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Keeping amps/cabs in cold places...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by two fingers, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    So, my house is plenty big enough, but the downstairs is not really set up to store a bunch of gear. I'm tripping over the stuff, and my beautiful toddler girls are starting to use my gear as art tables and stuff. I can't really blame them because my gear takes up part of their play room and they are only 1 and 3. And I really don't want to lug my stuff upstairs. Really. I have space in my garage. I'm thinking about putting a couple of heads and a few cabs out there. I live in Eastern NC, so although it gets cold, it's not like Canada or anything. It rarely freezes and when it does it's only for a day or so.

    Any problems here? I understand that I should probably wait a while to fire up an amp that I have brought in from the cold. That's just common sense. But will they get damaged just by being out there?
  2. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Shouldn't be a problem if the temperatures stay within the ranger that you describe. You would want to cover them well I suppose but that's about it.
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I would worry just a little about thieves stealing your stuff and maybe very hot Humid days in the Summer. Also, Rodents & insects.
  4. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    I'd be more worried about dirt, spiders, etc. which is why I cover my amps when keeping them in the garage.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Alarm system and a pest control contract that includes the garage.

    But, yes, we have VERY humid Summers.
  6. Most of my cabinets spend all winter in unheated storage, with overnight temps hitting -20 to -30 C and lower throughout the winter. I've done this for many many years, and never had any issues with it. Electronics (heads) are a different story, but I think in the southern US you should have no concerns regarding "cold".
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I think I know where this is headed:cool:
    A climate controlled Music Studio in the Garage:hyper:
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've kept my stuff in unheated garages for years with no issues.
  9. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Uhhhh...Spiders. They can go straight to hell. Any residing near or in my gear would likely go deaf instantly. Poor bastard..shoulda known better then to go near bass gear.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Cabs and stuff will be no problem. I wouldn't store guitars/basses in those temperatures though. As far as amps and other electronics, it is probably okay, but be sure to give them time to acclimate to room temperature before turning them on.
  11. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Good points all.

    I grew up in Minnesota, obviously cold gear storage isn't a problem or we would've never got to play.

    It isn't the temperature that can damage things, it's condensation that will get to electronics, speaker cones and coils, etc. That comes from going hot/cold/hot/cold, back and forth. Just simply give the stuff a little time to dry out/warm up when you take it somewhere to play. Our gear would arrive at the gig frozen, so we loaded it all in, then went and had a beer while we let it warm up and dry out. Then we'd power everything on, then go have another beer before playing it, letting it come up to temperature fully and knowing everything was dry, warm, and ready to go.

    At the end of the night, we'd load it all back out, leaving anything with a tube in it for last so it had a chance to cool down before going back out in the freezing weather.

    I don't see any problem storing it in the garage. Just give it a little time to acclimate to being indoors again whenever you go play.
  12. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    As Will said, it's the changes in temperature that can cause havoc. Also, there is dry cold like in the mid west and humid cold like in the east. Humidity can be a killer. Cover everything and let it come to room temperature before powering it up.
  13. Although this is sound advise, I live in Canada and keep my main gigging rig in the garage throughout the winter. I have on many occasion loaded in to the venue and powered up my Eden WT400 with D410XLT4 cab both still cold from the -20 winter temp. I knew it wasn't good to do for fear of humidity forming but never had any problems over 12 years of 2-3 night a week gigs.
  14. Billy P

    Billy P

    Sep 26, 2006
    Calgary AB Canada
    I also live in Canada and my rig lives in the back seat of my crew cab year round. No problems in five years of weekly gigs.
    I do let it warm up for 5 mins or so, however.

  15. my car stereo and speakers seem to deal with the cold temps here in MN.... so, yeah...cold weather storage for SS amps and any speakers are fine....
  16. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I think that you guys have just been lucky. Some amps, like those in car systems, are designed and built to take an environmental beating. Most instrument amps aren't. Experience has taught me that it is best not to tempt fate and take precautions if you can.

    In a tube amp for example, a power tube's glass bulb temperature can be over 200 degrees centigrade at its hottest point. The thermal shock in going from minus twenty to operating temp in a short period of time can result in catastrophic failures.
  17. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The amp, cabs, and PA go to gigs in a wooden box in the back of the truck. The basses get to ride up front with me :p I take the gear straight from the truck into the gig and I never worry about it.
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    More than a few people have shattered windows out of their cars backing them out of a heated garage ( let's say 55-60 degrees F ) out into the dead of winter ( say -15 to -20 F ). That's a 70-80 degree temperature change happening in an instant. Glass don't do that.

    Car audio stuff is designed more for weather extremes, and even then, it's inside your car, which more gradually becomes warm...or cold. Your bass doesn't sound too good playing through your car radio.:smug:

    That's not to say MI stuff is super delicate....it's actually pretty durable stuff. Just a few little common sense precautions are needed...that's all.

    So go have a beer and let your gear warm up....it won't kill you.:p
  19. Where I live, the dead of winter can be quite a bit colder than -20F (-30 to -40 is not unheard of) and I have never heard of anything like this. Come to think of it, I've never had any problem with eyeglasses in this regard, either. Hmmm...
  20. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Also, wouldn't most manufacturers warehouses as well as distribution warehouses have minimal temp and humidity control as well as the trucks used to ship?