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Thread: 3 Guitars, Out of Storage

  1. #1
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    3 Guitars, Out of Storage

    It all began as I so often hear: "Oh you play drums, lets see what you can do." Having practiced every Bonham lick off every Zeppelin album since the day, its like riding a bike. So I have been on drums now for a few recent years in my now apparent semi-retired mode.

    This is how it seems to go when there are a zillion songwriter/ strummers around here. They were not so impressed with my guitar alt tunings, little leads and licks so hard to come by? OK, I guess.

    I pulled my guitars out of my closet to find that they have behaved nicely for a few years. Both Guild guitars have that "red licorice" scent as soon as the cases popped open, so nice. Then there is a Martin HD-28, which I would have sold, but I bought with warrantee, and sounds nice but different than the Guild D55.

    A difficulty is that my D55 DTAR Lock n' Load had a little puff of gray smoke when I opened it. Some very light gray powder had formed on the batteries, which I should have checked on earlier. I will call Elderly tomorrow to inquire since I don't want to mess the internal battery compartment up. The F512 Lock n' Load was all OK, although I am not putting any batteries back in until I need it for some amplified playing. Does anyone have any recommendations for keeping the Lock n' Load up to snuff? It was great when Guild was manufacturing with these, but how about performance over the long term? They are obsolete now, but I plan to keep using these as much as possible.

    Amazing! After about 2 years the Guild D55 was perfectly in tune, not a tick up or down. The HD 28 was uniformly down about 1/4 step on every string. I left the F512 tuned about 2 1/2 steps low, maybe not the best with the graphite strenghtening rods? This raises the question: If I put the guitars all back in their closet for a time where should I leave them tuned?

    When I'm motivated I'll get back practicing guitar.

    Thank you for your helpful comments,
    Craig
    Last edited by idealassets; 12-05-2019 at 04:21 AM.

    1978 Tama Drums (mahogany)
    2007 Guild D55
    2010 Guild F512
    2011 Rickenbacker 360/12

    LMG III

  2. #2
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    Craig, just keep beating on them.... if they sit, they die!! So pound on those guitars.... oh, and the drums too!!
    Tom in Vegas

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  3. #3
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    Glad your drums are not the jealous type and we're OK with you getting back to your three - many have dreamed of owning - guitars.
    There will be excellent arguments to the question of, "how should I leave the string tension on stored guitars?" Couple questions I ask myself;
    1. How long will guitar be unplayed and
    stored
    2. Quality of guitar construction
    3. Humidity control
    Personally, I do not think tuning, then detuning every day or week is a good idea. To me that is analogous to wiggling a stick stuck in a crack to get it lose. Something gonna change size - the stick mashed smaller or crack bigger.
    I detune for shipping and that is about it.
    I rotate guitars every couple days so never a long time between strums that any particular guitar goes unplayed.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idealassets View Post
    Amazing! After about 2 years the Guild D55 was perfectly in tune, not a tick up or down. The HD 28 was uniformly down about 1/4 step on every string. I left the F512 tuned about 2 1/2 steps low, maybe not the best with the graphite strenghtening rods? This raises the question: If I put the guitars all back in their closet for a time where should I leave them tuned?
    Concur with Stuball about "how long" being the operative phrase.
    I've had no problem with 6 months at a time with one while the other 2 see frequent rotation (weekly use).
    The D25 always had great stability but only ever saw one extended period of disuse (6 or 9 months? I forget), when I was trying to let a sweat-softened spot on the top lacquer dry out and harden up again (that worked).
    Both the D40 and the F65ce used to drift a very slight bit if left unplayed for a couple of months, on the G and B strings.
    I've seen opinion from what I considered credible sources that if you do plan extended periods of storage, like longer than 6 months, it's better to slack 'em off like at least 1/4 or 1/2 step.
    I consider that to be reasonable in that it'll reduce that constant string tension on the neck joint, and for a similar reason I can't see why storing the 12-er at greatly reduced tension would have adverse effect on the graphite stabilizers. I'd be more concerned about preserving the life of the neckset in any case since trusses are supposed to be adjustable.
    I don't think they'd "take a set" or anything (and I know the graphite rods are independent of the actual truss but it's a system designed to work together),
    Kind of surprised the D55 was spot-on after all that time, but it's also said that's a sign of a very well-built guitar.
    As for the Martin that wouldn't surprise me in any guitar after 2 years of storage.
    One's gotta consider if the wood's undergoing dimensional changes from humidity variation over that long a time, too, ie, what are the storage conditions?
    ('hog btw is supposed to be very dimensionally stable under variation and it's one reason it's such a popular neck wood)
    I think when one's being played regularly the wood is more likely to remain in its "proper tension" state (and thus retain tuning stability) than if it's allowed to remain under tension but unplayed for extended periods, but that's just based on a layman's understanding of the physics involved.
    Wood does tend to "take a set" and conform to the stresses it's under but is also pretty resilient.
    Just occurred to me that it may be related to how the stress is acting on the grain, is it tending to make the grain bend longitudinally, or twist?
    Might explain why tops can be flattened out but a twisted neck is very hard to correct. Sometimes even flattened ("re-Bent") tops take their belly back.
    Maybe the top wood was too green to start so when it bellied under constructed tension while still drying that was the ultimate set the wood took, and it always wants to return there?
    And here's an unexpected observations:
    I keep both the D25 and F65ce tuned a full step down for playing these days and both exhibit more drift (even though very slight: microtones) after only a week than they used to when kept at standard tension (!), and the D40 which used to exhibit the most drift now shows the kind of stability I had with the D25 when kept at standard.

    "Sing on brother, play on drummer"
    Last edited by adorshki; 12-05-2019 at 08:59 PM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  5. #5
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    "Sing on brother, play on drummer" -Jimi being notably Shakepearian and Dylanesque. Was a great line. On the same album: "Click bang, what a hang, your daddy just shot poor me."

    For humidity I use Planet Waves humidpaks. They used to last about 6 months, but now they last indefinitely. Reason for the change is that I was at first advised to use a room humidifier in the guitar area, set at 45%. After years, to cut costs I turned it off permanently. Apparently my humidpaks were being consumed before that with too much humidity. So the 45% setting on the room unit was more likely putting out closer to 65%. My digital humidity indicator is at 44% right now during this "dry" winter season. I am glad of this discovery and find that during all 4 seasons the humidity is favorable for guitars in MI, as long as I put them back in the closed case with the humidpaks the wood stays very happy. I used to keep them out indefinitely, but no more.

    Another aspect is that I like the new guitar look with fresh new wood coloration as long as possible. The new concept of "aged" nitro, and even worse, the new guitars with aging added (nicks and scratches) is not for me.

    Hello davisman, about beating those drums I am always very amused when watching a nooby drummer, since they remind me of a robot, using all arms and overplaying (too loud). First thing to look for is when they play faster paced licks it always gets louder and louder, due to improper technique. But, it is always refreshing to watch a really good drummer that is using proper strokes and wrist position/ movements.

    -Craig

    1978 Tama Drums (mahogany)
    2007 Guild D55
    2010 Guild F512
    2011 Rickenbacker 360/12

    LMG III

  6. #6
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    One more item. With all the price stickers I see I will no longer beat my guitar. Although one of the best players ever, Stephen Stills was doing some guitar whacking through some of the 9 minutes of Suite Judy Blue Eyes; nice percussive stuff like a conga beat or something. I have learned to do some shucking on the strings, but don't whack the guitar any more such as I used to on my cheaper guitars that are still around.
    Last edited by idealassets; 12-06-2019 at 05:16 PM.

    1978 Tama Drums (mahogany)
    2007 Guild D55
    2010 Guild F512
    2011 Rickenbacker 360/12

    LMG III

  7. #7
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idealassets View Post
    Another aspect is that I like the new guitar look with fresh new wood coloration as long as possible. The new concept of "aged" nitro, and even worse, the new guitars with aging added (nicks and scratches) is not for me.
    Yep as you may know I'm a firm believer in storing 'em cased, too, and loved your fresh licorice smell comment. Still gate faint traces of it from the D40 and F65ce.
    But I do LOVE how the top of the D25's ambered up after so many hours outside getting indirect UV, early in her life.
    It really brings out the silking even on that "lowly" standard top.
    Reminds me I might actually pull out the blacklight and start trying to accelerate it in the other 2 that have only ever been outside the house maybe 3 or 4 times in their lives...

    Quote Originally Posted by idealassets View Post
    One more item. With all the price stickers I see I will no longer beat my guitar. Although one of the best players ever, Stephen Stills was doing some guitar whacking through all 9 minutes of Suite Judy Blue Eyes; nice percussive stuff.
    It is a legitimate flamenco technique but then again the early French polish finishes were a lot more forgiving and easy to "patch".
    And those were some of the first instruments to get pick (or in their case, nail) guards.
    Last edited by adorshki; 12-06-2019 at 03:07 AM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  8. #8
    never keep the batteries inside an active pickup guitar when not played regularly- the batteries will die...and in some cases leak, explode, corrode, etc.

    honestly for me personally i have never understood why the batteries and all these other tiny electric parts need to be inside an acoustic. passive pickups, of any kind, and a nice external preamp are much easier than that fistfull of batteries and everything else inside an acoustic. sure if u are Dave Matthews or someone like that, u have professional engineers maybe they want u to use an active pickup for this room or that reason here or there or whatever- that is a different story, but someone has a job of babying that guitar and all, if so.

    since u have the active pups already i would not change them , just remove the batteries and clean up anything they may have leaked on to. not a big deal!! only put the batteries in when u are really going to play electrified.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gjmalcyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    never keep the batteries inside an active pickup guitar when not played regularly- the batteries will die...and in some cases leak, explode, corrode, etc.
    Reasonable advice. But if you do want to keep batteries loaded, switch to lithium ion batteries. They'e available in all the usual sizes (AAAA, AAA, AA, C, D, 9V), and they don't leak or corrode and have great shelf life.

    I made the switch after a set of D-cell alkaline Duracells threw up all over the insides of a very expensive Fenix flashlight I keep in the car.
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  10. #10
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    Actually I was quite fortunate with the battery situation. Every time I checked they were OK in there and were perfect when playing amplified.

    How might this happen, you ask? A few of my guitars got lost in the shuffle.. I re-connected with a lot of music folks like high school friends, etc that do it for a living, and obtained all kinds of good info on everything. Then I began to get some good guitar deals on ebay and reverb to try out and in some cases fix them and flip if I liked something else better. So at one time I had more than 20 guitars, including 3 basses. It was a lot of work to sell them, but now down to 5 guitars.

    Through all that, I thought I pulled the batteries out already, but put them back in when last using both guitars for some amplified playing, and forgot, so in they stayed.

    gjmalcyon, you are so right. The F512 was supplied new with lithium ion batteries. Apparently Guild in New Hartford knew what the best was to put in their guitars from the factory. THe D55 was made in Tacoma, and batteries may have been switched sine I got it used. I suppose at the price paid, that New Hartford didn't want to annoy anyone with a sign saying "batteries not included"..
    Last edited by idealassets; 12-06-2019 at 06:55 PM.

    1978 Tama Drums (mahogany)
    2007 Guild D55
    2010 Guild F512
    2011 Rickenbacker 360/12

    LMG III

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