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G&L - Does "passive" mode completely disconnect battery?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm asking this question for a few people over on the Dude Pit.

    I know that if I take the battery out of my L-2000 that the bass will still operate in passive mode. Which has me 100% sure that with the battery in and the bass in passive mode that the battery is disconnected and will NOT get drained.

    But a few people on this particular thread at the DP say that putting the bass in passive mode, while even though it will still operate without a battery, will still DRAIN the battery if it is in. That it doesn't actually disconnect the battery.

    That doesn't make sense..how could the switch still allow the bass to function WITHOUT a battery, but otherwise drain any battery that is in the bass?
  2. Oh so that's you on the DP boards (fourstringdrums)? I go by "boom boom ku" on there (it's an old name with a long story, so I kept it rather than keeping all my names the same).

    Well, I've left the bass plugged in and the battery has drained, however I don't remember if it was switched to passive at the time. I could run a little experiment since 9 volts don't cost THAT much...

    Maybe by the end of the week.
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Yup thats me.

    I'm trying to do that experiment myself but it will take a while *lol* I just think that if it still functions without the battery in passive mode, that it must mean that it is disconnecting it, but we'll see.
  4. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    The active preamp is turned on when you put a cable in the input, regardless or not whether you are in active or passive mode. The pickups are passive, and when you have the passive preamp selected no signal is going through the active preamp, but the battery is still being drained because you have a cable in the input.
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Thanks for the input :) Well thats alittle disappointing. The whole time I've been thinking that the passive mode disconnected the battery so I've been leaving it plugged in *lol* Well I usually use passive mode anyway so I suppose this doesn't matter :)
  6. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I disagree.

    With the switch turned off there's no buffering of your signal through the cable or the EQ section - it's 100% passive.

    Battery drain would be negligable.
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Well another guy over on DudePit says that he used to leave his plugged in and in passive and the battery got drained.

    I'm actually going to wind up just emailing G&L about this because I'd like to know for sure.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I had an L2500 for a long time, but I don't remember if G&L uses a DPDT on-on for the active/passive switch. It If they do (or if not is a basically a $3 part) you could very easily modify the circuit by clipping and extending either the (+) or the (-) wire from the battery and soldering it to the parallel posts on the DPDT switch. That way the battery circuit is only closed when the bass is in active mode.

    It may pop a bit when you switch it, but you could remedy that with a small capacitor in the circuit.

    As mentioned though, while the circuit is technically closed, it will draw far less current if in passive mode.

    Edit: After looking at the schematic on G&L's site, you'd need a 3pDT switch to make my suggested mod.
  9. Seems to me that the battery will drain if you're in passive and plugged in, but not when you're in passive and unplugged. As for active and unplugged - I don't know, my Yamaha doesn't drain while it's unplugged and it's straight active, but I don't know what yours will do.
  10. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    My L2K does not drain the battery when unplugged and the active switch "on". The pre-amp turns on when the plug is plugged in. The pre-amp boost-on-off switch just bypasses the pre-amp, it doesn't turn it off.

  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Yup I know that. Our question was just as to whether or not it drains when in passive when the bass was plugged in.
  12. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Well... I keep mine unplugged when not in use, so I've never totally killed a battery. I just replace them when the pre-amp starts losing power.

    It is my understanding that while a cord is plugged in the pre-amp is getting juice. Regardless of the position of the three-way pre-amp switch.

    Y'all should post the question on the www.guitarsbyleo.com discussion page. Dave McClaren hangs out there and answers questions quite often.

  13. Sorry for the old thread bump, but does anyone have a definitive answer? I've been swapping instruments a lot in my latest band and it's pain always unplugging it when it's sitting. I'd like to know for sure how much battery drain is happening plugged in in passive mode.
    I'm comfortable modding the switches too if there's a solution there.
  14. ric stave

    ric stave

    May 6, 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    I own a US L2500 and have used it for approx 60 shows a year, most are 3 set/4 hour shows. I use a wireless, and since I assumed that having the switch to passive the battery wouldn't drain, I have the transmitter cable plugged in from soundcheck til the end of the last set - usually talking a 5 hour span, 1 or 2x a week. I do flip the switch to passive in between sets, but since the consensus seems to be this doesn't take the battery out of the circuit, let me just offer up that I've never had a battery die on me, and I change it maybe once or twice a year,

    Take that however you like it. If I change the battery every 6 months, I guess I'd only worry about it if I left it plugged in at home all week long.
  15. As I read the schematics, it does drain the battery even in passive mode. Which I plan to remedy in my L2.5K in the future. Though to me the problem is not the battery drain per se but the fact that the battery being in the circuit changes the sound. With the battery removed, passive mode sounds tastier to me.
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