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Yamaha rbx374 battery life - ***!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ss81, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. ss81


    May 29, 2005
    There was a very similar thread addressing this issue about a year ago, a 374 owner was asking why the battery was crapping out after 3-4 weeks and he was advised to unplug the bass when he's not using it. Well, I've had this 374 for about a month and a half and I've already had to change the battery twice. I'm always careful to unplug it when I'm not using it. How often do those of you with active basses need to change the battery? I was under the impression that you should only need to change it a few times a year, not once every 3 weeks. Do I actually need to remove the battery from its compartment when I'm not using the bass?

    By the way, for the record, this time I didn't get any warning whatsoever, the bass sounded fine the last time I used it a couple of days ago, then this morning it's barely making a very quiet farting sound. The battery must have completely gone dead while the bass was just sitting there unplugged for a couple of days.
  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Go passive! :p
  3. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Under "proper" circumstances, you should only have to change it about once a year. I have an RBX 775, a VERY similar bass, and that's about the change frequency.

    What happens, on some occasions, is that there may be an inadvertent "short to ground" in the wiring inside the cavity. If all is well, the battery is only being drained when an instrument cable is plugged in to the jack - but if there's a short (a bare stretch of wire touching the back of a pot, for example), the bass can work fine, sound great, seem a-ok..... but drain your battery 24/7, even when it shouldn't. Could even be a "stray" strand of an otherwise properly-connected wire.

    You mentioned you haven't had it long - did you buy it new? If so, it should be under warranty. Call the shop where you purchased it; it's a simple repair for a wiring tech.
  4. BassGyver


    Jun 29, 2004
    Have the wiring checked. Maybe the output jack is not properly wired and the battery is always in use even with the bass unplugged.
  5. Yes you do. Even when the bass itself is unplugged from the amp, the battery is still working - so always take the battery out when not using the bass.
    I did the exact same thing with the exact same bass and drained a battery in a few days...

    Also, be careful that you dont let the battery fall out of its compartment when still plugged in - otherwise it might snag the wiring and eventually snap the wire off (like it did to mine :( )
  6. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Not correct. When you remove the instrument cable plug from the bass, the DC circuit is opened, and current flow stops.

    There's no way that a 9V battery would last a year or more, as most users report, if it was being drained 24/7.

    If the battery drains that quickly, something is wrong with the internal wiring.
  7. D'oh, my mistake then. I thought that you always had to remove the battery with active basses.

    I guess this is a common fault with the rbx 374 then. Too bad my warrenty expired :mad:
  8. Yup, and your right with your estimations of about once a year.

    Ive changed the batteries in my BTB once (it uses 2), and ive had it for about 18 months, ive changed the ones in my EDA twice, the stock battery that was in there was crap . . . and i left it plugged in all the time without realising it was draining . . . probably more the latter effect ;)
  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Pop the pickup cavity open, look around a bit, maybe gently move the wires around. Keep a sharp eye for loose strands that may be making contact with any sort of ground. Unscrew the jack, pull it out carefully, and do the same.

    Probably >80% chance you'll find it yourself.
  10. Thanks very much for the advice, ill give it a go when I get back home and let you know what happens. :)
  11. I don't know what's up with Yamaha 374's but maybe they're not using stereo jacks for switching the electronics...

    check your jack and see...if it's not stereo, let us know...its really a pretty simple fix.
  12. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    My brother uses this bass. It really turned me off from yamaha for a while because of this problem. But luck for you i know the answer to you problem (unfortunatly)

    It took us about a year and it still isn't fixed because the local music store is run by a bunch of money hungry a**es. but yea there is a wiring problem in the electronics. i forgot if it was in the out put jack or in the battery power supply to the electronics but it basicly is just two wires that are tuching that souldn't be. this causes a cross in the wiring and thus drains the battery of life. unfortunatly i don't know where the problem is or how to fix it exactly b/c the music store that we were dealing with denied all knowlage of the problem and said that it wouldn't becovered under warrentee b/c they would be using tools on the electronics after we refused to pay for a different problem that they didn't fix. the did try to charge us for a storage fee also because they for got to call us for 3 weeks.

    i'd recomend going to a yamaha dealer and explaining the problem to them the should have more info on it.
  13. How about checking the the output jack?A friend of mine had a similar with his bass(and his was a Ritter for god's sake).Here's where and what and how you should exactly check:
    1)Take off the control cavity(careful with wiring especially if you are not able to use a soldering iron!)
    2)Remove the output jack from the bass without unwiring(if possible of course!)
    3)Here's a major tip for the active preamp-loaded basses.The jack is slightly different than one a passive bass because there is small switcing system on them that turns the preamp on\off.The way it works is pretty simple actually,when you insert you plug,the tip not only contacts the jack thus receiving the signal,but also pushes a small metalic piece that closes the battery circuit,activating hte preamp.Your problem seems to be that this piece of metal probably got crooked and leaves the circuit always closed(and the preamp on,thus consuming your battery).You should first check if this is indeed the case,if it is then you can either fix it by pushing it back to its original position(though nine out of ten times it will simply break),either replace the jack(go for a cheap one from a hardware store as long as it fits cause it's almost certain that in a music store you'll pay ten times more for it).I this is not the case then you should check the wiring.REMEMBER ONLY THE BATTERY CIRCUIT!!! :mad: :mad: :mad: DON'T MONKEY AROUND WITH THE WIRES CAUSE YOU ARE PROBABLY GONNA MAKE THINGS ONLY WORSE

  14. ss81


    May 29, 2005
    Hey everybody, I just wanted to post an update: as soon as I read bigbeefdog's reply, I e-mailed Yamaha customer service to see if there was a possibility of faulty wiring causing excessive battery drainage. They just replied back and explained that yes, "a few" of the RBX basses were wired incorrectly which caused the battery to be drained even when unplugged. They then offered for me to send it to their facility in TN for repair, they also included an illustrated PDF showing how to perform the repair myself if I felt comfortable doing so. It's incredibly easy to solve, the battery ground was soldered to the part of the jack that the output should have been soldered to, and vice-versa. If anybody else is having this problem with their RBX, definately go on Yamaha's website and e-mail them about it, even if your warranty has technically expired they might go ahead and offer to repair it anyway as it was a pretty big manufacturing defect. Thanks for all your helpful replies about this!
  15. I suspected it was something like this...most active basses use a stereo jack with the middle being connected to the battery ground and the tip being the rest of the ground (including the shield)...the plug then acts to bridge this when the bass is being played and when the plug is pulled, the battery ground is left "floating" as not to drain the battery.

    if this is reversed, the bass will work fine when plugged in (after all, it would be electronically equivalent). However, with it reversed, the battery can now drain through the shielding and consequently the resistors in the pots (which act as a load).

    As Homer Simpson would say...."DOH!"
  16. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Excellent. Heck, I was just thinking it was a stray strand in your particular bass..... turns out you uncovered a much more widespread problem. Glad you got it resolved.

    I'm trying to think of a way that more attention can be called to this.... after all, there's three posters in this thread alone with this problem on an RBX 374; there must be more..... doesn't seem like the Pickups FAQ would be the right place.... hmmm....

    Almost makes me think a new forum for "known manufacturing issues" might be a good idea, where folks can post known problems ("recalls", as it were) and the solutions. Not just a problem with a single bass or amp, but manufacturing issues that affect a significant number of people..... and how they were, or can be, resolved.

    Mods, it's up to you.
  17. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
  18. ss81


    May 29, 2005
    Just wanted to post this update: I finally got around to trying to repair the bass. The pdf file Yamaha e-mailed me showed how illustrations of the incorrect wiring and the correct wiring. The wiring was incorrect, but not in the way they illustrated. I made sure that the wiring matched the correct illustration, and now about 2 weeks later the battery is dead. They did not fix the problem. My advice is to just steer clear of this bass entirely, get an Ibanez or something. I can't afford to be changing batteries this often.
  19. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Certainly understand your frustration. It's a shame, because in the absence of screwups like this, Yamahas are excellent low-dollar basses.

    Is the offer still open to send it to them for repair?
  20. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Take it to a tech or a buddy that's handy with circuits. Someone with experience will be able to fix this easily, no schematic required.