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18 volt batterie mod!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Josh Emmons, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. hi all! Some of you, (like me) have been wanting to find a cheep and easy way to mod your thumb bass(what i am modding today), or other basses so that it will have an 18 volt battery system. let me first start off that this mod is not going to hurt your bass, in this mod, you will not solder anything to the electronics board it's self, making this a perfect mod that ANYONE can do to their bass. many of you know how to do this mod, and have done this already, but this is a great place to start off if you dont know how to do this. WARNING! it is probably NOT going to happen, in fact, their is a .01 percent chance of anything happening, BUT I am not held credible if one of you damage or fry your bass... but dont worry, this is the most harmless way to get an 18 volt system. ALSO, before i start to ramble, you COULD get this done professionally, but it would probably cost $30- $50, and quite possibly be a permanent mod... PS. the picture is right under each step!!

    Step1: First, gather all the materials, these materials are: Tape, Soldering iron, two 9 volt batteries, foam, 3 9 volt batterie clips, wire strippers (a knife or wire cutters will work fine), solder, small shrink wrap tubing, and time! i had a soldering iron, tape, and solder, but i bought the 9 volt wire clips, batteries, and lots of SMALL shrink wrap tubing for a total of $12.


    Step 2: gently remove the batterie box from the warwick, then figure out where to place the batteries, actually put them it to see where they go.


    Step 3: place two strips of shrink wrap tubing around one of the three batterie clips. this one will be the center one that will plug into your existing batterie clip on the bass.


    Step 4: look at this diagram of the circut: the red wire will always to to a black wire. this is what we are making, a serial curcut.


    Step 5: take the center clip, and another clip, and solder ONE SIDE on to the circut. Remember, the red wire will go to the black wire... and read all of my post before making.


    Step 6: use lighter to shrink the tubing on. make sure it is a tight fit, not loose, or part of the wire cutting through.


    Step 7: your circut will now look something like this. make sure everything is connected.


    Step 8: solder on your other side, the black should be at the red. the center clip, the one with the heat shrink tube around the solder joint, slide it up over the other solder joint.


    Step 9: after you shrink the tubing, it should look like this: the clip closest to the bottom of the picture is the center circut, the one that will clip on to your current basses clip.


    Step 10: now solder the remaining wire at an angle, they should be pointing out, at a paralel angle.


    Step 11: Again, heat shrink the two tips.


    Step 12: your circut should look like this.


    Step 13: Inspect all joints, and clip batteries on. it should look like this.


    Step 14: This step is not necessary, but helpful. use volt meter, to test if the current works. if it is working, it should get a voltage of about 15- 20 volts. (the batteries i am using are totally dead. that is why i have 2 volts.)


    Step 15: now, go to your warwick thumb, or other bass. this is what it should look like with the case out.


    Step 16: carefully place the first batterie into the slot. be careful, do not force, if it does not fit, then keep shifting it's position, and move the wires.


    Step 17, fit the other batterie into it's spot. clip the clips together, connect the bass back up, and place the two clips in between the space of the batterie and the foam for for the electronics board. you can wrap the wires up, but the way i do it, is just make them fit in! :d


    Final step: close back up and play! you will notice that your bass is alot louder than it used to be, it will be bosting the lows mids and highs, and giving the bass more head room, Now thats it! you are ready to have a great little 18 volt mod to use on any active bass, hope this helped!!! P.S. i put alot of steps in to give this a very detailed description on what to do, Thanks!

  2. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    What's the advantage of 18v over 9v?
  3. It's more head room, it will give you a little more punch, its like, if you play at a volume of 8 with a 9 volt, but with an 18 volt, you would play at about a 5, and get the same volume, and punch.
  4. Even to try this is a good idea, as it can be removed if you dont want it. but it is worth it to have it in! :D
  5. javier69


    Mar 6, 2008
    Less amp volume, more amp life!

    Can I try this on the Gold MEC (JJ) Actually have a Lot of punch with 9 volts, it is really worth 18? or is like having a boost pedal inside the Bass?
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I agree. This is a nifty idea because you can try it before you do any heavy duty bass mods to see if 18v makes a difference with your bass and style of playing. If it doesn't just unplug it!

    But let me say that I'm NOT a big fan of letting batteries flop around loose in the cavity where they can slam into electronic parts and smash them if the bass gets dropped or something. Plus I'm also not a big fan of having to unscrew the cavity cover to change batteries all the time. Those tiny screws have a way of rolling away (especially on stage for some reason).

    So the answer to all these problems is a bit of routing and those flip-top battery cases. I got most of the ones I installed from Carvin but a lot of places have them. Some are better than others so check reviews on them before buying and routing.

    Which gets us back to the subject. With this trial scheme you can make an informed decision on whether to rout or not. Cool.
  7. believe it or not, they are not flopping around, they dont move, and that is why i have foam in the materials list. so that if it is needed you can use it to protect and tighten everything up.:cool:
  8. i is pretty safe, at least for all those using thumb basses, but if you want to mod it further, i would gladly find a way to solve it, like i can have a box that i can put in to the electronics box, something that would "safen" the allready safe electronics box. :)
  9. any one try it yet?
  10. This is not true, from what I know about these circuits. The 18 will give you more headroom, which you will only notice if you are playing with such gorilla technique that you were actually overdriving the preamp at 9 volts. This is possible, but relatively unusual.
  11. Again, changing to 18 volt should have no impact on the output level of the pre.

    IMO, this thread describes a beautiful execution of a plan based on (again, from my experience) mistaken assumptions!
  12. +1.

    Where were you guys getting the idea that 18V would give you more volume?
    With most preamps, the supply voltage is strictly a question of headroom.
  13. well, that may be true for YOU. but for me, i notice a huge difference. i gert alot more mids, lows, and highs.
  14. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    I agree. It depends on the circuitry design of the preamp too. some preamps give a gain boost at 18 volts and some don't. every preamp I converted to 18 volts had a change in tone for the better. more punchier for slapping
  15. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Some preamps use ICs that aren't rated for 18 volts, which could cost you a repair bill.

    I presume you're joking here. Even if an 18v bass did have higher output, all you'd do is lower the amp's input gain to compensate, to avoid overloading the preamp. That doesn't give you better amp life.
  16. To add to what Rick said, I think some Thumbs have active PUs, don't they? So, same comment as Rick had about the preamp warranty.
  17. javier69


    Mar 6, 2008
    (As describe on EMG page PDF http://www.emginc.com/pdfs/faq/EMG-FAQ-Battery-Questions.pdf)
    Can I use multiple batteries?
    Yes. If you’ve got room for multiple batteries in your guitar, you can use two batteries
    wired in series to power your onboard circuitry at 18 volts. The output level will not
    appreciably increase, but you’ll have increased headroom and crisper transients. This
    is especially useful for percussive/slap bass styles where you can generate enormous
    instantaneous power levels across the entire frequency spectrum.
  18. ex-tension


    Jun 11, 2009
    This is a dangerous post.

    Not every active bass is going to accept more than 9V power supply without frying something.

    Also, it's not right to suggest that anyone can do this. Lousy soldering job or lousy heatshrink tube insulation could create loose cables inside the cavity.
  19. +1
  20. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    Its a good idea but as some guys already said, not all preamps work at 18v.

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