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Disposable or rechargeable batteries?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jzkorppi, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. I buy the cheaper ones, no time (nor will) to recharge!

    12 vote(s)
  2. Of course I recharge!

    7 vote(s)
  3. Nay, I play passive basses anyway....

    3 vote(s)
  1. Ok, it's time to test your eco-friendliness (I know this is quite relative)! Do you buy the more expensive rechargeable 9V batteries (and a recharger) for your active bass or do you use the disposable ones?
    At home I usually have the opportunity to recharge but on the road it's pretty hard to find a suitable power outlet, especially when outside Europe. Then it comes down to buy a disposable battery.
    How do you deal with it?
  2. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Rarely does my Jazz Deluxe need to have it's battery changed. That being the case, I always go with a good quality throw away like Duracell or Energizer. I guess if it burned through batteries quickly then I might decide to use a rechargeable.

    I use to use rechargeables in some of the pedals I have but I've since gone the wall wart route.
  3. FACT: Most 9v rechargeable batteries available at 'Walmart' type retailers are not 9v.

    Even 9 Volt Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeables max. ouput is 8.4 volts.
    And with average 150 mAh, so it doesn't last very long
    before the 8.4 volts starts to taper off and needs to be recharged.

    While they" (9-volt NiCads) "won't affect your tone there are several factors to consider. Make sure the battery has at least 7 cells, preferably 8. Many rechargeable 9-volts have only 6.-at 1.2 volts per cell, a fully charged 6-cell produces only 7.2 volts. This will affect your tone by compromising your available headroom.

    Next check the mAh rating which corresponds to battery life. The best NiCads produce 200mAh but most are rated at only 120mAh. You'll have to recharge a lower rated rechargeable several times before you would have to change a 500mAh disposable akaline battery...a rechargeable may hold its charge for only 2 months or less and this gets worse with age.

    Rechargeable NiMH's have approx. double the mAh rating" (as opposed to NiCads), "...but they require a specially designed charger and if you don't charge them properly, you could damage them or cause them to leak or even explode."


    If you subscribe to the idea that more battery power equal more headroom.... then....

    Nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium rechargeables
    tend to lose their charge over time, even when not in use.
    NiMH lose charge when not in use at a greater rate than alkaline,
    and will actually exhaust themselves if not used and recharged.
    This is why manufactures do not recommend rechargeables for use in Smoke/C02 alarms.

    As a rule alkaline batteries, have twice the single life span than rechargeables.

    When my disposable 9v gets to 8.4 v, I replace it.

    I lean towards cheapie Carbon/Zinc 9v. for $1 each.
    They put out a consistant 9v, but don't last as long as alkaline. Even though Alkalines last 3x's longer then C/Z; cost comparsion's make them about equal $...

    I like to install a fresh C/Z battery before every performance.
    Then I know for a fact that I have full juice with
    a frequent cycle of fresh batteries and no guess work.

    Mojo Tone Urban Legend -
    Carbon Batteries sound better.*
    *Mike Fuller of Fulltone Custom Effects recommends
    Carbon Batteries for 'smoother tone'
    in his Fulltone Bassdrive.

    This is my Carbon Zinc of choice.

    This is my Alkaline of choice:

    BTW: Duracell's Suck, YMMV.
    Duracell's have leaked in my bass and in my mag-lite, and they don't last worth a s#!t.
  4. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    I'm going to have to agree with Donne on this one. I have found that the rechargeables don't last very long and they don't sound as good.

    I normally just use alkalines, my favorite of which is Duracell Procells. Right now I have a CZ in, and it does sound better, but unfortunately I go trough them much faster.
  5. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    My advice:

    Dollar general sells name brand 9volt alkalines for 1.50. They also sell regulars for 2 for a dollar. I just stock up on cheap name brands. ( volts are in high demand, but rechargeables only last a certain amount of recharges. true you get you rmoney's worth, but knowing when they are useless is sometimes tricky.
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Every rechargeable battery I've ever used was crap. I didn't know they put out less voltage, but after reading Donne's post, I wasn't surprised.

    Each time I've used them, they've offered sub-par performance. Never used one on bass - why would I want to sound sub-par?
  7. I always use rechargables. It's cheaper and I think the argeument that they compromise tone is a bit tenuous.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've tried rechargeables in FX pedals and decided that I just can't trust them to last. I'd rather use power transformers than rely on any kind of battery for my pedals.

    Since I know my main bass is sensitive to dropping voltages I'll stick with disposables.

    Hey, I wonder if I could plug it in?

  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I've used rechargeables in my bass and wireless for years without problems, AC adaptors for my stompboxes.

    The only bad experience was with a disposable that I bought just before a gig at a gas station - and it already failed at soundcheck!
  10. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I always keep a bunch of recharged AAs with me at gigs...for ONE reason: our rhythm guitarist has a bad habit of forgetting his adapter for his multi-pedal deal. Thankfully it's just that and not the guitar or amp!:D
  11. I don't know about rechargeables putting out less voltage... The ones I get here in Finland have put out the same voltage rate as disposable batteries (tested one with a voltage meter...) :)
  12. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    If my bass had a quick-change battery box I woudl probably use rechargeables, but unscrewing the control plate once a week or so to be sure its charged is too much. :p
  13. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I had a handful of rechargeable AA batteries and two rechargeable 9-volts, but the 9-volts grew legs and walked away almost two years ago and 2 of the five AAs went into the garbage (damn kids! I told 'em, "I want those back when they're out of juice!").

    I say, spend the extra dough and get the rechargeables.

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