1/4 inch TRS plugs

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1/4 inch TRS plugs

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:10 pm

Is there some advantage to using such a beast plug as opposed to the widespread (in computers) 1/8 inch ones?
I know professional headphones and sound cards ship with 1/4" plugs and connectors, respectively, but I'd like to know what for.
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Re: 1/4 inch TRS plugs

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:22 pm

The 1/4" jack was originally used for telephone switchboards way back when. Since it was in such high volume production, it quickly became the standard for audio applications and was modified to accomodate the second channel for stereo.

The first 1/8" jack I saw was for input/output on a cassette deck in 1970. Same electrical performance, just smaller. Headphones and professional gear still use 1/4" because they're typically using heavier cabling and are handled more often and get banged around a lot more.

The larger plug also allows for a stronger spring force in the jack and so gives a better wiping action and a better electrical contact.
Last edited by sluggo on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1/4 inch TRS plugs

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:24 pm

sluggo wrote:Headphones and professional gear still use 1/4" because they're typically using heavier cabling and are handled more often and get banged around a lot more.

So the sole reason for using them is resilience then?
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Re: 1/4 inch TRS plugs

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:29 pm

Meadows wrote:
sluggo wrote:Headphones and professional gear still use 1/4" because they're typically using heavier cabling and are handled more often and get banged around a lot more.

So the sole reason for using them is resilience then?

Sorry, late edit above. In addition to being more secure, the larger plugs are less susceptible to problems with surface contamination. They're also easier to repair on the fly and will accomodate the heavier cabling needed for long cable runs.

Professional audio will use them forever because there's really no need to change and many reasons not to change.
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Re: 1/4 inch TRS plugs

Postposted on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:37 pm

As a quick example, a 1/8 plug would keep falling out of my guitar jack :)
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