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Bass care in hot, humid weather...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by secretdonkey, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm sorry, I know it's not a luthier question, per se, but I was hoping I could get some good opinions with good signal/noise ratio in this forum. Also, I did a perfunctory search without luck... feel free to show me your search skills are better than mine. ;)

    Anyway, a situation I've run into a number of times:

    Outdoor gig, hot and humid. Your bass has been sitting in an air conditioned car/room and when you take it out it sweats and/or gathers condensation, seemingly by the gallon. Not really, but the bass gets disconcertingly damp. Doubt it's good for the bass and it's not good for playing... but... the alternative would be to leave your bass outside of the airconditioning... in a black case on a 90F degree day. That seems like a bad idea, too.

    Assume that it's just not practical to try to "transition" the instrument from cool to warm... of these two seemingly unpleasant alternatives, which one is preferable, in terms of being kind to the fine wood in one's bass?

  2. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Going outside to play a bass I think is okay. I don't recommend letting it sit outside in a case or anything, that is unless you wanna pick carpet off your finish if its lacquer, or get unpleasant warpage of the neck. Going from one extreme to the other is always bad. I would just make sure I wipe off the strings if condensation develops.
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Maybe a mod could move this to the basses forum for me?
  4. Condensation will only be present as long as the bass is warm enough to activate the dewpoint of the current atmosphere. It should dry as fast as it warms up. My glasses do the same thing. BTW, it's possible for this to work the other way too - a hot instrument being brought into a very cold room will gather condensation as well.

    The solution is to let the instrument aclimate slowly to the new temp by keeping it cased for a short while after it's put in the new temperature. Not all day just an hour or so to slowly come up (or down) to temp. I doubt that condensation would be a problem in the heat because your instrument should have warmed enough in the case, in the car, on the way to the gig.