Not keeping my bass in a case....

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by martybernal, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. martybernal

    martybernal Guest

    Sep 7, 2004
    Shawnee Kansas
    Here's my question. I use a gig bag for my bass, I don't have a hard shell case or a case with a neck support in it. The gig bag works best for me, especially in small places that I can just fold the bag up and out of the way. But when I am not using my bass I wonder if the neck is not getting the proper support when just laying flat. The gig bag I am using has no insert or neck block to support the neck. My bass is kept in my basement which is dry and mostly cool all year round. I have a GS-200 ultimate guitar stand that I wonder if I should be leaving my bass on it and that would it better for the neck? My concern is obviously the neck bowing or just getting out of adjustment. What's been your experience?
  2. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    My basses are almost always in a hard case or on a stand. I have a couple gig bags I use occasionally, but the bass never stays in it. I also never lean my basses against amps, tables, walls...
  3. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    i suppose i would recommend keeping all basses in a hardshell case with a humidifier... especially vintage or valuable ones. dry can be bad for instruments...
  4. Well, I live in a dry State. Does it mean my basses are going to age badly compared to if I lived, say, in Tennessee?
  5. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    well i live in western new york, one of the worst places with astronomical humidity fluctuations (the winter being as dry as it gets). i've heard people say that they've had no problems with dryness over many years and i've heard horror stories of cracking wood... so i keep my starfire in it's hard case and a home-made humidifier (soapdish and a sponge). i haven't experienced this type of damage first-hand so i can't really say for sure. i just know i never plan to find out:)
  6. droskobass


    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal, Canada
    Former Part-Time, Non-Commission Employee MOOG Audio
    no "neck support" will do anything to perevent neck bow. necks bow when the dry out (in heated appartments in winter) and the flatten out when they get humid and swell(rainy summers).

    I live in quebec and yes I have to adjust my truss rods twice a year... spring and fall. in winter the humidity goes down to zero and in summer up to 100%.

    I keep my basses in the case or gig bag if possible but this won't prevent the necks from moving...

    the main benefit to keeping your bases in cases is just keeping dust and bacon grease off the strings and fingerboards. your strings will last up to 3 times longer if you wipe your bass down and put it away. an trick of muine is to lay my bass face-down on my bed or sofa so that the strings aren't exposed to dust or smog in the air (I live right downtown montreal)...

    you could humidify your apartment but it's a hastle and a health risk (bacteria breeding in the water) and as soon as you take your bass out on a gig the neck will move anyway...(throwing out your action and intonation).

    last option is to look at a composite neck...Moses, Status, Modulus, Vigier, 80's steinbergers...these necks are immune to humidity changes.

    Good luck and remeber that all bases are adjustable so a neck bow doesn't mean that your instrument is ruined.. it just needs a set up.
  7. bassninja7

    bassninja7 Guest

    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH

    i would not worry about your bass not having neck support.

    at a show? playing your bass?

    if your worried about a gig bag not giving it sup. i highly doubt your hand on the back of the neck while playing is gunna help.

    it neck IS made to have tension on it (ie, the strings)
    ill be fine.

    now if your worried about it getting steeped on?
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I would recommend picking up an inexpensive (TKL) hard case and storing the bass in it. By preference, I'd lay the case flat or leave it upright.

    I don't think it's a huge deal, but I would prefer not to leave a bass leaning against something in a gig bag...that would exert a slight amount of pressure on the neck.
  9. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
  10. BobNormal-KingK

    BobNormal-KingK Guest

    Jan 14, 2009
    Hartlepool UK
    The only thing I'd worry about hard case vs gig bag is during transport, My Burns Bison had a "incident" in the back of the van, now the finger board has lifted off the neck at the nut..
    If your wanting a cheap solution to this kinda issue, Invest in some bungees, We've taken to tying all the bands guitars and my basses into a kinda (intelligently done not throw together) bundle with bungees, and then secured them to a hardpoint in the van.

    With regards to ambient pressure on necks from leaning or being on stands.. Its all save able with a tweek on your truss rod, wood is stronger than some realise ;p

    The temperature and humidity problems will be more annoying than worrying about if standing your bass there will be bad for it.. Try keep your instruments the same temp as you, ie at room temps, and you'll be fine!!!
  11. Bass_Bear

    Bass_Bear Guest

    Jun 4, 2008
    Ottawa, Ontario
    With this whole question in mind, is a stand SIGNIFICANTLY better than the hard shell case? I recently bought a bass and have a hardcase for it, but considering how often I pick it up, I leave it out on the stand most of the time. Should I put it back in the case every time or is it going to be okay on the stand?

  12. bass player 48

    bass player 48 Guest

    Nov 17, 2008
    I agree with droskobass - a case or gig bag is more about keeping the bass clean. A hard case offers more protection inside the van than a gig bag does.

    Do not forget - your 4 string bass has something like 140 lbs of pressure or tension or whatever pulling the nut toward the bridge. (the combined tension of the 4 strings on average)

    Your bass, hopefully, weighs WAY under 15 pounds - and you're not talking about putting all of it's weight on it when you lean it in the corner... Just a fraction of that.

    So, how does the 4 or 5 lbs of pressure you put on the neck by leaning it against something compare to the 140 lbs of pressure the strings put on the neck - kind of like a flea on a dogs hind end.

    Don't worry about it. Just play it and get a set up as needed.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I neck-hang all of mine with ACE hardware padded U-brackets screwed into a strip of oak mounted on the wall. The whole setup cost me about $40...


  14. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    If you plan to gig the bass for a long time, its worth investing in a hardshell case.

    My 35 yr old Fender bass looks pretty new. But the case looks badly reliced. I assume that, if I didn't have that case, then the bass would look reliced, too.
  15. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    It's a good idea to place something under the neck of your bass if you're going to leave it lying flat. I would just use the guitar stand, if I were you. Regarding your soft case - if you are able to "fold" it, it probably isn't a good case. Look for something with some beefy padding and pay attention to the bottom of the case. Most cases do not have sufficient padding at the base (I always throw a t-shirt or two into the case). I love the Sadowsky semi-hard cases, but I'm not sure if your bass would fit (I'm not familiar with the model you have). Like Droscobass, I too live in Montreal. For me, having a humidifier is essential. Not only is it better for my basses, it prevents the soundboard on my piano from cracking due to dryness.