The jacks and plugs used for guitar outputs were designed over a century ago for telephone switchboards—not musical instruments. As part of reviewing every possible aspect of the guitar-playing experience, Gibson analyzed the main limitations of phone jacks and has now introduced custom jacks with two significant improvements.

Gibson Gear guitar cable

A jack’s most important job is to make a reliable contact with the plug. In telephone systems, once you plugged in to a jack, the cord just stayed there. But unless your idea of stage presence is standing still, you’re moving around—and hopefully, the cord will move with you. So not only do you want the plug to make good contact, you also don’t want it disconnecting from your guitar in the middle of your “solo of the gods.”

For the Traditional line, Gibson modified a stereo jack design to provide two points of contact with a mono plug’s tip, and also hold the plug securely in place. Although inserting a cord requires about the same amount of pressure as before, it’s literally twice as hard for the cord to come out accidentally. What’s more, those two points of contact also insure that the plug’s barrel is always being pushed against part of the jack’s ground to maintain that contact as well.

guitar jack

The High-Performance line also features an improved jack, with three contact points. Two of them contact the plug’s ground, while the third contacts the tip. However, unlike traditional jack contacts that touch a plug at a single point, these contacts are curved so they contact much more of the plug’s surface. All contacts are also gold-plated, not just because gold is a good conductor, but because it won’t oxidize. This means it will never tarnish, and the insignificant contact resistances provides a perfect signal transfer from your guitar to your cable.

Although these jacks are inside the guitar so you can’t really see the care that went into creating the new connectors, you can definitely sense the improved, and more secure, feel when plugging in.