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My battery-munching bass-what's up??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 5stringDNA, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    (sort of)Simple problem- I have a Czech Spector 5 with the Aguilar OBP-1 preamp, and it has been modded for volume/blalance instead of volume/volume, and it sucks battries like no tommorow. On average, I get about 2 weeks out of a battery, and I've tried various brands. I had a very good luthier do the modifications at the same time as some other work I had done, and all the soldering looks very good (no loose grounds, everything is in the right place, clean, etc). My only solution I can think of so far is that the different pot configuration is draining the batteries faster. All the pots were 50 (khz i think) before, adn now there is a 25 khz pot for the balance. I had teh abss modded one week after I got it new, so I don't know if it was sucking batteries before. Any suggestions??
  2. are you keeping the cable plugged in the bass? that might be draining it, even if the amp is off.
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well, I thought of that and Tried leaving my bass unplugged most of the time adn it didn't make a difference. That was the suggestion my bass teacher gave me.
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    What brand of batteries are you using. I've found that anything other than Energiser or Duracell will run out of puff very quickly. Some of the Evereadys can't even get me through a gig.
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Maybe theres a short in it somewhere that loses some energy?
  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That would be my guess also. You should inspect all the wiring and solder connections to make sure nothing is touching that shouldn't be. I would also test all the pots to see if they are working to spec.

  7. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I would check the output jack of your bass (which acts as a switch to the preamp for the majority of active basses) for any kind of incorrect, bad, or shorted connections. Most likely SOMETHING is switching your preamp on and draining your battery.

    If you really wanna see if its your preamp or batteries, you could try taking your battery out of your bass every time you're not playing to see how long it lasts. Kind of a pain in the ass, but you could see if your battery is being drained during operation or from a short in your preamp while it's unplugged.
  8. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    You didn't say if your system was a 9v or 18v but anyway there is a possibility that it may be a short but if your bass is running the 18v system then I don't care what batteries you use(although I've found that the Duracell has last the longest)you will have to change batteries more frequent than the 9v but it wouldn't hurt to have a professional take a look at it.
  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well, if your familiar with spector, that would mean unscrewing a backplate that's loaded with screws every time I wanted to play the thing-not really worth it. :D
    I use duracell most of the time, sometimes energizer.
    As far as bald solders, touching connections, etc... Everything looks very clean and well done- I can't see any major issues. So would my last resort be switching out the pot that got put in and seeing if that helps?
  10. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Its a 9v system. My old Spector had an 18v system and it lasted about 2-3 months on a pair of batteries. Like I said, I had the work professionally done by a very experienced bass technician/luthier. I think I'll have my teacher check out the control cavity saturday when I see him just to be sure I'm not missing something.
  11. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    Someone else mentioned unplugging the cable when you're not using the bass. He was on the right track. Active basses use a stereo output jack with the extra connection being used to switch the pre-amp on. In a lot of cases those extra contacts become sticky or bent or whatever. Anyway, the contact will remain closed and the per-amp never shuts off after you pull the plug out. Hence the battery drain. Have your luthier remove the output jack and clean or replace it. That should solve the problem.
  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I had the exact same problem when I installed my OBP1 in my Steinberger. I wired the output jack incorrectly, which left the battery on the whole time. I would be willing to be that your jack is wired incorrectly. Have it checked.
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    5stringDNA, can you get a good closeup shot of the cavity and post it?

    It's always fun to troubleshoot wiring with a 2-D image:D
  14. Actually its not a 9V system, its 18V running on one battery. My Czech is the same - all of these with the OBP-1 are like that. They use a Fishman Power Doubler to convert the 9V to 18V. Mine uses batteries more quickly than my old Fender did (true 18V), but I get a couple of months out of them, practicing 3 times a week and gigging on average 3 times a month. There is definitely something going astray with your wiring.
  15. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Thanks for info guys- I'll have the output jack checked out. I didn't realize that the system uses a power doubler to convert to 18v either. Do you think that converting to a 2-battery 18v setup would be better, or does it not work wiht the OBP-1?
  16. No, I believe it will work just fine, its all a matter of finding space for the 2nd battery. The one battery choice was just a design decision by Spector I believe. The OBP-1 needs 18V.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    And I had the same problem on my Hamer CH12, due to a factory defect. It came with a mono jack instead of a TRS jack, and the ground for the battery was soldered to the back of the volume pot, instead of the middle lug on the (missing)TRS jack.