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MTD USA owners question regarding battery drain

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Doug Parent, Sep 30, 2008.


  1. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Hey folks appreciate your feedback on this issue, I have a MTD 535 and noticed in the last few months it has been drinking up 9 volt batteries like it's plugged in constantly. But it's not. I unplug it whenever I'm not playing it, and I don't work regularly. Anyone have any experience with this issue? I'm going through new batteries every 3-4 weeks sometimes less. This is not right. I'm about to pull out the input jack and start nosing around for anything that looks out of whack.

    Thanks for any assistance you may have to offer.
     
  2. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Yep. Not normal. I only play my 535 about 4 hours a week, max, and the batteries last 6 months or more.

    You either have a constant contact somewhere, or are using bad batteries.
     
  3. bomo

    bomo

    Sep 19, 2008
    Hi.
    I do not play a MTD, I started playing a SX. But I love the design of MTDs very much!
    So I painted a MTD! (Actually that one is not needing any batteries ...just kidding)
    How does your MTD 535 look, you got a picture?
    Maybe I can paint this aswell?
     

    Attached Files:

  4. That certainly sounds like a circuit problem. It should be very straightforward to fix for someone who has a little electronics background. The switching at the jack would be the first place to look.

    I have a 535 and the batteries last a heck of a long time.
     
  5. Gallant Reflex

    Gallant Reflex

    Dec 1, 2007
    I have the same problem with my Blow Torch by MXR
     
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Good call. This is by far the most likely problem.

    The way an active bass works is, the ground wire from the battery and the ground wire to the preamp are connected to the input jack ring and shank. When you plug a mono cable in, it completes the circuit and power flows to the preamp. If an input jack has a short between them, it's exactly like the cable is always in.

    Most likely your input jack has a short between those two connectors in the jack (unless the wires are shorted somewhere in the elex cavity, but that's not as likely since those wires don't actually see any "wear and tear" like the jack does, tho always good to check).

    The input jacks on all the 535's I've seen are completely enclosed Switchcrafts and can not be repaired, so if it's bad, just replace it.

    To verify this is what it is, just disconnect (desolder) all three wires going to it and put an ohmmeter (or continuity tester) between those two leads. If you have continuity (you should not), bingo. Bad jack. $8 or so later, and a little soldering, and you're fixed.
     
  7. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Good call, I will check continuity. Are those jacks common in any electrical supply company or do you know if Mike is using something esoteric?
     
  8. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Indiana
    I am not sure, but if you need to switch the jack, you won't need what he is using. :)
     
  9. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    :confused:
     
  10. ezstep

    ezstep

    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    Same thing happened to me with a used (NOT pre-owned...I hate playing with words) Alembic Orion. Battery died every four weeks, regardless.

    Removed and replaced jack, and problem solved. Something is making contact whether it is plugged in or not, so just replace that part first.
     
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Actually, on an MTD 535, yes you do. If you don't go with the same enclosed jack, then you won't be able to easily reach the solder tabs because a normal stereo jack doesn't extend far enough through the passage into the elex cav.
     
  12. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I had a feeling about that. Maybe I'll contact Mike and see what he recommends. Nice painting of an MTD by the way.
     
  13. Bassflute

    Bassflute

    Jun 24, 2006
    Vancouver
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    Corrosion can cause this. Clean all your pots and jack with good quality control/electronics cleaner, or WD40 if you must. I would do that before I started replacing stuff.

    The other thing that causes battery drain is extensive use of the preamp. If you have the internal cavity trim pot maxxed out, and are constantly running huge amounts of tone boost on the preamp, it will drain quite quickly. Do your tone adjustments on the amp - leave the bass controls for emergencies. Also, if you turn the internal gain pot down ( I have mine adjusted to approximately match the output of a passive bass) you will have less trouble when plugging into old tube amps or less expensive amps with no gain control and stuff at jam sessions and the like. I can't hear any tonal difference between having it cranked and having it low when the gain is adjusted properly on the amplifier I'm using, but it WILL use a lot more battery.

    I have 2 x 635's. I play 4+ hours a day, and my batteries last 6 months or more.

    Cheers,
    Cameron
     
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Forgot to answer this one...

    No, it's a standard Switchcraft enclosed flush mount stereo 1/4" jack, but you might not find them at something like that at a local store. I repaired an MTD with this exact problem a while back and bought them online from someone. Can't recall who... it's been a while.

    Just do a search in musical instruments for "switchcraft stereo jack" on ebay, or look for "flush mount 1/4" stereo jack" or similar on the web. I think different lengths might be available so double check that.

    That said, sometimes, Mike might be able to just send you one he has on hand and you can pay him back.

    Anyway, not hard.
     

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