battery life in active bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shirojiro, Jun 3, 2002.

  1. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I've got an Ibanez ATK 300 that seems to eat batteries every month or so, regardless of whether or not I've been playing it. I checked the leads on the barrel jack, and it seems to be reading all right. There's no voltage between the leads when there is no cord plugged in ,and I get 9 volts between the short and long poles when there is one.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure how else to figure out my problem.

    Any ideas?

  2. open cavity, and check for shortcuts.

    I do up to a year with 1 battery.. and i play 1 to 3 hours every day..
  3. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    i got to about 10 months then i put a new 9v [E2 energizer] into my pilot + 5 since i was thinking that the battery has to be getting low. I tend to try and put one in every 6 months or so jsut to be safe.
  4. The battery that came inside my Ibanez BTB died in about two or so months after I got it in December. I replaced the batteries, and it's been fine ever since. Of course, it only has active electronics, not pickups. Mine my be a different case than yours.
  5. pumo420


    Nov 2, 2001
    do you active pickups suck more battery life than a activepreamp.
  6. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Well, I'll take another look inside the control cavity, but a dead short is pretty unlikely considering that everything works fine.

    Truly "active pickups," like EMGs, use very little battery power, and a 9volts lasts a long time in a bass with EMGs and passive electronics.

    The lifetime of a battery in a bass with a preamp seems to depend on how much it's played (of course), and the efficiency of the preamp.

    I was wondering if any other ATK owners found that they need to replace batteries each month. I suspected (and still do) that my barrel jack is at fault and that it is allowing the battery to drain even when there is no cord plugged into the bass.
  7. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I've never had a battery go out on me with my ray... its been in there for about 5 months now... i like to change it up every so often because you will start to lose some signal when the battery starts to drain.
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    The batteries in both my Modulus Q5 and my Peavey Cirrus 5 last a long time. (I still haven't replaced the batteries that came in my Modulus).

    In the Cirrus, I usually end up changing them every 4-5 months just because I don't want to take a chance on them going dead on me in the middle of a gig. So I guess I don't know exactly how long they would last.:)
  9. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I was warned by the seller of my Cirrus to never go far without batteries. He was right. Twice I've had the batteries go out on me, or at least cause noticeable loss of power and distortion. Others with Cirrus basses don't seem to have the problem, but I do.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I replace the batteries on my Cirrus a week or so after I bought it, and haven't changed them since. Of course, mine has the Millenium preamp, maybe it's more efficient.
  11. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Possibly so. I had a Carvin, a Ray and a Warwick, and never had to change batteries--at least for a good long time. What happens is that you get spooked and you can't remember when you last changed them. I broke down and bought a tester. Now at least I have some objective data.
  12. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    This is funny. After posting last night, I picked up my bass to practice and it was dead as a door nail. The third time the batteries have gone out on me. I must have a fuel leak somewhere!
  13. shirojiro maybe its jus the Ibanez basses that have short battery life, because I know my soundgear battery life only lasts like 2 months
  14. Forever in my Sadowsky.
  15. midlife


    Nov 21, 2001
    Most basses, if you leave the cord plugged into the bass, even though you are not playing it, will drain the battery.

    Unplug the bass when you are done playing, or even when you take breaks. The battery will last longer.
  16. Shirojiro, do you have the pu's turned all the way up i found that will drain battery life faster. Or at least it will on my ESP.
  17. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Matt_chew - That's what I'm wondering. Perhaps the Ibanez preamps are just inefficient.

    Midlife - Thanks for the tip, but I think most of us are doing just that. I even unplug between sets to keep my battery from draining unneccesarily.

    Axman - I pretty much leave the volume pegged. Shouldn't this not matter when the bass isn't plugged in?

    I looked in the control cavity this morning, and there are no obvious shorts.

    I'm about to drag out my multimeter (Fluke :) ) and give it another go.

  18. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I pull my plug as a matter of habit. That's why my custom bass will have an on/off switch.
  19. I was wondering about this too...I had already decided to replace both the pickups and the preamp in my BTB with Bartolinis. This just reinforces it, true or not. :p :D
  20. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Nothing like resurrecting one of your old threads... :)

    I finally broke down and bought a few replacement stereo barrel jacks from Stew-Mac ($10 each!), and I replaced the one in my ATK. I also replaced the battery connector. The jack was easy, the connector was a bit of a pain because it's soldered directly to the PC board, but with a bit of patience, and a new soldering gun (woo hoo!), it went well.

    So it's been amost a month. Before I did anything, my battery would drain (even without playing) in about 6 weeks.

    An yes, again, I pull the darn cord when I'm not playing... (isn't this intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer? :) )

    So we'll see in the next couple of weeks if I helped at all.