Tapastring Guitar Care

Makers and Purveyors of Premium Guitar Care Accoutrements



Tapastring Home Page

Guitar Care Products

the "StrapKeeper"

StrapKeeper two

Guitar Straps

Guitar Strings

the "Vintage Jack"

the "Vintage Jack" for Mandolin

Vintage Jack Special Order Page

Cables for "Vintage Jack" Systems

Vintage Pickup Systems

Vintage Jack Installation Tips Page

Making Shielded Cable Connections


Jaquie Gipson

Acoustic Fingerstyle and Tap Guitar

 The "Vintage Jack" (patent pending)  FAQs



Does the "Vintage Jack" hold in place just by pushing it in, like my regular endpin?  I have a d28, so its probably micarta.  Or does it need to be glued in?

It is held in with the taper just like your regular end pin... if you would like extra security, you could use a little powdered rosin on the taper before you press it into place.  The rosin will grip under the friction/pressure and secure the Vintage Jack in place without having to use glue. We do not recommend the use of glues or other adhesives.

If its truly a press-in, I assume it is secure.  Have you had any issues with it coming out?  It just seems that the brass material may be smoother and slipperier than the plastic.  I fully realize you must have considered this  I'm just looking for some piece of mind about how this works.

The taper locks the endpin into place -- it is similar to the way centers are held into a wood lathe and is also very common in metalworking machine tools.

  I am currently using a Baggs M1 pickup.  One end has a mini plug.  Would this be compatible with your jack?

This is compatible via a couple of methods ..... you could attach a mini jack to the Vintage Jack leads and just plug in your Baggs, or a more professional installation would involve cutting the lead on the M1 and making a shielded solder connection after trimming all the leads to a suitable length.

What is the best way to secure the mini plug chord to the jack?  Loop it around the strap or use your Strapkeeper product?

Looping the output cable around your guitar strap will work very nicely without having any extra attachments, but I have a prototype cable keeper/strain relief strap that will slip over the endpin.  The StrapKeeper is made to adapt a standard guitar strap to the oversized endpin button found on guitars with 1/4" endpin jacks.

After checking out your website, I see that you have mono, stereo, and battery switching options.  The first two appear self explanatory.  What is the battery switching option?

This is used to switch the battery on or off for systems that have a battery inside the guitar -- plug in your cable (any cable) and the system is turned on -- remove the cable and the system is turned off.  It keeps from running the battery down when the instrument is not being used.

Can I get the stereo one ("Vintage Jack") with power switching for future upgrades, even though I may not be using it that way?  If I do that, can I still use a mono cable with it and plug in the usual way?

Yes, you can get the stereo and power switch options (in fact this is becoming the standard rather than the option) for future use.  Just coil the unused wires and secure them inside your guitar -- if you need them they will be there waiting.  If you wire your pickup(s) to the mono (tip connection) coax on the Vintage Jack you can use a mono cable -- OR you could wire the pickups stereo to the Vintage Jack and them combine the signals to mono by wiring the ring and tip connections of the 3.5mm SwitchCraft plug to a mono cable.  This second method has the possible advantage of being able to select mono or stereo without having to rewire the instrument.  You would select mono or stereo with your choice of output cables.   

To help me decide on the specific pickup, could you give me your perspective on the PUTW products?  Specifically:

David Enke at PUTW is the best person to answer your PUTW questions (you can also order from them direct), but here goes.

Is installation of the stealth under saddle similar to the Fishman matrix?  Would it require much adjustment of the saddle due to its thickness? I'm just asking because I know my tech is quite familiar with Fishman installations.

The PUTW Stealth pickup element is very thin and you may not have to adjust your saddle at all -- depending of course on how you like your instrument setup.  The adjustment to you saddle will be a simple thing for your guitar tech and is basically not a big deal.  The installation of the Stealth is more similar to the Baggs Ribbon Transducer pickup than to a Fishman -- Your guitar tech will have no trouble with it.

 Would it be better to go with the pure soundboard transducer (#49 dual element SBT) regarding the impact to the acoustic sound of the guitar (no messing with the saddle).

My wife Jaquie is the guitar player at my house www.jaquiegipson.com (sound clips on her website) She has been using PUTW products exclusively for several years and has been involved with beta testing several PUTW products.  She uses a combination of the stealth and dynamic duo (mono output) in all of her acoustic guitars -- McCollum Megan, Taylor 512C, Taylor LKSM 12, and Taylor 615.  This seems to be the optimum pickup system for both her music and her guitars.

Does the ParaDI work well enough, or would you recommend one of their Line Driver outboard preamps?  As I mentioned above, it would be nice to use the ParaDI as my outboard unit and maybe later upgrade to something more. 

Jaquie uses PUTW preamps and has had excellent results.  The ParaDI is a good unit and Jaquie has used one on several occasions, but she likes the PUTW preamps better.  One of the benefits of the Line Driver is that it puts the preamp closer to the pickup -- the less cable between the pickups and the preamp the better.  The Line Driver is available in both mono and stereo versions and the stereo version is selectable between stereo and mono outputs.  The ParaDI does offer EQ and notch filter capabilities, which could be very nice in certain situations.

I paid a visit to my guitar tech to discuss the installation.  As you might guess, he raised an eyebrow about the mini-jack endpin!  His main concern is of course the robustness of this design.  I'm not exactly sure how to explain how your design differs from past failed attempts by others.  Could you elaborate on this a bit? 

Seeing is believing and your tech will probably have to see it in his hands.  I have only seen one of the older "failed" designs (in fact it was broken)-- it was one that had made in the 1960's ??.  It was a rather flimsy plastic thing that was both ugly and a poor design.  It did not fit the endpin hole and used a nut on the inside to hold it together.  The materials it was made from were not strong enough to function as an end pin and it was not strong enough to support the tension of being held in place by the nut.  I have investigated the patents of other designs and everything else seems to require some modification (drilling) of the guitar or was just not practical.  My design puts an industrial jack inside a metal sleeve and is held in by the taper just like the regular endpin.  It is much stronger and more practical than an all plastic design.  It will speak for itself and you will be able to tell when you see it.  Tony Sarno (until recently the resident artist at Bose) has been touring/performing with a Vintage Jack in his Martin D45 for about a year now with zero problems.

What is the inside of the jack made of (i.e. the female part)?  Is it Switch Craft hardware or something different? 

It is an industrial jack similar to SwitchCraft in quality but is not made by SwitchCraft.  It is the only jack commercially available in the US that is compact enough and of high enough quality for an endpin jack.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how securely the SwitchCraft 3.5mm RA plug is retained in the jack.

If I accidentally hit the cable and the mini jack end bends (Ouch), will it damage the inside of the jack?  What is the anticipated lifetime of this jack?

This is something of a loaded question -- as it is possible to destroy anything and I know a few people who could sink a brand new battleship with a plastic teaspoon.  With that said;

You would have to hit the cable plug pretty hard to damage the endpin jack or bend the 3.5mm plug.  As a test of strength, I mounted a Vintage Jack in a piece of board (didn't want to abuse a guitar) inserted the 3.5mm RA SwitchCraft plug and hung a 10 pound weight from the plug.  I left the weight hanging on the Vintage Jack assembly for several days with no sign of damage or bending to any of the components.  I believe that in normal use the Vintage Jack and SwitchCraft 3.5mm RA plug are as durable as a standard 1/4" jack and plug.  The SwitchCraft RA plug is important as it is much stronger than a straight 3.5mm plug and it offers considerable strain relief.  I expect that the life expectancy of the Vintage Jack will be similar to the standard 1/4" jacks currently in use.  The jack assembly can be removed from the Vintage Jack endpin housing and can be replaced if needed.

A question regarding one of your responses  you indicated that if the female portion got damaged, it could be removed from the endpin housing and replaced.  By housing do you mean the expensive ivory part?

Yes, the ivory/housing part would only need to be replaced if it suffered some accident

I hate to ask this, but I feel I need to - will this be a "risk-free" purchase?  In other words, if the endpin just isn't working out, can I return the products for a refund?  After all the research I've done, I really don't expect to be disappointed, but I've learned sometimes you just have to expect the unexpected!

This is also something of a loaded question -- in the old time gentlemen's agreement sort of way, the answer is YES.  But "risk free" covers an awful lot of territory. 

I can offer the Vintage Jack on a 100% refund basis for 30 days so long as it has not been abused or damaged and I will replace or repair it against defects in materials and workmanship for as long as you own the guitar. 

I prefer to do business in the old time gentlemen's handshake way and want to maintain my reputation as an honorable businessman.  I will work hard to take care of you as a customer, but written guarantees can be a trap for all involved. 

I hate to have had to dance around a couple of your questions as much as you hated to ask, but I have known a few people who seem to make a career of working the system and taking unfair advantage.

Also please check our Customer Service page.

I plugged the Kordex cable into my Vintage Jack and can see that the fit is nice and snug.  How will the installed jack handle repeated plugging and unplugging?  Will this tend to pull the Vintage Jack out if simply pressed in? I assume the press fit is good enough for a simple end pin because its not being regularly tugged at like this.  Or should I have my tech just glue it in after everything's all said and done?  How has this been addressed in the previous installations you have dealt with? 

The Vintage Jack taper fit is very secure and the 3.5mm jack itself is very durable.  A firm push and a little twist and it will lock the Vintage Jack in place very nicely.  Lightly seat it into place to test the fit and only install it firmly (or with rosin) when all the rest of the installation is done.  So far no one has had any trouble with the pin coming loose.  In fact you will probably have to tap it out from the inside if you need to remove it (after final installation attempting to remove the Vintage Jack from the outside by pulling, prying or other such efforts could damage the ivory) .  I do not recommend the use of glue for a normal installation. 

I'm wondering about what a person can do if the SwitchCraft mini-jack ever fails (it's been my experience that even high quality components sometimes fail and need to be replaced)?  Is the mini-jack removable from the endpin assembly?  If necessary, can a new mini-jack be installed in the endpin assembly?  Or, if the mini-jack ever fails, must one purchase a completely new endpin / mini-jack assembly?

Excellent questions.  It is possible to replace all of the individual components should a failure ever occur. 



Tapastring Guitar Care

31989 Hwy 12

Trinidad, Colorado 81082