• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


How often do you change batteries?

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Another thread got me thinking...

How often do y'all change batteries in your active systems? I do it after roughly 10 hours of plugged-in use (I'm guessing), or every two gigs or so, or when I'm changing strings or if it feels like it should be time. So far I have never had a problem, never run out of juice mid-show.

Thoughts?
 

waxnsteel

Member
Messages
3,128
No way?!?!? WHat kind of system do you use? I have a bunch of Fishman on-board blenders, and it's more like 50+ hours of plugged in use. In fact, I just changed the battery in my 614. I change it when the Lo Batt light comes on, and I've also never lost power mid tune. I think the last time I changed the battery was like halfway through last year. That 614 is the only guitar I play every show, and I gig 2-6 nights a month. 4 hour gigs, 3 sets, two 15 minute breaks.
The Baggs system in my 914 gets similar results. If I could only get similar results out of wireless crap!!!

While we're on the topic, if anyone with K&K pickups has any battery life info to share, I'd love to hear.
 

therealting

Member
Messages
688
I try not to replace batteries more often than I have to because I don't think batteries are particularly friendly to the environment... I have also experimented with rechargeable batteries and have found that sometimes it even sounds better than regular alkaline, so I use that when possible.

Hence my other thread about a backup battery, so I can eke every ounce of juice from a battery. :)
 

Gazza

Senior Member
Messages
249
My acoustic is plugged in for at least 4 hours every week. I only change about every two months.
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,830
I usually only change batteries before a big gig or a recording session. I'm pretty good about taking them out when I know it's going to be a long time before I play that bass again.

--chiba
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Thanks for the input.

I use a Baggs dual system, no indicator light or anything so convenient. I'm just paranoid. Probably using twice as many batteries as I need to.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
You're not just throwing them out are you? There are loads of things that use 9V batteries that don't need a minty fresh one...

If you're changing every 10 hours you could be changing twenty times too often, not twice... I don't really know, but the battery life is probably in the hundreds of hours. I can't remember when (or if) I changed the battery in my Taylor - I bought the guitar in 2002 and it's been my only electro-acoustic since then, and I've done plenty of gigs and practices with it - like waxnsteel says, I'll change it when the red light comes on, you've got at least a song's worth of warning... it's probably the original battery. I can't imagine that the Baggs system will be that much higher consumption than the Fishman.

Even the Takamine Cool Tube system - with a TUBE in the preamp - claims 24hrs battery life.


FWIW, this is one of the things I hate about acoustic systems with no external battery access - until they became common, I would not use an internally preamped guitar at all, just a pickup only and an external preamp. No way I want to have to loosen the strings and fish around inside the soundhole in the middle of a gig.
 

clarkram

Member
Messages
3,065
I gig 4 times a month on average (when things are going well), plugged in 3 1/2 to 5 hours a week. I usually change at about 125 hours or more on my Taylor/Fishman. Never had a loss in power.

My Martin OMC Aura is another story. Owner's manual puts battery life at approx 36 hours. There is a low battery indicator, easy access. I've used it on 4 gigs and a band practice so far and expect to replace the battery soon.



Clark
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Well maybe I'll keep it in longer. Now that I use an Intellitouch tuner I'm never plugged in except on stage. I could see changin it every few months or so, but 100 hours of playing time seems a bit like pushing my luck. I know it's not a huge power drain but still.

Swapping out the battery on my Santa Cruz is not half as easy as a Taylor. I have to loosen the strings, pop 'em out of the bridge and reach deep into the body cavity, doing it by feel 'cause my arm blocks my line of vision. That's why I do it when I change strings, but I didn't choose it for convenience.

Maybe I'll do it every two changes... but I'm a paranoid S.O.B. I like knowing the thing is fresh. WTF, it's just a fricking battery.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Originally posted by John Phillips
this is one of the things I hate about acoustic systems with no external battery access - until they became common, I would not use an internally preamped guitar at all, just a pickup only and an external preamp. No way I want to have to loosen the strings and fish around inside the soundhole in the middle of a gig.
Well, that's why I change them out so frequently. But I'm not going to sacrifice tone for convenience. I get the right guitar for the gig first, then figure out how to amp it. I'll be damned if I'm going to use a guitar I dont like with a second-rate pickup system just because it's easier to change the battery.
 

olectric

Member
Messages
538
On my Collings C-10 Deluxe, I've got a non-invasive Fishman Acoustic Natural Matrix 1 that runs on a 9V. I've had the guitar for 3 years and changed it once. I don't play it plugged in that much because I use it more for studio than live stuff, and I'd rather mic the thing, obviously. I'd mic it live if it were more plausible.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
Originally posted by MichaelK
I'll be damned if I'm going to use a guitar I dont like with a second-rate pickup system just because it's easier to change the battery.
I wasn't suggesting a second-rate guitar or pickup system - just not mounting the preamp inside the guitar. I honestly can't see why you would want to do this unless you're going to fit a full side-mounted preamp with controls, which these days tends to mean an easy-access battery too (in fact, I wouldn't pick a system without).

An internal preamp with a battery but no controls strikes me as the worst of all possible worlds for exactly this reason - poor battery access, lack of convenience (no controls within easy reach), reliability (not just battery failure - the inability to quickly bypass or replace the preamp if you ever need to) - and always has. I have no idea why this type of system seems to be popular.

I can certainly see the point in a full on-board system with controls, for maximum hands-on convenience, which is what I'm using at the moment; but if you don't want that I would go for a passive pickup - even a dual system, there's no reason why not with a TRS endpin socket - and an external preamp, so you can still have your full control... which is what I've used in the past.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
OK, I see.

I like having external controls too... but in truth, I haven't changed them since I installed the system five years ago (Baggs dual system, essentially what they now call "iBeam"). The only external controls are two small wheels mounted in the soundhole: Volume and Blend. They have dust in the corners 'cause they're untouched. I run mono out, Gain and EQ just the way the guy who installed it set it up, volume around 7, a blend of mostly pickup with just a little bit of mic. It works perfectly going into a DI, the right tone, the right level, right amount of air, everything just right. Unlike electric, I don't change settings on acoustic.

I wouldn't want anything mounted outside the box more than what's already there, or G-d forbid some hole cut out of the side.

Interestingly, the preamp and velcro battery pocket added a little bit of bass response when they were mounted inside. Not much, but not in a detrimental way. The guitar still has all the air and openness it ever did.
 

d.crowe

Member
Messages
127
anyone have trouble with the battery warning light not working on the old taylor fishman pickup? 99 taylor 814ce. man this thing kills me. working night before gig- dead when i plug in at the show- scket empty in the case nothing plugged in. cut out during a gig once mid song- sucks!!!!. I maen I dont want to cahnge the battery every time I play if its not needed. any clues?
 

Barnzy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,469
I love a digital multimeter for so many things. This is one of them. You will never guess the voltage in your house outlets, the ohms reading of a pot or a pickup, or the remaining voltage of a battery again. I change my batteries when they no longer supply 9V of power. Checked about every other string change and definitely before any performing. I save some weak batteries for my fuzz and overdrive pedals.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,791
The idea of running battery power in an acoustic guitar is a massive turnoff for me for many reasons, including the fact that even the best of these systems sounds lifeless and weird to me, and the average/worst ones sound freaking awful. I either play through mikes or play electric. I understand why "acoustic" performers now must use these onboard systems to easily create a simulation of acoustic guitar, but I've pretty much stopped going to concerts where this is going to be done because the sound is just...bad. I enjoy not using batteries.
 

JSeth

Member
Messages
2,412
I have the Baggs Anthem SL system in both my Mark Angus acoustic guitars, a 6 and a 12 string... I use them for pretty much all my stage work, which is not very much these days...

Baggs says 120 hours+ for those pickups; I use Elixir strings that give me around 6 months of life (for the 6 string, the 12 string is twice that long). So I change the batteries about every year or so and that's a waste of battery life... but I'm not gonna have my guitar crap out on me in the middle of one of my infrequent gigs.

I have a K&K PW in my Goodall, and it's high-impedance without any internal preamp; I use the K&K PURE XLR preamp and run it with phantom power... wouldn't take much to get me to switch out the Anthems for K&Ks if I can get the sound I want from them...
 




Trending Topics

Top