FAQ - Battery Power...
How long will the
Should I unplug the instrument when not in use?
Battery Width vs Jazz Cavity Width?
Can I use a rechargeable
What if I use cheap batteries?
What if I use heavy duty batteries?
Why would I use 18 volts instead of 9 volts?
Do I need a power on/off switch?
- How long will the battery last?
- A single 9 volt battery should provide 200 hours of playing time
in a 3ZB and a little over 250 hours in a JZ3 preamp. This assumes
normal room temperature, quality alkaline batteries and constant
operation. In reality batteries have some recovery capability when
not used so the life should increase beyond that when you play the
bass for several hours a day. If you use an 18 volt system the life
will be significantly longer, > 1000 hours.
- Should I unplug the instrument when not in
- Unplugging in-between sets or songs, for example, would not be
recommended but we definitely recommend unplugging the instrument
at night or if it will not be used for a long period.
- Battery Width vs Jazz Cavity Width?
- Some Jazz cavities are just over 1" in width. These slightly narrow
cavities can create a problem with some brands of batteries.
Most types of batteries are getting wider and thicker as users want
the longest battery life. But when the battery will not fit into
your jazz cavity or the battery box the effective life is zero.
Energizer Alkaline batteries are very consistent in size at
0.999 inches wide.
- Can I use a rechargeable battery?
- Yes but this is not a good application for a rechargeable battery
given the unit's low power pull. All batteries discharge when not
in use and this self discharge rate is significantly higher for a
rechargeable. As rechargeable battery technology improves this tradeoff
- What if I use cheap batteries?
- This is probably not the ideal place to use cheap batteries because
they typically have a much higher self discharge rate. Since our
preamp does not pull much power, the cheap battery, like most rechargeable's,
will drain itself faster than we do. Buying a premium battery may
actual cost you less cents per hour of usage.
- What if I use heavy duty batteries?
- Depends on what kind of 'Heavy Duty' battery it is. If heavy duty
means you are getting a 'Premium' battery (as is typical in the case
of the 9 volt size), this is a good idea.
A true 'Heavy Duty' battery is designed to deliver a higher current
flow for circuits that need high power for a short time. A common
example is a battery that says it is for a camera flash - it enables
the flash to recycle faster so you can take the next picture sooner.
But, these heavy duty batteries cost more and typically have less
chemistry in them; in order to increase the contact area they reduce
the space allocated to the chemical solution. This would be an ineffective
tradeoff for this application.
- Why would I use 18 volts instead of
- With an 18 volt system you will get more head room. This might
be important if you like to run in Low-Z mode and max the bass control
or have very hot pickups. However, many of the external bass amplifiers
will clip long before the preamp will at 9 volts. An 18 volt system
will also provide for longer battery life. In general, this is a
very nice preamp implementation which works well at both voltages
and running it at 18V will not add noise nor will it shorten the
battery life like some of the other on-board preamps.
- Do I need a power on/off switch?
- No - most (almost all) bass preamps use a stereo jack connected
as a switch so that when a mono guitar cable is plugged into the
instrument the low side of each battery is connected to ground. If
you want to add a power on/off switch it is easy to do.