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Was it the battery?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rody1069, Sep 10, 2002.


  1. Rody1069

    Rody1069

    Jul 14, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I just picked up a "newish" Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray, it's been great, up until a gig last weekend, when in the 3rd set, my amp (a Hartke 4000) went into "protect" mode during a song. When I plugged my Rickenbacker in it was fine and I finished up the set. Since I'm new at this whole active pickup thing I'm wondering...would a dead battery cause my amp to go into protect mode, or is the bass (or amp) a peice of crapola? Any advice would be great.

    -Shawn
     
  2. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Did you change the battery? Did it fix the problem?
    Doc
     
  3. Rody1069

    Rody1069

    Jul 14, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I haven't replaced the battery yet, but even if I do, I'm going to be VERY hesitant to actually play it at a packed gig again, even though it sounds great when it works. I've been looking for documentation, or personal experiences from other bass players to make sure that it is only the battery and not somthing else so I can feel more secure playing it on stage again.

    Thanks for the reply,
    -Shawn
     
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    IMO you should always change the battery as a rule immediately upon purchasing any active bass guitar. Particularly a used one.
     
  5. Rody1069

    Rody1069

    Jul 14, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Initially, I replaced the battery with a fresh one. How long do they usually last?

    -Shawn
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    In most active basses, the batteries should last at least two or three months. Most of mine last 6 or more months.

    Do you leave the cord plugged into the bass when you are not playing it? What brand of battery did you put in the bass?
     
  7. Rody1069

    Rody1069

    Jul 14, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I always take the cord out after I'm done playing it, and it was a Duracell battery. Batteries should last 2 or three months huh? This was like 2 gigs! Maybe the battery wasn't as fresh I thought, let's say it was the battery, is this the typical action that would take place? I was under the impression the bass would just quit sending a signal, but not put the amp into protect.

    -Shawn
     
  8. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I doubt it was the battery? Most of the time when a battery dies it start to distort and gets low in output. Im not saying its not possible but I have never had that problem and I have been playing active basses for 15 years.
     
  9. RyKnoz

    RyKnoz

    Dec 22, 2001
    NYC
    I like lithium (spelling?) batteries because they last a good while longer.
     
  10. jankjo

    jankjo

    May 22, 2002
    If a low battery causes distortion...couldn't that cause the amp to go into protect mode?
     
  11. what, exactly, is "protect mode"?
     
  12. Rody1069

    Rody1069

    Jul 14, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Protect mode is when a little orange light goes on and the whole damn thing shuts off for a few seconds, it comes back on, and if it still doesn't like what's going on, it shuts off again.

    -Shawn
     
  13. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    It never hurts to check the battery, but to me it sounds like there is a problem elsewhere but I could be wrong. The distortion will be worse on lower notes than on higher notes when the battery dies. I have never had this happen but if it works fine with one bass and goes to crap on another there is a problem. It could be that the ray was "hotter" and sending a more powerful signal to the amp and driving the amp harder. Is there a difference in volume between the basses?

    When the amp goes into protect mode, the shutting down of the amp serves to cool it off most of the time so the chances are good that if you would have started back with ray it would have worked.

    I have seen this happen with power surges and power shortages and just overworking an amp.

    I cant see a battery causing this but anything is possible especially on a gig. I would plug the ray in and spank it for about an hour to see if you can recreate the problem, if you can then try the same thing with your other basses. Rays are normally very reliable so see if you can recreate the problem and take it from there.
     
  14. punkfunkfreak

    punkfunkfreak

    Dec 16, 2001
    seconded. i dont think a battery causes this kinda problem.
     
  15. Samie

    Samie

    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I have read somewhere that the newer lithium batteries last longer but have a sudden death. The distorted sound is typical of alkaline that has a slower death. Also alkalines come back to life for a few hours after 2 or 3 days.