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Storing your bass - daily routine

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Funkateer, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I wouldn't dream of hanging my handmade Brune classical guitar, or storing it anywhere else but inside its hardshell case, but I see pricey electric basses (mostly solid body) hanging everywhere. Are solid-body basses really that resistant to the effects of air/temperature change on wood? Or is this really only an issue for acoustic instruments made from thinner pieces of wood that can dry out and crack?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Will be interesting to see what the resident luthiers have to say. I hang everything on the wall and the only reason I'd stick something in the case is to protect it from incidental contact. Most instruments I've seen are suprisingly impervious to actual damage from climate unless it's an abrupt change or lengthy exposure to extremely arid or humid conditions. For solidbody's the neck is the only area I know to experience any noticeable changes. And with graphite necks you can nix that with rare exception.

    But I'm sure someone will have a story to tell.
  3. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    I've got a one year old child running (well crawling so far!) around here...in the case my basses go :cool:
  4. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Where I live, there are not much daily changes in moisture. Temperature indoors of course is basically the same all the time. In the winter time it is very dry and in autumn it can be extremely moist. I don't believe storing a bass in case helps in any way as the moisture changes will eventually get into the case also. At least when the bass is being played.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Ahhhh. Well, I'd pick out a closet and a deadbolt then.


    "Them little critters is smarter than a racoon." (Jed Clampet)
  6. ratgeek


    Oct 5, 2002
    I like to keep my basses on the wall but I would like to know if this will have any impact on my neck, not thinking about weather and temp. I like to keep my action consistantly low and from time to time notice some change. could this be from the wall mounts or some other issue?
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    The string tension has more impact on the neck than hanging from a wall ever could - unless it drops of course. I've made a small mantel, shelf, support (whatever) out of some tastey cornice trim that the butt of the body rests on. Drilled a hole for the strap mounts to poke through and that also helps stabilize any movement. I also throw some short fat rubber bands across the strings at the hangar for added stability. Not only does the shelf look cool but it keeps any of the bass from touching the wall ($2 hangars, not the $20 jobs). Just pop the rubber band from one side and pull up and play.

    The climate is what's changing your neck. Low action just makes climate changes more obvious. Nature of the beast unless you have a graphite neck or equivalent. And I'd make sure you have a tress rod wrench that fits your bass cause over time you'll butter it up if not. You'll probably butter it some anyway but not as much with the proper size.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Oh yeh, something that will damage your neck is round wound strings. That filing sound you hear sliding rounds through the bridge holes sounds that way for a reason. Frets, fingerboard (what I call string burn, from bends), nut, bridge - and anything else that might get in the way - like pups. Don't think they're a problem for tuners that I can tell.

    Just something to think about.
  9. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    for the kid or the basses? :D
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    If it were me, I'd do both.
  11. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Is my question stupid, or is the answer a matter of controversy? Don't our resident luthiers provide storage instructions to their clients?
  12. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I don't think it's a stupid question. And I'm guessing that you may even get a mixed response from a group of Luthiers. But there's a guy with a thread on long term storage going now. I haven't read it but check it out. There may be something of use there.
  13. Reading about the questions regarding hanging instruments on the wall has got me thinking about our three local music stores. Each one hangs solid body guitars (including the basses) on the wall. I've seen same instruments hanging there for over two years. As I think further on this, they display the accoustic instruments in floor stands.
  14. notabob


    Sep 20, 2003
    cincinnati ohio
    thats a good point. come to think of it...thats how my local music stores do it too. maybe there is a good reason behind this...
  15. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I use to have a music store, the problem I ran into was the space acoustic guitars take up on a wall, especially something like a jumbo bodied Hummingbird. Also, some people demonstrate considerable difficulty pulling a thick bodied instrument off a hanger if it's hung a little high where they have to go for the body instead of the neck.

    I was in Sam Ash one day waiting to talk with their tech, Andy. They got 'em stacked 3 levels high. I watched this short middle aged guy grab a Cherry Burst ES-335 by the butt and was up on his tiptoes trying to get it to clear the hanger. Which it did about the time his hand slipped off that shiney lemon-oiled guitar. I watched that toastie little piece ricochet like a pin ball down between two flights of equally choice pieces until he finally got a paw on it enough to wedge it between his gut and the wall, butt in his gut and headstock to the wall.

    All my guitars were on the wall behind the counter, but I only kept a stock of a handful of acoustics.
  16. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    My take on this from the last 15 years. The case does offer more environmental protection especially from humidity of course. This mostly affects the playability of the neck. Take it out of the case and it is most likely going to be close to the same condition as you left it. BUT, an hour or so into playing in a different environment.....BAM, neck changes. That's why I now leave my basses on a stand and loosen the string tension two whole steps especially if I intend on playing them the next day. They have acclimated to the environment and you know before hand what adjustments you might need to make to your bass in order for it to be just right, instead of playing a set then needing to adjust your neck before the next one.
    Anything over a weeks storage,,, hardshell.
  17. _BubA_


    Feb 2, 2004
    down south
    yes i would agree even with my nine year old neighbor running around my room every time he sees my bass he will pick it up and bang it around and it always makes me mad :meh: but most of th time i usualy rap the srings up in a polish clothe because most of the time thos are mainly effected

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