Shipping guitars in cold weather

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Marshall Stack, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    Anybody ever have a problem with having a guitar shipped in cold weather? I would like to get an archtop guitar but am nervous about getting it shipped when the lot temperatures are in the 20 degF range. I know that you shouldn't open the case until acclimated to room temperature.
     
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  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Well-Known Member

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    Guitars are regularly shipped to the stores in cold weather, just leave it the case (unopened, of course) for a couple of days to let it slowly come up to room temperature. It's not the temperature that is potentially harmful, it's the rapid changes that cause problems.
     
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  3. Sapient

    Sapient Life Coach & Birthday       Planner Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I've had some cold buggers arrive in the past. Never had an issue. I think acclimating for 24 hours is ridiculous too. I've never waited longer than 2 - 4 hours. I open the outer box and let it sit for about 15 mins. I then get the case out and leave that sit for the full duration. (If you don't open the box you're just "holding in the cold" (so-to-speak) more than you have to.) Every little while open the case real fast to touch the guitar body then close it quickly too. Sometimes you'll find it's really not even that cold to begin with. You can get a feel for this based on the feel of the box and the metal hinges on the case. If they feel extremely cold, are fogging and/or begin to condensate it's pretty cold. Cryogenically frozen guitars require a different procedure ...but I haven't encountered one of those yet.
     
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  4. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Should be fine. The key is to take some time to open the case, when you get to your destination. If your talking about the guitar traveling through freezing conditions(If you live in the North Pole or something) then warm her up in stages. Take the packed box to your garage for couple of hours. Then open the box, take the unopened case inside the house, let her warm up for a couple of hours. Should be fine after that.

    I once took my LP in the back of a van from Portland to Denver in winter, driving through snow. Got to my destination, put the case in my room and didn't open it for two hours. No probs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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  5. mirrorman

    mirrorman Well-Known Member

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    I've played guitars outside in freezing weather, the only issues I've encountered (other than cold AF hands) is that they don't stay in tune very well.
    I've had guitars shipped in freezing weather as well, just let it warm up for several hours before opening the case and never had any issues.
     
  6. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had plenty of guitars shipped to me during the winter months w/out issue. @Sapient could have written this for me, as I follow a similar routine .... let it sit in the box for maybe 20-30 minutes, then just open one end for another 10 minutes or so, then pull out the case and feel the temperature of it ... and just keep feeling the outside of the case (especially the metal latches) until it's basically at room temperature, then open her up (you know, w/my fingers crossed). Though, these have all been electric guitars ... if talking about an acoustic, I'd honestly probably let it sit in the case for a couple of days before opening it up (as hard as that might be).
     
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  7. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah let it warm up a bit. I pulled a SG from a trunk at minus 15, brought it in to a camp with a wood stove going ( it was hot in there) and yanked it out of the case and you could hear the nitro cracking...........oops, instant relic'd.
     
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  8. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    "The Stove SG" ... I kinda like it.
     
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  9. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah "Stove Piped".
     
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  10. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    hl6jyjkncs1iyw8dfpcw.jpg

    This is what I bought. I was going to buy it new and it would have come from Indiana. I ended up getting a used one for less than comes from California to Missouri.

    I appreciate all of the advice. I'm going to follow Sapient and Crossroads suggestions.

    It is an Ibanez George Benson GB10 btw...
     
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  11. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    SWEET! Those are great guitars! :cool:

    Shipping in the cold is harder on acoustics (and of course archtops) than solidbodies, but it's still a very good idea to let ANY guitar acclimate before opening up the case..It can be hard when one is looking forward to getting acquainted with their new friend, but a little patience is definitely in order and can keep a new purchase from becoming a nightmare!

    Of course, there's also dangers with shipping in extremely hot conditions as well.
     
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  12. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Like me some Ibby's......

    The necks fit my Hillbilly seff just right:agreed:
     
  13. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    So I should be receiving the guitar today. I'm going to take the precautions that people here have given. I really would like to keep it in it's case overnight but the guy I bought it from on Reverb wants me to say that I received it when I get it so he gets paid. I'm sure the guy is good but what if I say received and I open it and it is a stuffed bugs bunny inside or something? Should I wait to say received after I open it or does it matter?
     

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