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*Dumb Question* ?? Do you have "Outside" Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OldSchoolBass, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. I will preface this by saying I am a lunatic about my basses. :) I keep my basses in their cases when not in use - never take them outside unless they are in the case... Got a bass one time thru a friend, who did not have a case, and wrapped the thing up in a blanket like a newborn and took it home.. :smug: If it is steamy hot, I run the air in the car - NEVER leave it in the car, and when I transport from one temp to another, the bass stays in the case until the temp evens out... Must have hardshell case - hate gig bags.. (yep, men in the white coats are coming down the hall...)


    Anyway, we usually play indoor gigs. But next month we are playing two outdoor shows. Quite honestly I am nervous using my basses and cabinets outside. I would rather rent a cabinet and use that, as well as a cheap bass.

    Yes, I know - there are plenty of outdoor shows played by pros and ams all summer (even other seasons) but most pros have multi basses at their disposal - I don't have that luxury should something go wrong....

    Wrong? I guess I am worried about the heat - humidity - and the other elements.. Neck warpage - I guess basses are more solid than I give them credit for?

    Hi, my name is NUT - nice to meet you. :scowl:
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    My Kubicki has a neck like a rock, doesn't move, and the temperatures round here don't really worry me. If it gets used outdoors, so be it, but I keep it out of the rain!
  3. I refuse to play in direct sun. No shade = No play.

    Other than that, if you allow your instrument to acclimate slowly vs. the shock of going from an air conditioned room to outdoor Phoenix, you will be fine.

    IMO, it is more important to acclimate when bringing the instrument from the cold into a warm environment. Condensation is a big problem, and also finish checking.

    I suspect a hard shell case allows faster acclimation than a gig bag. I own several Levy bags, and they are heavily padded (read: insulated).
  4. JBFLA

    JBFLA Roscoe FANatic

    Apr 8, 2003
    Jupiter FLA
    I play outdoors a lot here in S.FLA, mostly ocean-side tiki bars and private parties.

    I have a '78 'Ray that was showing signs of corrosion on the metal bits that were becoming harder to keep nice, so I bought a '97 'Ray to use when I am outside.

    I love my '78 'Ray, and my daughter has laid claim to it when/if I stop playing. She told me she would dis-own me if anything happened to it.
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works

    I take all of my basses everywhere, with no consideration of the conditions they are being exposed to. Hot, cold, humid, rainy, indoors, outdoors .... doesn't matter to me one bit. Skanky bar, country club, recording studio, somebody's back yard, whatever .... they get used in all kinds of conditions.

    To date, not one bass has suffered any ill effects from my treatment of them, and that's regardless of price or brand. To me, they are working tools to get me paid, so they better be prepared to go where I go to play. Don't get me wrong, I try really hard to care properly for them and protect them as best possible, but the bottom line is that they get played a lot and eventually they start to show some wear and tear from very consistent play ... ;)

    My main basses look like they've been played, a lot of funk on them and some residual damage from headstock shots and bumps. I guess the reason vintage/relic basses have almost no appeal to me is that I make them vintage/relic'd just by playing them .... :cool:

    As I said above, though, I'm probably not the best example to follow ... :help:
  6. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I take good care of my basses; a few of them would be impossible to replace, so I pay attention. But they're basses. They're not that easy to really damage - unless you're trying to NOT damage them, heh heh.

    I've done a ton of outdoor shows in Dallas in the summer - some even in direct sunlight, Bruce! - and have been careful to keep the basses in the shade during breaks, but I've yet to experience any problems. (Wipe the salt crust off after the show!)

    I can see you're a little anal about things, but isn't it worth it to play YOUR basses through YOUR rig? It is to me.
  7. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    My main bass is a Steinberger XL2; inside, outside, the bass don't care. I need some shade though, else my incredibly sexy persona is potentally damaged by sweating like a fat pig.
  8. Next on my list is a set of basses I can use in dubious and dangerous places.

    Cheap basses with some decent electronics put into them. They may not sound completely the same as my best basses, but its worth it IMO to have a bass for this purpose.
  9. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Me, too, but that's because of a case of heat exhaustion I once got from playing on an unshaded stage in the Texas summertime. Never again.
  10. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    For summer band practice, I had to keep my bass outside for about 4 hours every day M-F in extreme heat (95+). Then, every morning before school, I had to take it outside again from about 6 AM to about 8:20 or so. Again, it was subject to about 100% humidity and extreme temperatures differences (40-90F). The bass was perfectly fine, but the strings... I had to get flatwounds so I wouldn't have broken strings too often. This year, I'm going to use my 6 string, which is my best bass in terms of quality. I'm a bit nervous about it, but if you're going to use your custom basses outside, then I won't worry.
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    +1. I was wanting to take my new Sadowsky on a trip down to Georgia, to my parents' house on the lake. In previous years, I would mail out one of my favorite basses in advance so I'd have something to play there. However, the humidity is around 90% some days there, and the neck on one or two of my cheaper basses has moved quite a bit as a result of the change, and took a while to settle down, bugging the heck out of me.

    This year, I'm just taking my Steinberger XL-2 on the plane with me. It's the ultimate travel bass -- heat and humidity are irrelevant.
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Yep. I saw a guitar in a stand get blown over at an outdoor gig years ago. My rapidly approaching "CLASSIC status" Rickenbacker will never see another outdoor gig. Last winter I bought a beatup Mark Hoppus signature P-Bass. One volume pot for controls and one PUP. Sounds like a great combo for a war club. It's already beat to hell, so I don't have to worry about that. A big plus is that with flats on it, it sounds absolutely phenomenal!!
  13. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    Here in Texas, many venues have outdoor stages. Most are night time places, so the sun issue never comes up. Still, you sweat all over whatever you're playing. I detest playing in open sunlight, but it must be done sometimes like at festivals....etc. My basses are there for me to make money with & anywhere I go, they go. Yeah I keep 'em clean & never leave them in a car, but if I can take the heat onstage so can they....period. Heck, I used to live in Hawaii & almost all the parties & clubs we played were not only outside, but on the beach. If you want to make a great living, sell bass & guitar strings in Hawaii.
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've played close to a dozen outdoor gigs this summer. I really don't worry too much about playing outdoors. As already posted, I prefer that there's adequate shade and I try to allow my bass to acclimate by not immediately pulling it out of it's case.
  15. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I find it interesting when people worry intensely about any minor thing happening or that 'could' possibly happen to their basses, then right beside them are so many people who are jonesing to beat the living hell out of instrument to give it character and mojo.

    Curious if any of those people are actually the same people. Beat the living hell out an instrument to relic it, then baby the hell out of it so it doesn't get hurt or damaged. :)

    On topic: I've never had anything hurt by sun, heat, cold, wet, humidity, etc. Played tons during my early years in the midwest during both 100+ degree summer and -20 or coloder winters. Bass so hot you could barely touch the strings in the summer, and bass coming out of spending a week in a cold bus in winter and opened up by some over-zealous friend and the bass actually frosting up. Never a warp. Never a check to finish or crack. At that time I was playing good old Peavey Dyna-basses and an Ibby Roadstar. Both of them scoffed at the elements and i gave them every opportunity to fail me.

    I probably wouldn't willingly subject my gear to that much outright abuse now, but I'd still expect gear to perform. Especially gear that's designed to be quality and payed much higher dollar amounts for.

    Just me.
  16. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    I've left a few of my basses in the car through sub-freezing temps and scorching temps. No problems to speak of besides some oxidation on the screws on the pick ups.

    I would be more concerned about leaving electronics in unregulated temps. Quirky stuff happens.

    Humidity would be a problem if it was, say, raining.
  17. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    personally I wouldn't worry...........if a bass can't withstand a couple outdoor gigs I would question the quality of the bass.
  18. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    It's not a dumb question.

    I play all my basses.
    Sunlight has never been a problem.

    What I look out for is moistness.
    Fog is a big problem. I live on a island.
    If I have say, and outdoor party, or wedding.
    I will bring a double gig bag.
    One good bass, one cheap'o for bad weather.
  19. I don't leave my bass in the car. Apart from that I'm not to fussy. I would play outdoor gigs if I had the opportunity (and it wasn't too cold!). I do leave it in the case when I'm not playing it too.
  20. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    If you can stand the temperature, so can your bass. Just be careful with overheating it (leaving it in the car, as an example) and let it acclimate.

    Dan K.

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