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Is cold weather bad for speaker cabinets?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mulder7, Dec 8, 2017.


  1. Mulder7

    Mulder7

    May 4, 2017
    How bad is it to subject your cab to cold temperatures? Say, leaving it the back of my pickup truck for a couple nights? (The back is covered) It's going to be a cold, snowy weekend here in Massachusetts. Just wondering if the cold and moisture is bad for the speakers.
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Remember, these cabs get shipped in unheated trucks all the time.

    Excessive moisture is more of an issue. The main thing is to give it time to heat back up gradually.
     
    HolmeBass, MrLenny1, Kro and 5 others like this.
  3. Might be bad if you play it cold.
    I'd suggest letting it get up to room temp before applying your awesomeness.
     
  4. Mulder7

    Mulder7

    May 4, 2017
    I would just bring it inside, but I'm going to be traveling all weekend. Plus it's an 8x10 cab, not always easy to move in and out lol. I might wrap it up in a big blanket just for good measure
     
  5. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Touring bands leave their gear in trailers, then load it for a gig. Depending on the time of year, you never know the weather, or the temperature inside the venue. I've never had an issue, none of my bandmates have had an issue. Sometimes you load a cold cab on stage with 20 min before you need to play... it happens, and they've always survived from my perspective.
     
  6. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    I'd be more worried about theft. Throw a deer carcass or something over it and you'll be fine. :cigar:
     
  7. Skeptismo

    Skeptismo

    Sep 5, 2011
    Washington
    Moisture is the killer. If you think it might be overly moist in there (not dripping of course), stick an open bag of (unused man, gross) cat litter in the cargo area.
     
    Mulder7, Steve-Mo, shodan and 4 others like this.
  8. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    After a lifetime in sound and lighting I can answer pretty definitively. They don't care. I've had gear in badly heated warehouses, in trucks at -20, outside on loading docks for hours. They come thru every time. Cables, on the other hand, cannot be unwrapped frozen. The rubber insulation can break, and crack off. I ruined a few VERY expensive snakes over the years trying to lay them frozen. Let them warm to room temp. I always let amps warm a bit first to avoid condensation. My sub zero routine, open all the cases, but don't disturb for half an hour.
    Your bass cab can freeze, but to be safe, give it some defrost time inside before firing up.
     
    armybass, Mulder7, Pbassmanca and 5 others like this.
  9. You have most assuredly to allow your gear to warm up to room temperature before use. Most especially speaker cones and their surrounds. A cold surround is liable to crack and break. This I know from experience.
     
    Pbassmanca, Lvjoebass and HolmeBass like this.
  10. After you bring it in, the blanket would insulate it and it would take more time to get up to room temp.
    If you don't want to play it right away, then no problemo with the blanket.
    Insulation usually works best when there is a source of heat or cold to keep in or out.
    Since cabs are cold blooded creatures and don't generate heat, the blanket won't really do much.

    But if you had a warmed up cab that you had to transport to a gig on a cold day, the blanket would help during transport and maybe allow the cab to get back up to playing temp quicker once you arrive at the gig and remove the blanket.
    Plus the blanket will help protect the cab during transport.

    I do however agree that such an awesome rig as that should be kept wrapped up for "feels good to do it" reasons.
     
    gkbass13, Mulder7 and maxmaroon like this.
  11. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    i would worry much more about the head being cold. i let my tube amps get up to room temp before turning them on.
     
    Mulder7 and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  12. What they all said. Remember that we have speakers, a radio and other electronics in our cars and they go through 100+ heat and well below freezing for years with very little to no issues.
     
    bassomane, armybass, Mulder7 and 7 others like this.
  13. After the first phase of the on-the-road period of my life, ALL of my equipment sat in an unheated storage unit with the exception of my guitars. 1983 to 1985 and when it came out of hiding, all was well.
     
  14. I've left my share of speakers in the back of vans/cars/boats (yes, boats!) over night and over weekends.

    Letting it get up to room temp first is sort of an unwritten rule of the road.

    Now, about getting crappy MDF/fiber-board/carpeted cabs wet and NOT drying them out. That is a whole other story...
     
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  15. If you are leaving your cab in an un-heated situation, be sure that the cab is up, off the ground and that air can flow around and below it. Condensation can be a female dog.
    I leave my 6x10 in my garage year round. It's up on a couple of 2x4's allowing air to circulate. No issues...
    Fishheadjoe
     
    Pbassmanca and Killed_by_Death like this.
  16. A blanket will have zero effect on the temperature the cabinet will be subjected to.

    Its not like a warm body where a blanket helps to retain heat.
     
    quickfix and HolmeBass like this.
  17. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Try to give it time to warm up, but exposure to cold weather by itself won't hurt your cab.
     
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  18. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I'm actually not so sure about that. The main issue with temperature (aside from condensation) is very fast temp changes. A blanket will actually slow the heating or cooling of anything that is covered IMO.
     
    Pbassmanca, alesreaper9 and Jim C like this.
  19. And in the old days those car radios even had tubes, and they survived normal use.
     
    quickfix and alesreaper9 like this.
  20. maxmaroon

    maxmaroon

    Oct 25, 2010
    New England
    I'm in MA and often leave my cab in my vehicle and have never had an issue (gigging for 25 yrs). I agree with letting it get to room temp before you play through it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017

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