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Running active on dead battery

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Davidoc, Nov 30, 2000.

  1. Will active's emit a non-preamped output if no battery is present, or will it emit no output?
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    If you can bypass the preamp (with e.g. a push/pull knob), you could go all passive. If you haven't... dead battery - dead bass.
  3. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Chances are, no battery is completely dead. My understanding of this is that the amp in the active electronics with out a full power supply cannot accurately reproduce the signal from the pickups to your guitar cord. With a week battery you should experience a weak signal, distortion or both. My EMG setup gets a little crunchy when I dig in if the battery is going.


    I'm not an electrical engineer, but I play one on TV!
  4. BassDude24


    Sep 12, 2000
    Yeah, it has been my experience with my Carvin LB70 that dead battery=dead bass, however, don't let this deture you from getting a bass with active electronics, they are wonderful. When looking for a bass, make sure that you have the option for a switch to turn it off, then when the battery goes dead you can continue to jam, ex. in the middle of a gig. And it is not like that battery will just go dead on you, you will notice that your bass doesn't play as loud, at first, then you will get a distorted sound, like your amp is screwed up, but just change the battery, I always keep a spare with me in my case, with my strings and other need to have items.

  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Just adding: If there is no bypass switch on the bass, it should have a battery that's easy to replace, preferrably hidden under a snap-lock-cover somewhere on the back. Some (bad) designs force you to use a screwdriver, and remove the whole cavity cover, and this should not be needed. However, I'm not sure if there are any basses with this design anymore...
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Yes, there are still basses made like that. "Bad design" or not as "convenient"...you decide. Not one of my basses has a popup battery compartment and most people wouldn't consider that a big deal. Batteries typically last me well over six months, usually longer.
  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Maybe it's just that I feel like complete moron with a screwdriver in my hands...! :D
    Hey, I have trouble changing strings, too... maybe that's why I think most people change too often? :)

    Oh well... at least I can brush my teeth. ;)
  8. if i pull the battery out of my pedulla it still works
    if i leave it in it makes the tone distorted, but if i take it out it works, it needs more amp volume but it works
  9. what about getting a bass with high impendance pick ups , you'll be able to play without a battery, the only problem = loss of tonal control, or very little

    still good though if you're battery dies on you
    if they were high impendance you's probably have a active passive switch fitted but not always,,
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It all depends on how the bass is wired. If there is no bypass for the preamp then no signal can pass through without power.

    If you can't deal with checking batteries on a regular basis, don't buy an active bass that has no passive bypass.

    BTW, there was cool idea in Bass Player two or three months back about how to check your battery voltage without removing the battery. Get a 1/4" stereo plug at Radio Shack, connect a wire to the ring and another to the sleeve (nothing to the tip). Then plug into your bass' output jack and read the voltage across the wires with a multimeter.
  11. an obvious backup plan... always have a battery available if you can't bypass the active. if ur at a gig and you've gotta change battery.. the ever loved by fans unaccompanied gu***r solo is always a good time filler until you get your battery back in and you turn up the bass on the eq all the way and blow him/her out of the water and tell him that gu***r's suck and bass will always rule... oh the fun times i've had. so to conclude, keep a battery available if you can.

  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    People tend to make this a lot harder than it is. As brian said if you can't deal with it, don't buy a bass with active electronics;) Otherwise, pay attention to your sound, carry a spare battery (and strings and tools and whatever else you may need in an emergency) and have fun. Or get a bass with a bypass switch. I have one bass with active pickups and two basses with bypasses and I use them the same way as any other bass I own. For me it's a non-issue.

    I've heard people who have the same reservations about through body bridges vs. standard bridges ("they're better because, what would happen if a regular bridge broke?... it would fly right off the body!". I'm paraphrasing but I've heard someone actually say this:D
  13. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :D :Rolleyes:

    yeah, and i've heard "why don't they put the skinny strings on top? then the high notes would be higher."

  14. Unless you have a six night a week gig your battery will last a year or more. You will need to change it at least once a year to keep it from leaking and causing damage. Carvin's the old ones without the by pass switch will have distortion long before the battery assumes room tempature.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I wonder if Keith Horne and Jimmy Haslip subscribe to this theory?

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