Preparing instruments for international relocation.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BAG, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I'm moving overseas in December and would like some advice about how I should prepare my basses and acoustic guitars for the move.

    The packing side isn't an issue as they will be using packing inside the cases to avoid the instruments moving, protective packing on the outside of the case and putting them in the container in such a way as to avoid anything heavy falling on or pushing against them during shipping.

    Should I loosen strings and ease off the truss rod or just leave everything at pitch? I'm leaning towards leaving them as is (I assume that's the way they get shipped from the factory) but was wondering what others think.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Changes in temperature and humidity could result in the tuning going up or down by as much as 3 or 4 half steps (in extreme conditions).

    If you have instruments that would likely be damaged by that change happening over a few hours or days then you should detune a bit. Maybe a whole step. Leave the rod as is.

    If it was me I wouldn't be concerned about a sturdy solid body, but I would detune my acoustics by a couple of half steps just in case.

    I would be more wary of rapid temperature changes. Those can cause cracking in finishes.
  3. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    You'll also need to figure out if you need CITES documentation to get your instruments all the way there. Otherwise they may end up in a government warehouse for a long time or forever.
  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I'd slack the strings & loosen the truss rods. You don't know what sort of temperatures those containers are going to experience for long durations.
    If they're tuned up there will be a divergence in the expansion & contraction of the strings vs. the wood & then bad things can happen.

    If the necks get bowed up by the extra tension & stay in that situation for a long time, it can't be good for them.
  5. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Yeah, i'm not too concerned about the basses and electric guitar. Being bolt-on necks even the heat shouldn't be a real problem but the acoustic guitars i'll loosen off a bit, particularly the 12 string. Being packed in their cases inside the container any changes in temp and humidity should be gradual.

    Didn't think of that and i'm now reading up on it. As far as I can see, as they're personal instruments and will be in a container of household goods I should be fine but i'm going to look into it a bit more.
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Luckily for you none of them are made from woods that are applicable. Isn't that a great coincidence?
    BAG likes this.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    That's never stopped them from being confiscated, however.
  8. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Yep, every one of them has a maple fretboard..... every... single... one!
    lz4005 likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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