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Disting reality check - the jacks are very bad!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 [all]
Author Disting reality check - the jacks are very bad!
toneburst
I've been experiencing the same loose-jacks issue with my Disting Mk4, too, I'm sorry to say.

a|x
base615
Sadly, as I love the functionality, I’ve had to stop using my two distings as the jacks are unbelievably loose, even just for studio use.

The slightest touch will cause my Stackcables to fall out of them. I’ve also bought several other types of cable just to see if it will work. It’s a bit better horizontal with the aid of gravity to keep them in, but my case is now vertical.

Right now I use them instead of 4HP blank panels so I’d love to know if someone has found a wider cable which fits snugly so I could use them.

Hard to imagine that ES hasn’t fixed this since first reported in 2014. Every other module seems to be fine so it’s not like there’s a shortage of correctly sized jacks.

That said, there are no other jacks I’ve seen with LEDs in them. Maybe ES need to design the Mk5 to have normal jacks and LEDs outside.
lisa
I have two MK4 Distings and no such issues. They are not as tight as some jacks but the cables do not fall out. If they where I’d be sending them back and request new ones. Not an option?
Shledge
Think the problem is also down to the tolerances of cables, especially in the width and profile of the tips - I've noticed some of mine are really tight in some modules, while others are noticeably looser. Some of these won't fully go in on modules with tighter jacks!

The jacks on my distings are definitely a tiny bit loose, but I never had an issue with them in terms of cables falling out or connection issues. They're similar to my older doepfer modules.
toneburst
Shledge wrote:
The jacks on my distings are definitely a tiny bit loose


They are for me, too, and the same seems to be true (unsurprisingly) for my other Expert Sleepers modules (unsurprisingly, as they all use the same parts).

Shledge wrote:
...but I never had an issue with them in terms of cables falling out or connection issues


I have had issues with the jacks wobbling from brushing cables while reaching for controls on other modules. This has happened while using the Disting's (excellent) record-to-SD algorithm, which is annoying, as this caused dropouts in the recording.

Shledge wrote:
They're similar to my older doepfer modules.


This is not a coincidence, as Doepfer use the same Cliff sockets (but in black, rather than translucent plastic) for many of their modules, I beleive.
mbthey
Just now seeing this thread.

I too experience very poor quality jacks on a new ES-8 that I have just purchased.

Seeing how this has been a known issue for YEARS with no apparent resolution from the manufacturer, I think I will just return the product for a refund.

$450+ is too much to pay for such poor quality hardware.
elisha_gray
I noticed complaints about the plastic jacks on Expert Sleepers modules before I bought my Disting Mk4 and General CV. I checked my modules with several different brands of patch cables, and they are fine.

Clearly, plastic jacks need less force to remove a plug, and the plug wobbles more, compared with metal jacks. I haven't seen any accidental removals or intermittent connections though.

Why the different experiences? I wonder if plastic jacks have more jack-to-jack variability than metal jacks.

I like the feedback from the LED in each jack.
mbthey
I've inspected the jack sockets closely with a lighted magnifier- the problem isn't so much the translucent housing of the socket, but rather the quality of the metal tabs that wrap around and apply sprung downforce on the inserted jack. The indented portion of these tabs are very small and as such make very little contact with the inserted jack itself. The tabs are also very very thin, and have lateral "wiggle room" which may even be out of spec?

The jack sockets also do not appear to be proper CLIFF jacks, but rather some knock-off version? They are marked with an "A" underneath as opposed to the "CLIFF UK" that the authentic sockets have. So who knows what the long term reliability of these are going to be? Don't want to take that chance with a $475 module.

On several of my ES-8 ports, the cable end can be pulled out with no resistance or click whatsoever. Like it was literally just an empty hole. But on those same ports, inserting the cable can have a harsh initial resistance (which varies depending on the angle of insertion), followed by a couple "crunches" that are both felt and heard due to both the lateral movement of the jacks retainer clips/bands and ringed detent of the patch cable end.

It really can give a first impression that the socket is broken when first inserting the cables, and it varies between the many ports. Some worse than others, but all bad IMO.

I purchased the "Bitwig Edition" of the ES-8. Which should be no different hardware-wise than the regular version ES-8 from everything that I have read.
Shledge
Cable tolerance matters more. I have 2 disting mk3s and a disting mk4 - granted they're not the tightest, but I never had any issue with them. Cables stay in and there's not that much wiggle room.

Saying it's "poor quality" is just hyperbole.
os
There was a manufacturing problem with a small number of the jack sockets recently. Ironically, these were actually made by Cliff; most of the sockets I use are from another manufacturer.

I thought we'd caught the bad ones but it's possible some slipped through. If you can post close-up photos of the sockets, looking at the back (furthest from the panel), it should be possible to tell whether you have such sockets.

Just to be clear this applies only to a very small number of modules manufactured at the end of 2018. In general, the sockets are as-intended. They are not "knock-offs". They are just not (all) made by Cliff. Cliff doesn't have a monopoly on plastic jack sockets.
mbthey
Shledge: No hyperbole at all, the jacks on this ES-8 I just bought are indeed poor quality. They crack and crunch with varying resistance when plugging in cables and they are come out with very little effort. Very easy for a hanging cord to pop out if it is nudged. How long before a solder joint cracks under such strain?

But since you don't actually have my module in your hand to test, you don't really have anything to judge other than your own experience with your particular modules right?

Seems I am not alone with this issue, and apparently it has been a known issue for years.

I was really looking forward to utilizing this ES-8, but sorry I am not going to drop $475 on something that has these issues.
mbthey
OS: Here's a photo of one of the jacks on my ES-8, let me know if is a proper enough view of it?

[/img]
os
I think I can see that the jack on the left of the photo has a 'curly' contact (looks a bit like a ski jump) closest to the panel. I believe that's supposed to be furthest from the panel i.e. it would grip the tip of the plug. Is that right? Is this one of the problem sockets? Do the other sockets have the contacts the other way around?
mbthey
I think there is another aspect to this which is amplifying the effect of these jacks-

Pictured is a patch cable purchased from Make Noise, manufactured for them by Ad Infinitum. There are three points which have a "sharp" transition (marked).

I cannot tell without taking apart the jack, but I think perhaps the embossed "nub" of the jack's retainer clip, which has a triangular cross section, has too sharp of an edge(?) which causes the sharper "crunching" (and even a small amount of getting hung up on) upon cable insertion that I am experiencing. When the tabs catch these sharper transitions on the cable end, they get pushed laterally against the plastic "stops" before giving way and going up and over the plug end. This also contributes to the additional sounds and feeling when plugging in the cable.

Also note the small angle of transition at the tip. Very easy for the small (and weaker) retainer clips on the jack to easily slip right by when the cable is coming out.

All my patch cable plug ends from different manufacturers look like the photo below btw.


mbthey
Here's a top view of the jack, both retaining clips are identical to each other. All visible jacks look like this-

os
Here's a photo that shows what I mean. You can see the tip contact is very slightly raised.

Tip contact raised => Cliff jack, good
Shield contact raised => Cliff jack, bad
Neither contact raised => not Cliff jack, good

mbthey
I can see no difference between the front and back tension clips on my ES-8. The dimples look to me to be the same shape and size/depth and each clip is flat -no upturned edge like the clip end on the left of your photo.
os
OK, it seems you're not affected by the specific issue I mentioned then.

Without physically examining it myself it's hard to make further comment on your particular unit.
mbthey
Well, I've already started an RMA with the dealer where I purchased it. So perhaps it will end up back in your hands eventually anyway.
mbthey
UPDATE:

My ES-8 unit was received by Perfect Circuit and they informed me that their techs confirmed my issue with the jacks. They are providing full refund and waiving their restocking fee.
Rex Coil 7
Comment in this thread made on July 8th, 2014:
os wrote:
... I do personally test each unit and nothing goes out unless I believe the jacks are satisfactory.


Comment in this thread made on July 23rd, 2014:
os wrote:
I'm promised that the next batch of jacks from the factory will have a higher retention force. I can't say when those will start finding their way into distings though.
If they are meeting your level of satisfaction, as you stated on July 8th 2014 ... then why suddenly a need for higher retention force?

Comment in this thread made on August 22nd, 2015:
os wrote:
exper wrote:
There are mk2 distings, but the jacks are the same.

The jacks are gradually being improved, every batch I get from the factory, so don't assume any given revision of the disting has the same jacks on it as others of the same revision.
Why are they "gradually being improved" instead of simply just fixed?!! Your first comment I quoted here was made over an entire year prior, when you said "all is well, nothing leaves without meeting my satisfaction". This is all sounding like corporate bull pucky that some slick PR rep says at the podium.

Comment in this thread made September 29th, 2015:
os wrote:
The jacks are mechanically compatible with the standard Cliff parts used by Doepfer, Analogue Systems and others.
And yet, complaints continue to come in over the next four years. Probably the single most common complaint about the entire Disting series.


Comment in this thread made January 23rd, 2019:
os wrote:
There was a manufacturing problem with a small number of the jack sockets recently. Ironically, these were actually made by Cliff; most of the sockets I use are from another manufacturer.

I thought we'd caught the bad ones but it's possible some slipped through. If you can post close-up photos of the sockets, looking at the back (furthest from the panel), it should be possible to tell whether you have such sockets.

Just to be clear this applies only to a very small number of modules manufactured at the end of 2018. In general, the sockets are as-intended. They are not "knock-offs". They are just not (all) made by Cliff. Cliff doesn't have a monopoly on plastic jack sockets.


Excuse after excuse after excuse ... year after year ... version after version. I find the credibility of a manufacturer not being able to get the jacks "right" after run upon run, going on for over five years questionable (I speak of ES here, but my comment could also apply to ES's supplier as well). And from the numerous comments I've read in numerous other threads the problem extends beyond just the Disting series.

People don't like being treated with disrespect. Especially when they're wanting to willingly throw their hard earned money at a manufacturer that seems to have the same excuse over five years, perhaps longer. I'm convinced the next time a few people complain about the jacks again there will be another echo ... "the manufacturer did it, and it will be better next run".

Last year I suggested that the Disting be made with non-lighted jacks with small LEDs near each jack. I was essentially told "it's not going to happen". I have to wonder how many people would respect the decision to go with a simple redesign that excludes the use of lighted jacks more than respecting the reluctance to do so and continuing to come up with "the manufacturer did it, it will be better" excuse ... again?

I, for one, would respect Andrew a hell of a lot more if he would just admit defeat and go with the use of less troublesome jacks ... rather than the stubborn years-long push to continue with the customer service nightmare involving the use of "those bloody loose jacks!" ... a choice he's been faced with defending for far too long.

I actually have a need for a number of Expert Sleepers items, but I'll be damned if I'm going to relinquish handfuls of hundred dollar bills on a product with substandard components ... especially since the fix is so easily arrived at. Just dump the fancy jacks, admit it was a neat idea that didn't have the support it needed from a manufacturing standpoint, and improve the product line already!

I'll be one of the first in line to hand you my money for several items in your catalogue.

nodnod
Shledge
I can confirm the disting mk4 I recently bought has tighter jacks, but the idea of "satisfactory" seems to differ from person to person.
REVIVER
I got another Disting MK4 a few months ago and the jacks are noticeably improved. No complaints at all.
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