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Moving a Bass from MI to AZ

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bucephylus, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Moving a good carved instrument from the Great Lakes region to the desert has the obvious issues with humidity. My question is really what are folks doing with instruments down in the Southwest? Do you gradually acclimate them to the low humidity or do you have to keep the Damp-its and humidifers going 24/7?

    Any experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    - pt
  2. Looks like you understand the issue. Once the wood dries out, you're cool. I live in Denver...same deal. Once they get dry, I think they sound better than continued wetness. In other words, i'd use dampits or a humidifier and slowly let the bass dry and acclimate itself to the dryness.
  3. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC

    Thanks very much. That's a big help. Any idea of how long that should take? 6 months, a year?

    - pt
  4. poalf


    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    A couple years ago I brought a new carved Wilfer from LA (Lemur) to Phoenix. When not being played, I kept it in its case with six dampits; never popped a seam, no cracks or any other problem. (Two in the lower holes of the "f" and one in the uppers because a single dampit would fall through the large, lower hole into the bass... I just love shaking the bass over my head to get the dampit close enough to the f-hole to reach it to pull it out.)

    In another thread a few months back there was discussion about how much difference dampits really make. If I remember, the point was that they really can't add enough moisture to a room/house full of dry air to help. My thinking is that with the volume of air inside the case is low enough that they can raise the local humidity. I'm not sure I convinced anyone, or even myself, for that matter. But I've had no problems.

    If it does help you've got to be consistent; I've heard from multiple sources that big swings in humidity are worse than letting it dry out.

    On the other hand, a local string shop has its basses out in an un-humidified show room. He does that on purpose to make sure the instruments are 'stable' before they go out to a customer.

    I'll be getting a new instrument in the next month or so, so we'll see..
  5. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Well, to which part of AZ are you moving? I live in AZ and have for 34yrs. Different parts of AZ are very different. In the Phoenix area because of the canal system it is more humid, so the homes have AC. In the Tucson it is not as humid so alot of the homes use evaporative or "swamp" coolers. If you use a swamp cooler the humidity usually stays at about 40% inside; that is where mine has been for the last three weeks. During the winter you need humidification. Outside the humidity can be anywhere between 80% during the monsoon season (July & August) to 6% at other times. Right now the humidity is 13% here in Sierra Vista, AZ. It is 6% in Tucson, AZ; 9% in Phoenix, AZ. Yes, it really is a dry heat. Room humidifiers work fairly well. Keeping your bass in the bag will usually help the most. I have a carved bass in a large plastic bag I made to help it acclimate. It was delivered to me from LA and I will bring it down very slow, I have cigar humidor humidifiers in the bag along with a hygrometer for monitoring. If your bass is worth a great deal I would consider a hard case. Mostly, you should pray. I am in the process of constructing a climate controlled room for all my instruments. It is hard in the desert. :meh: