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 Post subject: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:19 am 
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Location: East Coast USA
I don't own a Rickenbacker yet, but I'm planning on swooping down on one sometime this year - of course not literally, like in a terrifying pterodactyl styled attack; I wouldn't want to damage any of the surrounding equipment at Pick of the Ricks, and they probably wouldn't have me back ever again.

But anyhoo, for various reasons (mainly regarding privacy & general guitar safety) I'll be keeping the guitar in my bedroom. The problem I foresee is that the temperature in this room tends to fluctuate quite a bit, mostly during the summer months.

During the winter it's not so bad. In one day, the room might go from 67°F to 76°F (19°C to 24°C). But during the summer, it's not uncommon for this room to manically swing from 70°F to 86°F (21°C to 30°C) in the course of just one day.

What might happen to a Rickenbacker living in a room like that? And if it's a problem, would keeping the Rick in it's case (when not playing it) be sufficient enough to protect it from such constant temperature fluctuations?



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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:43 am 
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Location: Arkansas
Good topic, Ric-o-nfused. I'd like to hear some knowledgeable feedback, as well. Humidity would have to play some sort of role. I've wiped-down and cased all my guitars and basses for more decades than I care to admit. (never owned a stand, either) Are there other things we should be doing? An acoustic guy I know mentioned some sort of humidity apparatus he kept in his case (actually, had to add water periodically).


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:53 am 
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Those are not extremes of temperature. Changes in humidity, especailly if it drops low would be more of a concern. Leaving the guitar in it's case when you aren't playing, slows down the rate of change of temperature that it is subjected to. Your guitar should handle that fine.
If you go to a gig or rehearsal in very cold weather and take your guitar out of it's case soon after your arrival, that's when the sudden temperature can harm the finish of your guitar. The same for going into an airconditioned room after having your guitar outside on a hot summer day. When you get to a gig or rehearsal on a day with extreme temperatures, show up early, and set up all your gear and wait a while before taking your guitar out of it's case, that way it can slowly acclimate to the temperature of the room.

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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:00 am 
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i cant say wether or not these climate conditions are enough to really do a whole lot of harm. im sure it would affect the tuning though.
rickenbackers come with pretty nice locking cases so the only security concern i could see is somebody walking off with it and/or cutting the case open if they really wanted it. would it be at all possible to keep it somewhere where the temperature and humidity are more constant? like a basement? maybe a closet?


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:12 am 
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Location: Annandale, VA, USA
Humidity IS an issue for acoustics--too dry, and the finish can crack. Too wet, too, I suppose, but indoor dry air during the winter is more of a problem for most. Acoustics like 45-55% humidity. This is easily accomplished by keeping the guitar in its case and using an inexpensive guitar humidifier (a glorified sponge), adding (distilled) water about once a week. You can probably use those little humidity litmus cards from a camera shop to check the interior humidity levels.

For a 330 or 360, the wood looks thicker, and I suspect the pressure variations placed on the bracing, and changes in neck tension, have less impact than on a traditional acoustic. Still, I put a Damp-it (a common soundhole humidifier) in my 360V64 during the winter. Don't know if it's necessary, but it makes me sleep better.


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:36 am 
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

Quote:
would it be at all possible to keep it somewhere where the temperature and humidity are more constant? like a basement? maybe a closet?


Yeah, the closet (in the same room) is my only option. And I think it has actually got two things going for it; it's against an inside wall, and it actually has a little ventilation screen between it and the next room's closet. And that room is a lot more stable, temperature wise. I've got a window fan with a digital temperature gauge on it. I'll have to stick it in the closed closet and see what the temperature difference is.



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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:49 am 
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The temperature by itself doesn't matter much; the finish and wood can survive from below freezing up to about 250 degrees F. The humidity is another matter altogether, and in most cases the two are related. Put the guitar in the trunk of the car and bake it at 150 degrees- no harm, except that it usually creates a very dry condition. Freeze the guitar and it's okay, except usually the humidity also drops in that condition.

In other words, worry about the humidity, not the temperature. Ideal is 35% for maple guitars and if you err, do it on the side of increased humidity. Changes between 35% and 70% over the course of the day won't do much but a rapid drop to 10% leads to neck problems and fret overhang, among other things.


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:38 am 
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Quote:
The temperature by itself doesn't matter much; the finish and wood can survive from below freezing up to about 250 degrees F. The humidity is another matter altogether, and in most cases the two are related. Put the guitar in the trunk of the car and bake it at 150 degrees- no harm, except that it usually creates a very dry condition. Freeze the guitar and it's okay, except usually the humidity also drops in that condition.

In other words, worry about the humidity, not the temperature. Ideal is 35% for maple guitars and if you err, do it on the side of increased humidity. Changes between 35% and 70% over the course of the day won't do much but a rapid drop to 10% leads to neck problems and fret overhang, among other things.


Got it. Well that's good news then. I'll have to pick up some gear to keep the room's humidity stable. And in doing that I could just keep the guitar out on a stand rather then in the case all the time, which is what I'd like to do. So that helps a lot actually. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:47 am 
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Get used to tuning alot in constantly varying temperature and humidity conditions...

I made the mistake of holding my SG when going from my room with the heat on, to the first floor with no heat on, to turning on the propane stove (with guitar in hand btw) and sitting down 10 minutes later to strum a chord... WORST G MAJOR EVER!


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 Post subject: Re: Effects of near constant temperature fluctuations
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:31 am 
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Temperature swings in a room over the course of a day happen gradually, and as such won't affect the finish on a guitar.

Where people usually run into problems is when transporting a guitar in sub-freezing temperatures for several hours (trunk of a car or trailer), so that the guitar itself gets that cold. Then the bring it inside where it's 70-75 degrees and open the case, subjecting that cold guitar to an instantly warm environment (40 degrees or more differential).


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