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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through March 01, 2013 » What is the difference between batteries and DS-5? « Previous Next »

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Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3248
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 3:19 am:   Edit Post

Apart from the obvious battery life, is there any difference sonically between a series instrument running off 18v with batteries and one running off the 36v DS-5?

Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2030
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 4:51 am:   Edit Post

Jazzy..I don't own a Series instrument but the advantage of the power supply is a continuous, rectified 36V DC supply which will make the pre amps work very efficiently as with batteries as the current and volts dip the IC's struggle to do their job effectively which obviously will affect the tone.
Disadvantage...you have to lug the PS and associated cable with it and you cannot use a wireless system. But I guess the pros definitely outweigh the cons!
Advanced Member
Username: fmm

Post Number: 364
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 5:21 pm:   Edit Post

I have a Series I, and I feel like I have more headroom with the power supply. I think I've used the bass on batteries maybe twice,
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 208
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 7:47 pm:   Edit Post

I don't believe there is a sonic difference that I can remember when I used batteries in my axe converse to using the DS-5 except if the batteries went dead..then you don't get anything (if I recall) but I never wanted to be that kind of position where I had to worry about battery life so I immediately purchased the DS-5 and I've never regretted it!
Intermediate Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 117
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 - 3:16 am:   Edit Post

I too am experimenting with this. I just made up a cable Stereo 1/4" to Mono 1/4" for my Series 1. Even though it does work. I am hearing differences mostly in loudness levels The Jury is still out, not enough time in the day. One caveat is I used 10K resistors instead of the recommended 20K at the Instrument side (1/4" Stereo jack) Alembic said 10K is OK.


Username: mavnet

Post Number: 12
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 - 7:49 am:   Edit Post

At a gig, discovered my DS-5 had died so i used the batteries that had been in my series bass for quite a long time. Low voltage or low current - whatever happens to batteries when they're dying - resulted in the most fantastic Jack Bruce distortion. Probably the best fuzz sound i've ever had, warm, responsive... I'm considering asking for a dial to mess with the power supply for those times when i want that as an option. Conversely, that showed me that the way to clean headroom-rich sound was using the regulated supply, where the pre's get the juice they're designed for.

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