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Thread: The amazing Cutlass Battery Life

  1. #1

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    The amazing Cutlass Battery Life

    Good morning all!

    I forget to unplug my Cutlass. Like, A LOT. But that gives me valuable info to pass on to you....

    Battery voltage drops has to drop to like 3 volts before you hear any degradation in sound quality. There is absolutely no drop in output but audible mild distortion when that happens. (I don'y know how low the voltage has to drop before the output drops, I've never gone that low).

    If you forget to unplug the guitar as often as I do, you'll change the battery every two or three months. But considering how many hundreds of hours the guitar is plugged in (even just overnight when I'm alseep) I'm VERY IMPRESSED.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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  2. #2

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    That's good to know!

    I regularly read about how nervous people are to play with active guitars, i/c the battery dies. I've never quite understood that- it's easy enough to check the battery voltage (the old "tonge check" works fine) and if you gig you'd have a spare 9V in your bag anyway, just i/c.

  3. #3

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    Yeah! I mean a high current draw pedal, sure, I can see that but this kinda thing is crazy long life and anyone who had one die on stage without a backup, that's just dumb!
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  4. #4

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    Never ran into an issue with an active guitar just dying on me in a set. Thank goodness EBMM take the sensible route of the battery compartment being a clip rather than a screwed in plate like some other brands. I've never needed a battery change mid set but that would be a pain to deal with.

  5. #5

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    I've had it happen to a pedal once (a wah pedal that at low voltage became an efficient radio receiver ) But hey, as I said before, that's avoidable and dumb to allow to happen onstage.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  6. #6

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    So, that's 9V on the Cutlass, right? Just asking because my GC was supposed to 9V, but isn't. My ASS Semi MM90 is, which surprised me, but my ASS Semi is also not.

    The MM90 9v seems to last a really long time, too, but I use rechargeable. I know we have tangentially touched on this in other threads, but I was talking and thinking about AA, not 9v. I have no problem using rechargeable AAs because even though they start fully charged at a lower voltage, they stay at a higher voltage for much longer than non-rechargeable batteries. Ultimately non- and rechargeable AA batteries average the same voltage over one cycle, it's the fade to black that differs. Much faster in non, much steadier for longer in rechargeable.

    However, my understanding is that 9V batteries do not perform as well as AAs and fade much like regular 9vs--while also starting at a lower voltage. (You can buy rechargeable 9vs that are more than 9 volts, but almost all are less.) So, thanks for reading and here is the point/question: why doesn't my MM90 get fuzzy or seem affected?

    My ear can't be that bad, so either it drains so fast that the 9v isn't juicing anything anyway, or it stays above a certain voltage until I change it, which means it lasts a really long time. I never leave any of my guitars plugged in.

    Not an electrical engineer, but your post made me think about using rechargeable 9vs.
    '14 GC HSHP
    '14 ASS Semi HHP - Black Cherry Burst
    '14 ASS Semi MM90 - Honey Burst
    '16 Axis - Trans Gold Quilt

    Fractal AX-8
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    Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoonc View Post
    why doesn't my MM90 get fuzzy or seem affected?
    Because the Axis MM90 is a passive guitar - the 9V is only used for the Silent Circuit. When the battery dies (which will take a long time, since the Silent Circuit has a very low current draw), you'll start to hear more hum, but no other effect on your signal.

  8. #8

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    As a new Cutlass owner, good to know.

    I can say my active Valentine and JP15 get changed about every 6 months. Which sounds in line with what you’re saying good Dr.
    -Spike
    @blueavngr

    2017 Valentine- Starry Night
    2015 JP15 Blueberry (63/300)

    2019 Cutlass SSS Vintage Sunburst

    "I don't sell my guitars-- they are like ex-girlfriends. You get tired with them and toss them to the side... but then, every once in a while… Damn! You really want to play with them again."

  9. #9

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    Good morning!

    I was thinkin about rechargeables yesterday. I think that rechargeable 9V are totally doable for the silent ciruit and buffer. No question in my mind. (Not recommended for the Game Changer/Majesty).

    The older style Silent Circuit on the Silhouette Specials, AL, and MM90 guitars lasts over a year. Moving to rechargeables can only reduce that a little but with no other ill effects. As Beej pointed out, there is zero loss in signal quality or tone, only the noise reduction becomes less effective. So no risk of cutting out or sounding crappy on stage.

    On the newer circuits with silent circuit plus buffer, clearly a battery won't last as long and when the battery level gets low there will be some distortion to the singal. But that is only at very low voltage levels and the battery still lasts far longer than almost any battery powered effects pedal would plugged in for the same amount of time.

    I would be very happy going to rechargeables for the Cutlass/Stingray/Valentine, etc.
    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info

    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


    An Irishman in Paris, guitar teacher and tech, folder of underpants, stubber of toes.

  10. #10

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    Yeah, but my Game Changer uses AAs. I use rechargeable batteries in it with no problem. They start at a slightly lower voltage, but maintain a higher more consistent voltage over the life of the cycle. Regular AAs do not stay at the stated voltage for very long.
    '14 GC HSHP
    '14 ASS Semi HHP - Black Cherry Burst
    '14 ASS Semi MM90 - Honey Burst
    '16 Axis - Trans Gold Quilt

    Fractal AX-8
    Bad Cat 2x12
    Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170
    Headrush FRFR-112

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