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Active Pickups and Batteries

Professor Monkey

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You can afford to change the battery on tour, Zuben, but a good test would be to check the voltage of the battery after that week.


I can't imagine active p'ups would be expected to last less than several weeks worth of gigs on a single battery, so this could save you a bundle in batteries and protect the environment too.


A new 9v alkaline should read 9.6v on a volt meter when new. A 9v is simply six smaller 1.6v cells in a single package. A "fresh" 9v would be considered anything above 9.0v. Some electrical equipment doesn't work well below 8.8 but most guitar electronics that use 9v batteries will work properly down to 8.7v or even 8.6v. For your purposes I would suggest making the cutoff at 8.8v.


If the battery is relatively easy to replace you can test it before sound check. Again, you can save money and help the environment by using 8.8v batteries in rehearsals or private practice. ;)


Before wireless units were able to last over 10 hours we used to put fresh batteries in prior to showtime and keep them through the next rehearsal, then replace.


AA & AAA batteries should meter 1.6v when brand new and will operate most consumer electronics down to 1.3v or 1.4v.

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My son plays almost daily and has had the same pair of batteries (SD Livewires require two batteries) for over a year.
Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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