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How long should my battery last in my bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Epidrake, Jul 31, 2012.


  1. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    Sorry but I can't find this question when I do a search.

    I'm a newbie to active basses. I just got a new TBC J-bass and it seems the battery only lasts a week, even if I rarely play it. I don't leave it plugged in. What could be the problem?
    Should I buy a BassMods preamp and replace the supplied one?

    I love the sound and the feel of the TBC, but I'm feeling that there is something wrong here.


    Please help.
     
  2. jtl1380

    jtl1380

    Oct 12, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Well, you're not leaving it plugged in which is a good thing b/c that will kill the battery quick. You should also make sure that the volume is turned all the way down when you're not playing and make sure that you are using good quality batteries.

    I will say that whatever preamp it is that Jack puts in the TBC's does seem to kill batteries faster than other active preamps I've used. I have gotten much better battery life since I put in the BassMods pre (albeit I need 2 batteries now), plus the BassMods pre gives you an active/passive option. When I'm not playing mine, I'll generally pull out the volume knob and let it sit in passive mode to help preserve battery life. I put that preamp in about 3 mos ago & I've had to change the batteries once.
     
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It sounds like either the output jack is mis-wired, or more likely there is a short somewhere in the bass that is draining the battery.

    It might be that the output has rotated and now the ring connection on the jack is touching the shielded paint or foil in the control cavity.

    So I would open the bass up and look at the wiring carefully.
     
  4. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    Thanks guys.
    I will check the output ring. The whole cavity is painted with that conductive black paint. Maybe it is touching some wire it shouldn't be.

    I didn't know that the volume knob had to be turned down too.

    Did the BassMod 18 volt fit it the bass without too much trouble?
     
  5. My Ibanez GSR lasts at least 4 months with volume always up, even if i leave it overnight once in a while... I'd speak with a professional about this.
     
  6. jtl1380

    jtl1380

    Oct 12, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Yeah, it fits without a problem. The actual preamp black box is a bit bigger than the stock one, but it fits fine, just not velcro'd to the side of the cavity like the stock one. I was hoping that both batteries would fit in where the single 9-volt goes if I pulled out the padding that was under the battery, but the 2nd battery doesn't fit there. There is plenty of room in the adjoining compartment though.

    I'll try to remember to send you a picture of the control cavity on mine when I get home.
     
  7. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    Thanks again guys.

    I would love to see that picture jtl1380 !
     
  8. I have to contribute to these guys' obvious superior knowledge is not to use cheap batteries. When I got my first bass with active pickups, I bought the store/generic brands thinking they were just as good, then I put a Duracell in it. I left it plugged in overnight and all kinds of things like that, still do, and I get a good month or more out of them. Use only Duracell or Energizers only.
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The volume knob has no affect on the battery at all. Once the jack is unplugged the battery is off.
     
  10. jtl1380

    jtl1380

    Oct 12, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    I'd definitely take his word on this. I always turn mine down when I unplug out of habit. I thought I remembered reading somewhere at some point that could affect battery life, but I'll always take the word of a luthier since they are the experts.
     
  11. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    I'll try anything at this point.
     
  12. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    A 9V battery typically has a capacity of about 600 mAh. So measure your preamp current drain in mA and divide 600 by that number. This is your expected battery life in hours. If you want to know if something is wrong with your particular bass then you need to convince some other owners of the exact same bass (or a different bass with the exact same preamp) to measure their currents. If yours is within 30% of theirs the life you get is the life you get from that preamp and if you don't like it you need to change preamps. If your bass draws a lot more current than other's do then there is a problem with it that could be corrected.

    The engineer agrees with the luthier, the volume control setting has no effect on battery life.

    Ken
     
  13. parsons

    parsons

    Feb 22, 2008
    Maryland
    You don't need to be a luthier to know how a simple 1/4" jack works.
     
  14. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    Thanks again guys. I'm going to get my led flashlight and a screwdriver and maybe a magnifier and get to work today.
     
  15. Swampman Cory

    Swampman Cory

    Nov 9, 2009
    Los Angeles / ex-Michigan
    Endorsing Artist: Reunion Blues, 64 Audio, Mesa Engineering
    I will second that the output jack could be miswired. That happened with my Stingray... a previous owner had changed the output jack, but wired it like the original one, which left the battery always on. Somebody fixed it for me.
     
  16. Epidrake

    Epidrake

    May 24, 2011
    I'll check that too. Thanks
     

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