May 21st, 2012, 07:30 AM
i was forced to be away from home for a long time. i was told various things about storing guitars.
first, i was told to loosen strings, but not to remove them.
later, i was told to keep the strings at tension, which i did.
well, i did this, and an acoustic is ruined with a badly twisted neck.
is there any right way to leave a guitar unattended for months?
maybe if this comes up in the future, i'll find someone to leave the guitars with.
May 21st, 2012, 07:41 AM
I'm doing this for the second time, due to moving to another country. Both times I loosened the strings. Put it in its case. Put the case in temperature and humidity controlled storage--either at someone's house or at a storage facility.
When I wanted to use them again, I brought the strings up to normal tuning over the course of a week or more. Just so it wasn't a sudden tension.
I stored them for a year no problems last time. This time may be longer.
May 21st, 2012, 10:54 AM
well, i did this, and an acoustic is ruined with a badly twisted neck. I've owned acoustic guitars since 1970, probably about 50-60 of the darned things over the years. I've kept many in a case for a year+ under normal string tension with no attention except checking a case humidifier etc. as needed and have never had a neck twist even a little bit. Even ones that got too dry didn't do that. These guitars sometimes spend months at about 75F, sometimes 55F, RH running mid-30's to 60% range.
I do not know what guitar you are talking about or where it was stored but a decent guitar stored for several months under anywhere near normal conditions with steel strings at tension should not get a twisted neck. A guitar that did that would likely also twist the neck if it were just carried around and played every day for the same time period.
May 21st, 2012, 11:01 AM
If you played it every dan and kept it tuned tor 5 tears or if you tune it and don't play it the guitar neck does not know that you are not playing it. A neck that warps or twists in storage (assuming the temperature and humidity were controlled) tuned at pitch was gonna warp anyway if you had been playing it. At most I tune them down a little (1/2 step or a whole step) for shipping. I have 20 guitars and I don't detune them when I am not playing them.
May 21st, 2012, 03:20 PM
question about keeping it tuned in storage:
the guitar was stored vertically, not in a case. maybe this was part of the problem.
i've been told not to store guitars unstrung, is this actually bad?
But, the big question: wouldn't the strings lose tension over time, coming out of tune, and cause the neck to do bad things?
May 21st, 2012, 05:13 PM
Vertical is OK. Not in a case is not recommended, but I have an old early 70's Epi acoustic that has had the same set of strings on it for probably near 20 years and it has been in my house not in a case. It may go a few years at a time without being played too! It has been nearly in tune almost every time I do pick it up. It appears to be built like a brick ****house!
I also have quite a few guitars in their cases stored for many years without a problem.
Where was your guitar stored that twisted up on you?
May 21st, 2012, 07:07 PM
I'd bet climate was the culprit.
Too near a window or radiator.
Or maybe it was a crappy guitar that would have twisted no matter what.
May 21st, 2012, 07:07 PM
No insult intended but the expression is "you get what you pay for".
I play mainly solid electrics and my Seagull Artist Studio model stays in a case with a guitar humidifier & strings tuned at pitch for a year or more at times...no problem.
Also have a 1973 Gretsch Country Gent that has been mostly in it's case for almost 40 years with never a problem. My personal semi-acoustic "closet classic".
Have been on gigs way up north where my tele was in the trailer at 40 below zero for a day or two or in the unheated baggage compartment of planes which get really cold at high altitudes.
Pro equipment usually gets pro results...minus exceptions of course.
May 21st, 2012, 09:39 PM
I have an old early 70's Epi acoustic that has had the same set of strings on it for probably near 20 years and it has been in my house not in a case. It may go a few years at a time without being played too! It has been nearly in tune almost every time I do pick it up. It appears to be built like a brick ****house!
I have the exact same thing going with a forty year old Ibanez acoustic. That thing has left out in direct sunlight for twenty years, ten year old strings on it, "played" by every kid old that comes over, "played" by every non-guitarist that comes over...takes a beating and it is always in tune and action never changes.
I asked around how that can happen. Why must a three-thousand dollar Martin be so meticulously played and kept or it will go haywire, while a one hundred dollar beater can have a grenade droped in her and she still will be perfect? The answer someone told me was the cheapness of the guitar actually keeps it strong. The cheaper, yet sturdier woods used; the cheap finish which acts like a protective cover of cement around the guitar...this is what keeps cheap guitars indestructible.
Lesson here: the cheaper the guitar, the better it behaves in non-optimal conditions.
May 21st, 2012, 11:56 PM
Why must a three-thousand dollar Martin be so meticulously played and kept or it will go haywire IME because of the Information Superhighway = internet BS urban legend or whatever. I see posts that insist a guitar must never be exposed to anything except '45-55% RH and 77F' or whatever, guys afraid to play their guitar outside in the summer. Total unadulterated BS/myth/crap that amazes me. I've been around flattops for a long time and a good Martin does not need that kind of obsessive care. Nor a good Gibson. Heck, many of the 60-year old ones never saw even a humidifier until the past twenty years or so and survived with maybe some cracks and stuff but darned, they are still playable instruments.
the cheaper the guitar, the better it behaves in non-optimal conditions. Only as far as a laminated top may not crack. Other than that the only guitar I've ever owned that needed big work quickly was an Epi AJ-something (nice axe for the $) that needed a neck reset after two years. All guitars need some work over the decades and mistakes happen with even $$ guitars but come on, a good guitar is a good guitar over the long haul in the vast majority of cases.
Good acoustic guitars are far from fragile and I beat on mine, just don't let 'em dry out to extremes or get really hot like in a baking car in the summer or something.
Only saying this because I see so much weird stuff on the web about flattop fragility--and I don't mean to pick on you--and will now climb off my soapbox.
May 22nd, 2012, 02:26 AM
IME because of the Information Superhighway = internet BS urban legend or whatever. I see posts that insist a guitar must never be exposed to anything except '45-55% RH and 77F' or whatever, guys afraid to play their guitar outside in the summer. Total unadulterated BS/myth/crap that amazes me. . . [snip].
Only saying this because I see so much weird stuff on the web about flattop fragility--and I don't mean to pick on you--and will now climb off my soapbox.I'm with you, Stubee. I lived in AZ for 15 years and have seen guitars live through unimaginable things ... unimaginable for the OCD guitar owners. And, as you seem to have alluded to, historically we didn't even have the means to do all this babying of wooden instruments.
I'm away from him for a long time right now and I just stashed everything in the basement and barricaded the door.
May 22nd, 2012, 05:10 AM
thanks for all the replies. mike simpson mentioned the possibility of it being a lemon. i'm glad you did, b/c after contacting the company, it will likely be replaced for free.
i was told today, that storing @ tune is good for short periods, and at slack for more than a few months. who knows.
as for storing at tune, wouldn't the strings stretch, bringing it out of tune? worse, wouldn't the strings stretch differentially, due to their differing gauges?
*it was stored in a finished basement, dehumidified in summer, at least 10 feet from radiator, in windowless room.
May 22nd, 2012, 02:05 PM
No insult intended but the expression is "you get what you pay for".
True to an extent but there are vast differences between what a solid guitar like a tele will put up with and what an acoustic will. My $90 laminate campfire guitar (Fender Squire DG-6) hasn't seen it's case in years, sleeps in the tent with me and is exposed to massive changes in humidity and temps. after 10+ years it plays as well as when I bought it. Tone wise it's a hunk of wet clay compared to my Garrison which I paid 20x as much. HOWEVER, that guitar has been babied in a humididty controlled case except for one winter, which resulted in cracks in the sides and top. Super thin tops are great for tone, suck for dry winter conditions, of which Alberta winters excel!
I suspect a twisted neck is either a mfrs defect, some really wonky tunings, or possibly a snapped truss rod. A neck reset will be pricey, but scope it out anyway if the guitar is worth it to you. I have two twelve string acoustics and when they go for naps I generally detune them down a step or two.
For long term storage avoid excessive swings in humidity and temps. Garages bad, living rooms generally good. Also, keep it in the case unless the room is temp/humidity controlled.... My $.02