To keep or not to keep basses in their cases

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Knavery, Jul 5, 2022.

  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Ok, so some of you know I have a major crack on my Stingray Special and it'll cost about a grand to get it fixed via a new neck at EBMM. With that said, the repair tech I took my bass to said that I should keep my instruments in their cases at all times when not in use. Now, I have them hanging on hooks on the wall in my office. I do keep my ES-335 and my acoustic in their cases at all times, but all of my solid body instruments are left out.

    I guess I'm curious what all of you suggest. I would love to keep them out and just get a room humidifier, but this is where I work where I have computers, amps, etc. I'm not sure how humid it can get without running into issues with electronics. My wife suggested we get one of those Honeywell humidifiers you attach to the furnace, which I'm not opposed to. I just don't know if that will do the trick.

    My cases are crammed in my closet, and to access any of them, I need to pull a bunch of stuff out. So, I'd prefer not to have to keep them tucked away at all times. Not to mention I switch between them quite often. :)

    So, what does the intelligencia say? I'm in Colorado where it's drier than a popcorn fart. I'd sure like to know what works best to protect my instruments, but would also like to avoid a huge inconvenience. Thanks!

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    They'd be more protected in their cases but as long as they are in a room where you wouldn't feel uncomfortable yourself, there should be no harm.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout popcorn farts, but having to dig for an instrument ain’t such a bad thing IMHO. I have a similar situation where there’s serious work involved to access some at the back, but I have never regretted storing stuff in hard shell cases.
    Ggaa, Jeff Hughes and Pauly 4001 like this.
  4. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    as long as they don't have any old Celluloid Nitrate stuff that gasses off or interacts with other things in the case . If left in the case they will
  5. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    as long as they're getting played it likely doesn't matter cos they're being used and attended to, as they like to be. stuffed away or collecting dust does not make for a happy electric instrument.
    Justinian likes this.
  6. If keeping the instrument in a case/closet reduces the likelihood of it being played then it's a big mistake, in my opinion. You should be able to grab it and play it with minimal effort. Heck, you should keep it out where you can look at it, just to remind you that it's something you enjoy.

    One day all of us and all our cool basses will be nothing but dust. So we may as well play them as much as possible before then.
  7. I have four basses. Two are kept in the cases for gigging and the other two are kept on stands in my practice room. I haven't had any problems either way.
    Ggaa, dbsfgyd1, CryingBass and 3 others like this.
  8. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I guess that's naturally aged, not relic'ed, but either way I say it's too much.
    Peter Torning, 6-3-2, GTx2 and 2 others like this.
  9. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Climate control! (Temp/humidity/avoiding direct sun...) Then hang em all on the walls, so they're handy.

    PS: humidity comfortable for humans is good for guitars too - so I would not fret about it
  10. Just one word : mold. When I had my guitars in cases they formed mold as they were stored in my basement (I live in Canada). As soon as I took them out of the case, they breathed. Problem solved!
  11. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Being in South Florida I can't comment on the impact of dry conditions, but personally I would rather keep my instruments out where I am more likely to play them, even if there is some minor added risk of damage.
    Justinian, TempoGuy, 13bass and 9 others like this.
  12. geddeeee


    Jun 30, 2006
    A grand to fix the neck???
    Take it to a decent luthier who will probably do it for a third of the price. You will end up with a stronger neck too...
    warbassick and gebass6 like this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    per the OP: i keep mine out and ready to plug 'n play, for the most part. it's convenient for me to do it that way in the space(s) where my music operates. i could adjust to any scenario, i think, but i like having one/them close by while i'm at my 'desk'. one or more might be in a gig bag if i just rehearsed/gigged.

    i don't think it's mandatory to keep them in their cases unless special circumstances call for it. maybe you are experiencing those. (?)
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
    warbassick, Rezdog and gebass6 like this.
  14. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    The day I receive a new bass, the case goes on a shelf in my basement where it is never opened again unless I put the bass back in it to ship it off to a new owner. All of mine hang on the wall in a temperature controlled room. Low humidity is never an issue here in Tennessee as it's always 40% - 50% humidity in my house and it stays a nice 68-72 degrees in the winter and 74-78 degrees in the summer.

    I seldom have to adjust my instruments unless I change strings. I have had no issues with wood cracking, warping, etc.

    Instruments are tools. They are meant to be used. They are designed for bar gigs where beer is spilled on them, playing outdoors where it's 90 degrees, carried in a hot or cold car, etc. They won't disintegrate. You might have to tweak the truss rod a bit from time to time and snug up some screws...but that's about all that's required to have an instrument serve you for a lifetime.
  15. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central New Jersey
    I’m a big believer that cases are for when my basses are leaving my home.

    Hang them on quality hooks like Hercules or String Swing and play them when you look at your wall art.

    Add or subtract humidity to be around 50% year round, and you’ll never have issues.

    I hang them in the basement, with no issues. image.jpg
  16. J Wilson

    J Wilson

    Apr 22, 2022
    An Undisclosed Location
    I worked retail music stores where more than a few times I had to wheel and deal money off for the two little ruts in the headstock where the axe had hung for too long. Lacquered guitars can be really bad about this.

    So I'd NEVER hang them at home or anywhere else.

    Mine stay in their cases or bags, standing up with the big end on the floor. That's the only way, speaking for myself, I store them.
    fhm555, MonetBass, Mastermold and 6 others like this.
  17. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I used to hang everything on the wall. Now? Everything in its case.

    In its case it’s protected from dust and UV damage. It keeps my strings sounding fresh and helps preserve my setups.

    When I stored my cases in the closet stuff didn’t get played. Since I got the string swing hard case rack it’s a lot easier to chose what I want to play.

    One bass is kept out on its stand for home rehearsals. Stuff going to rehearsal goes in a single gig bag. Stuff going to a gig goes in a double gig bag.
    icefly, Wolf Tone and waynobass like this.
  18. No sound clip, no popcorn fart.
    MYLOWFREQ, tblurker, MrKpawz and 2 others like this.
  19. Mrtoodamnsabre

    Mrtoodamnsabre Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2021
    Cases are nice but realistically they only protect against rapid changes in humidity, that is, the air in them takes longer to adjust to the new humidity or temperature level, eventually they will have he same humidity as the room but they’ll shift at a slightly slower rate, which can be important if the humidity drops a lot from like flicking on the air conditioner on a 100 degree day after leaving it off while at work or something. They’re great for taking instruments places for that reason

    but I think you got really unlucky with that piece of wood, I think it’s normally not that fickle or that kind of crack isn’t the type of thing that normally happens to storing basses in bad conditions. I’ve heard of necks warping from being shipped on a boat that’s traveling 6000 miles in 3 days. normally with necks in bad conditions, warps develop or twists or things to that effect; a hairline crack is a strange development. Not sure if those necks are laminates or not too. My assumption is that you’d probably be ok storing the same bass with a new neck in a similar way to how you’re storing it now, and as long as you’re periodically doing truss adjustments and such it should be ok.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
    blastoff, goran and Rich Fiscus like this.
  20. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    I'm in Denver (minutes away from you) and never had any issues. I have a bass hanging on the wall for over 10 years, no problems with it.
    five7 and tblurker like this.

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