Sunlight and my bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by JTGale, May 23, 2005.

  1. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    I noticed this morning as I walked into my practice room that the early-morning sunlight was flooding in my window, perfectly surrounding my bass in a halo of brilliance. While it was a pretty sight to behold, it got me to thinking. Since the sun is moving farther north these days, I am sure that this is an occurance that will continue for a few more months. Will this direct exposure on a daily basis hurt my instrument? If it were "hot" sunlight in the afternoon, I would worry a little more. But, since they are the first rays of the day, I am not too concerned. Or should I be? Will it fade the finish? Affect the intonation? Make my strings brittle? All thoughts are appreciated.

    ~ jtg
  2. Assuming your bass is acclimated to your Iowa climate, you should be cool (so to speak)
    As we all know, it's the fast, quick changes in humidity, or lack there-of that can do bad things to basses. Take a look around the room. Do you see any wood surfaced furniture that has faded? Any couch or cloth surfaces that had any sun damage.?
    Bottom line....when in doubt, don't take the chance. You could just toss a sheet or something to provide some shade.
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Although your bass is plywood and finished with lacquer, it's nice to keep it in the shade whenever possible. An hour or two of morning sunlight is no big deal, though.
  4. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Thanks, guys. I have an extra fitted sheet for a queen-sized bed that should go over it just fine. As a bonus, it might help keep the dust bunnies to a minimum on the inside! ;) Those crazy things just seem to multiply in the practice room at an exponential rate. And you are correct, Paul: If and when I buy a carved-top, the humidity here on the Mississippi River will be something I will have to battle on a daily basis during the summer. It can be so steamy here, believe it or not. I suppose that is why the corn grows so great in Iowa -- the humidity just sort of feeds and bakes it to great heights.

    ~ jtg
  5. The dust bunnies in your bass, when one gets to be a substantial size, used to be referred to as the 'Mouse'.
    These are fun because they have a little to do with the age of your bass....when a top is removed though, the luthier usually vacuums out the bunnies and the mice.
    How awful!! :crying:
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    It's true that violins are some of the things most sensitive to humidity in the entire world of wooden objects. Any wooden object seeks a moisture equilibrium with its environment. What really screws wooden objects over are changes from one humidity regime to another: from dry to wet or vicey versey. If these cycles happen too many times over too wide a range -- there's gonna be trouble. 'Course, if the first time is over too wide a range ("too wide" depends on the object and its construction) you could also have a mess.

    Anyhow, once your theoretical carved bass acclimates to Iowa and it stays in that kind of environment, you shouldn't have too much trouble.