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Dumb question that probably has been asked 1000 times

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sabre79, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. I have a MusicMan Sabre that I've never had a problem with the battery. I might have to replace it twice a year no matter what position the knobs are in or if it's plugged in or not. Now, I have two other active basses that the battery dies real fast like days or weeks. If I unplug the bass and turn all the knobs down will that kill the drain? 9 volts cost a ton. Thanks.
    BurtMacklinFBI and Charlzm like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Always unplug any bass with a battery. Twiddling knobs unnecessary, but most preamps will drain if left plugged in.
    MDBass, HolmeBass, the_Ryan and 6 others like this.
  3. Knob position is irrelevant. Unplug when not in use.
    tommyr01, JIO, Low84 and 4 others like this.
  4. Thanks, bholder and Curtbass!
    Curtbass likes this.
  5. Briton


    Apr 4, 2009
    I purchased a brand new Musicman Stingray in 2016 which I play everyday and have still not had to change the battery which currently reads at 9.50 volts.Obviously the main thing to do is to unplug it when not in use and always use a quality alkaline battery like a Duracell. I have found that cheap batteries never last very long in anything.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  6. Razman


    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I have much respect for anyone who asks what they think is a dumb question - when you don’t know, you don’t know and just need an answer. And in addition to receiving the correct answer, you may receive some entertaining responses gratis also.

    That said, the TB search utility can be wonky - so I also use Google and just add ‘talkbass’ as a search term to get more relevant results.


  7. Blankandson

    Blankandson Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gallatin, Tennessee
    My bass will drain the battery in 48 hours at most if left in. When removed it will last about 1 year. Any more questions?
  8. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Well, you own a Sabre, so you get a free pass from me on alleged dumb questions. I have had basses that drain batteries much more quickly than others. I no longer own those basses, life is too short to be constantly replacing batteries! BTW,the battery in my Sabre lasts as long as any I have seen.
    sabre79 likes this.
  9. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The original Musicman 2 band eq from 76 to 79 was always on. In tail of 79 or ealiest of 80 they started using an output jack with a switch off feature when the cable is removed to preserve the battery. But that old preamp was a very low draw design, it also isnt high output like modern preamps.

    Modern basses can't get away with leaving the cable in they kill batteries faster, these all also have the switching jacks.
    sawzalot likes this.
  10. briandavismurph

    briandavismurph Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    juancaminos likes this.
  11. Blankandson

    Blankandson Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gallatin, Tennessee
    Best price I can find for 9-volt batteries is Sam's Club near me (middle TN). Duracell 8-packs that (with purchase of two packs) brings price down to about $1.80 per battery. Other big box stores may have prices lowered for the holidays (with all those battery sucking toys for sale) so this is a good time to stock up.
    Jim Kernan likes this.
  12. I have a bunch of active basses but rarely need to change their batteries. Now granted, I don’t actually PLAY the basses much - half the time I don’t even plug in. And many times I play my passive bass.

    I’d keep a spare fresh 9V in my gig-case just in case. I also have a drum key in there, because there was a time one was needed and no one had one.

    I always wonder if the battery life would be shorter if you boosted the eq a lot - vs keeping everything at the center detent. I never really use much boost or cut on my active basses, just a little bit.
  13. I bought Duracell 8pk on Amazon once for a good price. All 8 arrived in a single ziplock bag. It was odd - but the batteries all worked fine! Reminds me, we’re running low. I replace them in my smoke detectors every 2 years.

    Amazon brand batteries are pretty good and affordably priced. Not sure if they make 9V?

    I found a secret about AA rechargeable batteries - my son’s collection of remote control toys all take, plus tv remotes, flashlights, etc. Anyways, a certain one sold at Ikea (not online) is the same as Eneloop but for less than half the cost! Someone did some research and found they are both made in the same factory in Japan, they both test the same too for mah, and how long they last while not being used.
  14. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    When you plug in an active bass, the power is wired to the jack and plugging in completes the circuit, turning on the power. So wether the bass is being played or just sitting there, the battery is draining. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it.
  15. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Word of advice: every battery I've purchased on Amazon has proven to be grey market or straight-out counterfeit. Buyer beware.
    rohi, JIO and mikewalker like this.
  16. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    Even better to search like this:

    Site:talkbass.com "what you want to search for here"
    Razman likes this.
  17. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Always unplug active basses when not in use. If possible, consider using higher quality 9V batteries; IMO Duracell or Enegizer.
    I tried using "dollar store" specials years ago...years ago.
    Good luck!
    Blankandson likes this.
  18. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I just checked the (Duracell) battery in a bass. I always mark the date installed for reference. It was installed 2 years ago and was used a number of hrs over those years. Battery tested at 99%. Always unplugged when not in use - never experience the dead battery issue that so many anti-active players bitch & moan about. YOMV
  19. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Amazon is evil
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Turn up the knobs and the battery will last longer …


    Just kidding

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