The benefits of guitar silent plugs
We all know the ubiquitous quarter inch guitar plug that comes either as a straight or right angle plug from great brands such as Neutrik, Amphenol and Switchcraft. Without these vital connectors you would have no amplified sound from your acoustic, electric or bass guitar. They provide the first point of contact for transporting signal from your guitar pick-ups via jacks on your guitars body, down the cable to your direct box, amp or pedalboard rig.
These normal 1/4" plugs are perfectly fine for all general applications however have one drawback in certain situations, if purposely or accidentally unplugged live you will get pops and other nasty noises that could taint a great performance and/or damage PA equipment.
This is where the silent plug comes in, they have been engineered to automatically short the signal the moment the spring loaded contact integrated into the 1/4" shaft is unplugged from the guitar jack. This means there is no noise or damage to PA equipment when the cable is disconnected under load, making for professional performances, seamless hot swapping of guitars and happy sound engineers.
There is one caveat with silent plugs and that is they should only ever be connected to your guitar, never an amplifier output or other device! Damage may occur if this is done so care should be taken if being used by less experienced players or audio personnel. To take potential errors out of the cable customisation process, in our cable builder app you can only choose a silent plug for either connector A or B only.
These unique properties mean silent plug guitar cables are versatile across multiple applications particularly environments such as stage performances where the risk of accidents is higher or for players that swap guitars during performances.
Cablesmiths guitar silent plug options
The three main professional silent plug manufacturers are Neutrik, Amphenol and Swithcraft. These silent plugs are tried, tested and reputable, offering customers exceptional quality that can be relied upon for a long term investment. Let's take a closer look at each connector.
Neutrik NP2X-AU-SILENT and NP2RX-AU-SILENT
The Neutrik silentPLUG range comes in both straight and right angle versions and brings the excellent quality we all know and expect from the NP2X family to these gold plated plugs that boast a guarantee of over 10,000 mating cycles. You know it’s a Neutrik silentPLUG from the striking red housing. These look particularly good customised with a red boot in our cable builder app. Our entire cable range works well with Neutrik silentPLUGs.
Amphenol silent plugs are from their high quality T Series Professional Range of connectors and also come in straight and right angle versions. These plugs come in an all-black housing with standard nickel plating and are more affordable for the budget conscious. They work well with our entire cable range.
Switchcraft silent plugs are made in their renowned all metal design making them incredibly durable and well suited to be matched with either Switchcraft 280 or 226 1/4" connectors to suit the intended application. Switchcraft silent plugs are great for those after a super rugged connector in the classic industrial look. These silent plugs are more suited for low capacitance guitar cables with larger diameters such as Sommer LLX and Klotz AC110.
Given the specialised nature of silent plugs, we only offer this cable as a custom cable through our cable builder so you can match your chosen silent plug to your desired cable in whatever length you like terminated with silver solder. See our blog article on Guitar Cable Capacitance to dig deeper into cable options to suit your application.
Custom heatshrink logos and 27 Techflex braided sleeving options are available to further customise your cable, and through our Neutrik range you can extend your customisation even further with a colour boot for the silent plug.
Click here to customise a guitar cable with Neutrik silentPLUGS
Click here to customise a guitar cable with Amphenol silent plugs
Click here to customise a guitar cable with Switchcraft silent plugs