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Basses out of storage


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Hello, all. I've just received several basses that have been in transit & storage for a few months. I'm wondering what's the best way to ease them back into use, after being detuned. My plan was to let them acclimate in the house the first day, then tune the strings up until they're just tense, then the next day tune them up.


Is that a good plan?

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Humidity & climate: know where the instrument is coming from and, if possible, have a separate room to use for a few days to allow the instrument to slowly adjust to its new home. (while you're at it, set up some gauges to monitor the room's climate) Sudden changes will show up in neck warping and possibly moisture pockets inside control cavities. If you're talented with a hair dryer, introduce small (1-2 minutes) blasts of hot dry air into these spots to dry out accumulated moisture. Too much and you'll start melting finishes.


Sun and fresh air: putting it out on the porch on a sunny, warm dry day may be the best thing. I've used the sun to artificially "age" maple necks and non-polyurethane based finishes.


Neck adjustments: best to check the neck daily and make incremental adjustments, say 1/4 turn of the truss rod nut/screw once or twice a day, more only if the nut/screw turns freely.


Humidifiers: silica gel packs from shipping boxes work OK in cases. (they can be reused if you dry them out) For the organic-minded, a slice of fresh potato, apple or similar veggie/fruit works as well, unless you'd rather not inherit the item's smell. (skip raw onion slices and cabbage heads :D ) Seriously, you're better off buying the ones they sell in music stores.


Control cleaners: a must as you'll need to spray and work the pots and switches. Best deal is to go to a model/hobby shop and buy the one they use to clean/lunricate model engine parts. If they still have electronic repair shops in your town, there's an array of cleaners available as well, but my suspicion is the chemical components are nearly identical. This stuff also doubles as an insecticide (or at least a narcotic) for six and eight-legged mammals that prefer to live and breed in dark, musty places that haven't seen the light of day for awhile. (You DID give them a chance to escape before bringing your instruments indoors, did you dcr? :eek: )


I'm sure there's more but this'll do for now.


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