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NBD and cold weather

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jaycat, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Jaycat


    Sep 8, 2018
    Hey, so I pulled the trigger on a Les Paul Jr Tribute bass. It's supposed to arrive Saturday. The forecast is for a tropical 28 degrees. It's coming UPS from Missouri, the temp there is a whopping 6 degrees at this moment.

    I have experience with receiving acoustic instruments in the winter, the wisdom is to let them sit for at least 12 hours in the box, then 12 hours in the case, then let 'er rip. What say you as regards a solid-body bass? How long til I can open up the box?

    scottm and thisheregiraffe like this.
  2. If it were me, I'd be opening the box the moment I got it in the door :roflmao: But I am curious to see what people with more expert opinions have to say about your question.
    smtp4me, timmo97, aarjamson and 5 others like this.
  3. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Annotation 2020-02-13 092152.png

    This topic has been covered extensively on Talkbass....
    StayLow, digmeout, lermgalieu and 2 others like this.
  4. If you open the box and the bass implodes, just return it.

    Any quality instrument should be able to handle temperature extremes, short of sub-arctic ~50 below zero stuff~ temps., with no problem.

    That is much of what tuning keys, truss rods and adjustable bridges are designed for. ;)

    What, are you never going to play an gig outside in the blazing summer heat, or in a freezing warehouse, basement or club?

    Its just a tool, a lovely one, but a tool nonetheless.
    Dr. Cheese, shadven and scottm like this.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    My lunch defrosts in much less time than that.

    I think you'd be good in an hour.

    A bunch of years back I got a Stingray on a freezing day. I opened right up. It hazed over. I got scared. I shut the case. I opened it again about 20 minutes later. The bass fine. Cold still.... but fine.
    Dr. Cheese, Element Zero, MCF and 2 others like this.
  6. vid1900


    Dec 12, 2019
    Bass with lacquer finishes often have a sticker warning you to leave it in the unopened box for 24 hours if shipped in cold weather.
  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    If temperatures are extremely cold outside, I would open the top of the box and let it sit for an hour or two. I would probably guess there wouldn't be a problem for your typical solid body bass as you would encounter with an acoustic instrument or a vintage bass with a delicate finish, and this would be playing it safe.
    HOWEVER I have reason to be a little paranoid. Some years ago, we had a polar vortex, extremely cold weather outside, and my Amazon purchase, an el cheapo $100 Stingray clone arrived.
    I didn't think about it, opened the box, and while the bass was still encased in that thin Styrofoam wrapping...I heard something cracking inside! The sound of walking on thin ice. After removing the wrapping, I inspected the bass and sure enough there was what looked like a bubble on the finish on the back of the bass where the finish separated from the body of the bass, and that had cracked. You could literally peel the finish away from the bass from that spot. Now I don't know if the finish was flawed to begin with, and made it that much more vulnerable to damage from extreme cold temperature, I can't really say, but let's just say, terrible finish on a cheap bass plus polar vortex temperature is not a good thing.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    Garret Graves likes this.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    An hour or two is enough for a solid body, imho. Longer adjustment times would be appropriate for fragile hollow acoustic instruments.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    As somebody who lives in an actually cold environment (;) :D), I can tell that is a lot of hog wash. We're talking about a poly finished, solid body, instrument here. There will be no issues to open the case freezing. It is nitro instruments that have checking issues. Even then, you bring the box inside to warm up, maybe an hour if you're paranoid. Then you pull the case, give it some time with the room, crack the latches, wait another 15-20 minutes, and then you are good to go. The whole process takes maybe 1-2 hours, tops. And that is coming in from -30-40.
  10. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Oh dang, you do live in a friggin' cold place! lol You win.
    roccobass and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  11. Jamarvic


    Aug 5, 2009
    This...exact what I did yesterday!
    DiabolusInMusic and funkinbottom like this.
  12. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I'm the same way. Package arrives, it gets opened now.
    Dr. Cheese and thisheregiraffe like this.
  13. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    waiting is highly overrated
  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I've bought several guitars and basses in the winter and never waited to open the box. IMO, a guitar or a bass that cannot survive such a transition is not worth keeping.
    thisheregiraffe likes this.
  15. vid1900


    Dec 12, 2019
    Leo says:

    Koog and Guzzi Toad like this.
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I’ve got an MIM j that lived in a gig bag in an uninsulated van and came out for temp extremes or gut bucket clubs. In over a year of that it never once failed to work. Set in a stand on stage for 20~30 minutes then tune it up and go.
    Spidey2112 and Indiana Mike like this.
  17. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
  18. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Here are a couple posts I made to another thread some time ago:

    Jaycat likes this.
  19. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I had an 08 AmStd P5 delivered 7 years ago (almost to the day). It was so cold then, below zero almost the whole week. Gave it an hour or two and it has been my main player ever since. Just changed the chromes that were on it at the time a month or so ago! For no particular reason.
  20. fakeneckplate'65

    fakeneckplate'65 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    Columbus, OH
    I think there's little enough lacquer on those, that I doubt the cold temperature has much of an effect.

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