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Does anyone have any experience using rechargable 9 volt batteries in an active bass? (Ray 34...)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by addylewis, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. If so, are they any good? ...I know there's a lot of variables (i.e. - brand) but I'm considering getting myself a Ray 34 which is active only and I've never really had an active bass before (ok, my MIJ Jag is active but I never use the "active-ness" and keep the preamp turned off).

    Does anyone use one? How long can an active bass last with a rechargeable/NON-rechargeable battery roughly? (do basses generally take up a lot of the power quickly, or...?)

    I'm a bit clueless with it lol...asking because the Ray34 hasn't got a passive mode...
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I use rechargeables in all of my active basses. Get good ones, that actually put out 9.0 volts or more, and a good charger. How long they last depends on how much you play them. The self-discharge rate sitting unused is pretty slow on the ones I mostly use.
    Sixgunn and equill like this.
  3. Cool. What brand of battery/charger are you using? Any idea of how many hours you get out of them?
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Basses are low draw, and designed to last a long time on a battery. All of mine last at least 6 months. Some over a year.

    The problem with rechargeables is that when they run out of power it usually happens suddenly. So your bass will completely stop working over the course of a few minutes. Non rechargeable batteries go dead more gradually, so it will start to sound a bit distorted but you can limp through the remainder of a set.
  5. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    A Procell lasts about 1 year in my SR's
    No need to deal with rechargeables IMO
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    That seems quite possibly true, and I'll say if I were gigging, I'd probably be swapping in a freshly charged set before each gig. But for having lots of basses and only practicing around the house, the low utilization factor works well with the rechargeables, it seems.
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm using EBL batteries and chargers, seem to be the best I've found so far. Each battery is rated at 600mah, I haven't actually tried to measure how many "active hours" I get out of them.
    Sixgunn and addylewis like this.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Also, in case you didn’t already know, the preamp is always on as long as there’s a cable plugged in to the output jack. So remove it when you’re done playing.
  9. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    seems like a lot of trouble for nothing. batteries are only $1 and I change them once a year
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It can be done but I don't see the point since the lifetime of a battery in a bass exceeds by far the the time a rechargeable battery will hold it's charge
    baxter_x likes this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The point is using renewables instead of discardables. Consider it a favor to the planet.
    tom-g, GlassToMouth, Whippet and 9 others like this.
  12. I'm using the AccuPower ones at 300mA with a regular charger. They are supposed to be slow discharge and do seem to be. I use them for everything that they will fit in - they are slightly larger than disposables.

    To be honest the cheaper generic ones that I also use don't seem to act much differently.
  13. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Please tell me where you can buy 9V batteries for $1. I'll take 50 of them please.
  14. The key is to use low-self-discharge batteries - I use Maha and Tensai, with good results. You need a smart charger, which isn't cheap, but then they last forever. I have one more battery than I have things that use them, so there's always a charged spare waiting in the wings.

    Another nice thing is that they deliver a consistent current right up until the end, rather than the long, slow decline. As for what happens when they _do_ run out of charge, my experience has been much less dramatic. You definitely notice it ("why is it sounding so buzzy?! Oh, wait.") but it's never been sudden-death. You'll make it through the set; as I've said before, if your bass suddenly dies on stage, either you've had a wiring failure or somebody shot your instrument.

    (Hands up who knew I'd pipe up on this thread)
    JRA likes this.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Yeah really. If they only cost a buck everywhere there wouldn’t be much of a market for rechargeables.
    Sixgunn, Brad Stensland and JRA like this.
  16. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    So I've heard tell that not all batteries are created equal in the way their voltage drops throughout their lifespan (I use procells in all my stuff for that reason, as their voltage curve hangs around 9v right up until they die). It may be worth looking into the voltage curve of the rechargeables (which I've read isn't great) or else your internal preamp will experience power sag and MAY affect your tone.
    JRA likes this.
  17. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I used them,dont do it!even the best ones will last 3 months,they discharge when the bass is not used at all.
    A regular battery will last a year just unplug the bass when not playing.
    Nick Danger likes this.
  18. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    This. Also, lithium batteries will die suddenly just like rechargeables. They will last forever, but will give you no warning. I'd go with industrial alkalines, like Pro Cell.
    smogg likes this.
  19. Cheers - I thought that might be the case (but I've not used many active basses...)
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Different types of batteries have different voltages, because of the chemistry involved. Even if they label it as 9V, many are actually less.

    Carbon, alkaline, lithium: 9V (6 cells, 1.5V each)

    Rechargeable NiCad, NiMH: 7.2V (6 cells, 1.2V each)

    That is the starting voltage of course, but NiCads and NiMH hit the low voltage limit of many electronic devices quickly since they start at a 20% lower voltage. Some devices will trigger low battery indicators at 7V. I've been seeing devices that have a battery type setting, so they will work better with NIMH batteries. This trend is sure to continue. NiMH are preferable if you wnat rechargeables because they have very slow self discharge. I've seen NiCads lose charge in 2 or 3 days, NiMH can last months on the shelf.

    I don't know of any lithium ion rechargeables you can get in a 9V package.
    JRA and bholder like this.

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