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Two ways to fix a Telecaster's wobbly input jack

Issue 4 November 16, 2006

Photo: Dan Erlewine
Cartoon: Loose telecaster jack
Two ways to fix a Telecaster’s wobbly input jack

Loose jacks are common on old Teles. The problem is the retainer clip: a metal strip holding the jack cup that works loose over time. Sometimes a player shoves a cord in too hard, and the retainer scootches inward. This chews up the insides of the hole, and the retainer clip loses its grip. Restoring it to original condition can troublesome, but doesn't need to be. Here are two ways to fix a loose Tele jack: one's easy, and the other's even easier!
Dan Erlewine Dan Erlewine, November 16, 2006
The first method: easy and true-to-vintage
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Photo: Tele Jack Tool

Photo: Retainer clips
Replace the retainer clip

Our Tele Jack Installation Tool is a simple device that does two things: it collapses the old retainer clip so it’s easy to remove, and it expands the new clip so its corners bite securely into the walls of the jack hole.

Sometimes I find that the hole containing the jack cup has been badly chewed up by the old retaining clip, occasionally to the point that there's no way for a new clip to catch hold. In this case, I rebuild the wall of the hole with a mixture of epoxy and sawdust. When this cures, it works like new wood for the replacement clip to bite into.
Photo: Using the tool
The rubber-padded Tele Jack Installation Tool fits in the hole and is held with a wrench while you tighten it with an allen wrench that comes with it. If you've been doing repairs for a long time, you've probably faced a few of these replacements yourself. You'll know from experience that it used to be a real pain in the neck before this inexpensive tool came along.
Faster, easier way: the Electrosocket Jack Plate
Photo: Electrosocket Jack Plate

Photo: Installing the Electrosocket
You don’t have to mess with retainer clips at all if you’re ready to switch to this new kind of jack cup: the Electrosocket Jack Plate.

This is a way to be done with loose output jacks forever. The Electrosocket is a good looking machined aluminum jack cup that’s threaded to accept a 1/4" output jack either (American or metric threads), and is held in place by two small flat-head phillips screws.

Simply drill the two mounting screw holes, thread the jack into the Electrosocket, and screw it in place to hold the jack firmly in place for the next millennium. No more retainer clips, ever! The Electrosocket comes in silver, black or gold.

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