What is worst for basses? Cold or humidity?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by carlos840, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Hi all,
    I know this might have been discussed before but i couldnt find an answer searching for it...
    My problem is that i live in a flat with no heating and that my basses are all in my bedroom which is on average around 8°C/ 46°F!
    The temperature is stable and the humidity is to (although quite high) but im wondering if its doing them any harm, necks seem stable but i think that seeing what this temperature does to me it cant be good for them!
    What are your opinions on this matter?

  2. It's fast temperature changes overall...

    I store mine in a place in the house thatt would be about 35 degrees right now... I bring the bass out about a day in advance (in the hardshell case) and let it aclimate.

    I've got about 20 guitars in this storage rack.. I've never really had an issue...

    My acoustic basses have been living like this for years.

    Not sure I'd put a Gibson Byrdland through this..
  3. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Forget your bass - take care of those fingers! 8 degrees is not good for your health, my man.
  4. Tell me about it! I can barely play in here, fingers are useless...
    Nothing like waking up and being able to see your own breath in your bedroom when you breathe out!
    Well im glad to hear the cold wont kill them, i have a few nice things in there and was a bit worried.
    Thank you
  5. Like noted.. the cold air will remove moisture from the woods etc.. a humidor really doesn't work well at cold temps.

    I probably wouldn't keep a 50s fender like this.. but my upper end stage gear does fine.

    IF it helps, I can dig out a shipping box from Martin Guitars with exact instructions on cold weather conditions... they post them step by step on the outside.

  6. Goodlawdy

    Goodlawdy Guest

    Mar 27, 2008
    Lack of humidity caused a crack in an acoustic guitar of mine. It has a solid spruce top. It hung on the wall in a music store through a dry cold winter and developed the crack. That's why I got a good deal on it.

    Yes it's a guitar, and no basses aren't made of spruce, but I would assume that the situation would still be analogous no matter what kind of wood.
  7. Hardshell case + humidifier (its like a sponge pretty much)

    my friend has to do this with his acoustic....
    Because its so cold, won't the wood get more brittle once the mosture is out?

    Oh and i just had another though, gloves with the fingers cut off (maybe at the middle knuckle), or little bit before? and then when your not playing you can have that be like an inner lining of a big glove!! gotta keep those hands cold..
  8. user362432

    user362432 Guest

    Dec 27, 2002
    SILICA GEL works great with guitars. Put them in your case. In dry climate attaches humidity, in humid climate it sucks in humidity.

    Why they put that thing (DO NOT EAT THIS BAG) in sensitive things?

    It works. Better than anything known. Get a stack of those bags and keep it in the case. That's all.
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    hmmm - I think I'm going to go against the consensus here and say temp. I've had more gigs played on cold days that causes my neck to shift than on muggy days...

    ah hell, who am I kidding - I live in San Diego.
  10. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Temperature won't hurt anything. It's CHANGES in temerature, especially sudden ones that will wreak havoc with the wood, the truss rod, and the stability of the neck.

    Too much humidity is seldom a problem, unless you're talking above 65% RH. It's low humidity that causes problems- Unless you live in an area where the RH is consistenlt above 60-65%, avoid silica gel. It's only in those cheap instrument cases to keep them from soaking up too much Pacific Ocean humidity on the way over from the PR factories. But if you live in a location with heat (like Central Illinois where the outside temperature today is 17ºF BELOW zero), the heating systems suck moisture out of the air like crazy. I run about five gallons a day through my little humidifier to keep the apartment at about 45-50% RH.

  11. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    He said it was 8°C/ 46°F. I think he'll be fine at 8°C
  12. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    8°C is still pretty chilly.

    I would not be ok if it were 46°F in my house.
  13. Otso


    Mar 6, 2006
    8 celcius = typical fridge temperature!
  14. MtManiac

    MtManiac Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    As mentioned, it a lack of humidity as well as sudden changes in humidity that cause problems. Cold air is less able to hold moisture than warm air, and 8 degrees is cold, like a late fall day here in Nova Scotia. Certainly not comfortable... and I wouldn't want to subject my bass to that. Speaker cabs, ok, but not my bass.... why the heck don't you have heat?? Get a space heater for crying out loud! They're like $30...
  15. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    My basement goes from 80F in the summer to approx 50F in the winter. Expansion and contraction (Science 101) can change the action on my bass necks by 1/4"+. Not enough to seriously damage them, but I wouldn't be suprised if quick temperature changes can cause permenant damage.

    Lack of humidity is a very bad thing but temperature fluctuations can lead to issues as well.
  16. Zoidberg523

    Zoidberg523 Guest

    May 26, 2008
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    +1 on the space heater. Not worth risking hundreds of dollars worth of equipment, just to save on a space heater.