Neutrik Silent Jack Plug

The team at Which Guitar are all converts to Neutrik Silent Jack Plugs and we are continually amazed at how few guitarists and bass players tend to use them. If you have ever tried to plug-in your guitar or bass while the amp is on and the volume turned up then you know how annoying the loud crackle can be to the audience (and the rest of the band)! You can also become very unpopular with sound engineers if you do this while your amp is mic’d (or DI’d) into the PA! The ingenious Neutrik ‘Silent Jack Plugs’ overcome these problems completely with a low-cost, rugged and totally silent solution.

The secret of the design is a small, sliding, spring-loaded ferrule that protrudes about 3 mm from the body of the jack plug. While the jack plug is not inserted into a socket, the ferrule is held open and the live circuit of the plug is shorted to earth. This means there is no sound being transmitted to the amplifier or PA – so no pops or crackles.

When the plug is inserted into a jack socket, the ferrule keeps the circuit muted until the plug connects with the contacts within the socket – at which point the circuit switches silently back into operation.

The design is amazingly simple but the secret is in the quality of the materials and the manufacture. Neutrik are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of audio equipment who are renowned for the quality of their products so it is no surprise that the jack plugs work amazingly well and last forever. In fact some of the team at Which Guitar have been gigging with the same lead fitted with these plugs for over five years without a problem.

Image of Neutrik Right-Angled Silent Jack Plug

Neutrik Right-Angled Silent Jack Plug

A quick search on the internet shows that these high quality jacks can be bought from as little as £5 and they are available in either straight or right-angled models. At this price they are about the same price as a comparable quality ‘normal’ jack and since you only need one silent jack on each lead (at the guitar end) it is an easy and inexpensive solution. The Neutrik Silent jack plug features a distinctive red body so the lead is easy to spot in your gig bag and it is instantly obvious which end of the lead is for the guitar when you come to cable up.

The design is very robust with a sturdy and effective cable clamp and a solid construction. The internal solder contacts are very open with easy access for a soldering iron so it’s easy to make up your own leads even if you are ham-fisted like us! If you prefer to buy your leads ready-made up, then a number of suppliers also sell ready-made, custom length leads fitted with a Neutrik Silent plug and using high quality cable.

These jack plugs are invaluable if you play in a band and need to swap guitars at any point in the performance because we all know, it is so easy to get caught out when you forget to switch your tuner to ‘mute’ and the audience hears those piercing pops and crackles.

Neutrik jack plugs will also stop your fellow musicians falling out with you when you do the same thing in the rehearsal room!