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Active Pickups AND Preamp 9v enough?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Pickebass, Mar 8, 2005.


  1. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm thinking about installing active pickups and electronics in my project bass. The following questions

    If I install both, will 9 volts be enough?
    if I install both, will battery life be siginficantly shorter?
    if I install both, should the batteries be set up to power each separately?

    I'm looking at installing a OBP3 and SD Lightin' Rods in a jazz style bass. Thoughts, opinions from experts are greatly appreciated
     
  2. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Anybody?? :eyebrow:
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Well, I don't know for sure, but I'd say you'd need 18V. Each source would want 9V, so if you only had one, you'd be draining it twice as fast as it would normally. If you did 18V, you'd get normal battery life, and normal voltage to each source. I would think you'd want to wire it one 9V for each source, but am not sure at all. I think you're going to have a pretty hot signal though...

    Ray
     
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Battery drain with active pickups and onboard preamps is so low that a single 9V battery will work just fine. Going with 18V will mean longer times between battery changes. Length of time between battery changes will depend on the pickups that you choose and the preamp that you choose. Also, the more bass is plugged in, the sooner you will have to replace batteries.

    I don't know how much you play every day. If you plug in an hour a day or less, then 9V will last you a long time.
     
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    That's what I was thinking. Typically I get almost a year of active basses that I play daily. Thanks!!
     
  6. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    That's true.

    That's not true. Going with 18 volts gives you more headroom within the onboard electronics. Headroom is good. Depends on the system, but it often gives you fatter, cleaner tone. More headroom never hurts. Anyway, both batteries will drain at the same rate a 9 volt system would because you are using 18 volts. So you don't gain any battery life from an 18 volt system, but you don't really lose any either.

    If you were to hook up 2 9 volt batteries in parallel, resulting in a 9 volt system, each battery would drain half as fast, extending battery life, but then you don't get the headroom of an 18 volt system.

    Yep.

    Yep. I go so long between battery changes that I put a piece of masking tape on the control cover with the date I last replaced the batteries written on it because I will forget. I change 'em every 6 months or so just to be safe. I've never had dead batteries within that period. And all my active basses have 18v systems.
     
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Now I didn't say twice as long or anything silly like that, but 18V systems will run longer because the difference between the maximum battery voltage and the minimum voltage to operate the preamp is larger.
     
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    true dat. I have a Tyler with a Demeter pre amp. 18 volts.
    If I'm working a lot, I'm changing every 3 weeks or so. Huge
    drain! Lee Sklar has an old P type bass with some early
    EMG's that last something like a week, but the sound of that
    bass is like his signature. Get a volt/ohm meter. If you are
    not sure about your batteries, you can always test them.
     
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I highly recommend having a seperate battery box installed if you change batteries that often. The cover screws will eat up the wood over time.