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Cold storage question

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by JC JC, May 11, 2010.

  1. I have a 100 year old german bass that I never play.
    I want to move it downstairs to my basement office as a showpiece. However, my basement can be quite cold.
    I have a heater that I turn on when I'm down here, so the temperature fluctuation can be relatively large (between about 15-25 degrees Celcius?)

    Will the colder temperature damage my bass?
    What about the temperature fluctuation?

    Note: I live in Calgary Alberta, and it is very dry here.
  2. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Sounds like a very uncontrolled climate down there in the basement. Think about it......shrinking and expanding wood......imagine hearing the sound of snap, crackle, pop, as you yer bass self destructs.:bawl:

    Rule of thumb **could** be that if you wouldn't want to live in the environment, your bass probably won't do so well either.
  3. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    I see it as this... If you are physically uncomfortable with the temp, then so is your bass. If the humidity level in the room drops below 35% then you run the risk of the wood cracking. Using the bass as a show piece is nice ( de-tune it ) but not worth it if you are putting it into a potentially dangerous environment. If you keep a humidifier down there that would help but you need to get a separate hygrometer that will tell you the humidity level of the room. That means you have to check the read out every time you go down there.
    When was in high school I asked my parents not to put my old bass in my bedroom because it got way too cold and dry there. When I came back from college and unpacked my bass the back was cracked in 3 different places. Why? Because they stored it in my bedroom like I asked them not to.
    If you have a nice bass that you never play, think about finding some one that might play it and pay attention to it enough so that they would make sure it stays in a safe, well humidified environment. The cost of repairs these days are just way to high to take the risk.
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1. This is exactly the thought I had. Unless the bass holds some special sentimental value that leads you to want to have it near you (e.g., belonged to a dear, departed family member), it would be nice to find a needy and deserving player.
  5. I love that idea...and I don't mind being put out like that, you know. I can help in a pinch. Too bad I live in the South.
  6. I know that Regina is about 750 km away, but maybe you can do some sort of trade + cash with this guy?


    If you want a show piece, that broken bass plus a lot of elbow grease can be made into some kind of good looking art work that is not a playing instrument. Your bass can be sold for some good money as a playing instrument to a player.

    Also, about the idea of a showpiece, would it not be better in a place where guests easily see it, where it can be shown off? Ie. ground floor living room, rather than basement?

    Just some ideas..
  7. I'll take it off your hands and keep it nice and comfortable in sunny Louisville :p
  8. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    JC-Squared, how long has it been stored in the current manner you describe? If it's been stored that way for a long time and it's stable, I'd hesitate to mess with it. Particularly if you are inexpert in understanding the health of the bass.

    Introducing a bunch of humidity into a stable equation -- where there is only theoretical danger and no actual evidence of harm -- may be making things more hazardous, not less. Could be you need it, but it is by no means a slam-dunk decision. (Oh, BTW, it's humidity and your bass' relationship to it you need to be concerned with, not so much temperature as such.)

    Folks who live in eastern North America live in a MUCH more humid and fluctuating environment than folks such as yourself, living on the high plains and Rocky Mtn foothills. Sure it's dry where you live, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You're looking for your bass having a safe and stable relationship with its environment.

    You need some advice from Paul Warburton, or any of our Colorado readership. Where's our Montana guy?
  9. The same thing again from alotta knowledgeable people here @TBDB.
    Humidity and lack thereof is not an enemy. It's the radical change from humid to dry. Humidify your bass for 24 hours a day, day in and day out and go outside in 90o dry heat for a four hour gig.....Kapowee. I was a bass broker here in Colorado. Bass would come from the coast I'd put a dampit in and slowly wean the bass off to the dryness here. That's it. I've never owned a humidifier and never will.
    I feel my basses sound better dry rather than wet, as well.

    EDIT: To be clear, once the bass is stable the dampit goes back in the drawer.
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...and dat's da woid.

    Thanks Paul.
  11. Damon, it's your woid too.
    We brilliant. :hyper:
  12. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    How well is the space insulated?

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