Question about Active Eq

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bogie1519, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. bogie1519


    Feb 25, 2012
    Beaumont Tex
    Just bought my first Active Eq bass. Ibanez SR500. I figure the more you use the battery the more you will use. I figure it's a good idea to keep a spare. My question is what are the signs i should look for when a battery is starting to run down or go out. I know if you unplug the cable from the bass when not in use. it will last longer.

    Any other advice would be helpful.....thanks
  2. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    distortion is a key indicator

    i use Alkaline batteries as there isnt so much of a linear slope as it discharges over time, so distortion will happen toward the end of the battery's life...... there are other types that hold full charge even longer than Alkalines but Alkalines are the most affordable and abundant for me
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    The low notes will start farting out
    physics, LowRenzo and Solarmist like this.
  4. Gnal


    Apr 22, 2014
    This is the biggest thing to keep in mind. I learned that the hard way with my first active bass (an Ibanez ATK 305).

    As far as signs of the battery loosing power, my ATK would get subtly quieter and then start to make fuzz/distorted sounds, it was actually fairly pleasing but was also a sure sign the bass would die soon.

    After replacing the battery on that bass several times I learned and have not had an issue since (this was around 1998). If you unplug your bass after playing you shouldn't need to replace the battery very often. I've got 6 active basses and only worry about changing batteries If my output seems lower then normal. Keep a spare in your gig bag, and you should be golden.
  5. Max Blasto

    Max Blasto

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego
    It'll sound like your amp is messed up. And it always takes you by surprise, so you don't figure it out right away.

    But yeah, distortion. Not the overdrive kind.

    Here's a tip: I always change out my batteries on New Year's Day and on Fourth of July. Doesn't cost much and they never fail. I could probably cut that down to once a year, but I play a lot and batteries are cheap so better to just do it every six months and never worry about failure.
    Chasbo, bigtone23 and StayLow like this.
  6. ^^^ Exactly - the low end disappears, the volume fades, and it just sounds like crap ... & it happens fairly quickly - at least my SRs do. I change batteries 2-3 times a year, but if you're not sure - you can always do the taste test.
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  7. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
  8. tzohn


    Apr 26, 2015
    You will start thinking that maybe your bass needs new strings, new pups, new pots, new bridge, new nut, new neck, new body, new strap buttons
    and the only thing that you won't think as a culprit will be the battery
    Max Blasto likes this.
  9. rujulian

    rujulian Guest

    Apr 24, 2014
    Congrats! Those are nice instruments.
    I had an SR900 and I would keep a spare battery in my case. Change the battery before any gigs or recordings. Or every six months as stated above. I never had a single issue. Just be sure to unplug when not in use. That's it.
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    That's an understatement. You'll go from a few hours/days of battery life with it always plugged in to 6 months plus if you're unplugging it.
    Plugging in the cable turns the circuit on, so leaving it plugged in is the same thing as leaving it turned on.
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The days you change from daylight savings time to standard time work too.
    Bass batteries as well as any in smoke detectors.
    Max Blasto likes this.
  12. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I rotate through a few basses and change the batteries right after New Years Day. I put the date on them with a Sharpie so I have a record of the change out.
    Most new alkaline 9V are 9.3-9.6 V or so. The most taxed battery I have pulled was nearly 8V after 2 years of use, most are still around 8.8V and up after a year.
    As mentioned above, the old batteries often go into the smoke and CO alarms in the house, if not in my pedal tuners.
  13. Max Blasto

    Max Blasto

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego

    Good tip! I suppose any obvious milestone day will work. :D

    For me, the daylight savings thing would be tricky as I do half my work in Hawai'i which does not change time. Took me years to get that together when I moved to the mainland. I surely would forget the batteries as I usually forget to change my clocks.

    I picked New Years Day and July 4th because there is zero chance I will be playing a gig or in the studio or even rehearsal on either day.
  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There's zero chance I'll be sober enough to put a battery in the right way on either of those days, much less climb a ladder to the smoke detector.
    catcauphonic, physics, Gasman and 2 others like this.
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    on my SR500 I change the battery every year just because.
  16. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Keith McMillen's Batt-o-Meter is a convenient way to check the battery in a bass with a 9 volt pre. (No good for 18 volt basses, though.) It's part of my pack-for-the-gig ritual. And I carry a spare battery in my gig bag, anyway.

    Keith McMillen Instruments Batt-O-Meter
  17. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    I check mine occasionally, removing them and checking with a multimeter. Better to remove them and check rather than test out of the jack, or wait for failure, because a visual check can prevent damage from battery acid corrosion.
  18. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    Tech question for you guys: would a reduction in performance, such as distortion or reduced low end, be noticeable if you never use the eq boost?
  19. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It's most noticeable at first when you play harder. The distortion is a reduction in headroom.
  20. physics


    Aug 7, 2009
    Berkeley, CA
    My solid state metronome/practice amp uses a 9v battery and I like using an Energizer Ultimate Lithium. The cost is higher than for an alkaline battery but it does last longer and maintains a fairly flat voltage until the very end. When I get the low frequency distortion I know that the battery is going to die within a couple of hours.
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