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Question on active basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by waytoodeep03, Feb 19, 2005.


  1. What causes the batteries to drain? Is it when my cable is plugged into the bass? Or is it when I turn on my amp and feed my amp a signal?

    I'm just trying to get the best battery life out of my bass which is 18v.
     
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Plugging in the cable to the bass usually turns on the batteries. If you want longer battery life, always unplug your instrument cable when you're doing playing. :)
     
  3. When I first got my Fender Deluxe Active Fretless Jazz Bass, I would leave it plugged in all the time. Then, about a month after owning it, I tried playing it one day and found I could get no sound! I quickly figured out the battery was completely drained. So yes, the cable plugged into the jack is actually what turns the active electronics on. Unplugging the bass turns it off.
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, this is pretty much true with every active bass i've seen as well. unplug those puppies when you're not using em.
     
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    here's an interesting question. on an active bass with an active/passive switch, when the switch is in the "passive" setting and the bass is plugged in, does the battery still get current drawn from it/have its life shortened?

    My old tobias has an a/p switch. between sets i throw it in passive mode, walk away, and then say "aw screw it" and run back and unplug it just in case. :p
     
  6. yes, even if you have an active/passive switch, when you plug the instrument cable in, the plug itself completes the battery's ground circuit and turns on the battery. Always unplug the cord.
     
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    son-of-a........i mean, thanks! I thought that was the case. Guess i don't need prozac after all. still, having to unplug everything is such a pita.
     
  8. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    This is all true on 99% of active basses even if the A/P switch is in passive mode.

    The only exception that comes to mind is the early Fender Marcus Miller's. They would still drain the battery even unplugged if the A/P switch was left in active mode.

    They've since changed this I believe.
     
  9. minkis

    minkis

    Sep 8, 2000
    About how long does a battery usually last in an active bass. lets say you play about 6-8 hours a week actually plugged in.
     
  10. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass

    That depends on the preamp and the battery but I'd say at least 200 hours worth of playing time and more like 300 hours so for you at say 7 hours average a week should get you about 9-10 months.
     
  11. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Dude is always knowing. I replace my batteries every six months or so to be on the safe side. Never want to show up to a gig with a dead battery.

    A lot of times batteries reach a certain point and drop off (the preamp can't work below a certain voltage) and other preamps' sound slowly depreciates over time. (i.e. some basses give warning, others don't)

    BUT...always leave the bass unplugged. You'll also thank yourself the next time you trip over the cable running across the room ;)