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Possible battery drain issue with Bongo 5 - advice needed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bunkaroo, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Here's my story:

    I bought a Bongo back in January of this year from Musician's Friend. It came looking brand new - all tags were still on and it doesn't appear to have been a return.

    As can happen in shipping, the bass shifted enough to bend the volume knob. I got a replacement pot from EB and went and had it put in at a local shop (which I've been going to for 14 years and trust).

    Before I took it in to have the pot replaced, I played it maybe two hours tops plugged in. Both batteries installed were Duracells. I don't remember if I replaced them right away, but things sounded normal and not like the batteries were low.

    So I had the repair work done, plugged it in and played an hour or so more with it. Then because of various other things I had going on, I haven't touched it since mid-January. it's been sitting in the case all this time.

    I take it out last night, and I get nothing when I plug it in. I start freaking that the work wasn't done right replacing the pot, even though I know it was working when I left the shop.

    I try a different bass on the same rig to verify it's the Bongo, which it is.

    Then I have the bright idea of checking the batteries. I put two fresh ones in, and sure enough, everything is fine. Just to confirm both batteries were dead, I tried them one at a time in my Stingray, and I got nothing with each of them.

    So here's my question: could the repair person have done something to either drain down the batteries or cause the circuit to always be on? I've been playing active basses for 15 years, and I have NEVER had fully dead batteries in a bass. I suppose it could have come with low batteries from the factory, but even still, I would have expected to go through a period of bad sound before no sound.

    Any thoughts on this are appreciated - for now I guess I'll have to get a battery tester and check them daily to see if they are draining when I am not using it.
  2. rhp335


    Aug 3, 2006
    Kansas City
    Your tech might have just left it plugged in while it was on the bench, that would have run them down fairly quickly.

    My bongo 5 get's good battery life and I doubt you really need to do a daily death watch on the batteries.
  3. If it's draining with bass being unplugged then maybe there's a wire closing the circuit on the input jack. If it doesn't then is normal, batteries run out even if you're not using them.
    I would suggest that you take out the batteries out of the bass if you're not going to use it for a long period of time.
    You might also want to get rechargeable batteries; http://www.greenbatteries.com/grbrni9v25ba.html
  4. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Yeah, I would definitely take it back to the tech and have him check the connection and solder to whatever he did. What you are experiencing is not normal.
  5. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX

    I'd first replace the batteries and see if it happens again. Your tech might have forgot to unplug it after he tested his work.
  6. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Thanks for the replies.

    This was a walk-in repair, so I was present the whole time. He worked on it maybe 20 minutes or so.

    I've always had good battery life with my Stingray 5 and my Carvin's, two of which are also 18 volt systems.

    I was going to check into rechargeables but wasn't sure if they were recommended for bass electronics.

    I may be taking the bass in to have the neck tweaked again (damn Chicago weather), so I'll likely have him check out the board and input circuit.

    For now, I know I have fresh Energizers in there, so we'll see how things go.

    What's the typical life span for batteries in an active bass? I'm assuming at least 30-40 hours.
  7. I have been using rechargeable batteries for almost 4 years on my Yamaha RBX375 and haven't had a problem with the electronics.
    I don't think there's a problem with that.
    I usually get between 24 to 30 hours out of my freshly charged battery.
    Now that you have fresh batteries, let the bass sit at least for a day without plugging it and check if the batteries drain out, that way you'll see if it's a closed circuit issue.
  8. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Thanks for the info. I'm going to do exactly that. I'm also going to pick up a battery tester from Radio Shack since it's probably not a bad idea to have one around, given I own 5 active basses. :)

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