You know what they say, you get what you pay for. Well sometimes that is true and sometimes it isn’t. When it comes to audio connectors I really don’t see the value in trying to save money.
I have seen so many audio connectors fail over the years. XLRs, 1/4 inch, you name it it has gone bad. But I have seen some cables as old as I am with name brand Switchcraft and Neutrik plugs that still work like new. I think the experts say you should never cheap out on mattresses, shoes, and tires. But I will throw audio connectors into that mix as well.
I bought my Martin D-18 in 2013 and have been playing it ever since. Usually at least a practice a week and church on Sunday. For those 8-9 years everything has been fine. Until recently the endpin jack started to loosen up and snap crackle pop. I wanted to try out the journey instruments pickup so I used this as the excuse to swap it out. While the cheaper price of the Journey pickup seems nice over the K&K probably all of that cost difference can be attributed to the endpin jack.
Once installed the Journey endpin jack that was some no name cheap aluminum feeling connector stop working consistently after 2 weeks. Not ok. So obviously I needed to replace it to get the guitar up and running again. Now the Journey pickup has a 2.5mm connector inside the guitar that the pickup plugs into. It is a neat little system rather than having to resolder everything. However there really isn’t any replacement parts to be found. So I made my own Switchcraft endpin jack with a 2.5mm internal jack.
This isn’t really a hard project. The worst was finding a 2.5mm jack. Next worst was drilling out the cap piece on the pickup so that the internal jack would slide through. Below is a list of the materials used:
Once I had slightly drilled out the cap piece then I could solder up the connector, tighten down the strain relief and then put the whole thing together. Then the whole assembly could be installed in the guitar and then the connector from the pickup could be plugged and everything was all done.
Watch the whole process below: