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Is there other ways to power active pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rexspangle, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. My bass sucks batteries like crazy and I hate it. So I got thinking the other day is there any other ways to power active pick-ups? For instance something similar to how phantom power works. I think it would be real cool if good pickup companies made pick-ups that run off of a power supply box that you hook up like an fx pedal and it sends some power through your patch cord to power your basses pick-ups. Although it would probably cost a lot.

    Is there anything like this? And no "as seen on TV" crap :)
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Sure, it could be reasonably simple to put a jack on your bass and make a second cable that runs from an AC/C converter.

    I wouldn't. I have a bunch of active basses and never have short-lived batteries.
  3. I dunno that would be too many cords. Something must be up with my bass it lasts only around four 2-3 hour practices. I could change it every week if I wanted. And I dont buy cheap batteries.:confused:
  4. Jeffrey A-Bomb

    Jeffrey A-Bomb Drink Coffee & Destroy Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    Silver Spring, MD
    You do unplug your bass after use right? That'll drain batteries REAL fast..
  5. Yeah I am paranoid and I always unplug it.
  6. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    I agree. You should be getting 6 months or more if you don't leave it plugged in. There must be a wiring or electronics problem.

  7. I agree. Sounds like a short that is keeping the pre amp live even when un plugged. I installed a killl switch in one bass I had (recesed into the control cover) to help fight a short like that

    I messed around with "phantom power" a while a go using a TRS (Tip, Ring Seleve) cable and running the volts on the ring. Ground issues galore. You may be able to get away with running a second cable but keep in mind that the voltage and more importantly amperage will get eaten up over a long cable run.
  8. maybe I'll just gut it and replace everything I hate the sound of my pick-ups anyways.

    Thanx guys
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That's pretty much akin to tearing down a house because you don't like the doors.

    Get it checked out. Shouldn't be too costly to get an estimate as to what's wrong... and it sounds like something is wrong.

    BTW I talked to someone who had this problem and they said they were unplugging the cable. Turned out they were unplugging it at the amp.
  10. elwood

    elwood there is no spoo

    Jul 25, 2001
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    excellent point, hadn't thought to ask that myself.

  11. Yeah but I own an Ibanez SR 800, the pick-ups tend to distort very easily. But I do see your point. Ah mabe I'll keep the nut and put it on a new bass :D

    thanx guys
  12. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    You could just use rechargeables, or -- can't you buy 9-volt power supplies at Radio Shack? I've got one of those AC adapters, with the "octopus" at the output end and the switch that determines the output voltage on it. It has a 9-volt type connection on it, why not try one out? I don't know why it wouldn't work for you.

    EDIT: http://www.radioshack.com/product.a...name=CTLG_004_001_001_000&product_id=273-1552
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Rex, when do the pickups distort? Just curious. The only distortion I've ever had with an active bass has been when the battery was dying, on the low side of the usable voltage.
  14. Thats a hard one to find. Do the pick ups distort. Or does the output of the bass (pickups and preamp together) distort the input stage of the amp? The IBZ 800 can easily clip a lot of amps.
  15. Yeah my bass distorts even off of a brand new battery. It is just real mild sometimes,but especially noticable if I really hit the strings. And my amp isn't clippping at all when itl distorts. It sounds to me it has a really weak signal not very punchy or crisp. Overall I don't like the sound of it a whole lot but its all I have.
  16. Anyone listening with any alembic experience? Don't they make a "power supply" for their basses?
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Yes, they have an outboard power supply for the "Series" basses.
  18. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    You can use a "Phantom Power Supply"
    You know, like they use some times for Mics.
    "Velleman" used to make a kit specifically power active pickups - so there must be something out there.
  19. Player


    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    Open that sucker up. There's probably a short somewhere. You may find your pups sound fine if you can get rid of the short. Email Ibanez and see if they'll send you a schematic and make sure the signal and voltage are flowing where they're suppose to.
  20. thanx guys ;)

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