Does your Tele suffer from “wobbly jack cap” syndrome? Here’s a cheap and easy fix.
If you’ve ever owned a Telecaster, you may know how frustrating it is if the 1/4" output jack starts to get loose. On a Tele, the jack is held in a recessed cup secured to the body with a metal retainer clip embedded in the jack cavity. Over time, the simple action of plugging and unplugging your cable can bend or loosen the clip, making the signal short out while you’re playing.
Fortunately, there’s an excellent alternative to using a Tele’s stock jack mounting hardware. Made by Electrosocket and available from such luthier suppliers as Allparts and Stewart-MacDonald, as well as vendors on Reverb.com and eBay, the machined aluminum jack mount attaches to the Tele body with two screws (Photo 1). The Electrosocket is inexpensive, easy to install, and—get this—it lets you adjust the output jack to accommodate a right-angle plug. Here’s the best part: The Electrosocket stays put and can even prolong the life of your output jack. Let’s investigate, shall we?
Project overview. Our project guitar is a ’90s Fender Telecaster. When its owner brought it into the shop, the stock jack cup was very loose. We agreed it was time to replace it with an Electrosocket.
With one exception—which I’ll explain in a moment—the tools required are all standard items you’re likely to have in your toolbox: a medium Phillips head screwdriver, a 1/2" nut driver, and a drill with a 3/32" bit.
Okay, what about the specialized tool? Some background: The stock Tele jack clip is a piece of metal wedged into the circular cavity that houses the 1/4" jack and mounting cup. From the control cavity, the jack passes through a hole in the clip and then through a similar hole in the mounting cup. Threaded onto the jack, a 1/2" nut holds everything together from the exterior of the mounting cup. If the thin clip gets bent out of shape, the jack cup starts to wobble.
Photo 2. Photo by John LeVan.
The trickiest part of this project isn’t installing the Electrosocket, but rather removing the clip without damaging the cavity or surrounding finish. You can do this with a hammer and nut driver, but there’s a much better way. Stew-Mac offers a nifty item called a Tele Jack Installation Tool (Photo 2). It costs less than $20 and lets you safely extract the stock clip by bending it in a controlled way—just enough to remove it from the jack cavity. I’ll cover both techniques, but again, if you love your Tele, consider adding the TJIT to your toolbox.
Photo 3. Photo by John LeVan.
Removing the stock jack cup. First unscrew the control plate from the top of the guitar and lift it off just enough to expose the control cavity. Next, use a 1/2" nut driver to remove the nut holding the output jack to the mounting cup. With your finger, push the jack back through the cup and clip, and into the control cavity. Remove the jack cup—it should pull right out of the cavity (Photo 3). If not, you may have to tap on it with your nut driver to break it loose.
Photo 4. Photo by John LeVan.
Removing the jack clip. This is where it gets a bit more complicated. If you have a TJIT, remove the small ring from the end and slip the bolt into the cavity (Photo 4) and through the clip. Orient the small ring so its narrow end faces the clip, and then spin it back onto the bolt. Using the 5/16" hex key included with the tool, tighten the bolt until the clip is compressed into the TJIT. When the clip is fully compressed, pull the TJIT out of the cavity, removing the clip. Done!
If you don’t have a TJIT, from the outside poke a 1/2" nut driver (a large flathead screwdriver also works) into the jack cavity and hold it against the clip. Gently tap the nut driver with a hammer until the clip bends just enough that you can remove it through the electronics cavity.
Photo 5. Photo by John LeVan.
Installing the Electrosocket jack. Now it’s time to place the Electrosocket over the jack cavity and drill the holes for the two mounting screws into the body (Photo 5). Use a 3/32" drill bit for these holes, which should be about 3/8" deep. Pay close attention to the angle of the Electrosocket’s mounting holes. To ensure the Electrosocket sits flush against the cavity opening, you need to duplicate this angle when you drill. Another consideration: If you drill the holes too shallow, this prevents the Electrosocket from sitting flush.
Tip: Measure the target depth on your drill bit and then mark the “stop” point on the bit with a red Sharpie.
Photo 6. Photo by John LeVan.
After the mounting holes are drilled, remove the Electrosocket and pull the jack out through the cavity. The Electrosocket has a threaded collar that matches Switchcraft-style output jacks (Photo 6), so simply screw them together, being careful not to twist or stress the jack’s wires.
If you look closely at this photo, you’ll see a lock washer sitting between the output jack and the Electrosocket. If you plan to use a guitar cable with a right-angle plug (something you can’t do with a standard Tele jack cup), simply remove the lock washer before screwing the two parts together. This prevents a right-angle plug from slipping out.
Photo 7. Photo by John LeVan.
Now place the assembly back into the cavity, aligning the Electrosocket’s screw holes with the ones you just drilled. Install the mounting screws using a medium Philips screwdriver, making sure the Electrosocket fits snug against the body (Photo 7). Now reattach the control plate, and shazam—you’re done!
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.