Jack Replacement Procedure for G&L L series basses, ASAT basses, and JB-2 basses.

The mechanical aspects of this procedure can be followed for the G&L ASAT series guitars and for other basses that use this style of jack, the Switchcraft #150 Series Deep Panel jack.  Note that the guitars, passive basses, and older L-1500/1505/Climax basses use the part #151 mono version of the jack and that the active basses, including the current L-1500/1505 use the part #152B stereo version.  These jacks are available from better electronics outlets or from the G&L online store.


Links to technical information on the various jacks commonly used in guitars and basses:

Open frame jacks, such as those found in G&L Legacy guitars, Fender Stratocasters, etc.  Links to Switchcraft.
Open frame jack dimensions (PDF).

Enclosed frame jacks, such as those found in certain older G&L basses, MusicMan StingRay basses, etc.  Links to Switchcraft.
Enclosed frame jack dimensions (PDF).

Deep panel jacks, such as those found in modern G&L L series basses, G&L ASAT guitars, etc.  Links to Switchcraft.
Deep panel jack dimensions (PDF).

Schematics for all the above (PDF).


This procedure is necessary due to the way that the jacks are installed in the instruments by G&L.  There is no jack plate or cup, so the body hole for the jack must be tight so that the body of the jack is well supported.  This means that the jack cannot usually be removed from the body without the help of tools.  It should be noted that removal using this procedure effectively destroys the jack.


Disclaimer:

The procedure that follows involves the use of hand tools and a soldering iron.  Be sure to read and follow all the instructions that come with your tools, particularly safety instructions.  Be sure to wear proper eye protection and work in a well ventilated area.

The author of this webpage assumes that you, the reader, know how to properly and safely use these hand tools and the soldering iron.  It is further assumed that you, the reader, have the ability to read and follow directions and possess enough common sense to keep yourself out of trouble, or failing that, have the common sense to get help when it is warranted.

The author of this webpage/document will not be held liable for any injury or damage of any kind to any person, animal, or object as a result of the information provided here.  You, the reader, take sole and complete responsibility for use of the information presented here.  You, the reader, take sole and complete responsibility if you damage something, burn or otherwise injure yourself, burn or otherwise injure an animal, burn your home or location down, or reduce the value of your most prized guitar or bass as a result of the information provided by this webpage/document.

You are on your own.  If anything bad happens, handle it.  I don't even want to hear about it.


A primer on soldering things like guitar and bass parts can be found here.

Matt DeSilva alerted me that some ASAT guitars don't use the washer and nut to hold the jack in place in the body.  Instead, these instruments have a string that is run into the body hole with the jack barrel that helps to press the barrel against the side of the hole, thereby giving a tight friction fit.  If this is the case with your instrument, use new string that is of similar diameter and insert it into the body hole.  Leave a few inches extra on both ends.  Insert the new jack and drive it almost all the way into place.  Trim the outside end of the string tight to the body then drive the jack the rest of the way in.  Trim the excess string in the cavity and you should be good to go.  Thanks, Matt!

As noted above, older L-1500/1505 basses and the Climax bass that preceded them have a mono jack.  This means that the battery in these active basses is always connected, regardless of whether or not a plug is inserted.  The mono jack can be easily upgraded to a stereo jack which will provide power switching. Physically changing the jack is as below.  Connection notes for this are below as well.


Minimum tools needed (L-R):  #3 Easy-Out, 1/4" wrench, 9/16" wrench, small hammer, small and large long nose pliers, #1 point Phillips screwdriver, wood or leather mallet, soldering iron (25-45 watts), and fine wire rosin-core solder.

Remove the control cavity cover and carefully move wires to clear access to the jack.  Make a pencil note of which wires go where: black from ground goes to sleeve, black from battery goes to ring, white from terminal strip goes to tip.  De-solder these leads, being careful to not melt any wire's insulation.  

Important:  If you are upgrading your L-1500/1505/Climax bass to a stereo jack, the connections noted above hold true.  You currently have a white wire connected to the tip of the jack and two black wires connected to the sleeve.  You need to connect the black leads as noted above.  The other end of the black ground wire that goes to the sleeve of the jack would normally be soldered to a pot can.

This is what you should be left with.  Position the leads you just de-soldered out of the way for now.  Use the 9/16" wrench to loosen the nut on the inside of the cavity, then spin it off by hand.  Remove the flat and star washers and save these for re-use.

This is the size and type of Easy-Out to use: a square #3.  The square will bite into the jack socket a lot better than the spiral fluted type.

Insert the Easy-Out into the jack and give it 2-3 firm strikes with the hammer.  DON'T GO CRAZY!  You're just trying to get it to bite into the sides of the jack.  The jack is made of fairly soft metal, so it shouldn't take much force.  Unscrew the jack from the body using the 1/4" wrench.  Avoid using a pair of pliers or a Crescent wrench because they're inaccurate and/or too big and unwieldy.  As soon as enough of the jack's barrel is exposed and you can turn it without the Easy-Out, remove the Easy-Out from the Jack and finish removing the jack from the body by hand.  Save the flat and felt washers for re-use.  You can discard the jack body in the trash.

This is the order that the parts are assembled to the body.  Keep this in mind as you...

...thread the nut, the flat washer, and the star washer over the three wires.  Then...

...thread the wires out through the jack hole.

This is a genuine Switchcraft 1/4" deep panel stereo jack, available from better electronics outlets.

Cut off all but about 3/8" of the ground lug (the long one) to prep the jack for use inside the cavity.


This is what it should look like when you're done.

Thread a flat washer and the felt washer onto the new jack like this.

Using your notes (You did make notes, right?), solder your wires to the new jack.  Carefully insert the interior end of the jack into the hole as far as possible by hand without twisting.  Using your wood or leather mallet, drive the jack straight into the body.  If you don't have a wood or leather mallet, you can hold a piece of wood against the jack and strike the wood with a hammer.  Again, don't go crazy!  A few light strikes and the jack flange should be tight to the body.  See the note above if your instrument does not use the washer and nut on the inside of the body.  See this note if you're upgrading your L-1500/1505/Climax bass.

Once the jack flange is tight against the body, thread the washers and nut on inside the cavity.  Tighten the nut snugly with your 9/16" wrench, taking great care not to strip the threads.  The wrench provides a great deal of leverage and the nut is very thin in section, so you really do have to exercise caution when tightening.

Re-install your cavity cover and you're done.


Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011 Ken Baker and bassesbyleo.com