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EMGs eating through batteries quickly...


Nightsynth

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I installed an EMG BQC System in my '87 Ibanez SR05. Sounds great, but it seems like the battery life isn't very long. I use Duracell ProCell and always unplug the bass when I'm not playing. It also seems like the output is lower than it should be. I have the pickups as close to the strings as I could get them. I am confident that I wired them correctly (the bass has 2 brand new J style EMGs with the detachable connection at the pickup.

 

I'm also having this same problem with another Ibanez ('87 RB800 with EMG P/J config and the EXB eq circuit). Though the output on this one is a little hotter. Any ideas would be helpful.

 

I think I want to sell the BQC controls. I think I want to just put another EXB/Tone Control in the SR05 too. The BQC wasn't quite what I ended up wanting. I would want to keep the Volume and Balancer so I would just be selling the 2 concentric EQ controls (1 is Mid Boost/Cut with sweep and the other is Bass/Treble). These could be added to any system. Anyone interested? $90

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You probably have the Ground and Black Battery wires on the input jack reversed. If the battery wire is on the ground lug of the jack, it is always on.

 

EMG's with a preamp do not require a 18V. 9V will work but 18V will add more headroom.

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EMG pickups and the pre-amp can be safely run with 1 9 volt battery. I suggest taking your basses into a tech/repair guy and have him look at how you wired them. The ouput level should be great and EMG active systems/Pickups generally have 1200 hours to 3000 hours of battery life. Something is hooked up incorrectly. The only other thing - are you leaving the bass plugged into an instrument cable when not in use? That will drain the battery life.

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I have the same electronics in my Yamaha (EMG P/J set and BQC system). The Yamaha already had one 9v battery compartment, so I decided just to run 9v, rather than 18v (makes battery changes easier). One battery for me lasts a very long time.

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Additionally, having the pickups TOO close to the strings is a bad idea...the magnets will damp the vibration of the strings.

 

I agree that it sounds like the power cutoff is not wired correctly. No other good reason for a battery, even a crappy one, to go out that soon.

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Thanks for the tip about the input jack. It's totally possible that I wired that part wrong because I used the factory Ibanez jack (on both basses I mentioned) and it was hard to tell on those jacks which leg is which. I'll try switching them. Thank you very much for pointing that out.

 

I should clarify about the pickup height that I have them as close as I can get them with interfering with movement of the string or the pickups getting nicked when I dig in too hard while I play. I feel that they are at the proper height for what I'm going for. Thanks for making that point as well though.

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I just installed mine and I found that the clips were actually wired backwards (the grooves on top match up, but the wires are in the wrong places). I dont know if that would cause battery drain (pretty much made it a quiet passive system) but it might be something to look at. Simply fix is to flip the connectors around.

 

Oh and I dont think magnetic drag is much of a problem with these. The magnets are really weak and as such dont create much drag on the strings. EMG website recommends having the PU's as close as possible.

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Thanks for the tip about the input jack. It's totally possible that I wired that part wrong because I used the factory Ibanez jack (on both basses I mentioned) and it was hard to tell on those jacks which leg is which. I'll try switching them. Thank you very much for pointing that out.

 

 

Is the factory Ibanez jack a stereo jack? That would make a huge difference...

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Is the factory Ibanez jack a stereo jack? That would make a huge difference...

 

 

Depends. He stated:

 

 

I installed an EMG BQC System in my '87 Ibanez SR05.

 

 

He didn't mention WHICH SR_05 bass he has. Some SR's are just passive junk, some have decent preamps and switching stereo jacks to match. Some have excellent preamps and pickups and don't need to be upgraded with EMG's.

 

My money says, he's wired them to a regular jack, and even when unplugged, his preamp is on and draining his battery.

 

Time for the correct output hack.

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He didn't mention WHICH SR_05 bass he has. Some SR's are just passive junk, some have decent preamps and switching stereo jacks to match. Some have excellent preamps and pickups and don't need to be upgraded with EMG's.

 

I figured some were passive and some were active...but I have no idea which ones.

 

My money says, he's wired them to a regular jack, and even when unplugged, his preamp is on and draining his battery.


Time for the correct output hack.

 

Bingo :thu:

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You ARE unplugging these instruments when not in use?

 

 

OH OH OH SNAPPITY SNAP MUTHA{censored}AZORZBORGROSENTHAL

 

 

People.

 

If you have active electronics in your bass.

 

UNPLUG IT WHEN NOT USING IT.

 

Inserting the plug into the output jack activates the preamp circuit and turns it on. It starts using juice the moment you plug it in, whether you're playing or not, whether the volume control is on or off. That's the nature of the switching stereo output jack. As soon as the internal tab is pushed by the cable plug, it starts using juice.

 

Done playing, unplug. Or you lose your batteries like Oprah dropping crumbs.

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He didn't mention WHICH SR_05 bass he has. Some SR's are just passive junk, some have decent preamps and switching stereo jacks to match. Some have excellent preamps and pickups and don't need to be upgraded with EMG's.


My money says, he's wired them to a regular jack, and even when unplugged, his preamp is on and draining his battery.


Time for the correct output hack.

 

The model is SR05. It was made from 1987-1990 and was the top of the line (and only) 5 string SoundGear at that time. The SR885 came after that ('89 I think) and it seems they decided to phase out the SR05 model as the 885 was a little cheaper and probably had higher sales. Some of the SR05s came with EMGs stock, others came with Regulated LO-Z Ibanez pickups (mine was the latter). Both pickup/electronic options were active systems.

 

The jack has three pins or legs or whatever you call 'em. The RB800 (my other Ibanez with EMGs with this same battery/low output problem has the same jack). The jack is a barrel type that goes through the body somewhat and therefore, the jack that comes with the EMG pickups will not work. I'm about to do the wire switch as we speak. I'll report the results. Thanks again for all the comments and advice.

 

Here is the bass...

 

01.jpg

02.jpg

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And, yes, I ALWAYS unplug my basses when I'm not using them. I would think that is common knowledge amongst bass players or anyone who has ever used an effect pedal. But I don't always read the original post thoroughly either and can understand jumping to that conclusion based on the topic that I posted.

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I just installed mine and I found that the clips were actually wired backwards (the grooves on top match up, but the wires are in the wrong places). I dont know if that would cause battery drain (pretty much made it a quiet passive system) but it might be something to look at. Simply fix is to flip the connectors around.


Oh and I dont think magnetic drag is much of a problem with these. The magnets are really weak and as such dont create much drag on the strings. EMG website recommends having the PU's as close as possible.

 

 

Are you talking about the clips on the pickup side?

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Well, I changed the two black wires. The output level seems releatively the same. I guess it's not that low. It's about 85% of the output of the rest of my basses. I guess I expected them to be hotter than they are. Still could be something funky I guess.

 

We'll see what happens with the battery situtation. I did originally wire both basses' jacks the same because I guessed on the first one (the first time I wired it) and it seemed to work. I have now switched the black wires on both. So... if I switched the green wire up, chances are, it wouldn't have any output at all, right? Does anybody have a pin diagram for a barrel type jack such as these Ibanez?

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You need a stereo jack for the turns-off-when-you-pull-the-plug wiring. If the one that came with EMGs doesn't fit, you must find an aftermarket stereo one that will.

 

 

If you read his last post, he explains that he has a 3 prong (stereo) jack...:poke:

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The barrel housing around the jack prohibits seeing which pin is which. The leg that appears to be the ground leg is a little bigger though. I checked before I switched them yesterday and the battery was indeed hooked up to the ground leg.

 

Looking at the EMG diagram also verifies that the black (ground) that comes off the BQC circuit board should go to the ground leg on the jack. I just didn't see this clearly before so those two black wires were reversed. So if it's true that having the battery wire go to the ground means the battery is always on, that was exactly the problem. Thanks again everyone for the input.

 

Interesting that your passive basses are louder than your actives. I don't have any passive basses so I couldn't compare, but yeah, these 2 EMG basses don't seem to have quite the output of the other active basses of mine (1 with a Bartolini mk1, 1 with DiMarzio P/J (IBZ/USA), and the other with Ibanez Regulated LO-Z P/J). Not the end of the world, I just expected them to be hotter for some reason.

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