Who uses rechargable batteries in their active basses?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Oct 7, 2002.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I was at work the other day, and saw that we have rechargable 9v batteries for about 9 bucks, and the charger for about 10. I figger, after a few months, the batteries will start to pay themselves off. I could change them at the first of every month, regardless of their charge, and just, well, recharge them.

    How long do rechargable batteries last? Will I eventually have to throw them out? Are they inferior in any way? Economically and ecologically, it seems to be a good plan.

    (BTW, it was a toss up between here and Misc, but I figured, preamps, active pickups...)
  2. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    For Serious gigs stick with Alkalines but around my studio and at work I use Nickel Metal Hydride (NIMH) 9vs for my D.I. and Active Basses - Stay away from Nickel Cadmiums (NiCads) - they die without warning!
    As long as you top them up and don't overcharge them they're great (they've saved me a fortune).
    You may get some feedback about them being 8.4/8.5 volts instead of 9 but don't worry about it they're cool.

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I also use NiMH rechargeables. Until now I used Panasonic 160 mAh, but I'd like to check out those Fischer Amps 250 mAh rechargeables. they're even recommended for wireless and in-ear monitoring.


    I also never had any real problems with NiCd, but I now prefer NiMH.
  4. I can't see that rechargables would be of any value in a bass. Alkaline units should be fine and, depending on usage, at least a year should be possible. Changing as a matter of course (say) every 6 months wouldn't cost that much and you'd then be sure.

    NiCads have to go through a PROPER charge / discharge cycle to get full usage from them. You simply can't do that in a bass because it wants a special charger unit to do it properly. Discharge them too far and they exibit what's known as the 'memory effect' which really renders them useless.

    NiMHi are a better solution but I'd still always go for alkaline.

  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Not being a tech-oriented person at all, the considerations about rechargeables involve too many finicky details for me to worry about such a low-cost component, after what I saw what Kevin Beller said, (he's head engineer for Basslines Pickups) -

    " While they" (9-volt NiCads) "won't affect your tone there are several factors to consider. Make sure the battery has at least 7 cells, preferably 8. Many rechargeable 9-volts have only 6.-at 1.2 volts per cell, a fully charged 6-cell produces only 7.2 volts. This will affect your tone by compromising your available headroom.

    Next check the mAh rating which corresponds to battery life. The best NiCads produce 200mAh but most are rated at only 120mAh. You'll have to recharge a lower rated rechargeable several times before you would have to change a 500mAh disposable akaline battery...a rechargeable may hold its charge for only 2 months or less and this gets worse with age.

    Rechargeable NiMH's have approx. double the mAh rating" (as opposed to NiCads), "...but they require a specially designed charger and if you don't charge them properly, you could damage them or cause them to leak or even explode."

    Gear, gigs, club owners, and band members present enough headaches to me already without adding another I can avoid. The veerrry long life and no hassles are worth the few bucks for a top-of-the-line alkaline Energizer/Duracell to me.
  6. See, Rick,you do know what you're on about. And here you've been pretending all along that you're not a Techie.

    Shame on you m' boy.:D

  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    No way!!! I just pay attention to people like you Rockin', who actually know what the hell an "mAh" is!

    Figuring out the cabs-ohms-wattage thing still requires me to go into the loo and close the door to figure it out!
  8. :D [Did you buy those silver leads, Boss?]

  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, there's the environmental factor, and you save money too.

    rick, my rechargeables never gave me headaches, at least I know they're charged before a gig.

    I had several alkalines I bought just before a gig and they died on me - now THAT'S causing headaches...
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    NO WAY, John. Last time I was in the studio was doing some Hyundai (sp?) car ads and the studio furnished some kind of tricked-out cables that had as much silver as a tea service.

    My metallic gold DiMarzios do fine, live, and look very pimp to boot!
  11. Radio Shack has one of the higher rated NIMH. I use them for everything, and they last forever. They cost a bit more than most other brands, but then, doesn't anything from Radio Shack cost more?
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey, my solution has been to go to the dollar general. I have been buying brand name alkalines for 1-1.50 for a while. They are every bit as good, and they definately help witht he wallet. My experience with rechargeables is they do lack long life after many recharges. Anybody else notcie this?
  13. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I used to work at a Motorala Radio Shop. I believe "memory effect" is more of a concern when you charge a partially charged battery. In other words, you won't have much memory effect if you drain the battery completely and then recharge. You will have memory effect problems if you only use the battery a short while and charge it. When you short charge the battery Dendrydes form and this is what causes the battery to only then take a short charge. This problem is reduced with Nimh and lithiom baterries but still can occur. Still very few rechargeables have enough juice to last very long in most musical instrument applications.
  14. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Thanks for all the responses, guys. :)