Batteries are a necessary evil for guitarists.
They provide the power to our pedals that allow us to create music, but often they don’t last long enough! So how long do 9V batteries really last in guitar pedals?
To answer this question, a typical guitar pedal requires a medium-quality 9-volt battery that can last for around 8 hours.
We all know how frustrating it is when we’re about halfway through an epic song only to have the batteries die on us at just the wrong time.
How long do guitar pedals last with batteries?
Guitar pedals take up a lot of power, usually around 30 to 80 milliamps.
So what does this equate out to in hours?
Well, that depends on the quality and type of plugin you’re using!
The average models are going to take about 36 milliamps while higher-quality ones can exceed 100 milliamps.
But here’s the kicker, guitar pedals don’t last anywhere near as long as the battery powering it!
So what can you do to ensure your pedal lasts longer?
The answer is simple, just use an AC adapter.
An AC adapter will provide a constant flow of power so that nothing interrupts your creative process and ensures you have unlimited playtime for your guitar pedals.
Can you use a 9V battery for a guitar pedal?
9V is the most common power supply for guitar pedals (even many multi-effects pedalboards).
If you have a 9V guitar pedal, make sure it’s used with a 9V power supply or battery.
Keep in mind that although most guitar pedals consume 9V, there are some that need a higher voltage.
Be sure to check the specific voltage needed by your guitar pedal before using a battery or power supply.
If you have a pedal that takes only one battery, typically it will be an N size (also called AA), which is commonly used in flashlights and other small electronics.
A typical medium-quality adult’s electric guitar consumes 30 to 80 milliamps while playing, but can spike to hundreds of milliamps.
A battery can give you about 400 milliamp-hours (mAh) and a plugged AC adapter can provide 800 mAh, for comparison purposes — the better quality your guitar is, the higher amount of power it consumes!
Can you leave 9V batteries in guitar pedals?
Pedals should not be left plugged in. You expose your pedals to electric current surges, possible heat issues, battery drain, humidity, and dust when you leave them plugged in.
Your pedals are gradually destroyed as a result of this.
If you want to extend the life of your guitar pedals, remove them from the amp when they aren’t being used. If you don’t have a pedalboard to mount them on, invest in one.
Be sure it is sturdy and won’t fall over or slide around when you step on your pedals. A good quality pedalboard will last longer than the cheap plastic boards that come with some guitar pedals.
If you do not remove your amp from its cabinet or rack, plug your guitar pedals into a power bar. This will allow you to turn off the entire system by simply clicking one switch off.
Do pedals sound better with batteries?
Well, this is something that can be argued both ways.
Some guitarists swear that their pedals sound worse with batteries whereas many other players think the exact opposite and claim that battery power makes a noticeable difference to the tone of each pedal they use.
In all honesty, you’d have to have an amazing ear to tell the difference between a pedal-powered by batteries versus one that uses an external power supply.
And no, it doesn’t matter which type of power is being used for your pedals – they will still sound just as good with either option!
So if you do run out of battery, don’t stress too much about it, and always make sure you have a backup power supply so your pedals will never be left powerless.
In fact, you should always carry extra batteries with you on stage just in case something happens to the main power source or one of your guitar pedals runs out of juice!
The point is that it doesn’t really matter if your pedal uses battery power instead of a standard power adapter.
They will both do the same job of supplying your pedals with an appropriate type of energy, and they are equally as good in terms of sound quality!
Can I use an 18V power supply for a 9V pedal?
You should be able to use any 18V pedal with 9 or 12 V. (Although it might give an interesting distortion effect.)
If your 18V ped has digital save data, don’t risk it. You run the danger of ruining your favorite patch or loop.
If you’re wondering about using a higher voltage power supply to get more headroom out of your pedal, the answer is yes.
If it says “18V max” on the back and can’t handle 18 volts (or 20+), don’t do it.
How do you put a 9V battery in a guitar pedal?
The battery should be inserted with the negative pole facing down.
You’ll see two metal pins sticking out, one positive (+) and another negative (-).
The side without printing is usually ground (negative), so that’s where you want to plug your battery in.
Make sure it clicks into place.
If it’s not staying, flip the black plastic clip around so you have better contact with the battery.
Most pedals will start to work once batteries are inserted correctly and snapped into place.
If your pedal is still silent, double-check all connections again before searching for a faulty power supply or cable.
Which 9V battery lasts the longest?
The Ultralife Lithium 9V is the one I prefer.
It outperforms the world’s most advanced alkaline batteries by a long shot.
The capacity of the Ultralife Lithium 9V battery ranges from 5 to 10 times that of a leading alkaline 9V depending on usage and device cutoff voltage.
The long-lasting Ultralife Lithium cells offer a significant advantage in high current or continuous drain applications such as guitar pedals.