Pictures below:

View attachment 511790
View attachment 511791
View attachment 511792
View attachment 511793


Hey, man. Thanks for the very detailed reply with photos. I see why you might prefer some of the ones you showed over the others, now.

I don't know that you and I are using the same Switchcraft plugs, though? Mine don't have plastic insulators inside.
i.php


They offer different model plugs made to accommodate different diameter cables. If you use the right one, you don't have fitment issues, and I don't think Neutrik makes any that accommodate wire as wide as the double insulated heavy gauge speaker wire on the left. I could be wrong, but I remember having trouble finding Neutrik plugs that could take such thick wire, because of their internal compression collar design. This switchcraft has room to spare.
i.php


This one is using the same heavy gauge speaker wire, but with a protective wrap around it.
i.php


I've seen the pancake plugs pull a head off a stack or drag a Twin several feet on stage from a guitarist walking too far, plugged in. I can't think of a situation where I'd want them to grip more than that. Really, it'd have been far better for that head if the wire connection had failed, rather than the head taking a 6 foot drop.

Now, I'll admit, I did once tie a mattress to the top of my Jeep with Canare star quad and drive it from Baltimore to Queens, because that's all I had around at the time to do it. I'll venture to say that's not the intended use of audio cable and plugs, though. :rofl:

Anyway, no doubt, the Neutrik stuff is very nice. I have tons of it, as well, and have used it in studios for years and years. Their combination TRS / XLR panel mount jacks are absolutely amazing! Thanks again for the details and write up.
 

LeftyF2003

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This is part of why I use wireless live (and why I carry a spare short cable). I think the most common failure point of cables is stepping on them and pulling them against the guitar jack. That said I have 2 20' Switchcraft cables I bought in the late 80s that are still working and in my live bag, and those things have been on hundreds of gigs.
 

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