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Buchla Audio Cables
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author Buchla Audio Cables
richardm123uk
Hi there,

So do I need to order Buchla audio cables or can I use my Analogue Systems patch cables?

Cheers,
Richard
modularland
the buchla cables are slightly bigger- I have a Buchla coming soon but I'm making my own audio cables- rumor has it (and I'm sure an authority will respond) that sometimes the normal 1/8" patch cables work, sometimes they don't... some people have no problem, some do

I have the parts to make the cables and the plugs are indeed bigger... so you may have intermittent connections using 1/8"
bwhittington
Richard, I believe you should have an assortment of cables included in your system order, right?

Cheers,
Brian
dr.jasoncrest
.... and what exactly does "coming soon" mean in regards to a Buchla?
modularland
it means within 8 weeks I'll have:
201e-12 Powered Cabinet
206e Mixer
210e Router
225e MIDI
261e VCO
266e Source of Uncertainty
281e Quad ADSR/LFO
291e VCF
292e LPG
285v Verbos VCO
prscrptn
Nice... thumbs up
richardm123uk
Hi there,

I will order a bunch of Banana but I have a lot of Analogue Systems audio cables and they seem pretty high quality so I may just go with those.

Placing my small system order in the next week and have found a 281e for sale.
bwhittington
Where's Chris Muir when we need him? lol

Cheers,
Brian
richardm123uk
I need to mail Chris to see if I can order a PR. I will try to not ask to many questions as I am pretty much there. Just oine new thread to start then the ordering can begin!.
prscrptn
The Buchla audio cables use Tiny Jax which are 3.58mm.

1/8" cables will work, but the connections may not be as tight.

I would check with Don and see if any cables will be included with your order...
modularfreak
> So do I need to order Buchla audio cables or can I use my Analogue Systems patch cables?

My experiece says that you can use your AS cables. I use Buchla audio cables AND many different "standard" 1/8 cables (because they are longer) and NEVER had any problems.

To get a bunch of Buchla cables (audio and banana) included with your order you have to order a SYSTEM which does not mean a LARGE SYSTEM...so ask if your order is fulfilling the requirement of being a "SYSTEM".
richardm123uk
My order will most likely not be classed a system as I am starting with 5-6 modules (One I have found used and the other will be the PR)
rlainhart
Here is what I understand is the story with Buchla, 1/8", and 3.5mm jacks and cables:

Buchla uses Switchcraft "Tini-Jax" jacks (sockets), which are .141 inches in diameter, or 3.5814 mm. 1/8 inch jacks are .125 inches in diameter, or 3.175 mm. 3.5 mm are, obviously, 3.5 mm, or .137 inches in diameter.

So, 1/8" (.125) plugs (connectors) are going to be a little loose in a .141 inch jack, by a factor of about .4 mm, which isn't a lot. 3.5 mm plugs will also be a little loose, but not as much as 1/8" - the difference is less than .1 mm, or 1/10 of a millimeter; pretty small. The Tini-Jax cables that Buchla ships with the systems and sell on the site are of course the exact correct size, within whatever the manufacturing tolerance is.

I use 3.5 mm cables which I purchased here:

http://www.markertek.com/Cables-Connectors-Adapters/Audio-Cables/Mini- to-Mini-Cables/TecNec-Cables-Connectors/SC100MM.xhtml

because they're very well-made cables, and because they're available in a wide range of colors - I use the colors to help differentiate voices and functions in my patches, and I like the pretty colors. I will very rarely have some noise from a slightly loose connection, but reseating the cable always fixes that. I haven't used 1/8" cables, but I would think that the even looser connection might cause some issues at times, although some Buchla users say they don't.

I think what you want to avoid is trying to use a larger plug in a jack designed for a smaller plug, as a too-tight fit would almost certainly over time distort the jack and cause connection problems - that is, you wouldn't want to use the Buchla Tini-Jax cable in a system designed for 1/8" cables, although I wouldn't be surprised if some people do and don't really have problems. Using a 3.5 mm cable in a 1/8" jack would be similar, but since the sizes are closer, overall probably less of a problem.

The bottom line is that I think you can safely use 3.5mm cables in the Buchla (I do), but that 1/8" cables will be more likely to cause mis-connections.
cbm
As far as I know, there is no such thing as 1/8" jacks & plugs, and never has been. The term 1/8" has been erroneously applied to both .141" Tini-jax/Tini-plugs and 3.5 mm jacks/plugs.

3.5 mm plugs more or less work in the .141" but they can sometimes be a little loose or intermittent.

Plugging a .141" Tini-plug into a 3.5 mm jack can be a really tight fit, depending on the jack manufacturer.
Oxix52
When I got my 5 modules from Buchla, they included plenty of audio and banana cables. I did ask Don when I ordered if they would be included and he said yes. I was in contact with Jon before my delivery and he made sure to include cables, screws, and a manual. thumbs up I should mention that I already had my 6-space boat that I purchased last year.
Big G
cbm wrote:
As far as I know, there is no such thing as 1/8" jacks & plugs, and never has been. The term 1/8" has been erroneously applied to both .141" Tini-jax/Tini-plugs and 3.5 mm jacks/plugs.


+1. Make that +10! There is a lot of misinformation about these connectors which is often blindly repeated on forums.

Quote:

3.5 mm plugs more or less work in the .141" but they can sometimes be a little loose or intermittent.


The difference between .141" and .137" is 4 thou. That's a manufacturing tolerance. The spring contact in a Switchcraft Tini-jax socket pushes the plug against the opposite side. The real problem with compatibility is the shape of the plug tip. The cheap moulded cables beloved by Doepfer and AS have a trapezoid shaped tip, unlike the Switchcraft Tini-jax plug which looks like a miniature 1/4" plug. When a moulded plug is inserted into a Switchcraft Tini-jax socket it will make contact, BUT if that socket is using a break contact it may fail to lift it resulting in the signal being shorted to ground or another signal. I don't know if any of the Buchla audio inputs have prepatched wiring, but if they do don't use other than a Tini-jax plug.
infinite7
prscrptn wrote:
The Buchla audio cables use Tiny Jax which are 3.58mm.

1/8" cables will work, but the connections may not be as tight.

I would check with Don and see if any cables will be included with your order...

don always includes cables in system orders, which this one i would say certainly qualifies.
i have switchcraft and tip top stackables, both work incredibly well together, no intermittent connections ever.
chrisso
Whatever the finer point of the discussion - - I've been using various mini-jack style cables (ala Doepfer/Analogue Systems) with no problems whatsoever.
rlainhart
Chris, what are you basing that statement on? I can't refute you, but I could have sworn that when "mini-phone" connectors first appeared (50s? 60s?) that they were specifically 1/8" in the US, and were distinct from the European/Asian-format 3.5mm. (I seem to recall my father, who was an audiophile and who worked for Amphenol, mentioning that, but I could be wrong certainly.) And I also seem to recall that the ARP 2600 I had at one time came with US-made molded "1/8 inch" cables which were also distinct from the European metric formats.

Nowadays, at any rate, it seems that the "1/8 inch" format is in fact 3.5mm, and as mentioned, it doesn't make much of a difference anyway. But also as mentioned, there's definitely a difference between 3.5mm and Tini-Jax, and they shouldn't be considered interchangeable.


cbm wrote:
As far as I know, there is no such thing as 1/8" jacks & plugs, and never has been. The term 1/8" has been erroneously applied to both .141" Tini-jax/Tini-plugs and 3.5 mm jacks/plugs.
cbm
rlainhart wrote:
Chris, what are you basing that statement on?
Other than memory, not much, I admit. The 2600 used .141" Switchcraft, as did pretty much every "mini jack" synth of that era, at least the ones made in the US. As far as I know, Switchcraft invented that size, and never called it 1/8" or mini-plug, sticking with their trademark Tini-Jax & Plugs. The term 1/8" just became popular terminology because they were roughly half the size of a 1/4" plug. I haven't been able to craft a Google search that finds the history of the mini jack. :-(

Quote:
I can't refute you, but I could have sworn that when "mini-phone" connectors first appeared (50s? 60s?) that they were specifically 1/8" in the US, and were distinct from the European/Asian-format 3.5mm.

Were there even 3.5 mm jacks in the 50s & 60s?

Quote:
And I also seem to recall that the ARP 2600 I had at one time came with US-made molded "1/8 inch" cables which were also distinct from the European metric formats.

I believe that the 2600 came with the smaller-handle .141" cables from the same custom overmold series that Buchla uses. Buchla uses the nicer (in my opinion) ST750, and Arp used the smaller ST710. We also used the ST710 at Salamander Music Systems, too.

Quote:
Nowadays, at any rate, it seems that the "1/8 inch" format is in fact 3.5mm...

Unfortunately true. Switchcraft even calls them 3.5 mm (1/8" mini ) plugs. I think the term 1/8" does more to sew confusion than clarity, but in a few years the meaning may well settle on 1/8" == 3.5 mm == mini jack.

Quote:
...and as mentioned, it doesn't make much of a difference anyway. But also as mentioned, there's definitely a difference between 3.5mm and Tini-Jax, and they shouldn't be considered interchangeable.

Completely agreed.
rlainhart
cbm wrote:
Were there even 3.5 mm jacks in the 50s & 60s?


The first such mini-phone jack I can remember was the earphone jack on our Japanese transistor radio from the early 60s. I have no idea what it was, but it might well have a 3.5mm, given that the Japanese probably were using metric standards. It could just as easily have been an American jack and plug, though.

I haven't been able to find anything pertinent via Google either. Not that it much matters, but it's an amusing, if esoteric, topic, anyway.
incekt
could you cut one of the ends off a buchla cable and pop in a 1/8 cable jack?
rlainhart
Sure, if such a thing as a true 1/8" plug actually existed, which apparently it doesn't, at least not anymore. But if you bought a 3.5mm plug, you could easily cut off the Tini-Jax plug from one end of a Buchla cable, strip the wires, and solder on the 3.5.

The only reason I can see for doing that is if you wanted to interface a Buchla system with external 3.5mm gear and were concerned about the potential problems associated with plugging the Tini-Jax plug into a 3.5mm - is that what you want to do?
incekt
yep, you got it.. thumbs up
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