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Bass + frigid cold = ???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by odie, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Ok so I suck at math!!

    I have a bass coming to me via snail mail that is part of a bass swap trade. Well its freakin cold out, so its been sitting in a truck or warehouse or plane for at least 10 days.

    I live in Minnesota (been as low as -20 without wind chill) and its coming from TX.

    What will be the condition of this bass when it arrives?? What should I look for?? When will any potential problems show up?? Will it be after a setup or will I see cracking happening in short while??

    It is a Fender Jazz. Help a nervous Jazz owner to be out.
  2. You will almost certainly need a setup. Apart from the climatic variation, everyone's taste in setup is different, so you will quite likely not like the previous owner's setup. I dont think you'll have any physical problems though.
  3. Strings might eb a bit rusty - bridge, tuners too, but I think you cn clean those up easily.

    DO NOT put the bass into heat straight away! That is very liable to mess up the paint job, bring up the temp slowly !

    THEN! POst pix!!

  4. odie

    odie Supporting Member

  5. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City

    What Microbass said. You should avoid temptation to open 'er up and let 'er rip.

    Here's what I do when I receive a bass in sunny tropical Detroit Michigan....

    Put the box as shipped in a warm room in your house. Let it sit overnight. Then open the box. If the bass was shipped in a gig bag, it's probably already to temperature. Have at it. If it was shipped in a hardcase, feel the case. If it's cold to the touch, chances are, so is the bass. Let it sit in the unopened case for a couple hours, then go for it.


  6. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH

    You're telling us that you get a new bass in and you don't even open the box??

    That's crazy talk.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I destroyed the finish on my natural '74 pbass from the cold. It was 25 years ago, so I don't remember the details.

    I agree with the let it warm up slowly routine...

    Good luck, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed!!!
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Does Fender still use Nitrocellulouse laquer finishes?

    If so Ive heard that that type of finish is more prone to finish checking than others. Be careful not to warm up the instrument too quickly, because its the rapid expanding/contracting from temperature chances that causes finish checking.

    Im sure its not good for the neck either.

  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    My uncle managed to crack the nitro finish on his early '70s Les Paul by bringing it in from the cold car to the warm bar in sunny Melrose, MN. Looks like an old oil painting - what do they call that? Crackalure?

    I think poly isn't as sensitive, but I'd still follow the advice of Microbass and malthumb...
  10. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Tis true, tis true, but only in really cold weather. I've seen basses with cracked finishes and don't want it happening to me. I just got a Lakland 55-02 fretless a couple weeks ago. It arrived while I was at work, so it had been in the house for more than 8 hours by the time I got home. I still let it sit in the gig bag for a couple hours before picking it up.


  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    James is right. (I just hope when you open the case that there's not a Hondo in there or something.):eek:
  12. A fellow Minnesotan here...I once saw my guitar player's early 70's Strat develop a large finish crack just opening the case after traveling to a gig here (of course it was -20 and it was in the back of a van for about 2 hours). As almost everybody else said, just warm it slowly and you'll have no problem.
  13. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I live just north of you in Manitoba. I have had problems with neck warpage when you open a case too quickly in this type of cold. I think the suggestion of leaving it overnight is a good one. A minimum of a couple hours at least. After all you just invested cash in this bass.

  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I just received a bass from Texas last week and the setup was perfect for me... low action and great playability. James is right... but I've never waited to open a shipped bass, regardless oif the weather.

    That's right... I live on the edge;)

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