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How bad is heat for a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phaneo, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    I live in Texas and we are gigging all the time. I have my bass in the back of my truck all the time lately. It's hot here, close to 100 degrees and it's probably hotter in the back of my truck with the camper shell on it. Anyone know if this could damage my bass? Thanks
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    It's not good for it, that's for sure, although the main problems would probably be tuning/intonation. I think long periods in a really hot vehicle is just not good for anything, really. I'd try to avoid such a situation as much as possible, if I were you.

    Of course, my carbon-fiber Steinberger XL-2 has absolutely no wood in it, and would be fine, and almost certainly still in tune, but NO WAY would I leave my new Lakland in a car on a hot day. It's just not worth the risk.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    You'd almost have a pretty good concern over any/all electornics in that kind of heat. That'd be the death of them pretty quickly.

  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I asked Roger Sadowsky about that when FedEx had kind of lost track of my bass and it was sitting in some God forsaken warehouse In the deep south....he didn't seem to think it was a concern. The wood is fine and aparently the temperatures it takes to delaminate the fretboard are beyond what will normally occur.

    I do find it tought on the strings though. Seems like that kind of heat will really suck the life out of them
  5. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    In order to start glue joints coming apart you are going to have to get that bass up to about 275 F. Don't ask me how I know but this is from personal experience with an oven. 2 hours at 275F and it still took a heat gun to get any glue joints apart.
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Or do what I did and learn the hard way (twice). :(

    When in doubt, do not leave a bass in a hot or cold vehicle.
  7. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I live in Austin and last summer I left a bass in my van for a couple months. It obviously wasn't one I play but I eventually thought I'd dig it out. It was/is perfectly fine. It's a 70s Ibanez.
  8. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    Living in Wisconsin we have the opposite. Many years ago one cold January night, our guitar player left his '74 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe out in his car overnight when it was -20. This guitar was only about a year old at the time (red sparkle finish, very rare...and he still has it). Anyway, without thinking he brought it in from outside and opened the case immediately. Instant finish checking!! You could practically see the cracks forming. It wasn't funny at the tiime, but it is now. Rule #1 one in Wisconsin....let your guitar sit for awhile before you open it if it's been out in cold weather.
  9. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I'm in Houston. My bass is in my car right now. I have a gig tonight and I'm not worried a bit. I leave it in there all the time. It is a Status Retro-Active 'J' with a graphite neck though. Would I do this with a wood neck bass? Probably not, at least not on a continual basis.
  10. Theshortlist_to


    Apr 20, 2005

    :D :D :D


    Showing off are we?
  11. I live in Dallas and I have never had a bass with anything other than a wood body, neck, and FB. That being said, I have left my basses in my car on many many occations and never had a problem. Most of them never even went out of tune. My band also had a trailer that was all black. We would leave our gear in there all day when we would do festival type shows. Not a single one of us has ever had a single problem with a single piece of gear because of the heat.
  12. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    We've had a few nights like that over in Rochester, luckily I didn't have to take my bass outside anywhere.

    I would imagine that excessive heat would have some effect on an instrument but problems are more likley to occur if you also have high humidity(another problem we have out here).
  13. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    Unless we're talking about REAL extremes, the dangerous thing is sudden temperature changes, as peabody attested to.
  14. jazzblade


    Jun 21, 2005
    Northern Cal
    Never leave your bass anywhere you wouldn't leave your kids... Period!
  15. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Wood is an elasitc material and will react to changes in temp by expanding and contracting. I think you have to be concerned about quick changes in temp more than anything.

    I actually saw a friend of mine his Music Man StringRay in the truck during a very cold winter spell in the northeast. He brought the bass out of the truck into the warm club and when he opened the case the finish cracked in an alligator pattern before our eyes. Ouch!

    I would say if the bass has been baking at 175 degrees in your truck leave it in the case for an hour before opening it to air conditioned 70 degree air. Let it change temp slowly. Else, let us know if the finish cracks.
  16. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    A hot car is in fact pretty harmful for any stringed instrument. Wood glue is very responsive to heat and there are many cases with acoustic instruments that the bridges will simply release from excessive heat ina car. I would try not to keep an instrument in a car during the summer or winter. Lacquer cold checks when brought in from a cold car to a warm house. anyway i would try to keep the instruments out of the heat
  17. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I'm sure that most acoustics are constructed using hide glue... I'm not sure but I would think they are. Anyway, like I said above, I had a bass body in an oven at 275F in an attempt to get a glue joint to release. After that it took a couple of hot knives and a heat gun to even get the joints to budge. I think that one an electric instrument that is properly constructed the glue joints releasing in a car shouldn't be a big problem. From what I've read the temperature inside a car on a typical hot day is gonna be in the neighbourhood of 125F, maybe 150F if it's really hot. I'd be more concerned with cracking from cold, but I've had the Dingwall here in Saskatoon in the car at -40C and then into a club (no choice on it) and there isn't a single crack in the finish. It is a polyester finish, and I don't really know how that compares with a nitro or lacquer finish, but that's my experience. It's possible that I'm not leaving it out there long enough given that wood is a pretty good insulator. Who knows. I certainly won't recommend doing it though. Now I'm thinking of some sort of pawn shop bass experiment.
  18. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Busted. My DJ5 arrived yesterday and I can barely type from the carpal tunnel I'm feeling from last night's mega-session. I'll post pics next week.

    Still love the 'berger, though, despite what folks here think about it being out of style. It's great for traveling -- took it right off a cold airplane into the Georgia heat in July -- no problems.
  19. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I leave my basses in my SUVa lot. It's usually parked either in the garage or in the shade so it doesn't get too hot inside. Usually not more than the outside temperature.

    I would think that the electronics in a bass are at least as good as the electronics in a car, so that doesn't concern me at all. The wood should be able to stand the heat also. The only concerns to me would be the glue and the finish.

    I've had a P bass for years that has been left in much harsher conditions than anything that I own today and it has no problems at all.
  20. Amen! As long as you keep that bad boy in a good quality hardshell case and let the whole package "acclimate" before you open her up....but as with anything, a little common sense goes a long way....whenever at all possible, err on the side of caution and take it with you!