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Battery life on Active basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Junk420, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Junk420


    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    How's she goin' everyone?

    I have a T-Bird Pro 4 with the active pickup system. I noticed that if I leave the 9v battery in there, it will die within a day or two. Does anyone else have this problem?

    A friend of mine says his Jackson with an EMG active system in it has had the same battery for almost 6 months! And he plays every day.

    Could there be an issue with mine, or is my friend just jerking off?

    I use Duracell Pro Cell batteries, I've never had an issue with them before with anything else I have used.
  2. Something's wrong with your bass... Batteries should last much longer than a couple of days...
  3. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    Do always remember to unplug?

    Just about every active bass ever made, uses an "extra" contact in the output jack to switch the preamp on and off.

    If you leave your T-bird sitting on a stand with a patchcord plugged into it, it will eat the battery up very quickly.

    Most active basses will get between 6 months and a year out of a Duracell 9V, if you always remember to unplug after use.
    peter-j likes this.
  4. I'd expect that if it were left plugged in(cable in the bass), but otherwise, that's not right. I have an 18V(2x9V's)that seems to last forever.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism


    I even unplug my active basses when taking smoke breaks at jam just to save as much battery life as I can.
  6. VinKreepo


    Nov 13, 2009
    Your battery's negative wire is connected to the ground wire... bad.

    Look inside your control cavity and you will see that the jack has 3 prongs: the ground (it actually connects to the shell of the jack and has a bumper/ring that touches the plug on its sleeve), the right (-) (it is used for the right speaker on a stereo cable OR the battery's negative wire when you have a preamp), and the left (+) (it is used for the left speaker on a stereo cable OR the input on most basses including passive/active since most basses are mono anyways).

    Here is a stereo plug for your consideration:

    Here is a mono plug compared to the stereo:

    As you can see, there is no right (-) on the mono, just a ground sleeve. Therefore, when you plug it into your bass, it bridges the battery's negative wire to the ground and volia! a circut! So plugging in your bass turns the preamp on and unplugging it turns it off :D

    Right now, your bass is either wired incorrectly (as in the battery's negative wire is connected to the ground) OR there is something causing a connection/short from the negative wire from the battery to the ground.

    This connection could also be you leaving your bass plugged in since that turns your preamp on... doh! Lol :bag:
  7. I have had a variety of active basses, with batteries lasting 6months to a year depending on usage. I generally change the battery on my main bass every 6 months regardless, to make sure it's always ok.

    Do you unplug the cable when not playing? If you leave the cable plugged in, even if you don't use it, that uses up your batteries... but even then I'd expect it to last more than a couple of days. Something is wrong in your bass, I think.
  8. Junk420


    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    Hey everyone, I will now reaffirm my hatred for Cogeco cable as my internet has been down since the day i originally posted this.

    I will look into the control cavity and check the wiring. I had to have the battery connection replaced because of my caveman hands pulling a connection loose when changing the battery one day. Maybe when they repaired something happened then?

    Thanks for the heads up, I'll look into it today. A very well timed day off...
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Even with the cable plugged in, he should get more than 24-48 hours of battery life. Something else is at play here.
  10. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.

    I get years of life out of my battery's in my active basses.
    Come to think of it, I have never put a battery in my SUB4 and I have had it for close to three years.
  11. Somethings wrong - I go through 3/year, and play many, many hours.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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