Vandersteen 5a battery biased crossovers

I've been using my 5As nearly every day for over 2 and a half years now and I feel they are the best move I ever made in audio. I researched them (and many other speakers)thoroughly before I made my purchase. I must say that everything incorporated in this design makes more sense to me than any other speaker I've encountered(Richard Hardesty's review covers this all very well for those not familiar) The one feature I still wonder about though is the battery biased crossover. How much does this help the sound? I believe that after about 5 years the battery needs to be changed on each crossover. Has anyone here had the 5A long enough that this had to be done? Did you do it yourself or does it require shipping to the factory?( I think the batteries are soldered in place to keep from rattling)Also, has anyone just let this go and not really noticed a difference?
When you decide to replace your 5a's batteries, you may want to consider using the longer-life Lithium version. When I shipped my crossovers to Richard Vandersteen for battery replacement, I included 6 new RadioShack 9V "Ultralife" Lithium batteries (3 per crossover).
Helpful thread, thanks all. When I pulled the crossover boards out of my speakers I found that one battery had apparently shorted, and had blown its guts out the bottom. I'm the original owner and do not know when this happened, my guess is that it has been like this since the factory test floor. The batteries are series connected so the blown open battery would have removed all 3 from the circuit.
All 8 batteries have fairly heavy wire soldered on to them and generous amounts of solder, I strongly suspect that the heat required to solder does internal damage to many of the batteries at installation.
I normally am a Vandersteen fan, but this is just a really awful design.

I see you have your 5As listed for sale. Will you be switching to a different speaker? If so, do you mind me asking what that might be?
Actually, getting the crossovers out is not hard at all...send back the silver boxes that the amps plug into as well. I've done it, sent it back to Vandersteen and reinstalled all of it....result is better sound....easily heard
Mr JeffJones you said the batteries are a bad design.
Bias on a coupling cap improves transparency dramatically, ask anybody who has replaced dead ones with new ones.
The batteries don't usually do that unless they are beyond the date written in the owners manual.
This hurts nothing and is easily cleaned up.
I like using the new 10 year Duracell's
The connections need to be soldered because any noise because of the connection passes through the cap as an audio signal, so push on connectors would be a problem (think about the battery in your remote).
Best JohnnyR