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Are supercell batteries worth it?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RabidMusic, May 19, 2020.

  1. RabidMusic

    RabidMusic Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    I think it is about time to replace the 9v battery in my Ibanez SR1400. Sadly, the bass does not have a pop open door. You have to unscrew the back base plate to get to the battery. Did that and notice that it has a GP Supercell battery. Those seem to be hard to find, but if it keeps me from having to remove the back plate very often it might be worth it to replace it with the best, longest lasting battery I can find.

    Is it worth it to put in another supercell? Do they really last longer? Where do you find yours? Is the Energizer Max in the same league? Those are easier to find.
  2. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    GP Supercell batteries are a bargain basement product - GP's own website refers to them as "the most economical energy solution in the range." They're carbon-zinc, which is cheap old technology that generally doesn't perform as well as typical modern alkaline batteries and is generally only used where low cost is the primary objective. In a very low drain use case (like a bass preamp) the difference may not be significant between a battery like that and a higher-end battery, but it's probably good practice to avoid bargain batteries in general, just from a reliability perspective. Put in whatever name brand battery you can easily get at a reasonable price. Energizer Max should be fine if that's what you have available.

    Personally, I don't bother spending on premium batteries for music gear (since the performance increases are often only a factor in higher current applications) but I also try to avoid the cheapest product in the line.
    RSBBass likes this.
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Onboard preamps have such a low current draw that a standard battery should last well over 300 hours of playing time. It's so much time that nobody keeps track of it so they wouldn't know if a better battery was lasting 10 minutes or 20 hours longer. Buying better batteries is mostly a peace of mind trick we play on ourselves.

    Out of paranoia I used to buy nothing but medical grade ProCell batteries having had batteries die on stage, mid-song on basses without an active/passive switch.

    When it became a matter of livelihood and professional reputation I put my gigging basses on a maintenance schedule so the batteries get changed at regular intervals well before they go dead. This allows me to use regular Duracell or Energizer batteries, though I still buy the ProCell batteries if I can find a good deal. Old habits die hard.
    fhm555 likes this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i switched to lithium-ion 9v batteries after experiencing them as longer-lasting in the various places i use them. they're pricier (i'm paying about $6-8 per) but they last longer. are they worth it? = somewhat: if you can appreciate longer intervals between battery changes for the higher price. (i do...but i'm not a "battery snob!" :D )
    AEVAREX likes this.
  5. RabidMusic

    RabidMusic Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Thanks for the replies. One more question.

    Are some types or brands less likely to leak when in storage? I put my Sony Tenori-On in the closet and forgot it for a year. Got it out and the batteries had leaked. Don't want that to happen to my bass.
  6. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    I think the simplest solution to that is to remove batteries before storing things for long term periods. That said, lithium batteries are by nature less likely to leak than alkaline or zinc. I don't know if brand is significant, given that googling can find reports of just about every brand leaking.
    RSBBass likes this.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If it's any help, I read a test of alkaline batteries by Consumer Reports a few years ago, and their verdict was "they all perform essentially the same, just buy what's on sale."

    And I have also noted that since we tend to leave batteries in devices longer, I've had more leakage and more damage in various battery powered devices in the past 15 years than ever before. I STRONGLY agree not to leave batteries installed if you're not using the device. Example: I use programmable Logitech universal remotes for all my TV systems, but I keep the original remotes in each room in case I need access to a specific capability available on the factory unit. But i just keep a pair of loose batteries with them; I don't leave batteries in the remotes.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
    202dy and Lownote38 like this.
  8. Energizer Industrial is what you want:
    RabidMusic likes this.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    My J Plus requires removing the backplate to change the battery. The first year i had it it died on me on stage but fortunately it has an active/passive switch. After that though i mad a point to swap my battery every six months. I’d write the rate swapped and the date to swap it in six months on a strip of tape i stuck to my case just head of the carry handle so i’d see it every time i picked up the case. I still kept a spare in the case and would put it in when i changed out the old one then put a fresh one in for a spare. Never been an issue. Back then I used Kodak 9V but when they disappeared i switched to Duracell and Thats been it since.
  10. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS

    Or these...

    Either last a stinking long time for me.

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