You have probably run into the terms active and passive bass guitars at some time while learning to play the instrument.
Active bass guitars provide direct tone shaping using a battery to power an internal pre-amp and EQ circuit.
Usually, they contain a compartment in the back for a pair of 9-volt batteries or one 9-volt battery.
The battery is required to operate active electronics, which offer a cleaner signal and more tonal options.
Every 6 to 12 months, the battery needs to be replaced.
Instead of requiring a battery, passive bass guitars rely on magnetic pickups that are externally amplified to generate sound.
You will discover the precise meaning of the battery and the reasons behind its widespread use in basses on this page.
Why Do Active Basses Need Batteries?
Active basses have an onboard pre-amp powered by batteries, unlike passive basses that do not.
These onboard pre-amps may also include built-in EQs in some cases.
The EQ will enable you to have more control over the frequencies of your tone, while the active pre-amp is made to provide you with a louder output signal.
A 9V battery will typically power active basses and their pre-amp to deliver their benefits.
What Are The Indications Of A Battery In A Bass That Is Dying?
Although active bass pre-amps and EQ are great, when you use your bass frequently, your battery will surely start to drain over time.
As a result, the active bass may misbehave.
Many beginners worry that their instrument or amplifier has some fault when, in fact, the battery is running low.
When your active bass’s battery is too depleted, it may exhibit these common signs:
- Unwanted distortion or crackling
- Weak signal
- Low volume
If your bass guitar’s battery shows any of the above signs, it’s fortunately relatively simple to fix!
Most active basses feature a little battery compartment in the back that stores a small battery pack of 9V batteries, which are reasonably priced.
It might, however, occasionally be incorporated along with the other electronics in the cavity.
To continue enjoying the advantages of the active pre-amp and EQ, It is advisable to keep a spare close by in your case or gig bag.
How Frequently Should A Bass Guitar Battery Be Changed?
If used often, an active bass’s battery should be changed every four to six months.
As you can see, despite small batteries, your bass gets a lot of use out of them.
Taking certain precautions can help the battery last for even a year.
Unplugging your bass guitar when you’re not using it is one of the best ways to extend the life of your battery.
What Occurs To The Battery When Active Bass Is Left Plugged In?
The battery in your active bass will run out if you leave it plugged in.
Whatever happens on the other side of the connection is irrelevant.
The pre-amp’s circuit turns on when your active bass is plugged in. Inserting a cable into the input jack completes the procedure.
The battery will be exhausted whether you detach the amplifier or switch it off.
You will therefore need to swap it.
When not in use, always turn off the active bass.
Do I Need a Battery for My Bass?
You can still perform passive mode on your bass instead of the pre-amp.
The sound will shift slightly, but the EQ adjustments won’t affect the bass.
Where Is The Bass Guitar’s Battery Located?
The bass guitar’s battery is often found on the instrument’s back.
The battery is exclusively found in the active bass and has its compartment.
The lid, fitted onto the bass body, covers this battery slot.
What Occurs If A Bass Battery Runs Out?
The sound of bass will get fainter and have a distorted tone when the battery nearly dies.
The bass cannot produce sound through an amplifier after the battery expires.
You will know if the bass’s battery is close to dying. Its sound will be unpleasant, lose some of its lower frequencies, and become more challenging to hear.
It also means that if your bass is purely active, it won’t quickly provide an amplified sound until the battery changes.
However, certain basses can switch between active and passive modes.
The bass can still be played through an amplifier if your battery dies and you switch to passive mode.
These switches are typically found adjacent to the tone knobs on a bass. Pushing the volume button down to make the switch pop up activates it on some basses. You will have to get a replacement battery if it gets depleted and you don’t have an active-passive switch.
Keep in mind that rechargeable batteries will respond to discharge slightly differently.
Your sound will instantly vanish rather than being distorted and beginning to fade.
Therefore, staying away from rechargeable batteries is recommended when attending live performances.
How Can I Replace The Battery In My Active Bass?
In an active bass, changing the battery is quick and simple. Only a screwdriver and the following instructions are required.
- Your bass should be turned on its back: Typically, it will have two compartments joined by screws. The bigger one is for the bass’s internal electronics, and the smallest is for the battery.
- Remove the lid: You will want a little screwdriver for this component. Use it to remove the screws holding the cover on the smaller compartment.
- Loosen the batteries in use: Exposed wires will be connected to the battery inside. Avoid applying pressure to them or pulling too hard when handling these. The battery’s side clips may also serve as protection. If so, you might need to pry the battery between the clamps with your screwdriver carefully. A few basses require two batteries. If this is the case with your bass, repeat the procedure with the second battery.
- Place the new battery in: Put the new battery in its position after removing the old one. Place the new battery in the bass after connecting it to the wire. The bass lid should then be secured with a screw, and you are ready to go.