Active bass batteries

I just bought my Yamaha bass last week. I’m on Module 5 now. However twice since I have had to change out the 9 volt battery. These were either in the bass or the one that came in a package. How long do batteries last in these active basses? Should I be removing them between practices? Thanks


The one that came with the bass might have been in there for some time already, so no clear indication of usage. However, to make batteries last, there is no need to remove them, just make sure to unplug the bass between practices. That should extend battery lifetime.


Yes, you must unplug the bass, that is the cord from the bass itself, not just the amp. When you insert the jack, that is the “ON” switch for your active bass, it will drain battery up until you remove the cord, or it drains.
If you remove the cord all the time, they should last at least 6 month

I have a bass I play every day, it has the battery that came with the bass, and its been about 3 months and it is fine.
Of course, you could have gotten a battery that was in the bass longer, or played a lot at the store before you took it home, IDK, anything is possible with the battery that come with the bass, but if you put one in, it should not bother you for a while.


Thanks all. I was keeping the cord plugged in all the time. I just turned off the amp. Now I will unplug from both.


The cable still being plugged in was your big problem for sure, but always remember that not all batteries even of the same type/brand won’t last the same. Depending on how long they have been sitting on the shelf, storage temp and factors like that, you might get 4 months from one and 6 from the next. Moral of the story is always have at least one extra on hand at all times. The battery will never pick a good time to die.

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Actually I wanted to ask this a while ago: My bass (Ibanez SR500E) has an active/passive switch, is it enough to just switch to passive to preserve the battery, or do I still have to unplug? I’m still on my first battery after almost 2 months, but I always unplug, and 99% of the time I don’t even turn it on in the first place… (I’ve only used it for the slapping module.)


It may be ok, but it is always a good idea to unplug.

You could run a test.
Take the battery out and plug in.
Can you play your bass thru the amp with the active switch OFF?
And if you turn the active switch ON, do you no longer get sound?

If that is the case, the switch is probably enough. But, like I said in the beginning, it is always a good idea, and the better idea IMHO to unplug from the bass.


Yes, with the battery removed I still get the usual sound in the off position, and no sound in the on position.

Anyways, as I said I always unplug (otherwise the cable would be in my way on the floor all the time), was just wondering how it works.


On a bass that has no switch, the jack is the on/off switch.
Often this is also two types of active / passive Basses.
In the case where there is no switch, it is typically a bass with Active EQ / passive pick ups
With a switch
Active pick ups.

Your case is active pick ups which can be turned on off, I am not sure if there would be a reason to turn active EQ off, with passive pick ups, other then to get by a dead battery.


Just checked, the product page says passive pickups and eq bypass switch.

I’ve been keeping all knobs in the noon position anyway (both on the bass and the amp), so I figured I don’t need to turn it on.


Ok+ that’s mainly to get past dead batteries I think, but if you like playing w/o tge active EQ, that’s cool too.

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It gets you by the dead battery situation, and in passive mode they tend to give a more vintage sounding tone. Just makes it all around more versatile.


If a bass has an active/passive switch it is guaranteed to have passive pickups (active/passive switches do not work with active pickups).

With an active/passive switch, it may or may not prevent battery drain while the bass is plugged in. It depends on the bass.

Basically, just always unplug your bass :slight_smile:


Hmm. I did not know that about bass pick ups.
My guitar that I had custom built for me back in the early 90’s had Active pick ups, with a switch to turn them on and off.

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Active bass pickups, at least AFAIK, require power to function at all. So in that case you could have an EQ bypass, but it would not be an active/passive switch. It would also be a little pointless.

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So, I accidentally left a cord in my bass overnight the other night.
It was a fluke thing.
I was selling my Bass Big Muff pedal.
I had it sitting on top of my SWR WorkingMan15 combo amp, and my Ray 4 in the stand right next to amp, whre it lives.
I used a short 8" patch cord to plug the Big Muff into the amp, and another short 3foot cable to plug my bass into the Big Muff.
The guy came,
I turned them all on
got the volume on each at a decent level
engaged the big mugg and plucked some strings,
changed the controls a little to demo the sound of the pedal
only using open notes I could finger on the bass while standing in front of the amp and working on the pedal.
He liked
I turned the amp off
unplugged everything (I thought)
gave him teh pedal
took teh $50
He left, that was that

I didn’t play the bass til sometime in the next morning or early afternoon, and, wouldn’t you know, I left that damn 3 foot cable in the bass.

It still worked, the battery was not drained.
It sounded a little off to me. I was distorting alot on Open E up to A, and open A

I tested the battery with my lab quality, ANSI certified, NASA approved tongue, and it was a little weaker then I thought it should be.
My voltage metering tongue tested out a new one from a pack I bought about 2 months ago, and it measured with a “Wow”, that one is a bit stronger, it set off the full voltage sensors in my teeth.

I replaced the battery, and the E and A string were no longer distorting.

I was told by the set up guy at the local Guitar and Pawn shop to change the batteries if the bass starts distorting signal.
I am glad I knew to do that, because i would have been worrying alot about my equipment had I not.
I kept that other battery for back up, it still works, and if I were playing anything with a distorted signal, it would play fine.
But, since I just used the last battery out of that pack, I ordered a pack of these.


IDK if they are any good, and I am certain there is nothing special about their VINTAGE POWER SOURCE (like that is a thing, :rofl: ), but Ehh…the price is very reasonable for a 2 pack of 9v batteries. The STORE brand in the grocery store is double that at $8
So if these last as long as a normal 9v battery, they are a great deal, and I will stock them up for my back ups.


You can also buy rechargeable ones like this. Barely more expensive than the non-rechargeable ones.


Don’t burst my bubble like that.

Just kidding, yes, that is an option as well, but sometimes the batteries don’t work as well after a few charges, and its an investment up front (a small one at that, but…), that pays off little in the end, IMO, and if anybody wants to do it that way, that is awesome, I just like to keep a couple spares.

If I ran my pedals off 9v, I probably would invest in rechargeable, if I knew they would not lose power, and voltage output after a few charges. With pedals, you would be going thru 9v alot more then with active bass


I have yet to have a battery go dead in my ubass or bongo. I know when I do it’s going to take me half a day to figure it out.


I order 8 packs of 9 volt batteries from Amazon. I’m good for a year. $20 per year is not bad.

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