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mcnach

... the day I got caught! (Stingray preamp battery)

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Yup. Look at me all smug... I don't remember how many threads I've participated on about the subject of batteries on preamps, always saying it's not an issue, you just replace the batteries from time to time and not risk failure, and you get a warning anyway in the form of distortion etc etc...

Well, I guess I'm human after all. :o :lol:

Last night we were booked to play at a beer festival near Aberdeen. Beautiful, and fantastic beers. I only had one early on, as I was driving, but they had a non-alcohol one that actually tasted really really good (from Brewdog brewery)... one to keep an eye on!
Anyway... there we go, my trusty Stingray, the two TKS S112 speakers and the MarkBass LM3, all ready to go.

Only... what's that? Is the sound fading out at times or is it my imagination? Is everything plugged in correctly? Yup. Well, my amp volume is not very high at all, so I guess there was bass coming out of various monitors and they were being faded out or something... it sounds just fine. Nothing to worry about.

We start. It sounds great. I love these speakers. The stage is a reall good size and we are a 5 piece as opposed to our usual 7-piece so there's a lot of room and I enjoy the sound on stage wherever I go.

Then, as I start a song... I have trouble hearing my bass... "idiot" I think... "I generally turn down between songs and I guess I didn't turn up all the way"... the first long note I get, I slowly turn up my bass volume hoping the sound guys won't hate me too much if they had corrected for my sudden low output. But... it can't be, I am turned up!

So, I pull my volume knob, which bypasses the preamp (I have a John East preamp on my Stingray)... and my bass came back loud.

"Doh!"
I avoid making eye contact with the sound guys and carry on with the Stingray passive (which is not all the different from my usual sound anyway, mostly just a bit less full).

That was only two songs before a little break. So during the break I take my bass backstage and I pull out the battery. I write the date on the batteries, you see. I change them once a year, as a rule, or before 'important' gigs if it's been longer than 6 months, just in case... I don't want to mess up for the sake of £5.
What does the battery say?

APRIL 2014.

:o :o :o :o :o

REALLY???????????????? :rolleyes: :ph34r:

More than two years? And this is the bass I play the most!
How did this happen? How could I miss it???

Well, I took out a new 9V battery from my case, wrote 'August 2016' on it, replaced it... and glorious Stingray came back to life.

User error, nothing to do with the technology
User is an idiot.


So now I have a spreadsheet with details for every bass, taking the opportunity to add a bit about what strings I use, dates, batteries etc... I'll still get caught one day because there's no cure against being absent minded... but I'll do what I can.

Now, this is the first time I have a battery failure on the Stingray. I had other active basses and everytime I could tell the battery was on the way out because there were noises, or distortion, and the bass was still operational for quite some time that way, so I wasn't too worried. But with the Stingray? Nothing. I do think it sounds better with the new battery, but the degradation must have been too subtle and too gradual for me to pick on it.

Kids... dont forget to check and replace your batteries! ;)

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1471206479' post='3111286']
Rubbish basses them Stingrays! :D
[/quote]

Indeed. I never had a problem with any of my OLPs! :P

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[quote name='paul_5' timestamp='1471208458' post='3111308']
And check your smoke alarms too!!!!! :D
[/quote]

Those beep so loudly when the battery goes off that I'd have to be dead not to hear that :lol:

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471211246' post='3111345']
Those beep so loudly when the battery goes off that I'd have to be dead not to hear that :lol:
[/quote]

Maybe you need the same circuit in the stingray!

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[quote name='Woodinblack' timestamp='1471213330' post='3111353']
Maybe you need the same circuit in the stingray!
[/quote]

You know what? I'd love to do that, or maybe a led that starts flashing (like the P-Retro preamp)... and then go into the EBMM forum to show them all how you can *improve* the Stingray... then retire to a safe distance with popcorn and enjoy the show :laugh1:

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Happened to me with my G&L ASAT bass at a gig.

Had to stop playing. Me and our sound tech opened the casing for the 9 volt battery for the pre-amp and replaced it.

Too bad we didn't check the batteries in my Line 6 G30 wireless relay transmitter first as that was the culprit.

My advice, don't be a cheapster. Don't by batteries at The Dollar Store.😁

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471214536' post='3111362']


You know what? I'd love to do that, or maybe a led that starts flashing (like the P-Retro preamp)... and then go into the EBMM forum to show them all how you can *improve* the Stingray... then retire to a safe distance with popcorn and enjoy the show :laugh1:
[/quote]Yes , it's a strange place at times , that Forum

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1471236991' post='3111401']
Happened to me with my G&L ASAT bass at a gig.

Had to stop playing. Me and our sound tech opened the casing for the 9 volt battery for the pre-amp and replaced it.

Too bad we didn't check the batteries in my Line 6 G30 wireless relay transmitter first as that was the culprit.

My advice, don't be a cheapster. Don't by batteries at The Dollar Store.😁

Blue
[/quote]


Yeah, cheap batteries are not worth it. Too unreliable/short lived.

G30? But that has a status LED indicator, doesn't it? Of course, you need to look at it otherwise it's pointless... and that's the thing with being human: you miss stuff like that sometimes :lol: Like the day I was struggling with my bass when we came back for the second set... and I was just about to bypass my pedalboard entirely when I noticed I just wasn't plugged in yet :rolleyes:

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471205804' post='3111281']
but they had a non-alcohol one that actually tasted really really good (from Brewdog brewery)... one to keep an eye on!

[/quote]

I'll look out for that, I'm really getting into non-alcoholic beer.

This thread is a good reminder to change the battery in my L2500; I went to do it the other night, but realised I'd used my spare in a smoke alarm instead, will buy a new one on the way home tonight.

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The Brewdog non (or maybe very low?) alcohol beer is called 'Nanny State', and it's ok.

Am guessing most active basses are unable to run without their battery, as I found out years ago with a Precision Lyte
that died just as we were finishing the first dance at a big wedding. Made me change batteries every string change, usually
around 8 weeks. For the price you can get Duracells on ebay, it really isn't worth risking not doing it. I usually buy them
in boxes of 10 for around £8 delivered, and unlike a lot of places the company I use guarantees them to be originals.
( Apparently Duracells are widely counterfeited? )

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P E B B A S. Error ???
(Problem existed between bass and stage). Lol
We have all been guilty of similar at some point I would imagine.

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Since the time the 9V in my Yamaha RBX750A died in the middle of a song at a NYE gig(wouldn't you know) I change the battery in it and my Yamaha SLB200 EUB every 3 or 4 months or even sooner if I feel nervous.The worst part was that there was no warning like less volume or intermittent sound ,it just went completely silent.Luckily I had a spare battery in my case and the keys player covered the bass part while I switched.It had never happened to me before so I didn't know what to expect but at least I was prepared.A bit embarrassing but I managed to recover OK and learned a good lesson.

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[quote name='casapete' timestamp='1471262494' post='3111604']
Am guessing most active basses are unable to run without their battery, as I found out years ago with a Precision Lyte
that died just as we were finishing the first dance at a big wedding.
[/quote]

Some basses have active pickups, which means the pickups themselves have buffer amplifiers in them that need power - some Warwicks, for example.

Some basses could produce a sound with no battery if there were a way of bypassing the preamp.

Some basses have active/passive switches, which, as long as they don't have active pickups, means they can make a sound without a battery. This is what I've opted for if replacing a preamp. If I remember, I'll experiment this evening with my 2000 Thumb, which has an active/passive switch but I think also has active pickups.

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[quote name='Skybone' timestamp='1471266671' post='3111648']
Good job you had the passive switch installed.
[/quote]

thats what i like about my bass is should the user be an idiot (moi) then there is a fail safe just in case, cant think of any other reason for it to be honest

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[quote name='Mattpt85' timestamp='1471256967' post='3111554']
Another reason I've gone back to passive, one less thing to check :)
[/quote]

it's certainly fool-proof ;)

I'd just try to be less foolish :lol:. It is SO EASY to avoid trouble... but yeah, it happened. I was happy to have that bypass switch installed!

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[quote name='Mattpt85' timestamp='1471256967' post='3111554']
Another reason I've gone back to passive, one less thing to check :)
[/quote]


Offtopic: I keep looking at your avatar... that must be one of the most beautiful basses I've ever seen :gas:

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[quote name='casapete' timestamp='1471262494' post='3111604']
The Brewdog non (or maybe very low?) alcohol beer is called 'Nanny State', and it's ok.

Am guessing most active basses are unable to run without their battery, as I found out years ago with a Precision Lyte
that died just as we were finishing the first dance at a big wedding. Made me change batteries every string change, usually
around 8 weeks. For the price you can get Duracells on ebay, it really isn't worth risking not doing it. I usually buy them
in boxes of 10 for around £8 delivered, and unlike a lot of places the company I use guarantees them to be originals.
( Apparently Duracells are widely counterfeited? )
[/quote]

Good call on the name of the beer, I forgot what it was. It was the tastiest non-alcohol beer I've ever had. Usually they are pretty bland.

It's not a bad idea to replace batteries with the strings... I may just do that. Batteries are not THAT expensive. I tend to avoid any 'deals' on batteries unless I am entirely sure they are legit. I've been burnt before, the real thing lasts a lot longer... not worth the risk. I often get them in Costco... but if not any shop works

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Thanks Pal, I am still incredibly happy with it. Here's a not very good pic next to it's partner in crime.
(Off-off topic - I got some of them cobalt flats, trying with the band for the first time tomorrow!)




[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1471267511' post='3111663']


Offtopic: I keep looking at your avatar... that must be one of the most beautiful basses I've ever seen :gas:
[/quote]

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[quote name='Mattpt85' timestamp='1471256967' post='3111554']
Another reason I've gone back to passive, one less thing to check :)
[/quote]

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I recently went through all of my basses just to clean them down quickly, stop anything tarnishing with finger prints on the hardware (tends to happen on Musicman tuners on the Rays) and to check the batteries. Some of them were a little old. I took out anything coming up to the expiry date or past and replaced.

Always worth checking all active basses for how old the batteries are. Same with pedals. Have a good check through once every 6-9 months.

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On stage once depping for a new band, mid-song on my Pedulla when the battery failed. Ran off stage to get a new one, whopped it in and found it got stuck halfway in the battery box. I hadn't noticed it was a new kind of (expensive!) very long life battery I had bought to try out. Anyway, I pulled hard and the whole battery box minus wires came away in my hand. Panic. Grabbed spare (passive) bass and ran back on stage, missing in total a song and a half. During the break I apologised to the band who had no idea what I was talking about. Not one of the gits had even noticed I was missing!

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