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frankb56
02-15-2013, 03:06 PM
I'm guessing this has been covered before, but being new to this forum, I'm looking for opinions (hopefully based on fact) on how best to store your guitars when not in use. My PSR and Les Paul are in their gig bags that sit in a stand up guitar rack. I also have a few acoustics and an Epiphone hollow body that I hang on a wall. I read recently that hanging guitars on a wall can, over time, damage the guitar. Anyone have experience with that? Also, what's a reasonable humidity level to store guitars in?

Roddie
02-15-2013, 03:35 PM
I live in a dryer climate so all my guitars are always stored in their cases with an in case humidifier in each one. I have stored guitars like this for 25 yrs and never had an issue.

Artist
02-15-2013, 03:38 PM
Hey Frank,

The common answer to this is: The safest way to store your guitar is in a hard case housed in a climate/humidity controlled room, away from common dangers like basements than can flood.

Depending on the location you may be able to get a cheap humidifier and hygrometer or both in one. You can then maintain some control over your guitar room, specially in the winter months where heating lowers the humidity levels significantly if you are in the colder states. If you are in a very humid area it may be the opposite and you may need a de-humidifier to take away some water from the air.
Ideal conditions are 75F @ around 45% relative humidity away from direct sunlight if I am correct. But more than a specific number, you should be watching that there are no extreme variations in temperature or humidity over a short period of time (Day/night).

Now the reality of what you can attain and considerations may vary. In my case if I store all my guitars in the case I never play them. So I usually rotate them between hangers and their cases depending on what I feel like playing. My beloved Artist PRS is always in its case, so it is all about how much you can handle the risk of something happening to it. Cheaper guitars are usually always out. By having a guitar always on my sight I play almost every day.

There are some really good guitar hangers like those Hercules. As long as it is correctly installed you should be ok. Cheaper hangers and stands tend to have cheap foam materials on the points that touch the guitar and can damage the finish over time, specially on guitars with Nitro clear coats. Easiest solution is to cover those points with some cloth or cotton fabric.

Usually I see people rate this from safest to not so safe:
Hard Case
Gig Bag
Hercules-type Hanger (Floor/Wall)
Wall hanger
Floor Hanger
Rest on top of amp/wall

Floor individual hangers are just too prone to falling, somebody hitting them, cat bitting, who knows.

Hope this helps. Ample information is available online for each of those areas

LSchefman
02-15-2013, 04:01 PM
Artist makes some great points.

Because I'm more paranoid than most, I keep the guitars cased when not in use, because the cases not only protect the guitars, but act as climate/humidity buffers as the day/night temperatures swing in a room.

I've found that much below 35% RH in winter (very common where I live) and you start to get problems like sharp frets, neck bows, etc, with certain instruments. And of course, above 60% you get the reverse problem. Wood, being hygroscopic, absorbs moisture from a wet environment, and releases it in a dry one.

As a solution, I keep my guitar storage room humidified in winter with a room humidifier, and keep the guitars cased. In summer, I use A/C which removes moisture from the environment, and keep them cased when not in use.

When the guitars are out and I'm playing them, obviously, I don't worry about RH, etc.

I've had nothing but disasters leaving guitars out on stands, including a broken headstock when someone toppled a stand over. And keeping them cased and properly humidified/dehumidified has resulted in far fewer adjustments being needed during the course of the year.

John Beef
02-15-2013, 04:12 PM
I read recently that hanging guitars on a wall can, over time, damage the guitar. Anyone have experience with that?
I have heard this before and would love to know in what way folks say the guitar or neck will be damaged.

The whole guitar weighs 7 to 9 lbs, give or take. An average set of 11s is going to put 120lbs of tension on the neck, give or take. So, whether the weight of the guitar is hung from the headstock or supported from the butt, the difference in pressure is plus or minus 7 or 8 percent. I don't think that's going to affect anything.

Artist
02-15-2013, 04:26 PM
I have heard this before and would love to know in what way folks say the guitar or neck will be damaged.

The whole guitar weighs 7 to 9 lbs, give or take. An average set of 11s is going to put 120lbs of tension on the neck, give or take. So, whether the weight of the guitar is hung from the headstock or supported from the butt, the difference in pressure is plus or minus 7 or 8 percent. I don't think that's going to affect anything.

I have never heard of damage from a hanger in the sense of the neck breaking/bending. If anything I assume it would help keep the neck straight due to the weight of the guitar.

Usual damage I have heard of is to Nitro finishes caused by the cheap contact plastic that touches the finish and reacts over extended period of time. Like this:

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5140/5434852896_acb31f13ca.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksinstrumentsvcs/5434852896/)
Guitar finish repair! Danger some guitar hangers damage you finish like this! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksinstrumentsvcs/5434852896/) by Jack's Instrument Services (http://www.flickr.com/people/jacksinstrumentsvcs/), on Flickr

http://www.fourpeaksguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/guitar%20wall%20hanger%20damage.jpg

Other than that I have only heard of guitar colors fading on some stains if direct sunlight hits it or hangers falling from improper installation, specially on drywalls

frankb56
02-16-2013, 10:51 AM
Thanks to all. Roddie, I think I will follow your advice.