Modular jack sizes

Mark McLemore mgm at
Mon Jul 24 23:50:51 CEST 1995

Hi folks,

I'm in the process of coming up with an overall design for my next
modular synth project, and I am soliciting some advice and opinions
on connector preference.  Specifically, should I go 1/4 inch phone 
plug (like Moog, E-mu, etc.), 1/8 mini phone plug (like ARP 2600, 
Synton), or banana plug a la Serge?  What are the pros and cons of 

The last modular I built (back in '82) used 1/4" -- very sturdy and
reliable, but they consumed a lot of valuable panel space.  I'm tempting
to go that route again (quite a few leftover jacks), but I will be trying
to cram full-function VCO's, VCF's, and VC-ADSR's into PAIA FracRack
panels (largest is 5.25" x 4.5" if memory serves), and I'm having to
cut function to get 1/4" jacks to fit.

The 1/8" route seems like the next logical option, but it feels so 
cheesy and flimsy to me.  Banana plug bothers me because of the lack of
shielding, although having built-in mults by stacking jacks looks 

The other option I have is to stick with 1/4" and make my modular more
modular -- i.e., don't add mixer front-ends to VCF's and separate gate
delays into autonomous modules instead of making them part of ADSR's. 
I'm not trying conserve total panel space, just space per module.

Thanks in advance,
synth-head in austin getting sucked into another modular synth black
hole . . .
Mark McLemore  ~  mgm at

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