What's the average battery life on your active bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by uglybassplayer, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    This is kind of a poll: How many hours of battery life are you getting out of your active bass? Please list the following:

    1) Average battery life (in hours)?
    2) Make/Model of your bass?
    3) What's active, Pups, EQ or both.. 9v or 18v?
    4) What brand of batteries do you use?
  2. Brand : Ibanez :D
    Model : ErgoDyne, series C type 705 :D :D
    passive : pickups
    active : Equaliser
    brand of battery : Duracell

    lifespan : i think about 8 to 9 months..
    ( i've got the bass only 2 months, i inserted a new battery when i got it, and according my multi-meter, it's down to 86 % now, been playing a hell of a lot last 2 months tho... )

    it's very dependant on how often you play, at what volume you play, how much you boost the bass / mids / treble, etc...

    by the way.. welcome to talkbass dude :)
  3. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Thanks, but that's why I was asking how many "hours" of playing time people are getting out of their batteries. Someone who plays their bass only a few hours every other week will obviously spend less time changing batteries than someone who gives their bass a 3 or 4 hour workout every day. The reason I ask is because I just bought a Peavey Cirrus 5, and I've been told that the average battery life is about 10-15 hours of playing time. I haven't had it long enough to verify this, but that seems also short. I've heard estimates of 40 hours (and higher) of battery life on other basses, but that may be active EQ w/ passive pickups, etc...
  4. ASR

    ASR Guest

    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    As I understand, the pups will draw power from the battery at any time you have a cable plugged into the output jack. I was changing mine every other day until I figured that one out.

    Welcome to TalkBass.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You can calulate it yourself!

    Get a multimeter. set it on 20 mA (DC).
    Disonnect one(!) battery pole from the clip connect the multimeter with the free battery pole and the free pole on the clip.
    Plug a cable into your bass.
    Now you should get a reading, e.g. 4.05 mA.

    Now look at the battery, e.g. it says 160 mAh.

    When you calculate 160mAh/4.05mA you get 39.5 h.

    My values are made up, so you will get completely different results.

    But this will help you more than our experiences, which won't work on your gear anyway.
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    My main bass is a Warwick Streamer Stage1 5 string. It has active Bassline soaps, and a 3 band EQ that runs on an 18 volt system. I use the lithium batteries. I get about 3 times the normal battery life.
  7. ASR found out the hard way, unfortunately. There is a "ring" or "sleeve" in your input tunnel that draws juice anytime the it makes contact with the jack.

    fgenus - I wonder who told you 10-15 hrs? Someone with stock in Everready?

    IME, the battery will give you plenty of warning, manifesting as mysterious distortion that gets worse as the battery goes. Hopefully, your Cirrus is like my Carvin, in that, if you start to notice it at a critical time, you can just pull on a pot and go passive.

    Whatever you do, don't skimp on battery quality. That's pennywise and pound foolish.
  8. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Believe it or not, a Peavey tech from Peavey's support form gave me the 10-15 hr. number. Then he sent a second reply saying that was a conservative estimate. The Cirrus doesn't have a passive mode (the only downside I've found on it so far) because the pickups are active as well.

    - Frank.
  9. Even the "unconservative" estimate would surprise me. But then, I haven't owned a Cirrus. Maybe they're battery suckers. But I've never seen other Cirrus owners mention it. Maybe Peavey is now selling "Peavey" batteries, like Danelectro now has "Danelectro" batteries.

    If that turns out to be true, I'd keep a battery recharger in my gig bag.
  10. beadg5

    beadg5 Guest

    May 28, 2001
    Baton Rouge, La. USA
    I have Roscoe 5 string that I play a lot. I change the battery when I change strings. Which is about once a month
  11. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Do you know the milliamp ratings for any 9 volt batteries? I checked out both Duracell & Energizer packaging as well as the batteries themselves and neither one gives any indication.

    - Frank.
  12. I'm doing 3 to 4 gigs plus 1 rehearsal a week. I change my battery every two months, so that's about 120 hours or more, and I've never had a battery go down.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    10-15 hours sounds ridiculously low.
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  15. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    As soon a I get the chance, I'm going to hook up a multimeter and find out how much the preamp draws. From what I've found, it looks like the average alkaline 9volt has a capacity of about 595mAh. I'd be content to get even 30-40 hours between changes, but anything under that would suck (especially since it's 18v, so I need to replace 2 batteries at a clip).

    I've seen a few people on this forum have the Cirrus (Embellisher, reedith and Ryan Lunneborg, to name a few). If any of you guys come across this thread, can you tell me your experience with this?

    - Frank
  16. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I think using the estimated value of 550 mAh would work for all Alkaline types and you'll be on the safe side.
    If you have a sonsumption of 2.4 mA for example, which is pretty much, you'd get a battery life expectancy of 229 hrs.
  17. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Hmm, let's see. Every weekend, my bass is plugged in at least 10-12 hours for gigs. During the week, I spend another approximately 8 hours practicing (sometimes more, sometimes less). So that is around 20 hours per week. I change my batteries every 6 weeks or somewhere in that area. So that is about 120 hours plus or minus, that I am getting out of them. It has never died on me once, so I have no idea just how long they can actually go. I just change em to make sure they don't die in the middle of a gig.
    And I use Duracells or Energizers, nothing cheaper.

    And congrats on getting a kick a** bass. What wood did you get??

  18. I've found a brand of battery called Transonic which is exactly half the price of an Energiser, and I still change them every two months, as I did with an Energiser. I also use them in my wireless, and change them after 4 gigs, same as when I used Energiser.As I live in New Zealand, this information is not much use to you mericans, but my point is that there are other brands of alkiline that work just as well, without the high price.
  19. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Hi Ryan,

    I bought a Redwood/Alder 5 string. The first one I played had the wenge top. I fell in love with the action and feel, but wasn't thrilled with the open grained look of the wenge. After seeing the highly figured bubinga top from the Cirrus brochure, I was sure that that's the one I wanted. I tracked down 5 basses within NY/NJ with that top and all of them were rather bland. I also checked out a walnut (not the claro), but it was a 4 string and again, the top didn't do anything for me. Then I saw the redwood... It actually looked better than the brochure, and it played (and sounded) like heaven. I must admit, the last bass I would have thought I'd be interested in was a Peavey (ok, maybe not the "last", but you know what I mean), but you guys are so right on this one. I went to Rudy's Music in NYC last week and played just about every high end bass they had, (Sukop, Ken Smith, MTD, Alembic) and I honestly couldn't find a fiver I liked more than this Cirrus.

    - Frank
  20. I like the idea of changing the battery with the string changes. I change my stings about once a month which is about 100 hours for me.

    I have actually gone back to playing a passive Jazz bass so I guess I don't have to worry about it, but the string change thing makes sense.

    My back up bass has a J-Retro installed on it which has a 9 volt battery and I change it about every 3 - 6 months. I don't play it much, just when I break a string in the middle of a rehearsal or gig.