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Replacing the battery on a pickup-equipped guitar

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(@redpoint)
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I've always heard that you shouldn't take off all the strings when changing the strings on your guitar. If you have one of the pickups where the battery lives inside your guitar (without a convenient battery compartment) on a clip, don't you have to take off all the strings to put a new battery in?


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
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I always take all the strings off my guitar when I change them. Hadnt hurt it at all. Maybe if you left them off for an extended amount of time..

Jim

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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(@clazon)
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I think it's just a lot easier if you replace strings one by one.

Plus the tension remains roughly the same therefore the intonation and stuff is less likely to get messed up or whatever.

/diversion :)

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@redpoint)
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When I replace strings, that's what I do, I'm just wondering how it works when you have this battery inside. :)


   
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(@clazon)
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Well a solution to your problem could be, of course, just to loosen all the strings so much, that you can slip the pickguard (and all parts attached to it) out.

However this assumes that the internal wiring is long enough to stretch.

Unfortunately it does look like you'll have to de-string the guitar the change it.

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@chris-c)
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I'm with Geoo. I have often removed all the strings at once, and have never found it to be any problem.

There are quite a few jobs that require you to take them all off - such as replacing a nut, making adjustments to bridge thickness, etc. Any movement or settling of the neck due to change in tension is likely to be small, and temporary unless you leave the strings off.

A certain amount of stretching and re-adjustment goes on when you fit new strings anyway. You'd (hopefully!) be unlikely to be changing a battery half way through a performance, so the bedding in time would be unlikely to be noticeably much different in practice.

You can probably make enough room to get your hand in by only taking about half the strings off, but that would be a worse option than taking them all off as it would be applying a twisting action to the neck. It's always good to try and tension and slacken the strings slowly and evenly across all six to avoid any twisting action arising from having only one side tightened. Just work your way across all of the strings, changing the tension a little at a time - instead of fully tightening one before moving on to the next - you should be fine. :)

You'll also probably find that you don't need to actually remove all the strings, just slacken them all enough so that your hand can slide past them. That works on mine anyway. Although - as I use that size of battery in all sorts of other things around the house anyway - I tend to just replace the battery when I put new strings on anyway. If it's still got some useful life I stick it in something else for a while. :)


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
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De-tune - change battery - tune - play

One of the good reasons for wrapping 3 times around the tuning peg and then through the hole.


   
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(@redpoint)
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http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Pickups/Matrix/matrix4.html

So for this it looks like the internal wiring will be long enough. It'd be nice if it was just long enough to get outside the soundhole, because attaching that little cap on the 9V blind doesn't look so easy :)


   
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(@nexion)
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After reading about the twisting action of the neck caused from releasing the tension of half the strings I had a question.

I play in drop d and drop c very frequently and usually leave the guitar like this. Is this going to eventually start twisting my neck? Should I tune my guitar to standard before putting it down for the day?

"That’s what takes place when a song is written: You see something that isn’t there. Then you use your instrument to find it."
- John Frusciante


   
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(@chris-c)
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I play in drop d and drop c very frequently and usually leave the guitar like this. Is this going to eventually start twisting my neck? Should I tune my guitar to standard before putting it down for the day?

I very much doubt that it would do any harm at all. Guitars are fairly robust. Even in the more extreme case of taking half the strings off - it may apply a potentially twisting force, but that doesn't automatically mean that the neck will succumb and actually twist. It just increases the odds by (insert random number..) percent that it may have an adverse effect. Even then it would most likely need to be left that way for a while for anything to show up. It's more like a sensible precaution than some kind of ironclad rule.

But I'm not a luthier or guitar repairer, so my opinions may not be worth much anyway. :oops: I'm basing my opinion mostly on my years of experience in general woodworking (furniture, house building etc) where you generally need a combination of force and time (preferably coupled with changes in temperature and humidity) to effect changes in wood. Usually the effects produced by internal forces in wood (caused by loss or gain of moisture) produce far more noticeable effects than those caused by an increase or decrease in the sort of external forces that are applied by the strings.

Apart from detuning each string by a half tone or so if I'm going to store a guitar for a while (to allow for our wide range of temperature here) I make no special effort to keep them in standard tune.

But owners of very expensive or sensitive instruments may well prefer a more rigorous approach. :)


   
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