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What's up with batteries today? Besides the cheap brand X stuff for sale, there are the old, trusted ones such as Duracell, Eveready Energizer, Panasonic, Philips. These brands appear in places such as Canadian Tire, where they are frequently on sale for a little less than their regular price.
You can find the same in "Dollar" stores for considerably less, but I suspect they are not produced by those companies. One can get a 9 volt battery for $1.35 in some places, but $6 in others.
If there are real brands and knock-offs openly co-existing in the marketplace, how is that legally tolerated, and do the cheap ones last as long?
What's your experience?
 

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If you take apart an alkaline 9V and a traditional carbon-zinc, you'll findthey are constructed differently. The carbon-zinc is comprised of 6 slugs stacked on top of each other, and the alkaline is made up of 6 sub-AAA batteries, spot welded to each other, and shoved inside the case. Alkalines are more labour-intensive, which is at least part of why they cost more. It may also be that the chemical used in their manufacture are more costly to process, and/or any effluents from the proces are more expensive to meet environmental standards.

The different construction of carbon-zinc, compared to alkaline, batteries is a part of what produces their legendary "dying battery" effect on some fuzzes. The instantaneous current capability is a function of the surface area between the cells used to make the 9V. Well, actually the resistance between cells which is a function of the surface area. The carbon-zinc slugs have a much greater surface aea than the alkalines. As they age, the carbon-zinc slugs can provide an initial zap of current in response to pick attack, but then give up the ghost easily, producing a sort of compression or sag that can sound nice with many germanium-transistor fuzzes. Alkalines will last longer, but they won't provide the same dynamic response as carbon-zincs.

Most "dying battery" simulators will simply restrict the voltage and/or current delivered to the circuit. That's musically interesting, but it doesn't correspond to the behaviour of a 9V carbon-zinc battery that IS on its last legs. Really and truly, it's the behaviour of a fresh 7V, 8V, or whatever battery that can deliver as much current as you want.
 

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What's up with batteries today? Besides the cheap brand X stuff for sale, there are the old, trusted ones such as Duracell, Eveready Energizer, Panasonic, Philips. These brands appear in places such as Canadian Tire, where they are frequently on sale for a little less than their regular price.
You can find the same in "Dollar" stores for considerably less, but I suspect they are not produced by those companies. One can get a 9 volt battery for $1.35 in some places, but $6 in others.
If there are real brands and knock-offs openly co-existing in the marketplace, how is that legally tolerated, and do the cheap ones last as long?
What's your experience?
A couple of years ago I bought some "Eveready" batteries in a dollar store. Made in India or some place near there. Put them in a camera and took 3 non-flash pics. They were dead. I buy the 'Great Value' brand from Wally World. Made in China. In most things they last just as good as the expensive ones.
 

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What's up with batteries today? Besides the cheap brand X stuff for sale, there are the old, trusted ones such as Duracell, Eveready Energizer, Panasonic, Philips. These brands appear in places such as Canadian Tire, where they are frequently on sale for a little less than their regular price.
You can find the same in "Dollar" stores for considerably less, but I suspect they are not produced by those companies. One can get a 9 volt battery for $1.35 in some places, but $6 in others.
If there are real brands and knock-offs openly co-existing in the marketplace, how is that legally tolerated, and do the cheap ones last as long?
What's your experience?
Consider the load of the device you are putting them in. I use both dollar store and brand-name batteries, depending on what I'm putting them in.

For electronic-only devices, the load is generally small and cheap batteries will last a long time. I just replaced batteries in my Blu-Ray player and they were the original Panasonic batteries. So they lasted about 4 years, probably as long as they would on the shelf.

But for things that require a bit of current, like clocks or cameras or tape machines or whatever, use good batteries because those heavier loads will quickly kill the power capacity of the cheap dollar-store batteries. And I hate taking clocks down and replacing the batteries.

Also, for something a little more critical than a clock - say, a pacemaker - yea, spend the bucks and use the best you can buy.
 
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What's up with batteries today? Besides the cheap brand X stuff for sale, there are the old, trusted ones such as Duracell, Eveready Energizer, Panasonic, Philips. These brands appear in places such as Canadian Tire, where they are frequently on sale for a little less than their regular price.
You can find the same in "Dollar" stores for considerably less, but I suspect they are not produced by those companies. One can get a 9 volt battery for $1.35 in some places, but $6 in others.
If there are real brands and knock-offs openly co-existing in the marketplace, how is that legally tolerated, and do the cheap ones last as long?
What's your experience?

The Dollar Store batteries I have used last a good long time.

As for knockoffs, are you assuming the cheap name brand ones are knockoffs or are you talking about no-name type brands?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Dollar Store batteries I have used last a good long time.

As for knockoffs, are you assuming the cheap name brand ones are knockoffs or are you talking about no-name type brands?
I'm assuming the Dollar store cheap brand names ones are fake, - "Energizer", for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not the ones I have bought.
So, sounds like they are the real deal, and the stuff being sold in the traditional chains, (CT, Bay, Walmart, Shoppers, etc.) are severely marked up in price then? Good to hear - the consensus suggests that I (continue) buying batteries at Dollar stores (except for my pacemaker that is, LOL). Thanks.
 

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  • All batteries are, to a limited extent, "rechargeable", albeit in different ways. "True" rechargeables, like Ni-Cad, need to be almost fully discharged in order to be fully recharged. However, normal carbon-zinc and alkaline 9V batteries can be rejuvenated with a suitable charger if they have not lost too much voltage. So, you can bring one of them back up to 9V, and a nice tongue-zap if they haven't sunk below about 7V or so. I've kept some batteries "alive" for years by recharging them. And given just how many pedals I have batteries in (some requiring two), that's a LOT of batteries.
Here are the caveats, though:
  • Rechargeables are designed to be able to "ignore" surplus current such that you can leave them plugged into your charger overnight and nothing bad will happen. DO NOT leave a non-rechargeable type in your charger unattended for more than an hour or so, since there can be a buildup of heat, gas, resulting in an exploding battery. You can certainly feel how warm it is, unplug it to cool off, and then give it another hour's chaging if needed, but make damn sure you don't forget it in the charger, or you'll be sorry.
  • Such rejuvenation does not have the same lifespan as what occurs when fully recharging a true rechargeable. So it's a nice backup to be able to go through your pedals, plug one in and think "Do I want that one n the pedalboard today?". I would not exect to get a 3hr gig out of it, though, unless the pedal draws very little current.
  • LikeI say, if the battery drops below 7V, chances are good it ain't comin' back with a recharge. You might be able to push it back up to 7.8V or 8, but you likely won't see 9.6V ever again with that one, unless youtry helping it out before it hits 7V.
So,it works, and it works much better for alkalines than carbon-zinc, but DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU ARE CAREFUL AND ATTENTIVE. This is why it is not generally known; no company wants to take chances with betting on end-users' conscientiousness.
 

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So, sounds like they are the real deal, and the stuff being sold in the traditional chains, (CT, Bay, Walmart, Shoppers, etc.) are severely marked up in price then? Good to hear - the consensus suggests that I (continue) buying batteries at Dollar stores (except for my pacemaker that is, LOL). Thanks.
I suspect that if you look closely at the Dollar store batteries you'll find the model numbers are different from those sold at higher prices in other places. Typically a company like Duracell offers a variety of options in a particular size with the more expensive versions offering a greater mAh (milliamp hour) ratings. A higher mAh rating means the battery is going to last longer for a given current draw.

This is the same concept as versions of brand name products made for Walmart etc. built to a price point and not necessarily the same as merchandise sold elsewhere. Made by the same manufacturer but not to the same standard and the regular line.

On the other hand, cheap carbon batteries can sound better in fuzz pedals!

*EDIT*- I was curious so I checked out Panasonic (a brand I often see at dollar stores)- 5 different versions of a 9V battery (not including rechargables). That wouldn't include versions made strictly for a retailer like Walmart.
 
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