Do Bass Guitars Need Batteries? Are they Important?
As a beginner, you may also be stuck at the question Do Bass Guitars Need Batteries? Have you ever wondered why some bass guitars have batteries and others do not?
In this article, I am going to cover all the queries related to this topic. In the end, you get the answers to every question. Let’s begin:
So, Do Bass Guitars need Batteries?
All bass guitars do not need batteries. Only active basses have a battery slot on the back to power the small pre-amp located inside them. These basses required a battery of about 9-volt. The passive basses are quite straightforward and just need to be plugged into the amp.
- Why Does My Bass Need a Battery?
- Does an Active Bass Work Without Battery?
- What Happens When My Bass Battery Dies?
- How Long Does a Battery Last in a Bass Guitar?
- What is the Best Battery for Bass Guitar?
- Where is the Battery in a Bass Guitar?
- How to Change Bass Guitar Battery?
- Final Thoughs on Bass Guitar Battery
Why Does My Bass Need a Battery?
The active bass guitar needs a battery to power the onboard pre-amp inside it. This pre-amp allows you to cut the frequency of the bass and also helps to boost it. This gives you better tone control with a consistent single.
There are some basses in which this pre-amp also acts as an equalizer i.e. EQ. The active basses generally have 1 or 2 9-volt batteries. The basses with batteries don’t mean that it doesn’t require an amp.
In passive basses, the signals from the cable are first modulated by passing them through the pickups and then they return to the amp. Thus, these basses don’t need a battery.
Does an Active Bass Work Without Battery?
It is possible to play active bass without a battery by switching it to passive mode using the bypass switch. So, if the battery dies in the active mode, you can play the bass in passive mode. But if your bass has only active pickups, then it does not work once the battery dies.
If there is no such Active-Passive toggle switch on your bass, it will not pass sound when there is no power. In such a case, you are not able to play the active bass without a battery. Even now it may produce a very weak sound of poor quality.
Such active-passive basses are really helpful in the live performance. If your battery dies in the mid-song, then you can simply switch it to the passive mode and continue your performance.
The only problem with such active-passive basses is that when you switch your bass to the passive mode it gives you less output. Also, you lose your EQ setting. Yet, it is better than distorted sound or no sound.
What Happens When My Bass Battery Dies?
If the bass has active EQ, and the battery dies, the pre-amp doesn’t work as it required power. Then bass cannot produce any kind of sound. It starts to distort horribly and the volume starts dropping. Some basses lose their punch and have almost no treble.
Still, there exist some basses which may produce a little sound with a very weak signal. This sound has very limited gain, limited tone control, and poor sound quality.
The bass sound doesn’t stop instantly. As the battery running low, it gets worse and worse and the volume gets lower. It may produce crackly, buzzy/farty, and uneven output, and then the basses go almost silent.
The several basses have a bypass switch on them, and thus after the battery dies you can play the bass by switching it to passive mode. But if there is no such switch on your bass, then your bass dies as soon as the battery dies.
How Long Does a Battery Last in a Bass Guitar?
Generally, the battery in bass lasts from 6 months to a year only if you leave it unplugged after playing. But if you keep it plugged in, the battery will drain at a faster rate. The Battery life totally depends on battery & bass type, the electronics use, and how much you play the bass.
When your bass starts distorting and losing its volume, then you need to replace your battery. If you use your bass regularly, then you definitely get an idea when your battery is going to die, and believe me it’s not that hard. Nowadays, most of the basses have an indicator on them that lights red when your battery is running out
If you are using the passive mode of a bass guitar, when your battery is not exhausted, don’t forget to remove the cable from the bass guitar as it will not only drain your battery but also damage your bass.
Here is one tip for you to extend the life of your bass battery. When you are practicing on the bass guitar, you can switch your bass to passive mode and remove the cable. Thus, the battery stops draining and lasts longer.
It is always recommended to keep an extra battery with you, especially when there is no active-passive switch on your bass. And don’t worry too much about the battery dying. They last for a longer time, are cheap in price, and are also easy to carry.
What is the Best Battery for Bass Guitar?
Energizer MAX 9V Batteries is the best battery for the bass guitar. They are long-lasting, budget-friendly, and hold the power for nearly 5 years while they are in storage. They contain Alkaline cell composition with 9-volt power.
There are two types of batteries used in the bass, rechargeable, and non-rechargeable. I prefer to go with a non-rechargeable one as rechargeable batteries are under power and also most manufacturers don’t recommend them.
For your bass guitar, you can also use lithium batteries or alkaline batteries from well-known manufacturers such as Duracell or energizer. For an 18-volt battery, simply use two batteries together.
Where is the Battery in a Bass Guitar?
Generally, the battery of the bass guitar is located on the backside of the bass. There is a separate compartment for the battery which is present only in the active bass. This battery slot is covered by the lid which is screwed on the bass body.
How to Change Bass Guitar Battery?
As a beginner, it is quite difficult and confusing to change the battery of the bass guitar.
The battery is screwed in the rear-end side of the bass. If you want to replace this battery, first you are supposed to remove it from the bass. For this, you have to take all the screws out and keep prodding until it completely comes out. It takes some time as they don’t screw in the backward direction as much.
The basses which are produced nowadays have a push to open battery with plenty of space in it. Here is one video for you on battery replacement of bass guitar. Just go through it and everything will be cleared:
Final Thoughs on Bass Guitar Battery
So, this is all about the bass guitars and it’s batteries. I tried to cover each and every question related to this topic. I hope you get a crystal clear idea about this point.
Still, if you have any kind of confusion or any kind of suggestions for me, feel free to share with me. Put your valuable thoughts in the comment section which will help others to gather the knowledge. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your bassist friends and family on social handles.
Have a great day!
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