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How often do you change batteries in your active instruments?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by semborg, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. How often do you change your battery/batteries in your instrument?

    When do you know it is time?

    Also tell if you have both active onboard pre and/or active pickups.
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    In 3 years I've changed the battery about 3 or 4 times in my Corvette.
    I almost never use the pre, though, just the p-ups are draining power (a-a). Oh and I practice unplugged most of the time.

    I know it's time if the output is not hot enough to overdrive amps when vol is on full; if I have a gig coming up, then I also check and replace the batteries, if necessary.
  3. If you boost with EQ will the batteries die faster then?
    In my mind they should do.
  4. To some extent, its really the output level if anything. And EQ boost would affect that. And the impedance its driving (amp input). If the preamp is class A, the output level doesn't matter, only the impedance.

    I usually change the batteries every change of seasons for a reminder. Just carry a spare, you should hear distortion when the battery is getting weak. Should have lots of warning before it dies completely, as long as you have a spare battery its no big deal.

  5. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Carry a spare and change whenever you hear a slight drop-off in volume or some distortion.

  6. +1...

    Since, I've invented perpetual energy, however, I haven't had to change batteries...

    seriously, I change mine about 6 months - 1 yr....just for grins :) :) :)
  7. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    Somewhere between six and seven months just so I don't totally forget and have it run out on me.

    Remember to unplug your active basses when you are not using them. Sounds obvious, but I didn't know this when I first bought one.
  8. Xierion


    Mar 31, 2009
    In my gig bag, I carry a multimeter wired to a TS plug, and I just plug it in the guitar jack. When my batteries are down to 9v (from 18v) I know its time to change.
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Usually I change them every 3 or 4 months if they need it or not. Batteries are cheap enough and its to easy not to.
  10. doktorfeelgood

    doktorfeelgood layin' it down like pavement Supporting Member

    There was a time when I put EMG pup's in every bass I played.
    I used to change the battery every 6 months no matter what...
    But always carry a spare battery and unplug yer instrument cord between sets. )-(
  11. intheory


    Nov 17, 2009
    SW Florida
    I must be doing something wrong-have Bartolini's, and change every 2 gigs (4 hour shows)... if I don't-it definitely dies out on me.
  12. a-lenthe


    Jul 27, 2007
    I have 14 months of practicing/touring/recording on mine and have never changed it. I like taking risk, and probably won't change it till it dies in the middle of a set.
  13. Six to eight months with cheap batteries. I unplug the instrument cable as soon as I stop playing/practicing.
  14. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    definitely something wrong... I bet the ground and the negative from the battery are wired reversed...
  15. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
    Yeah man.
  16. intheory


    Nov 17, 2009
    SW Florida
    yowch, thanks for the tip!!
  17. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    I change mine every time I record. If I haven't changed them in a while (3-4 months) and I have a gig, I will change them prior to the gig just to be safe.
  18. namraj


    Feb 7, 2008
    I have a streamer stage one, active pickups and preamp, 18volt, I can't remember the last time I had to change my batteries. But I know it's time when the signal is week or distorting in a battery low fashion (like a farty distortion not like amp overdrive).

    Also I you can test if the batteries are low by placing the contacts on your tongue, as you will feel a small tingle if the battery has charge left.
  19. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    On a bass I use a lot, maybe once a year. On a bass that sits in it's case almost all the time, 5 years?!

    As mentioned before, if you start to hear distortion, battery is getting weak. But that also depends on the preamp. In my G&L, as the batt gets weak, it sounds more and more like it does in passive mode. Never distorts.
  20. Never - I converted both my active basses to draw power from a wall wart into a TRS cable. I don't need batteries for my preamps or my pedals.